Boating in DC at Key Bridge Boathouse

3500 Water St NW, Washington, DC 20007, USA

Key Bridge Boathouse is the go-to launching point for paddlers of all skill levels. Whether you’re in a kayak or a canoe or on a stand-up paddleboard, time on the water is transformative. Its classes, tours, and rentals offer a unique perspective of D.C.’s cityscape, where you can skip the crowds and glide past iconic sights like the Kennedy Center, the Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Monument, and the Tidal Basin. Head north to soak up the serenity of the Potomac’s tree-lined banks, or south to circle Theodore Roosevelt Island, one of the city’s nature and wildlife refuges. Farther downstream, the river flows into the Chesapeake Bay, whose oysters find their way to some of the city’s best restaurants. After hours on the water, a dozen of these salty treats are well deserved.

More Recommendations

Paddle on the Potomac

Key Bridge Boathouse offers a variety of single and double kayaks, canoes and as well as stand-up paddbleboards for rent. Whether you are an experienced paddler or a complete novice like me, you’ll have a great time. You begin with a brief instructional and safety talk before donning on a safety vest and getting into your kayak, canoe, or paddleboard. From the dock, you can paddle up the Potomac River, or, better yet, head down towards downtown and see the Kennedy Center, Lincoln Memorial and Washington Monument. If you are a fairly experienced paddler, you can make your way around Roosevelt Island in about 45 minutes or so. You can get off on the island if you wish. Or else, you can go further and paddle all the way to Memorial Bridge but that round trip will probably take you about 1.5 hours. Key Bridge Boathouse also offers a guided Twilight Tour which is very popular. On land, Key Bridge Boathouse has drinks for sale in case you need to quench your thirst. There is a small area with plenty of chairs to take in the scenery. Key Bridge Boathouse is located in Georgetown, just under the Key Bridge. Parking is very limited so best to either to arrive early, park on K St., and walk or else rent a bike from Capital Bikeshare and ride over.

Information on this page, including website, location, and opening hours, is subject to have changed since this page was last published. If you would like to report anything that’s inaccurate, let us know at

Nearby highlights
Sign up for our newsletter
Join more than a million of the world’s best travelers. Subscribe to the Daily Wander newsletter.
More From AFAR