Innovative & Fun Ways to Tour the D.C. Area
Hailing from the DMV means we’re never far from many of the nation’s most beloved treasures and from its richest history in the form of architecture, monuments and natural wonders. We’re also spoiled with choices when it comes to your preferred method of soaking up those breathtaking sights and sounds. Maybe you’ve been on a bus tour, but have you sailed the Potomac? Perhaps you’ve walked across the U Street corridor, but have you kayaked past the Tidal Basin? Read on to learn how you and your family can tour the D.C. area from a totally new angle.
What’s fun, energizing and totally underrated when it comes to sightseeing tours? Bikes! Every year, Washington grows more and more bike-friendly with dedicated bike routes and accessible bike-share locations. Join in on the two-wheeled bandwagon by renting or riding your own bikes to sightsee across the district. There are loads of resources on the web for DIY biking tours and plenty of vetted bicycle rental and tour operations. It bears noting that participating in a bike tour requires some physical ability and may not be suited for families of all ages.
Scooters & Segways
The latest in two-wheeled transportation technology are the electric scooter and Segway. Both are easy to operate and both can travel anywhere a bike can. Touring the National Mall on a Segway has been a D.C. staple since the mid-2000s and the number of rental scooters around the capital has skyrocketed in the last couple of years. So if you’re looking for that bike tour feel without all the panting and peddling, plan your next sightseeing tour on a Segway or e-scooter.
It’s the original, the classic, the one that started them all: the walking tour. Washington, D.C. is a surprisingly walkable city. Sure, the Metro doesn’t stop everywhere you’d like, but you can’t take in the city’s gorgeous architecture from underground, can you? The best part is there are hundreds of walking tours happening across D.C. every week. Historic strolls through Georgetown? Evening ghost tours of Capitol Hill? Musical iconography around Black Broadway? D.C. has a walking sightseeing tour for you!
It may not sound classy, but bussing through D.C. can be one of the safest and most accessible forms of sightseeing in the city. Families of all ages and mobility can usually travel by bus, they tend to be climate controlled, some double as a sightseeing tour and mode of transportation and did I mention the part about climate control? So whether you’re on the way to a destination or the journey is the destination, buses are a great way to tour the D.C. area.
Owned and operated by City Experiences, the Potomac Water Taxi connects travelers and tourists across all the major water routes of D.C. Most journeys on water taxis provide breathtaking views of sights like the Thomas Jefferson Memorial, the Kennedy Center and the Washington Monument. However, City Experiences also hosts guided audio tours on some of their water taxis for that official Potomac River sightseeing tour.
By land or by sea, Washington exudes history wherever you go. On the Tall Ship Providence, a reproduction of the first ship authorized to serve in the Continental Navy, your family and friends can experience the history of sailing along the Potomac firsthand. Book a tour while the ship is docked at The Wharf or sign up for a sailing and tour experience where you join the crew in hauling the lines and setting the sails!
Kayaks & Canoes
Kayaks, canoes and other personal watercraft are really just the bicycles of the sea, are they not? And with so many beautiful sights of D.C. to take in from the Potomac, it makes perfect sense to plan a sightseeing tour on the water. Boating in DC operates nearly 10 boathouses around D.C., offering you the liberty to rent a canoe in Georgetown and drop it off at The Wharf. Just don’t drink the water while you’re out …