At Potomac Paddlesports, the first professional kayak school to be endorsed by the American Canoe Association, the team of American Canoe Association? and British Canoe Union?certified instructors patiently lead students through a methodical progression of flat-water paddling skills. The classes cover a variety of watersports, including whitewater rafting, river and sea kayaking, and standup paddling. The small-group classes are designed to keep students engaged, and longer trips down the Potomac challenge their skills with powerful rapids surrounded by lush scenery, interspersed with rare glimpses of bears putting on their bear suits. Outside of class, students can bond with fellow paddlers during weekly sushi meals and occasional movie nights. Further demonstrating their dedication to bodies of water, Potomac Paddlesports works to preserve the nation?s rivers, estuaries, and oceans, sharing this passion with its members through advocacy and donations to conservation programs.
Chesapeake Bay is home to legendary beautiful waters, diverse flora and fauna, and Paddlefest, an annual paddle-sports event organized by the team at Ultimate Watersports. Held on the Gunpowder River, which flows into the bay, the festival shows off the industry's latest toys, allowing attendees to try out brand-new kayaks and paddleboards on the sparkling fresh water. For the rest of the season, Ultimate Watersports brings its know-how to the shores with kayak tours, paddleboard lessons, and sailing trips that have remained a bay fixture for more than 26 years. Waterfront enthusiasts seek out the company's reliably well-maintained and up-to-date watercraft to do everything from gain a windsurfing certification to practice heckling standup paddleboard comics. Additionally, seasonal kids' camps help youngsters to stay active while gaining an appreciation for watersports and the splendor of the outdoors.:m]]
When Pete and Kate Vonderheide moved from Hawaii to Annapolis to live closer to their family, they thought they'd have to give up a career of ocean kayaking to resume responsible office jobs. Soon they recognized the historic city harbor's lack of kayak tours and knew they couldn't stay inside forever. Their shared passion for history spurred them to research and interview the locals until they'd compiled enough historic material to start leading tours. Today, their tours can teach something new even to locals.
The Vonderheides continue to assemble a team of outdoor guides certified in CPR and first aid who all bear a well-researched knowledge of area wildlife and history. These experts lead two-hour scenic tours through the historic harbor. Starting each excursion with a brief paddling lesson, they put first-timers at ease with basic instruction and an amiable demeanor, unlike guides who rely only on their convincing Captain Ahab impressions. Excursions begin at the Spa Creek headwaters in Truxtun Park and lead participants into open-harbor waters to drift in full view of the state capitol building, the US Naval Academy, and historic Eastport. Trips peak at the City Dock, where participants receive a break to take photos and rest. On the return trip, guides field open-ended questions about city history such as presidential visits, the crabbing and oystering trade, and whether George Washington had to swim using floaties.
Jack's, which is tucked away under the Key Bridge at 3500 K. Street, opened for business in 1945 and is a hidden gem and a local favorite for its low rates and friendly service (it's family owned and operated). View a short video about its history and current happenings here. You can rent single kayaks, tandem kayaks, two-person canoes, three-person canoes, and single kayaks mounted to two-person canoes stuffed into a schooner (for the right price). This Groupon is for five one-hour rentals; use all your trips at once to go on a five-hour endurance run, have multiple water adventures, or give them to your friends and family so you have people to bump your boat. You can even make a daycation out of it, and take advantage of free use of the gas grill in Jack's picnic area overlooking the water. Use your Groupon anytime during business hours: Monday, noon to 8 p.m.; Tuesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Nestled beneath the towering arches of the Francis Scott Key Bridge, a weather-beaten dock supports rows of kayaks in a rainbow of colors. Paddlers disembark onto the Potomac, threading through the bridge’s arches and taking in the lush riverside scenery. Key Bridge Boathouse’s team of water conquerors is on hand to instruct new kayakers and paddleboarders in taming the river’s gentle waves. Upon returning to shore, guests are invited to make use of the dock’s electric grills to cook burgers and dry their hair.