Best Water Recreation in Alexandria, VA

Best Water Activities in Alexandria

When locals have time on their hands and are eager to find recreational activities outside of their homes in Alexandria, they often want to take advantage of the community's water recreation opportunities. With the Potomac River flowing directly through the heart of town, there are plenty of water activities to choose from. Whether it's splashing at a waterpark or casting a line at a quiet fishing spot, these water activities are sure to delight. Read on to dive into some of the best water recreational activities in Alexandria.

Take a Historical Cruise

Tall Ship Providence Amenities

  • 75-minute river tour
  • Complimentary drink and snack
  • View areas of ship

Tall Ship Providence is a meticulously detailed replica of the Continental Navy's first ship. Hop on board in the Old Town Alexandria neighborhood for an educational cruise that covers life in the 18th century, the commander John Paul Jones, and the role of the Potomac River during wartime and in times of peace.

The tour lasts around 75 minutes and cruises passengers around the river while a guide shares history and facts. Guests are treated to one complimentary non-alcoholic drink and a snack upon the deck. Viewing the captain's cabin and the ship's hold is a treat for those on board. Be sure to book a ticket early, as this historic cruise is a must-see attraction for people moving to Alexandria.

Tall Ship Providence Additional Information

Splash Around Great Waves Waterpark

Great Waves Waterpark Amenities

  • Five super slides
  • Lazy river
  • Wave pool
  • Kids' area
  • Playground
  • Mini golf
  • Batting cages

Great Waves Waterpark offers slides and rides that promise an exciting day for visitors of all ages. This park is one of the biggest water zones in Northern Virginia. There are five super slides and dozens of innovative features that surprise season pass holders throughout the property.

While many come here to soak in the sun in the smooth, gliding lazy river, others are more interested in getting into the action in the enormous wave pool. Grab a float or tube and experience the motion of the ocean. Lifeguards are on duty at every attraction.

Kids love having their own zone with a splash pad and other water features amid a shallow pool. Head to the Surfside Pizza for lunch or grab a soft serve at Riptide Cafe.

Want to stay dry? Paradise Play at Cameron Run is open spring through fall and is a land play structure that boasts bouncing areas, slides, mazes, wall climbing, wobble hoppers, and much more that cater to younger guests. Other amenities include a mini-golf course and batting cages that offer hours of fun and entertainment.

Great Waves Waterpark Additional Information

Take the Helm and Learn to Sail at Belle Haven Marina

Belle Haven Marina Amenities

  • Sailing lessons for all skills
  • Boat launches

Anyone of any skill level and almost any age can learn to sail with courses from the Belle Haven Marina in Alexandria. Situated just south of Old Town Alexandria adjacent to the Dyke Marsh and close to Alexandria waterfront homes, this peaceful place is perfect for learning or mastering the art of sailing. The marina can set up racing events for experienced sailers.

In addition to group lessons and private classes, Belle Haven also offers boat rentals. Instruction options include:

  • Adult Basic Course
  • Youth Basic Summer Camps
  • Youth Advanced Summer Camps
  • Private Instruction
  • Powerboat Instruction

Belle Haven Marina is a great way to get out on the water in Alexandria for beginners and pros alike. Anglers can also launch boats from the marina to reach the city's best fishing spots.

Belle Haven Marina Additional Information

Try Yoga on a Paddleboard at Boating in DC

Key Bridge Boathouse Amenities

  • Boat rentals
  • Kayak rentals
  • Paddleboat rentals
  • Paddleboard yoga

Boating in DC at Key Bridge Boathouse offers more than boat, kayak, and paddleboat rentals. The company also hosts hour-long paddleboard yoga sessions weekly. Essentially, these sessions occur on traditional standup paddleboards, which are more commonly called SUPs. Even if patrons don't know how to paddleboard or do yoga, they can learn all they need to know with a class at Boating in DC.

In just one or two basic SUP lessons, attendees are ready to do a yoga SUP session, as guides who are experienced in both practices guide each class. SUP yoga helps build and tone muscles in a low-impact way. The courses are an hour long and are by reservation only. Bring a board or use one of the rentals, which is included in the course fee.

Key Bridge Boathouse Additional Information

Reel 'Em In on the Potomac River

Possible Potomac River Catches

  • Snakehead
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Catfish
  • Striped Bass

The Potomac River is a treasure for anglers and water enthusiasts alike. The river spans over 400 miles across Maryland and Virginia, and it offers a wide variety of aquatic life.

Many more species grace this area rich in biodiversity, so it is an exceptional river to test out different lures and techniques to target numerous types in one outing. The Potomac can easily be fished from land, and flyfishing is very popular with those who want to fish the shallows.

It's important to note that the snakehead species is invasive to these waters, and some don't care for their taste. That being said, they can be tricky to snag and tend to be shy while hiding but rather aggressive when being reeled in.

Boating and kayaking are also good ways to access the central portions of the Potomac for deeper water fishing. Most people access the water from the southern area of the river, while some are able to reach the banks through the backyards of their luxury Alexandria homes. Plenty of outfitters rent gear, boats, and lessons. Numerous experienced guides are proximal to provide public and private charter tours.

Alexandria Is the Place to Be for Water Fun

There are great employment opportunities, sensational historical sites, beautiful parks, and so many fun things to do in Alexandria, Virginia. These are just a few places that the locals and visitors frequent, but there are still many swimming spots and more to uncover throughout town. Get out there today for some fun in the sun!

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