While Georgetown’s cupcake stores, cobblestone streets, historic bars and stylish boutiques account for many of its charms, Washington, DC’s oldest neighborhood also has a bevy of waterfront activities that visitors can thoroughly enjoy. From the on-the-water revelry and dining featuring spectacular scenery to highly awaited annual events, the Georgetown waterfront has something for everyone! Keep reading to discover the best things to see and do along Georgetown Waterfront.
Go to the Key Bridge Boathouse for Kayaking and Paddleboarding
Located in Georgetown on the Potomac River, this Key Bridge Boathouse is a great place to go for on-the-water adventures. Rent a kayak, canoe, or standup paddleboard and make the river your playground. You can also catch views of the gorgeous Georgetown waterfront, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and even the Washington Monument. You can also paddle over to Theodore Roosevelt Island, an attraction.
Hang out at The Washington Harbour
Georgetown’s river waterfront is home to many great restaurants– including Sequoia, Guapo’s, Tony and Joe’s Seafood Place and Farmers Fishers Bakers. They offer patio seating in warm weather with plenty of outdoor activities.
Bike, Run or Hike Next to The River
Georgetown has miles of trails for biking, walking, or running alongside the Potomac River and the C&O Canal. This gorgeous C&O Canal Towpath and Capital Crescent Trail are two of the most popular trails in the region, with each presenting eye-popping water vistas. Cyclists will also appreciate the nearly 50 public bike racks throughout the neighborhood, eight Capital Bikeshare stations, and a bike fix-it repair station on K/Water Street.
Take A Walk Along Georgetown’s Waterways
C&O Canal and Potomac River are found south of M Street, and there are plenty of nooks and crannies to explore between these two bodies of water. You will find many coffee shops, bakeries, boutiques in the waterfront district, architectural marvels and remains of Georgetown’s industrial past.
Raising a Glass Under the Freeway
Across the street from Georgetown Waterfront Park, The Berliner features German brats, beers, and an atmosphere that will make you forget you’re in D.C. The industrial beer hall is under The Whitehurst Freeway, with garage doors that open to beautiful indoor and outdoor seating. If you’re feeling ambitious, grab a stein and unwind after hitting one of the bike trails just a few feet away.
Ghosts of Georgetown Walking Tour
Discover Georgetown’s hidden history and local legends on a 3-hour ghost tour. To date, the upscale area is bustling with tourists, but it also has a darker past. Learn about supernatural occurrences and listen to true crime stories as you traverse the city’s oldest neighborhood’s cemeteries, churches, and alleys.
Cool Off at Waterfront Park
As you tour the Potomac, Washington Harbour on K Street offers waterfront dining, river cruises and water taxis that connect the region’s waterfronts and D.C.’s largest outdoor ice skating rink in the winter.
The center is adjacent to Georgetown Waterfront Park, with its sweeping vista of the Francis Scott Key Bridge, Theodore Roosevelt Island, John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and LEED-certified House of Sweden. This 10-acre park hosts many outdoor events–including Georgetown BID’s annual Sunset Fitness and Sunset Cinema series. This is a D.C favorite especially on hot summer days, because of its large fountain.
Visitors can rent a canoe, kayak, or paddleboard from Key Bridge Boathouse, connect to three biking trails, picnic in the park, meditate at the labyrinth, or catch an impromptu musical performance on the weekends.
Check out the Streateries
Enjoy delicious meals outdoors at one of the Streatery across Georgetown Waterfront Park. Located under the Whitehurst Freeway at the end of K Street, The Berliner’s garage doors open out onto street seating, with German brats and beers on the menu. Mr. Smith’s of Georgetown and Susheria offer Streatery-style seating down the street too.
Georgetown is among the few neighborhoods in Washington that can be reached by water. Take a Washington Monuments Cruise from the Georgetown Waterfront for a fun, relaxing way to take in sights like the Jefferson Memorial and The Washington Monument.
Skate on The largest Ice Rink
Starting mid-November to March, Washington Harbour’s dancing fountain turns into ice skating real estate. Nighttime is magic as dozens of twinkling snowflakes light up the rink next to the Potomac River.
Get your GLOW on
Get an experience of a new season of light during Georgetown GLOW, the region’s only curated outdoor public light art experience. It was established in 2014, and this innovative (and free!) exhibition has quickly become one of the city’s most anticipated annual events. Walking tours and Meet the Artist programming are available for visitors.
Visit the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History Private Guided Tour
Step into the past and be amazed by the natural world on this 2-hour private guided tour of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. You will see some of the over 126 million artifacts stored in the museum, including the Egyptian mummies, Hope Diamond, and a living coral reef. Take some time immersing yourself in the fascinating stories and artifacts that make up our history, and come away from the museum with new knowledge.
Shop Charming Book Hill
The antique stores, independent boutiques, art galleries, and buttery croissants are famous in this historic neighborhood on Wisconsin Avenue from O Street. It has a charming, European flair that beckons residents and visitors to stroll, shop, and stay a while. It is also home to the Georgetown BID’s annual Georgetown French Market.
People interested in local history shouldn’t miss the Peabody Room at the Georgetown branch of the D.C. Public Library. At neighboring Book Hill Park, you can take in a panoramic view of Georgetown, the Potomac River, and Virginia beyond.
Final Take Away
There is so much you can do along the Georgetown Waterfront. Whenever you are in Washington D.C., consider one or more of these exciting activities to do, for a memorable experience in D.C.