The city’s numerous parks, which total 7,464 acres, offer visitors plenty of activities, including walking, cycling, and picnicking and are especially magical during cherry blossom season. The Potomac and Anacostia rivers also play an important role in Washington DC’s activities such as sailing, canoeing, kayaking, and paddle boating. The Great Falls Park just outside of the city is best for whitewater rafters and kayakers looking for a bit of excitement, and is also a great spot for rock climbers and avid hikers.
Golfers have the choice of three fantastic courses, the East Potomac Golf Course, Langston Golf Course and Rock Creek Golf Course. Sightseeing is the main attraction in Washington, DC and guided city tours are plentiful, though these can easily be done alone on foot or by bicycle.
Georgetown’s Big Wheel Bikes offers visitors a wide selection of bikes for rent to enjoy cycling tours throughout the city or along the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park trail. Cyclists unfamiliar with the area can get tips and route information before heading out.
Visitors who would prefer to go sightseeing by bus can jump on DC Tours Washington DC Hop-On-Hop-Off Open-Top Double-Decker Bus Tour. Tickets can be purchased for one- or two-day tours and give sightseers the freedom of getting on and off where ever they choose.
Cultural Tourism DC offers visitors maps, booklets, and audio tours to enjoy a self-guided walking tour of the historic Shaw area. This will give walkers information regarding the history of the area as well as general knowledge about the neighborhood.
Boaters may prefer paddle boating around the Tidal Basin while admiring the North Malls’ monuments and buildings. Tidal Basin Paddle Boats offer paddle boat rental by the hour and also conduct guided paddling tours a few times a year. Paddle boats can also be rented from Anacostia River Tours to paddle through the Bladensburg Waterfront Park.
The Potomac River is famous for its kayaking opportunities, and companies such as Jack’s Boathouse rent both single and tandem kayaks. Those less experienced can take lessons through Thompson Boat Center before going it alone.
The Rock Creek Park is a prime spot for nature walks in DC, where visitors can spot deer, birds, coyotes, and rabbits. Rock Creek Park Nature Center and Planetarium does guided tours of the park that include lessons on environmental issues as well as the area’s flora and fauna. These guided nature walks can also be done on horseback through the Rock Creek Park Horse Center.