D.C. Area Kayak Rentals

The 2023 DC Kayaking season

This year’s kayaking season is beginning later than 2022 – nothing is open as of March 23. A number of locations come online in mid-April while others open in May. By Memorial Day weekend most if not all locations will be open.

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 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 bike trails; some are even located near Metro and bus stops.

Rent a kayak near you!

Kayak rental locations open for the 2023 season are marked green, closed locations are marked red. The Potomac, Anacostia, Occoquan and Patuxent rivers as well as the Chesapeake Bay are included as well as several lakes.

Operating hours are subject to change due to weather or other events, check ahead with before heading out. Many locations require online reservations as well.

Sea kayaking vendors

Kayaks can be rented from public and private entities throughout the greater D.C. area.

2023 kayaking updates

DC Kayaking: Thompson Boat Center gets extra weekend; outside the Beltway locations still open

There are still kayaking rental locations open around the greater Washington, D.C. area on the weekend of November 4 and 5, 2023.

The final weekend of the 2023 DC Kayaking season looks spectacular

Pushing 80° right before Halloween? Amazing. DC kayakers finally get a break! Perhaps it’s a make-up call by Mother Nature after several weeks of rainy…

Memorial Day weekend means more places for DC Kayaking are open

It’s a great time of year for DC kayaking. There are still ducklings and goslings (they grow up fast though) to paddle by. It’s not…

2023 DC Kayaking: More Virginia and Maryland locations opening; National Harbor ends rentals

There is good news and bad news for Washingtonians looking to rent a kayak in the DC area. Three more locations are opening for paddlers…

2023 DC Kayaking: More locations opening starting April 12

More places to rent a kayak in and around Washington, D.C. are opening up, starting Tuesday, April 12. The District Three more Boating in DC…

2023 DC Kayaking: More locations opening April 1

Public parks around Washington, D.C. are opening up kayak rentals on April 1. Last weekend, District Wharf (Boating in DC) opened. Northern Virginia Regional Park…
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DC Kayaking slideshow


Tag your photos with #dckayaking.

Whitewater kayaking

Other kayaking services, including whitewater, are available from several vendors upriver:

DC Kayak
Potomac Paddlesports, Potomac, Md.
Potomac River Outfitters, Several locations
River & Trail Outfitters, Harpers Ferry, W.V. and vicinity

Kayaking elsewhere

When I travel, I try to get some paddling in.

About this kayaker

My introduction to kayaking came in 2013 in the Bahamas. In 2014, I kayaked in the Cheasapeake Bay for the first time and then again in 2015. My first DC kayaking was in 2016. I have also kayaked at the Jersey Shore, Chicago, Ocean City, Md. and the Susquehanna in Harrisburg, Pa.

In 2017, after an elbow injury, I sat out most of the summer from kayaking. However, after healing some, I went out in September and woke up the next day with my elbow feeling normal. The rehabilitative outcome led to more kayaking and shortly thereafter, I bought a season pass for 2018. I have been a weekly, in-season kayaker ever since.

While I endorse kayaking generally, I do not specifically endorse specific vendors. However, I have been a Penguin Paddling, Belle Haven Marina and Northern Virginia Regional Park authority customer and am a currently Boating in DC season passholder.