Paddleboat by the Monuments
It’s totally touristy—and totally fun: Rent a paddleboat on the Tidal Basin for a fantastic view of the Jefferson Memorial, Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, and Washington Monument. Sure, you’ll pedal a lot and not go very fast in the two- or four-passenger boats. (In each, only two people pedal.) But that’s beside the point. Our advice: On sunny, hot days, pay extra for a four-seater with a canopy. Two-passenger boat $14 an hour, four-passenger boat $22 an hour; 202-479-2426. 0.3 mile.
M (Moderate Difficulty) / Kid-Friendly / $ ($35 and up per person)
Bike and Boat
With marshlands, forests, and plenty of scenic overlooks of the Potomac River; the Mount Vernon Trail is one of the area’s prettiest paths, and you can enjoy it on a Mount Vernon by Bike and Boat self-guided tour. The outing starts with a bike rental at Bike and Roll in Alexandria. Ride at your own pace until you reach Mount Vernon, nine miles south. There you secure the bike and helmet with the provided lock and are free to explore George Washington’s home and grounds before catching the 4 PM narrated ferry ride back to Old Town. Bike rental, Mount Vernon admission, and ferry ticket included in price (adults $63, ages 6 through 12 $40, call for ages 2 through 5); available only on selected dates; 202-842-2453. 7 miles.
M (Moderate Difficulty) / Good for Romance / $$ ($35 to $76 per person)