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Best Water Sports in Washington DC

By: Cityseeker
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Banneker Pool

Banneker Pool is one of the most popular public pools in the Washington DC area. Lovers of swimming flock to the pool to beat the summer heat, enroll their kids in swimming classes, and swim laps. If you happen to be in the DC area and fancy a dip, this pool is the place to do it. Not the greatest swimmer in the world? No worries - the large outdoor pool can accommodate all abilities and all ages so you can have a safe, fun time no matter what.

Washington DC, DC, United States
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Key Bridge Boathouse

If you happen to be visiting Washington DC in the summer months, you may notice that it can be extremely hot. Thankfully, Key Bridge Boathouse offers water sports that will keep you cool and happy. Try kayaking or canoeing along the forested edges of the Potomac River, where you will pass Roosevelt Island and some of DC's most famous monuments. For those who like to exercise both their body and spirit, Key Bridge Boathouse offers stand up paddling boarding yoga classes, which will really test your ability to balance.

Washington DC, DC, United States
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Fletcher's Boathouse

In operation since it was built over 150 years ago, Fletcher's Boathouse is the first stop on a number of Washington recreational excursions. Boats can be rented and taken out to Roosevelt Island, and canoes are available for leisurely floats up the historic C&O Canal. There are bicycles for rent, as well as a wide range of fishing supplies.

Washington DC, DC, United States
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SPE Scuba Dive School

Whether you are a novice or a pro, the SPE Scuba Dive School is the place for anyone seeking underwater pleasures. For many years, this establishment has been providing SCUBA instruction to Washingtonians. Busy folks will find a flexible course schedule designed so students can start and stop lessons without missing a stroke. Lessons are held in heated pools at facilities in metropolitan Washington. Caribbean dive trips are offered each month.

Chevy Chase, MD, United States
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Washington Sailing Marina

If you're a one-design or small sailboat enthusiast and happen to be in the Washington DC area, then the Washington Sailing Marina is where you ought to be. The marina, which plays host to such establishments as the Potomac River Sailing Association and the Sailing Club of Washington, rents out slips for you boat, boats for those who don't have them, and bikes for those who would rather stay on land. The marina also offers sailing lessons for those inclined to take to the water.

Alexandria, VA, United States
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Mather Gorge

Mather Gorge, which is located inside the Great Falls Park, is the narrowest section of the lower stretch of the Potomac River. The gorge, which is just down river from the Great Falls, takes its name from Stephen Mather, the first director of the National Parks Service. Visitors to the park can hike along the steep cliffs of the gorge, or scale the cliffs themselves while rock climbing. The gorge can also be explored by kayak and canoe, though water goers should be aware that the gorge contains Class I to Class IV whitewater rapids.

Potomac, MD, United States
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Potomac Paddlesports

Founded in 1999 by head instructor Sunny Pitcher, Potomac Paddlesports has been heralded as the premiere "elementary" kayaking school for beginners. The establishment, which had its full course sanctioned by the American Canoe Association (a first for kayaking schools), offers small classes that go through a flat-water progression. This means that you don't have to worry about screaming down rapids on your first day, as you will be learning how to kayak in flat, calm water. Trips and classes can be scheduled around your many appointments so that you can learn at your own pace and without having to put your life on hold.

Potomac, MD, United States
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Great Falls Park

Great Falls Park, straddling both banks of the Potomac River, offers stunning views. The more attractive side of the park lies in Virginia. Rushing whitewater pours through steep, jagged crevices into a narrow gorge. Photographers, hikers, and nature-lovers find much to enjoy here. The park offers many trails, and the towpath of the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal parallels the river. Fishing is allowed, but only with a valid permit. Kayaking, canoeing and rafting is recommended for advanced outdoors-men only. The Maryland side also features Great Falls Tavern with displays of canal history. One-hour round trip barge excursions are offered on a restored stretch of the canal from April to November.

Potomac, MD, United States
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