5 Excellent Places for Beginners to Kayak in Washington, D.C.

By Ian-Spiegel Blum

5 Excellent Places for Beginners to Kayak in Washington, D.C.

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Kayaking is one of Washingtonians’ favorite pastimes. With ample water-way access and routes that take you past many of our nation’s most iconic monuments, kayaking is a perfect way to enjoy the warm weather and take in the sites. Check out the following five places for beginners to kayak in D.C.! 

1. Thompson Boat Center

Rent a kayak or bring your own to the Thompson Boat Center in Georgetown. Take a guided tour with one of their trained professionals or venture out onto the Potomac on your own. Rent a kayak starting at $16 per hour for a single or $22 for a double. Take an easy route down the river and past the Lincoln Memorial and Kennedy Center.

2. Fletcher’s Boathouse

Since 1850, Fletcher’s Cove has been a favorite kayaking destination, as it provides access to the Potomac River, the Chesapeake, and Ohio Canal. The water on the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal is known for its gentle currents, making it a perfect location for beginning kayakers. Make sure to check in before stopping by, however, as the Canal is occasionally drained.

3. National Harbor

The National Harbor is one of the most iconic locations in the surrounding D.C. area and is minutes away from Washington. Start by enjoying the carousel and world-class shopping before renting your kayak. You can rent the kayak by the hour, take part in a lesson or guided tour, or even buy a season pass to enjoy the water all summer long. With the carousel behind you and D.C. ahead, you’ll find National Harbor to be the stuff of memories.

4. Ballpark Boathouse

Stop by Southeast D.C. to kayak along the Anacostia River. Along the route, you’ll pass the historic Navy Yard, the U.S. capital, USS Barry, and Fort McNair. Beginning kayakers worried about tipping over or scared of the new task will be pleasantly distracted by the roaring baseball fans from Nationals Stadium. For a different vantage point of D.C., Ballpark Boathouse is the place to go.

easy like sunday morning 🚣🏽 #summer #igdc

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5. Atlantic Kayak Company Launching Point

Atlantic Kayak Company is located on the Mattawoman Creek, a “tidal, freshwater ecosystem with little to no current,” according to their website. In other words, it is the perfect place for beginners to get comfortable in their kayaks. You can rent kayaks and go out on your own or take part in a tour with a professional guide and instructor. Tours take visitors through Georgetown and the Piscataway Creek, across from George Washington’s Mount Vernon home. 

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