Things to Do

Where to Go Tubing Around DC This Weekend

Perhaps nothing says lazy summer day like gliding along a river in an inner tube

Outfitters throughout the region offer tubing trips for every speed—from calm water to rapids.

Does floating gently down a river on a rubber tube sound like your speed on a hot summer day? Shenandoah River Outfitters , Downriver Canoe , and Front Royal Canoe all offer trips of three to five hours on the south fork of the Shenandoah River between Luray and Front Royal, Virginia. As the river snakes through the valley, tubers get views of the Massanutten Mountain ridge as well as tall trees and high cliffs. To add a bit of excitement, there are a few small rapids along the way.

Near Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, River Riders and River and Trail both offer tubing trips, either on a relatively quiet stretch of the Shenandoah or on thrilling whitewater in the Potomac. A bonus is being able to stroll through the town of Harpers Ferry afterward—you’ll find ice-cream shops, pubs, and restaurants among the historic buildings.

For the coolest tubing trip—literally—you can take a run down a spring-fed, shad-ed creek with Antietam Creek Canoe. The cooler-than-average water and tree cover make the air temperature about 10 degrees lower than in DC.

Tubing trips for all of these outfitters are typically unguided and range from $20 to $30 a person.

This article appears in the August 2019 issue of Washingtonian.