Are you looking for a fun and unique way to spend Memorial Day weekend – that doesn’t include frustrating traffic out to the Maryland and Virginia beaches?
You can get out on the water right here in DC and suburban Maryland without the 3+ hour drive. From paddleboarding to kayaking, the Potomac offers plenty of ways to enjoy the outdoors. And these five boating companies make it super easy to plan a fun three-day weekend that’s anything but ordinary:
The Boathouse at Fletcher’s Cove offers kayak, canoe, and row boat rentals. If you like to fish, you can also get a fishing license and purchase bait on the spot. The Boathouse is located on the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historic Park and offers bicycle rentals as well.
Atlantic Kayak Company offers kayak rentals and tours and is located on Piscataway Creek, across the Potomac River from Mount Vernon. The area is home to several national trails and provides a kayaking experience away from the hustle and bustle of the city. This option is best for small groups who want a nature tour as part of their kayaking experience. For example, you can take the Marsh Loop Eco Tour or the Beach Explorer Tour.
Boating in DC at National Harbor offers rentals, classes, and tours for kayaking, canoeing, and paddleboarding. If you’re looking for a more laid-back ride, this company also offers pedal boat rentals. You can even get a season pass, giving you access to rentals all summer long at a fixed price. With the season pass, you can also explore this company’s other locations at the Ballpark Boathouse and the Key Bridge Boathouse.
If you’d like some instruction before you paddle out, Potomac Paddlesports offers lessons, trips, and skill clinics. The school is located along the 10-mile stretch of the Potomac River and Chesapeake and Ohio Canal in Maryland. Potomac Paddlesports even offers sea kayaking lessons in their Annapolis location if you decide to take your kayaking to the next level.
Thompson Boat Center is located in Georgetown at the intersection of Rock Creek Parkway and Virginia Avenue. You can rent canoes, kayaks, and bicycles, as well as take rowing lessons to work on your skills before you set out on the water. Thompson is also home to a number of regattas for the Georgetown University and George Washington University crew teams if you’d like to visit the boathouse as a spectator.