Get out on the water for a whole new way to see the city. 

Both tourists and locals alike love this fun outdoor activity. All you need is a bit of time and someone to help you pedal around as you enjoy taking in the sights.

For the 2021 season, a 4-person pedal boat is $32 per hour. That includes the rental of personal flotation devices, so you don't need to bring anything with you to get started. Just go to the Tidal Basin Boathouse website, search the booking calendar, and make your reservation online. Sadly, the beautiful swan boats will not be available to rent this year.

If you've never been down there, the Tidal Basin is the perfect place to spend a summer afternoon. You don't get crazy choppy wakes ruining your pedal-fueled boating. You don't even have to be particularly fit to enjoy this lazy day activity.

Know Before You Go

  • Remember to pack at least one gallon-sized plastic bag to keep your important belongings with you. Drop in your keys, wallet, etc. and blow in a bit of air before sealing the bag.
  • Be sure to slather on the sunscreen before you get out on the water.
  • Parking is tight by the Tidal Basin. Plan on taking the Metro in and walking down or grabbing a rideshare. You want to get as close to the Jefferson Memorial (16 East Basin Drive SW | Washington, DC) as you can when you're looking for a parking spot.
  • The life vests provided are appropriate for any over 25 lbs. and 18 months old. They come in all sizes and shapes, or you can even bring your own.
  • While each pedal boat can fit up to 4 people, you can go out with as few as 2. At least one passenger has to be 16 or older.

Have you been out on a pedal boat in the Tidal Basin before? Do you have any tips for first-timers? Share them with us in the comments.