14 Water Activities

With the Atlantic Ocean and Chesapeake Bay on the region's eastern shore, and numerous lakes and rivers in between, the Capital Region is a great destination for water recreation. 

Kayak with dolphins in Virginia Beach
Cherry blossoms, Tidal Basin, Washington, DC, paddleboats, spring, USA, Capital Region
Rent a paddleboat to explore DC's Tidal Basin
Baltimore, Inner Harbor, Water Taxi, skyline, Maryland
Baltimore Water Taxi
whitewater, rafting, James River, Richmond, Virginia, USA
Whitewater rafting in Richmond, Virginia
sailboat, Annapolis, races, water, Maryland, Chesapeake Bay
Learn to sail in Annapolis, Maryland
water slide, Williamsburg, Water Country USA, Nitro Racer, Virginia, waterpark
Water Country USA in Williamsburg, Virginia
Cherry blossoms, Tidal Basin, Washington, DC, paddleboats, spring, USA, Capital Region
Baltimore, Inner Harbor, Water Taxi, skyline, Maryland
whitewater, rafting, James River, Richmond, Virginia, USA
sailboat, Annapolis, races, water, Maryland, Chesapeake Bay
water slide, Williamsburg, Water Country USA, Nitro Racer, Virginia, waterpark

1. Frolic in a Fountain

Cool off with a sprint through Georgetown Waterfront Park’s spray fountain in DC or at various splash pads around Baltimore.

2. Paddle the Potomac

Calm and convenient, the Potomac River beckons kayakers, canoers and stand-up paddlers. Any number of shops will get you kitted out and on the water in no time.

3. Whitewater Raft Through Richmond

No need to stray out of the city for this wild ride. Richmond’s James River offers a wide variety of rafting opportunities.

4. Take Flight at Relentless Watersports

Strap on a water-propelled jacket at Relentless Watersports and sail through the friendly skies above Ocean City.

5. Stand-Up Paddleboard the Rapids at Great Falls Park

Local guides will supply all the knowledge and equipment you need for a safe and thrilling whitewater SUP excursion.

6. Play at a Waterpark

Indulge in splash-worthy fun like waterslides and wave pools at Williamsburg’s Water Country USA or McGaheysville’s Massanutten Resort.

7. Experience a Mule-Drawn Boat Ride

Board a canal boat pulled by a mule at Great Falls Visitor Center for a ride back to the 1870s along the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal.

8. Rent a Tidal Basin Paddleboat

Views of the Thomas Jefferson Memorial from the waters of DC’s Tidal Basin are stunning, particularly in the spring when the famous cherry trees are in bloom.

9. Tube the Gunpowder River

Flanked by lush woodlands, Maryland’s Gunpowder River is a terrific spot for a leisurely summer float near Monkton.

10. Tour by Water Taxi

From the Inner Harbor to the National Aquarium, Baltimore Water Taxi offers stops at the city’s most iconic destinations.

11. Kayak with Dolphins

May through October, take a guided kayak tour in Virginia Beach to soak up breathtaking scenery and spot dolphins in their natural habitat.

12. Learn How to Sail in Annapolis

Gain all the knowledge you need to safely skipper your own vessel at a sailing school in “America’s Sailing Capital.”

13. Go Fishing on Buggs Island Lake

Southern Virginia’s Buggs Island Lake is one of the state’s best places to hook a largemouth bass, catfish or crappie.

14. Take a Dip in a Swimming Hole

Perfect your dive at the natural swimming pools of Blowing Springs and Cave Springs recreation areas.

Related: 
Attractions & Family Fun
Outdoors & Nature
City Adventures