Washington, D.C. is a beautiful city with some imposing monuments, and one good way to get an overview of the historic sights is from the Potomac River. There are several companies offering tours. A short trip takes about 45 minutes, and the longer trip which includes Arlington takes about two hours.
The monuments of Washington, D.C. are quite close together, so a short cruise passes the Washington Monument, Jefferson Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, and the U.S. Capitol. The Kennedy Center for performing arts is right along the waterfront. In passing Arlington Cemetery, the Custis-Lee Mansion can be seen on top of the hill. Many people who visit the city will not see the Lyndon Baines Johnson memorial, as it a big block of Texas rock on the other side of the river. It is appropriately placed, however, in the park named for his wife, Lady Bird Johnson. Mrs. Johnson was responsible for many beautification projects, and as part of those plans, this land was reclaimed from neglected waste land to make a lovely river front park.
There are many bridges across the Potomac, and in the area close to the city they are low highway and railroad crossings, so the boats are all power boats. Sailors with their high masts stay further down the river.
Local people know the Potomac is a lovely way to spend an afternoon, so canoes, kayaks, and private power boats are popular on the river. The newest thing is standing up paddling a surfboard, but that looks like too much work. Take one of the short cruises, listen to the guides stories, and sit back and enjoy a break from the hustle on land.
The cruises operate out of Washington Harbour in Georgetown, at 31st and K Street, N.W. There are several parking structures nearby. The two hour tour requires a ticket bought on the dock, but for the shorter trips, just walk on board and pay as you go.
Georgetown Harbour is a lovely place to spend a few hours. There are several restaurants with indoor and patio dining and an elaborate water fountain with pools around it, as well as the great view of the river.
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