Learn to Row
The Northeast and Northwest branches of the Anacostia River come together to form an oasis at Bladensburg Waterfront Park. The flat, uncrowded river is a perfect place to learn rowing and sculling at the Washington Rowing School (intro rowing class $50; 202-344-0886). The small marina also offers canoe and kayak rentals ($16 a day for Montgomery and Prince George’s County residents, $20 nonresidents) and free pontoon nature tours—great for kids—to see beavers, turtles, and birds including great blue herons. Avoid the river on days following heavy rain because of possible debris. 301-799-0371. 9 miles.
M (Moderate Difficulty) / Good for Romance / Kid-Friendly / $$ ($1-$76 per person)
Workout on the Water
Rowing is one of the best full-body exercises—it works the legs, back, shoulders, arms, abdominals, and cardiovascular system. If you enjoy getting up early, forget the gym and hit the water instead. Thompson Boat Center in Georgetown offers a 6:15-to-7:45-am beginner sculling class through mid-September in single-person shells. Classes are also given in late afternoon and evening, but in the wee hours, when the water is calm, you can cut through the flat water like a knife. Five-session series $165; 202-333-9543. 1.7 miles.
S (Strenuous Difficulty) / $$$ ($76 and up per person)