Boating to DC has Never Been Easier or More Appealing
Washington, DC is hot these days, I mean like “popular hot” and there’s never been a better time to visit the city. It is now routinely ranked as one of the best restaurant cities in America and there is so much to do here. For boaters it’s even better because of the opening of the District Wharf in 2017. Up until then, there wasn’t much reason to make the trek up the Potomac to the nation’s capital. Now we have a world class marina with plenty of reasons to visit by boat.
The DC Wharf, located on the Washington Channel, is packed with great restaurants, hotels and music venues. It has ample transient slips and mooring balls for large and small vessels literally in the shadow of the Washington Monument. The Wharf has it all and is walking distance to the National Mall, the monuments, and the Smithsonian museums.
At The Wharf there are world class restaurants such as Del Mar (Spanish), Officina (Italian), Mi Vida (Mexican), and Hank’s Oyster Bar (seafood). There are three great live music venues at the Wharf that include The Anthem, Union Stage, and Pearl Street Warehouse. The DC Municipal Fish Market, also located at The Wharf, is the oldest continuously operating outdoor fish market in America. Be sure to check it out while you are in port! Coffee and dessert? Yes! There are plenty of places for sweets that include Velo Cafe, Dolcezza and Blue Bottle Coffee.
A complete directory of where to eat and drink at the Wharf can be found here.
Here’s what you need to know if you are planning a trip to DC by boat:
The Wharf Marina is managed and operated by Oasis Marina out of Annapolis, Md. The company also manages Annapolis Town Dock, National Harbor Marina, and Harbor East Marina in Baltimore among others.
Getting to the DC Wharf (LATITUDE 38° 52.600’ N / LONGITUDE 077° 01.334’ W)
From the Potomac River you will pass under the Woodrow Wilson bridge and pass Alexandria, Va. on your port side and then Reagan National Airport also to your port. There are two splits ahead. Follow the first split to the right toward the Washington/Anacostia channel and then fairly quickly follow the channel to the left into the Washington Channel. Hains Point will be off the port side and Greenleaf Point starboard.
Once in the channel there are two speed zones. The first is marked for 10kts and soon after 6kts, No Wake Zone. The traffic consists of large cruise boats, water taxis, pleasure boats, and paddlers, so keep it slow through the Washington Channel.
The Dockmaster can be hailed while inbound on channel 16/72 and by phone at 202.595.5165. As you approach the Wharf, you will cruise past Pier 4, a large building for dinner boats and cruise ships, then past Gangplank Marina, Seventh Street Recreation Pier, Capital Yacht Club, District Pier, and then you will arrive at Market Pier where Oasis staff will direct you to your slip (don’t attempt to pass under the bridge at the end of the Channel).
The marina has dozens of slips with brand new docks at The Wharf. There is also 300ft of alongside dockage with 15-20 feet of depth available, making it an ideal stop for super yachts planning a visit to the nation’s capital. Additionally, there are eight mooring balls in the Channel for easy hook up. Reservations can now be made through Snag-A-Slip.
Mooring Ball Rates
- $35 flat fee
Slips – Daily Rates
- Boats under 80′ LOA: $3.00 per foot
- Boats over 80′ LOA: $4.00 per foot
- Daily electric applies
- (3 night minimum for Holidays and Special Events)
Slips – Weekly Rates
- Boats under 80′ LOA: $2.75 per foot, per night
- Boats over 80′ LOA: $3.75 per foot, per night
- Daily electric applies
Monthly / Seasonal / Annual Rates
- Pricing may vary. Please contact Wharf Marina at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 202-595-5165 for rates and availability.
Power Charges (Daily)
- Single 30 / $5
- Double 30 or Single 50 / $10
- 100 or Double 50 / $20
- Marina supports 100 amp 3 phase 480 Volt