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.
As with everything else, the 2020 season is going to be atypical, but I’ll update throughout as events warrant.
2020 kayaking updates
Rent a kayak near you!
Kayak rental locations open for the 2020 season are marked green, closed locations are marked red.
Operating hours are subject to change due to weather or other events, check ahead with before heading out.
Sea kayaking vendors
Kayaks can be rented from public and private entities throughout the greater D.C. area.
Atlantic Kayak Co. – Indian Head, Md.
Boating in DC (7 locations)
CapitalSUP – Annapolis, Md.
Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority – several locations
Penguin Paddling – Occoquan, Va.
Prince George’s County Parks & Recreation, Bladensburg, Md.
REI Kayaking Classes & Events near Washington DC
DC Kayaking slideshow
Other kayaking services, including whitewater, are available from several vendors upriver:
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.
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 sea kayaking generally, I do not specifically endorse specific vendors. However, I have been a Penguin Paddling customer and am a currently Boating in DC season passholder.