Top 11 Things to Do in the Potomac River in Washington DC

Top 11 Things to Do in the Potomac River in Washington DC

Hop into the water vessel of your choice and prepare to explore a new side of our nation’s capital. With exciting waterfront destinations bringing more visitors and locals closer and closer to rivers, you might be surprised to know what’s waiting. It’s easy to explore Washington DC by boat – whether you prefer a gentler ride or something more challenging.

The area offers excellent boating and tour companies that provide unique experiences on the water. There’s never been a better time to get away from land by seeking an excursion on the Potomac or Anacostia rivers.

Cruises are one of the best ways to see DC. Cruises go along the Potomac and bring you right into the center of one of America’s most iconic cities.

There are many different types of cruises, so you can find one that suits your needs and budget. These cruises, services, and activities offer many benefits and can provide an unforgettable experience.

Considering the variety of options, Select Concierge recommends:

1 The Water Taxi: Skip the traffic, and reach your destination faster

We’re all looking for ways to save time and money in this modern age. Instead of wasting your day in traffic, why not use the water for your commute? That’s right; you can now take a water taxi for transportation.

It’s one of the best ways to get around on the water. Stop by The Wharf’s Transit Pier to ask about hourly rentals and regional trips with various destinations. The Wharf on the Water is a destination and the first dockside dining spot in Washington, DC, which is a must-visit for locals and visitors alike.

Horn Blower’s Water Taxi is the perfect way to explore DC. You can take one ride or hop on and off at any dock. The service runs from March through December, but it will not be running during winter storms. The fares for water taxis vary as the seasons change.

02 Check out Washington DC’s monuments from a whole new perspective


Rediscover the beauty of Washington DC, from a new perspective with a boat tour. Immerse yourself in history by seeing monuments like the Lincoln Memorial, Jefferson Memorial, and Washington Monuments. The boat tours on this list are guaranteed to offer a view you’ll never see on land. The Monumental Boat Tours have sightseeing in Washington DC, which is magnificent at any time of year. If you’re looking to venture further afield, Boat Tours are not only the best way to see this region but also the most fun and relaxing.



03 Have a great weekend with a Sunday brunch cruise + bottomless mimosas


Sunday brunch is a longstanding tradition for many Americans. Celebrate the end of your weekend by taking a Sunday brunch cruise on the bay. The views are spectacular, and the food is delicious. Washington Cruises offers a variety of cruises that can take you around.
One of the most popular ones is their bottomless mimosa and jazz brunch. You’ll enjoy excellent food and beverages for 2 hours aboard the stunning, fully glass-enclosed vessel.





4 Pin a Beautiful Background of DC on your special day

Your special day deserves to be recorded. What better way to do this than having your special day photographed in one of the most iconic places in the world? With Washington DC’s breathtaking waterfront backdrop, you can have a camera capture every moment of your big day and create memories that will last forever!

Celebrate something BIG, a birthday, anniversary, or graduation. One of the best ways is a boat! The most common celebrations hosted on cruises are birthdays, anniversaries, bachelor/bachelorette parties, graduations, and corporate events.

Many services are offered in Georgetown, Old Town Alexandria, and the National Harbor in Maryland. The Riverboat Company and others also help you charter the perfect party boat, with plenty of options.

05 Exploring the C&O Canal can be a relaxing and enjoyable experience.


The Federal government transformed the Potomac River in the 1830s. This idea was to make Georgetown the nation’s port, bringing more shipping to this area and allowing boats access to George Washington’s lands. Starting with a canal built 363 miles long, this created a towpath on both sides for mules to pull barges. Back when Georgetown was a tobacco port, the C and O Canal started its 184-mile-long route right here.

These days, what remains is serene but unhurried water where you can cycle and walk for hours.
Visitors can now see this area of Georgetown from an original and unique angle for the first time in more than ten years.

The new ONE-HOUR boat tours show you what others haven’t been able to before – the first mile of the Canal. Come and explore the surprising history, technology, and culture of the Canal, as well as people’s stories about who lived, worked, or played here.




06 Embark on a Six-Person Speedboat for Fun


You can enjoy a private six-seater speed boat tour through the beautiful bay. The captain will take you on tour, and you can also enjoy watching the sunset from this speedboat. This is an excellent narrated tour experience – a great way to spend your day.

Depending on your preferences, you can enjoy activities like fishing, picnicking, sightseeing, or custom-created adventures. They are willing to go wherever you want them – Mount Vernon, Old Town Alexandria, or Georgetown.




7 Enjoy the Historical Landmarks of DC From the Potomac


National landmarks are a way to honor our country’s history and culture. There are many in the DC area, but some of the most popular include the White House, Lincoln Memorial, and Washington Monument. See the beauty of Rosslyn’s skyline, Roosevelt Island, and The National Airport, and cruise along the Potomac to enjoy the magnificence of the Potomac.

DC boat companies offer a tour to George Washington’s Mount Vernon, March through October.




08 Take your dog on a little joy ride around Alexandria

The Alexandria Seaport is a great place to take your puppy on a joyous boat ride. The best part is that they can join you on the boat! There are many reasons why this is such a great option. First, it’s a fun and exciting way to spend time with your pup. It’s an opportunity for your pup to socialize with other dogs. Second, it’s a fantastic way to see the Alexandria Seaport in all its glory.

Take a boat tour in Alexandria during the warmer months when there are many routes to explore. From Old Town Alexandria, Founders Park, and Jones Point Lighthouse, you will see the best sights from the sea.

09 Watch the most fabulous Fourth of July Fireworks from a Cruise

The Fourth of July celebrations in Washington, DC, are a must-see. It is one of the best places in the country where you can watch the fireworks show from the water. Independence Day fireworks are doubly impressive from the water, thanks to the reflection… and the lack of crowds. Celebrating the fourth of July on a boat or cruise is the best way to enjoy Independence Day without the crowd and in a relaxed setting.

4th of July Dinner Cruises sell out months in advance and for a good reason. It’s hard to beat the view from the water compared to anything else you can see!

10 Make memories by kayaking, canoeing, or paddle boarding on the Potomac River

Fun in the sun and on the water is something that everyone should experience. The Potomac River provides an excellent opportunity for outdoor fun that you can enjoy most of the year. It is perfect for kayaking, canoeing, and paddle boarding.  Whether you enjoy fishing, canoeing, or cross-country skiing, the Potomac river is a great place to go. Kayaking is a great way to explore the river’s natural beauty because it lets you get up close and personal with its wildlife. Paddle-boarding offers an easier way to enjoy the water without all the physical efforts of kayaking or canoeing.  There is no shortage of water activities in Washington, DC. You can conveniently rent a kayak from one of the Boating in DC locations: National Harbor, The Boathouses on the Wharf, and Key.

11 Spend a Day Having Fun Paddling and Drinking on the Tiki Bar Cruise

Tiki boat on the Potomac! This Georgetown boat can fit 18 people and is perfect for a night out with friends who will enjoy the festive tropical island with a Midwestern twist. Watching the sunset from this private tiki bar while floating on a relaxing cruise is undoubtedly one of the unique happy hours in DC. The staff at the Lobby Lounge strives to provide you with a great experience. You’ll never have to worry about anything when you’re here. Excellent bartenders will ensure you enjoy your time.