Your Destination Guide to Washington DC

Destination Guide DC - Your Destination Guide to Washington, DC

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Kayaking and Canoeing

Kayaking and Canoeing
Kayaking and Canoeing

© Thad Zajdowicz

With two of the most beautiful bodies of water on the East Coast (the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal -- sometimes called the C&O Canal -- and the Potomac), Washington DC is an ideal location to spend a day kayaking or canoeing. From easy day trips on the C&O Canal to more challenging rides on the Potomac, the capitol has something for everyone.

Best Places to Kayak and Canoe in DC:

  • 1. C&O Canal:
  • The C&O Canal has calm waters and is an ideal location if you want to enjoy easy paddling amidst beautiful scenery between Georgetown and Violettes Lock. At the Georgetown Visitor Center you can get a map of the waters.
  • 2. The Potomac River:
  • If you're an experienced kayaker and up for a challenge, the Potomac offers more challenging kayaking. Be careful though, as there are some dangerous white water areas between Great Falls and Chain Bridge.

Kayak Rentals, Sales and Lessons:

  • 1. Jacks Boathouse:
  • Renting kayaks, canoes and paddleboats right in the heart of Georgetown. Basic instructions are given.
  • Location: Under the Key Bridge at 3500 K. St. NW, Washington DC
  • Phone: 202-337-9642
  • Website:
  • 2. Thompson Boat Center:
  • Canoe and kayak rentals, as well as bike rentals and rowing lessons. Thompson Boat Center serves as a hub for regattas and racing for Georgetown University and George Washington University crew teams.
  • Location: 2900 Virginia Avenue NW, Washington DC 20037
  • Phone: 202-333-9543
  • Website:
  • 3. Fletcher's Boathouse:
  • Rents and sells kayaks and offers guided tours along the Potomac.
  • Location: 4940 Canal Rd. NW, Washington, DC. Located on the Potomac River, in the C & O Canal National Historical Park, between Chain and Key Bridges.
  • Phone: 202-244-0461
  • Website:


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