Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Things to Do: Jack's Boathouse - Kayaking in DC

About a year ago, I came across a deal on Groupon for a twilight kayaking tour at Jack's Boathouse. Since, I'm all about doing random things and trying out all that DC has to offer I bought it.

Last Friday, I grabbed a friend and we headed to Jack's Boathouse. It's literally a shed on the waterfront of Georgetown right under the Key Bridge (the bridge that connects DC to Arlington, VA). But don't let the size of Jack's fool you. They had tons of 1 and 2 person kayaks and canoes available. As suggested on their website, we arrived by 6:30 for the 7:00PM Twilight Tour. We walked up, signed a waiver, were handed our life jackets and were on our way.

We walked to the pier and were given our oars and got into a 2 person kayak instantly, and were pushed off without any type of instruction. I'm not really a scaredy cat and my friend had been kayaking before (or so he said) so next thing I know we were in the middle of the Potomac River. I'll admit the first time I got splashed with the water from the river, I was a little disgusted by I quickly got over it and got used to rowing.

Right at 7, we all met back near the pier and started our tour. The tour went up toward the Watergate Building and The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Next, we had an amazing view of The Lincoln Memorial and Washington Monuments as we took a short break. We made a circle around Roosevelt island where we saw large birds swooping down and even people fishing. Who really fishes in the Potomac River? Yuck!

With about 20 minutes to spare, they gave the group an option of rowing back to shore or continuing on for another 30 minutes. By that time, my hands and arms were sore so we headed back. It was definitely a great work out but with our earlier start plus another 70 minutes of the tour, I was wiped out. All in all it was a great time.

My advice:
* Get there early, to have a chance to get used to rowing, especially if you've never been before
* Bring water, a snack, bug repellent and sun block if you tan/burn easily
* If you bring electronics make sure you keep it in a Ziploc or plastic bag because you and your things will get wet. (I won't not bring your phone, self explanatory)
* Wear a tank top, shorts, and flip flops because you will get wet!

Also, they have a small parking lot (can accommodate maybe 8 or 9 cars) and there's parking on K Street after 6PM, right in front of the Jack's.

Jack's Boathouse
3500 Water St NW
Washington D.C., DC 20007

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