Key Bridge Boathouse (formerly Jack’s Boathouse)

A visit to Jack’s Boathouse under the Key Bridge in Georgetown is the ultimate in “staycation” fun. Jack’s rents canoes, kayaks and stand up paddle boards by the hour and also conducts kayaking tours each evening.

Jack’s welcomes families with kids of all ages. All kids must be accompanied by someone 16 years of age or older. Canoe and kayak rentals at Jack’s are $14 per person per hour. Children 5 years of age and younger can tag along with their parents for free. 6 to 12 year olds pay half price per hour and those 13 and older pay the adult hourly rate.

This pricing is the same for single and double kayaks and canoes. Stand up paddle boards rent for $20 per hour. Rentals are first come, first served and operate daily from 10am on weekdays (except Mondays when they open at noon) and 8am on weekends. Rental price includes PFDs for all paddlers which they have in stock to fit kids of all sizes.

Once out on the water you can steer yourself up past the Kennedy Center, the Lincoln Memorial and around Roosevelt Island. Your paddling range extends from Chain Bridge to Memorial Bridge. Though the Potomac’s water does not have the freshest scent, being out on the water provides a new perspective to view the city and some of its most famous landmarks. In addition to buildings and boats, we also saw many planes coming and going from Reagan airport, two duck families and a blue heron.

Jack’s Boathouse has a laid back vibe and friendly employees. The area above the dock has several barbeques, picnic pavilions, brightly colored lights and Adirondack chairs for relaxing and enjoying the views. Sodas, water and Gatorade are sold at the dock for $2 to $2.50 and patrons are encouraged to bring a picnic lunch or dinner to enjoy at the facility before or after your trip out on the Potomac.

The facilities at Jack’s also include locker rentals for a $2 fee, a changing tent (literally!) and port a potties. The boathouse does have its own small parking lot for customers and there are many metered spaces along the street just outside of the lot. If you visit on a Sunday, meters are free.

Georgetown has no lack of family friendly eateries if you opt not to picnic at Jack’s. Pizzeria Paradisio, Clyde’s and the Tombs are just a short walk from the boathouse docks. Please note though, you cannot leave your car in Jack’s parking lot once you leave the facility or they will have you towed.

For the most enjoyable experience wear clothing that you don’t mind getting wet, pack your sunscreen and a hat or sunglasses and remember to leave cameras and cell phones behind or secure them in a plastic bag in your boat.

Know Before You Go

  • It is not recommended to use GPS when looking for the boathouse. Easiest directions are to follow Wisconsin Avenue until it dead ends and then turn right. Jack’s is located under the Key Bridge.
  • Boat rentals and tours can be paid for with Visa or Mastercard. Locker rentals and drinks are cash only.
  • If you are unsure about taking your child out on the water, speak to a Jack’s employee to ensure the best configuration for you and your child. Single kayaks, double kayaks, “jump seats” and canoes are all available for rent.

Photo by Kim Engstrom.

Photo of author

OK Editorial Team

Our Kids has been bringing you more family fun, experiences & adventure since 1999.