Potomac River

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Potomac River: Our most recommended tours and activities

National Harbor: The Capital Wheel Flexible Date Ticket

1. National Harbor: The Capital Wheel Flexible Date Ticket

The Capital Wheel is located just minutes from downtown Washington DC, at the National Harbor. Relax inside a fully enclosed, climate-controlled gondola with family and friends as you soar 180-feet above the Potomac River. With each gradual rotation, experience a bird’s eye view of the Washington Monument, Capitol Rotunda, Masonic Temple of Alexandria, and much more. Every spin offers a unique way to take in the sights. Admire a breathtaking sunset or capture a photo in front of the dancing light show that illuminates The Capital Wheel every evening. The National Harbor is the perfect one-stop destination offering great restaurants, shops, hotels, and outdoor fun. You can enjoy a drink from the Flight Deck located directly under The Capital Wheel while you unwind by the water’s edge.

Washington DC:Gourmet Brunch or Dinner Cruise on the Odyssey

2. Washington DC:Gourmet Brunch or Dinner Cruise on the Odyssey

Cruise on the Potomac River and see the sights of Washington DC from a luxury boat, The Odyssey. Board the boat and enjoy a personal greeting. Smile for the ship's photographer to capture the memory, then embark on an elegant dining cruise along the Washington DC shoreline. After being seated at your private table, tuck into your gourmet brunch or 3-course dinner consisting of creative meals prepared fresh daily by the on-board executive chef. After your meal or relax on any of the 3 climate-controlled decks as you watch the monuments glide by. Sample Dinner Menu Starters (choice of one): Caesar Salad Buttermilk Caesar Dressing | Shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese | Herb Croutons | Italian Parsley Lobster Soup Brioche Croutons | Scallions Main Course (choice of one): Jumbo Forest Mushroom Ravioli Spanish Red Lentils & Sage | Arugula | Shallots | Toasted Walnuts | Basil Pesto Oven Roasted Frenched Chicken Breast with Rosemary & Thyme Warm Yukon Gold Potato Salad with Scallions | Haricot Verts | Creamy Cremini Mushroom Sauce Broiled Fresh Salmon Filet Roasted Yukon Potatoes | Steamed Bok Choi | Creamy Vegetable & Fresh Herbs Sauce Braised Beef Short Rib Idaho Potato & Horseradish Mash | Baby Carrots | Pearl Onions & English Peas | Cabernet Sauvignon Sauce Pan-Seared Fresh Pacific Cod Baby Spinach & Potato Mash | Steamed Rock Shrimp | Lemon Beurre Blanc Sauce Desserts (choice of one): New York Style Cheesecake Strawberry Compote Triple Chocolate Mud Pie Orange & Ginger Preservatives Duo of Sorbet Seasonal Sorbet | Fresh Fruit Freshly Cut Fruit and Fresh Strawberries Madagascar Vanilla & Orange Sauce | Fresh Mint Odyssey Signature Warm Butter Cake Vanilla Bean Ice Cream | Blackberry Sauce Menu items are subject to change.

Washington DC: Buffet Lunch or Dinner Cruise on the Spirit

3. Washington DC: Buffet Lunch or Dinner Cruise on the Spirit

See the sights of Washington DC from onboard the Spirit of Washington with a 2-hour lunch or 2.5-hour dinner cruise on the Potomac River. Enjoy a buffet dining experience as you sail, and delight in panoramic views. Board your vessel and receive a personal greeting. Have your photo taken by the ship's photographer to capture the memory before being seated at your private table. Once there, gorge on your lunch or dinner buffet consisting of creative entrees prepared fresh daily and listen to the onboard music. After your meal, visit any of the three climate-controlled decks as you glide by the sights.

