For those of you traveling to DC or new to the area, DC summers are hot! According to US Climate Data, the average temperature in July is 87 degrees Fahrenheit. July is also the month with the most hours of sunshine (226 hours on average). So, it makes sense that those living in or near DC are desperate for ways to cool off during the hot and humid summer months. As the summer months heat up the DC streets, the locals look for places to get wet.
Fortunately, there are many ways to cool off from the summer sun in DC, and many are great ways to exercise. As DC is situated by two large rivers, the Potomac and the Anacostia, there are a variety of options for aquatic activities that are fun and enjoyable all summer long. To help you plan your summer schedule in DC, here are the top ten aquatic activities in the DC area.
1. Kayak and Paddleboard at Yards Park
Yards Park is a popular area on the Anacostia River by Nationals Park. In addition to the exciting riverfront area, visitors may rent kayaks and paddleboards from local outfitters. Once you rent your kayak or paddleboard, you can spend time on the Anacostia River exercising, cooling off, and taking in the scenery.
2. Visit Washington Harbor in Georgetown
Washington Harbor is a great place to enjoy the waterfront views. Offering several outstanding dining and shopping options, Washington Harbor is one of our favorite places to visit in the summer months. If it is really hot, you can cool off in the splash fountain.
3. Kayak, Canoe, and Paddleboard at Key Bridge Boathouse
If you would rather spend your time on the Potomac River, then head over to the Key Bridge Boathouse. Here, you can rent a kayak, a canoe, or a paddleboard to explore the Potomac. Since the Potomac is close to some of the major monuments and tourist attractions in the DC area, you can anticipate seeing them from your vessel.
4. Spend Time on Theodore Roosevelt Island
Theodore Roosevelt Island is a US National Park in DC on the Potomac River. This island can be reached by vessel, but you will have to cross the Potomac to get there. Or, visitors can bring their water sporting gear to the National Park and begin their stretch by the footbridge. You can paddle around the island or do some fishing.
5. Swim at a Public Pool
According to DC Department of Parks and Recreation, “DC is ranked in the top five of cities nationwide when it comes to pool access per 100,000 residents. This means that no matter which ward you call home, DPR has a pool for you and your family, just minutes away from your front door.” The city’s parks and recreation department has a complete guide to the DC outdoor and indoor pools. Additionally, several of the nicest hotels in DC offer pool day passes giving guests the opportunity to spend the day enjoying the pool and bar for a fee.
6. Have a Blast at a Nearby Waterpark
If you are looking for a waterpark that is not overrun by kids, then head to nearby Hurricane Harbor at Six Flags of America (in Maryland). This water park has plenty of water slides that teenagers and adults will love; plus, it has a huge wave pool and lazy river. You can spend an entire day at this park!
7. Tidal Basin Paddle Boats
If you are visiting DC or only in DC for a short time, then you must do the tourist thing! Go ahead and enjoy the tidal basin paddle boats! These iconic paddle boats are right in the heart of DC and offer tourists a fun way to see the monuments, exercise, and enjoy the city. Great a friend or a few because these paddle boats are built for two or four. Feeling romantic? You can also rent a swan boat.
8. Be a Tourist and See the Sights on a Boat Tour
There are tons of ways to see the sights in DC – walking tours, bus tours, and boat tours. For the summer months, we suggest checking out of the area boat tours. Depending on your taste and budget, there are multiple options. You may choose to do a lunch or dinner entertainment cruise, or you may choose to take one of the popular DC Ducks sightseeing tours. The ducks are amphibious vehicles – meaning they function as both a car and a boat taking you around DC in different ways.
9. Go Fishing and Boating on Kingman Island
Located on the Anacostia River, Kingman Island is a wonderful place to spend time in the summer months – especially if you enjoy fishing! This man-made island is a perfect fishing spot, but it also may be explored by boat.
10. Raft the Shenandoah River
Just outside of DC lies the Shenandoah River. Thrill-seekers can enjoy white water rafting and beautiful views along the Shenandoah. If whitewater rafting sounds too intense for you, there are also areas with beginner rafting and even tubing.
These are all great options for those individuals headed to an English course in Washington DC. For students who choose to study English in Washington DC at inlingua, a Washington language school, you will be provided with multiple opportunities to explore the city with your fellow language learners. Many of the summer activities are aquatic activities that will immerse you in fun American hobbies.
Trust us, students attending language schools in DC during the summer are going to want to find places to cool off. But, have no fear! In addition to summer aquatic activities, students taking English courses in DC will also have plenty of places to visit for free that are air-conditioned, such as the many Smithsonian museums. No matter the weather or the temperatures, DC has a lot to offer students hoping to learn English. It’s the best city in the world to gain real-world English-speaking experience!