Heat and humidity are not only expected but required in order to have a true D.C. summer experience. But don’t sweat it. We’ve got you covered with a bunch of different ways to cool off when you just can’t take the balmy temperatures.
Get Out on the Water
Whether sandbar hopping, fishing, experiencing a sunset cruise or spending the day on the water with your best friends, Boatsetter is the go-to service. Boats can be rented by customers for a day from 19-footers to superyachts. You can rent and drive the boat yourself, or Boatsetter will connect you to a captain, so you can unwind and relax on the water. If you don’t want to spend a full day, take a 45 to 90-minute sightseeing cruise with Washington Monument Cruise.
If you want a more active experience, take in the sites of the Potomac River as you paddle under the Key Bridge. Enjoy views of the Georgetown Waterfront, Roosevelt Island, and many of D.C.’s other iconic monuments or take a relaxing kayak ride up the C&O Canal by renting kayaks and stand-up paddleboards at the Key Bridge Boathouse.
There are also many other boathouses throughout D.C to rent kayaks, paddleboards, canoes, and more. Rent from the Wharf Boathouse or try out swan-shaped pedal boats and hydro bikes at the National Harbor. Or head to the Tidal Basin to paddleboard in front of the Thomas Jefferson Memorial.
Swim + Sunbathe
Want to get a tan, or just find reprieve from the city streets? Check out YOTEL Washington’s newly opened Deck 11 rooftop pool. The 8000 square feet space is D.C.’s largest rooftops and is overlooking the U.S. Capitol Dome. It’s equipped with an 800 square feet pool, cabana rentals, yard games, and fire pits. The rooftop is open to both hotel guests and the public.
If you rather leave the city, take a day trip to Sandy Point State Park for a beach day. Located on the northwestern shore of the Chesapeake Bay, Sandy Point State Park is about an hour’s drive away from the District. Visitors can swim, sunbathe, fish, rent boats, and even hike.
Still willing to travel a little farther? Head to Ocean City Beach in Ocean City, Maryland. With its three-mile boardwalk, water sport rental shops, and tons of other beach-side attractions, it’s impossible to get bored. The drive is just under three hours from D.C. and is worth the trip.
Prefer to stay dry? There are many different indoor, air-conditioned — and thanks to the Smithsonian — many free museums throughout the District. With over 70 museums, enjoy history and art in some of the most iconic buildings on the National Mall or around the city, while avoiding the heat.
After kayaking on the Anacostia River or swimming in Deck 11’s rooftop pool, there is no better way to end a sweaty summer day than a scoop of cold ice cream. Some of our top suggestions include Ice Cream Jubilee, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream, and Dolci Gelati, but you can’t go wrong with whatever shop you choose.
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