Perfect Places to Go Paddleboard in Washington

4 Perfect Places to Go Paddleboard in Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C. is certainly not known as a paddleboard hotspot. The weather is pretty horrific at least 7-8 months out of the year. There’s no amazing beaches or crystal clear lakes in the area to paddle around.

For most, Washington, D.C. is not a place to paddleboard. However, the area has quickly become a popular paddle place due to the sheer number of tourists D.C. sees every single summer.

When combined with fit locals looking to enjoy some exercise outdoors, it’s easy to see why so many people enjoy paddling in our nation’s capital. While we don’t recommend going to D.C. solely to paddle around, like we would in a place like Key West, there are still some amazing SUP spots in Washington, D.C.

4 Perfect Places to Go Paddleboard in Washington, D.C.

So let’s dive in. Without further ado, here are four absolutely amazing places to SUP in Washington, D.C.:

Kenilworth Park

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  • Kenilworth Park

Located a few minutes from downtown D.C. – you’ll find Kenilworth Park and Anacostia River. While not super popular as of yet, the place offers a laid-back spot to paddle around and enjoy outdoor adventures near the big city.

The 700-acre park offers a number of waterways and inlets that ensure private padding and tons of wildlife. If you’re looking to stay away from the crowds, this could be the place place to SUP in D.C. for you.

There aren’t any rental areas that we found at the national park. Your best rental bet is to check out Boating in DC, as they do a great job of covering the whole area.

Potomac River Rapids

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  • Potomac River Rapids

If you’re looking for a tough SUP challenge in D.C., then the Potomac River Rapids are calling your name. Here you’ll find river rapids that make paddling difficult. This is only a spot for experts to check out.

Many a local has taken to SUP river surfing in the Potomac Rapids. If you have SUP and surfing experience, feel free to check it out. For those less experienced, you’ll definitely want a guide before you embark on this SUP adventure.

If you’re looking for lessons or a guide for this SUP spot in D.C., then we recommend checking out Paddle Stroke SUP.

Theodore Roosevelt Island

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  • Theodore Roosevelt Island

If you’re looking for a specific spot to paddle in D.C. while being close to all the attractions like the White House, then you’ve found it. The Theodore Roosevelt Island is a great place to place around on the Potomac River near downtown D.C.

While there are no rental outfitters on the island, you can bring your own board. If you’re looking to rent, then Boating D.C. has rentals available from their Key Bridge Boathouse location. You’ll have to paddle across the river with this option – which can be quite busy at times.

Lake Barcroft

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  • Lake Barcroft

For those looking to get a little further away from the city, you can check out Lake Barcroft just a little outside Arlington, VA. The small lake can be packed on weekends, but during the week you’ll find smooth waters ideal for paddling around.

If you’re in the area and looking for a rental, you could be out of luck. There aren’t too many outfitters. Your best bet is to hit up Paddle Stroke SUP, again. They service Lake Barcroft, and always do a great job.

SUP in Washington, D.C.

If you’re looking to paddleboard in our nation’s capital, you’re in luck. There are a few fantastic SUP spots in Washington, D.C. You’ll just have to look a little harder to find them here. If you can only choose one, then check out Theodore Roosevelt Island. Happy paddling!

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