4 DC Kayak Spots for Relaxing

Thanks to a Boating in DC Season Pass generously given to Dan for his birthday by his thoughtful  parents who have always supported his love for adventure – we had a summer full of kayaking. I, of course, reaped the benefits of this gift because season passes got the pass holder unlimited paddling access and rentals at all 7 DC locations, and this included tandem kayaking rentals! I not only got in on the free rentals but I got in a free kayak ride (because let’s be honest. We all know who ended up doing MOST of paddling.)

My favorite part about having a season pass is that every time you go out on the water, it isn’t a race against time. With no hourly rate, there’s no need to paddle fast and try and see all of the things in a short amount of time. While some kayak for cardio, we kayaked to kick back and relax. 

Here are 4 DC kayaking adventures to try out yourselves:

  1. Roosevelt Island Picnic
  2. Private Island Soirée
  3. Nats Stadium from the Anacostia + Bluejacket Brewery
  4. Potomac Plane Landing Adventure

1. Roosevelt Island Picnic

  • Pack a picnic (we almost always pick up a Harris Teeter sub to share) and wear water shoes.
  • Launch from the Key Bridge Boathouse
  • Head south (left) to Roosevelt Island and hug the eastern side of the island (closest to DC). Head towards the south eastern tip of the island and look for a spot to land.
  • Enjoy your picnic while taking in view of the National Monument, Lincoln Memorial, and the Arlington Memorial Bridge and listen to the sounds of the City.

2. Private Island Soirée

  • Pack a picnic, drinks, hammock, bug spray, and portable speakers.
  • Launch from the Key Bridge Boathouse.
  • Head north (right) about 2 miles until you see a larger island. Land your kayaks.
  • Hang up your hammock, turn on some tunes, crack open a beer, and enjoy your own private island oasis. Your tunes will drown out the buzz of the City and the National Park Service’s helicopter which will undoubtedly be making its rounds. You won’t feel like you’re anywhere near DC.

3. Nats Stadium from the Anacostia + Bluejacket Brewery

  • Pack beers to share.
  • Metro in and visit on a game day or pick a non-game day and drive in. We decided to meet friends here on a Friday after work on a non-game day and we had the river completely to ourselves.
  • Launch from Ballpark Boathouse. We spent the time on the water catching up with our friends who had just returned from their honeymoon in the Maldives. We shared some beers with them while puttering around the Anacostia. We returned our kayaks to the boathouse before closing time.
  • Take the Anacostia Riverwalk to Bluejacket and enjoy a flight of beers and amazing beers.

4. Potomac Plane Landing Adventure

  • Launch from Washington Sailing Marina.
  • Get as close to the approach lighting pier without going under our past it as you can.
  • Crack open a beer and enjoy watching the planes flying right over top of you to land at Ronald Reagan National Airport. It’s an adrenaline rush for sure. If you’re lucky, you may see vortices form over the water.
  • Once the adrenaline wears off, head south and check out GenOn Powerplant before it’s gone. GenOn is a former coal plant in Old Town Alexandria that closed in 2012 after being the subject of community, environmental, and health concerns. I followed this story closely back in 2012 as I entered my career where I often acted as a liaison between communities and industry.

Next year, we hope to launch out of some of the other 7 DC Boating Locations and have new adventures to tell you about.



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