Washington, DC: Full-Day Tour with a Scenic River Cruise

4. Washington, DC: Full-Day Tour with a Scenic River Cruise

Discover all the delights of Washington DC with this day-tour around the city, hitting hotspots such as the White House, the U.S. Capitol Building, and the Thomas Jefferson Memorial. Board your glamourous, climate-controlled, panoramic bus at the U.S. Navy Memorial. Head to all the major highlights of regular sightseeing tours and enjoy a lunch break and an opportunity to travel through the Tidal Basin. Learn about some of the most fascinating landmarks in the USA, including the White House, U.S. Capitol Building, and National Archives, plus breathtaking memorials of Thomas Jefferson and Franklin Roosevelt. After lunch, summer brings the opportunity for a boat ride through Georgetown and the DC Waterfront. In winter, this Washington bus tour culminates with a visit to the Pentagon and several more fascinating war memorials. During your tour learn from your live tour guide who hops off the bus with you to ensure you receive an intimate and personalized experience of each attraction.  Your guide will educate you on the important details of each monument. From March through September, take in the fresh air on a scenic 1-hour cruise along the Potomac River. The full itinerary of this tour includes: • Jefferson Memorial • U.S. Capitol Building • FDR Memorial • World War II Memorial • Iwo Jima Memorial • Vietnam Memorial • Martin Luther King Memorial • Lincoln Memorial • White House • Korean War Memorial

From Washington, D.C.: Mount Vernon Sightseeing River Cruise

5. From Washington, D.C.: Mount Vernon Sightseeing River Cruise

Experience a great American adventure on this boat trip to the home of George Washington, the first president of the United States. Enjoy a round-trip cruise from Washington, D.C. to Mount Vernon, including entrance to the estate of George and Martha Washington. Start your tour with a fully narrated cruise down the Potomac River to Mount Vernon. Tour the gardens and grounds of this national historical landmark and learn the history of one of the country's most important leaders. Spend 3 full hours at the estate viewing the gardens, strolling the many trails, visiting the farm, and stopping by the many restaurants and shops, on a tour that allows you to travel back in history to the time of colonial America.

National Harbor: Potomac River Self-Drive Guided Boat Tour

6. National Harbor: Potomac River Self-Drive Guided Boat Tour

Admire Maryland and Virginia’s historic sites from a unique perspective on a two-person catamaran boat, also known as a Craigcat, journeying down the Potomac River. You will be guided down the Potomac River by a guide in their own boat and will guide you by radio. Your journey will see you navigating down the river at speeds of up to 25-miles per hour. Meet at the boat pier at National Harbor, be fitted with a life jacket, and complete a 20-minute training session to receive your 10-day boat license waiver before taking the journey down the river. Travel down the Potomac River and stop at different points-of-interest including, National Harbor, Jones Point Lighthouse, Mount Vernon, Fort Washington, and Little Hunting Creek. The Potomac River is home to a mixture of wildlife, so along the way, you might see Bald Eagles, Osprey, and different types of fish.

From Washington DC: Mount Vernon & Old Town Alexandria Tour

7. From Washington DC: Mount Vernon & Old Town Alexandria Tour

Discover the historic Old Town Alexandria on a guided day trip from Washington. Ride along the Potomac River and visit the Mount Vernon Estate, the former residence of George Washington. Enjoy pickup in a luxurious, climate-controlled vehicle while your guide explains the significance of some of the city’s most recognizable monuments. A short drive brings you to the candy-colored architecture of Alexandria, where you can take a tour of some monuments notable to the former president – including the Masonic Temple and Christ Church. Arguably the birthplace of the city itself, George Washington’s former estate is located just 13 miles from the capital’s center. Then, go for an in-depth foray through the mansion, with entrance tickets to the grounds and gardens included. Interactive, historic reenactments bring the founding father’s story to life, while a guided tour of the building helps shine a light on his fascinating story. Next, you'll ride along the Potomac River and visit the Mount Vernon Estate - one of the Washington, DC, area’s premier sightseeing attractions. Explore historic Mount Vernon – from the mansion’s interior where President Washington resided to his beloved gardens, and final resting place.  Take some time for lunch at the Mt Vernon Food Court if you like, then learn more about George Washington’s life and legacy in both the Museum and Education Center – home to more than 700 original objects (including his false teeth) and 25 theaters and galleries. There is even a multi-media theater where it actually snows. After shopping for unique gifts at the Mt Vernon Shops, you will be entertained by your guide as you return back to Washington DC.

