If you’re cruising in the Chesapeake this spring or summer, you may want to think about taking a side trip up the Potomac to visit Washington, DC, a great cruising destination for a long weekend or even more. It may be a well-kept secret, but the nation’s capital is boater-friendly, with several new and revamped marinas, a few within walking distance of some of the most iconic sights in the world.
Here’s a story I wrote not long ago for Southern Boating about cruising to Washington. Local construction has improved some of the marinas since then, but all the attractions in Washington itself remain the same – the monuments, memorials and museums that draw millions of visitors every year. Then there’s the Mall, jogging paths, hiking trails, and a huge variety of restaurants, art galleries, boutiques and history all around.
From the Chesapeake, it’s only about 96 nm up the Potomac to Washington, but plan a stop at Mount Vernon along the way. You can visit George Washington’s magnificent plantation home by boat. It has a small wharf; hail the dockmaster on VHF 16.
Then it’s only eight miles more to the capital. The first marina you’ll see is the new, huge National Harbor Marina on the Maryland side. It’s hard to miss, since there’s a 180-foot Ferris Wheel at the end of the dock. Read more: