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The Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument and Arlington Memorial Bridge as seen from a kayak out of Thompson Boatcenter


Complete guide to renting a kayak in Washington, D.C., Northern Virginia and Maryland

Up the Creek with a paddle

Flat water kayaking is a fun high-energy, low-impact exercise for most age groups. The waterways of the Washington, D.C. area offer a variety of kayaking experiences at reasonable prices. Within a few miles of each other kayakers can experience urban and bucolic settings. Many kayak rental locations are accessible by popular trails; some are even located Metro and bus stops. cover image - the front of a kayak in Washington Channel looking towards the Washington Monument while an Amtrak train crosses a bridge on a sunny summer day.

Paddle inside and outside the Beltway

Kayak rental locations open for the 2024 season are marked green, closed locations are marked red. The Potomac, Anacostia, Occoquan and Patuxent rivers as well as the Chesapeake Bay and several lakes are featured.


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    Several kayak rental locations in Washington, D.C., Northern Virginia and Maryland are open for Juneteenth, Wednesday, June 19. Washington, D.C. Ballpark Boathouse District Wharf Thompson Boat Center Key Bridge Boathouse Fletchers Cove Northern Virginia Belle Haven Marina Boat Rentals at Lake Anne Burke Lake Park Marina (fishing license required) Fountainhead Regional Park Lake Accotink Lake…

  • Memorial Day 2024 DC area kayaking season openings

    Memorial Day weekend is the traditional, cultural start of summer and when most if not all DC area kayak rental locations open for the season. The map gets really green! Washington, D.C. Every DC location to rent a kayak has already opened. Northern Virginia Opening this weekend Already open Maryland Opening this weekend Already open


  • A tourist guide to Chicago kayak rentals

    CHICAGO — When I learned I would be headed here for a mid-October conference, I investigated whether I could rent a kayak. I found several options though given the time of year, the weather would be a big factor, just as it is in Washington, D.C. Thankfully, the day I arrived, Sunday, October 16 the…

  • 7 Mile Island kayaking

    AVALON, N.J. — Kayaking doesn’t take a holiday just because I’m down the Shore. The last two years, I’ve “gone to the gym” at Moran’s Dockside. Located at 14th Street and 3rd Avenue, Moran’s primary business is hoagies. They are also adjacent to the Avalon Sport Fishing Center. Rentals are $25. Paddlers can navigate a…


Photo by Chris Thompson

DC Kayaking is a project by William F. Yurasko to promote kayaking in the National Capital region.

William first kayaked in 2013 in the Bahamas. Paddling on the Chesapeake at an annual company picnic in subsequent years encouraged more interest.

In 2017, after an elbow injury William sat out most of the season. However, after some healing, he went out in September and woke up the next day with an elbow feeling pretty normal. That rehabilitative outcome was eye-opening and he bought a season pass in 2018. Since then, William has been paddling weekly in-season ever since.