Waterfront Guide to Georgetown

Less than a 5-minute walk south of M Street, Georgetown’s waterfront district has a historic canal, Insta-worthy riverfront, hiking, biking, running and paddling opportunities, waterfront dining, and more. Here are the top 9 experiences to add to your summer bucket list.

Paddle the Potomac

You’ll be hard-pressed to find a better afternoon on the water, with unbeatable views of the Key Bridge, Kennedy Center, and Roosevelt Island. Key Bridge Boathouse and Thompson Boat Center are the perfect places to rent kayaks, canoes, and stand-up paddleboards, or to take a paddling lesson. Tours are also available and cater to a variety of interests, from a happy hour kayak monument paddle, to sunrise or full moon options, and tours tailored to nature, ghost stories, and history.

Cruise through Summer

If you’d rather have someone else do the heavy rowing, hop aboard one of several boat tours – from a pontoon paddle boat to a floating tiki bar, double-decker party yacht, interactive pirate ship treasure hunt, or brunch buffet – and cruise past some of DC’s most iconic attractions. Keep it low-key with a sunset sail or turn it up on a boat with curated playlists, a full bar, party lighting, and two TVs. For the ultimate stress-free summer outing, skip the traffic and book a Sailgate where you can cruise to Nats Park to catch a baseball game.

Hang Out at the Harbour

Georgetown’s river waterfront is home to tons of great restaurants and many offer patio seating in warm weather – including Sequoia, Guapo’s, Tony and Joe’s Seafood Place, Nick’s Riverside Grill, and Farmers Fishers Bakers. During the summer, children (and adults, too) can watch the boats and feed the ducks. Before or after, get your shopping on in the historic neighborhood.

Bike, Hike or Run Along the Water

Georgetown offers miles of trails for walking, biking or running alongside the Potomac River and the C&O Canal. The picturesque C&O Canal Towpath and Capital Crescent Trail are two of the most popular trails in the region, with each offering water views. There are nearly 50 public bike racks located throughout Georgetown, as well as eight Capital Bikeshare stations and a bike fixit repair station on K/Water Street.

Get Your "Ommm" On

Toward the western end of Georgetown Waterfront Park, you can get your meditation on with a few laps around the labyrinth – funded by an organization that promotes urban green spaces to facilitate community healing. Work your way from the outer edge along a circular path to the center and quiet your mind.

Cool Off at the Fountain

Running through the large fountain at Georgetown Waterfront Park is a summertime favorite for kids and kids at heart. Bring a few towels and spend the afternoon dipping in and out of the arch of water jets.

Join a Dance Party

Keep the beat all summer long at Dancing on the Waterfront – a free outdoor dance class in Georgetown Waterfront Park where participants of all ages and skill levels learn everything from salsa to square dancing while a DJ spins a mix of music. The Georgetown BID is offering a special weeknight version of this event on Tuesdays through August 6. Dance instruction is from 6 pm – 7 pm but drop by any time from 5 pm – 9 pm for social dancing.

Wander Along the Waterways

The C&O Canal and the Potomac River are located just south of M Street, and in between the two bodies of water are plenty of nooks and crannies to explore. You’ll find an array of bakeries, coffee shops and boutiques in this waterfront district, as well as architectural marvels and remnants of Georgetown’s industrial past. Although the C&O Canal is currently drained for restoration work and boat tours are on hiatus during this time, there is still plenty of interest to check out along the path – with historic walking tours coming later this summer.

Hail a Taxi

Still yellow, but far less traffic and far more pleasant. The Potomac Water Taxi service offers a scenic route connecting Georgetown to The Wharf. Hop aboard and enjoy the best of both waterfronts.

Happy Hours in Georgetown

From waterfront views to iconic watering holes, cheers to happy hour in Georgetown!

Read More

New Georgetown Restaurants & Retail

From a cocktail tasting room with historic roots to an LA-based menswear boutique, and a coffee shop with a cause, check out these new Georgetown shops and restaurants that have opened over the past year.

Read More

The BIDness Newsletter

Get the weekly scoop on sales & events in Georgetown.