Washington DC: Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour with River Cruise

8. Washington DC: Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour with River Cruise

Enjoy a full day of exploring with your 24-hour hop-on hop-off bus ticket. From the open-top double decker, you’ll see amazing views of the White House, Capitol Hill, Jefferson Memorial, and more. Learn about the city’s most magnificent landmarks with expert digital commentary. Hop off at The Wharf to enjoy your roundtrip Potomac River cruise onboard the city water taxi. You can cruise along the water to see the John F. Kennedy Center, the Washington Monument, Arlington Memorial Bridge, and more before hopping back on the bus to continue your day. Your ticket gives you access to the Red and Blue city loops, giving you the freedom to hop off and explore at your own pace. Your ticket also includes 1-hour bike rental, so you can get off the tourist trail and discover more of the city.

Washington, DC: Old Town Trolley City Tour

9. Washington, DC: Old Town Trolley City Tour

Climb aboard the Old Town Trolley and enjoy a comprehensive tour of Washington. Listen to the colorful anecdotes, humorous stories, and well-researched historical information your guide has to share. Upgrade to include a tram tour of Arlington Cemetery. Sit back while expert tour guides help you discover the beauty and majesty of Washington, D.C. This popular tour covers Washington's major attractions such as the Lincoln Memorial, the White House, the museums of the Smithsonian Institution, and the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial.  The trolley will make one stop along the tour route at the Abraham Lincoln Memorial. While off the trolley, you can visit the Lincoln Memorial, Korean War Veterans Memorial, and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall. You will have 30 minutes to explore the area while your guide and the trolley wait for you. Please see below the list of attractions and memorials that you will see on the tour: • Washington Welcome Center • The White House • National Archives • National Law Enforcement Museum • Union Station • U.S. Capitol • Smithsonian Air & Space Museum • The Wharf • International Spy Museum • Holocaust Memorial Museum • Jefferson Memorial • FDR Memorial • Lincoln Memorial • National Museum of American History • Smithsonian Museum of Natural History • National Gallery of Art • National Portrait Gallery

Old Town Alexandria: DC Monument River Cruise to Georgetown

10. Old Town Alexandria: DC Monument River Cruise to Georgetown

Avoid the traffic and see Washington, D.C., from the Potomac River. Once you arrive at the Old Town Alexandria Waterfront, simply hop on to the boat, sit back, and relax on this 45-minute cruise to Georgetown, one of the district's most historic and fashionable neighborhoods. Make the most of your day and choose either a one-way cruise and return to Old Town Alexandria on your own, or choose a convenient round-trip cruise with 2 hours to explore Georgetown. In either case, you will be able to visit Georgetown's historic streets and alleyways, quaint cafes, and high-end boutiques, making the most of your trip to Washington, D.C.

Other Sightseeing Options in Potomac River

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What people are saying about Potomac River

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 906 reviews

Fantastic Experience! Both my wife and I are seniors, and the crew took extra care to make sure we were comfortable. And once we hit the water, it was Super exciting. Especially when hitting the waves at top speed. Reminds me of when I used to hit the bumps going downhill skiing. Gotta try it!

Glad the tickets are flexible, I arrived at the harbor at my leisure and boarded. It was an awesome view form atop the wheel. Comfortable gondola with air conditioner. Would definitely recommend it and I would go again if I'm in Maryland.

I would do this activity again. We had a great time. It was super relaxing and the staff was amazing.

We had a great time! Everyone was really nice and accommodating

Our guide did a great job and was super knowledgeable