Paddling on the River: Inside Potomac Paddle Pub



What is BYOB, has 15 seats, and provides personalized rides on the Potomac River with views of DC’s world-famous monuments and coolest neighborhoods?

This water-based cycleboat is the product of lifelong friends Jack Walten and Jack Maher, known occasionally as “The Jacks.”

Trolley pubs are well-known commodities, with opportunities to participate in almost every large city, but the Potomac Paddle Pub puts a spin on this classic activity with one addition… water.

Instead of sitting on a bicycle seat on land and cycling around city blocks bar hopping in a traditional trolley pub, the Potomac Paddle Pub is a customized cycle boat where participants can pedal in tandem to move a 6-foot paddlewheel (don’t worry, there is a motor to help out as well). Combined with the ability to bring your own beverages (including beer or wine – no hard liquor) and food, along with Bluetooth speakers ready to connect to any rider’s capable device, this activity is perfect for any group looking to have a good time.

Whether it be a bachelor/bachelorette party, a family outing, a work team building activity, or just a night out, the Potomac Paddle Pub caters to all lifestyles and audiences. To quote co-owner Jack Walten, “We empower customers to determine the type of cruise experience they want…while the nature of the experience caters to the young professional market seeking a novel booze cruise experience, this offering is great for a variety of other groups as well.”

The total length of a trip is around 1.5 hours with the Potomac Paddle Pub launching from the Georgetown Waterfront dock (Washington Harbor). The route of the trip goes down the Potomac River, alongside the monuments, towards Columbia Island Marina, where it makes a short pit stop.

While docked, riders can get off to use the bathroom and grab some more food and drinks from the Island Time Bar and Grill if they so desire. Once this brief intermission is up, everyone hops back on the boat and heads back towards Georgetown. A “Master Captain” steers every trip with one to two deckhands who are around to help with anything a rider may need.

The prices can vary depending on the day of the week, with higher costs coming on the weekends. For a full boat on weekdays (Monday – Friday mornings), those interested can book the entire boat for $500 or roughly $33 a person. Riding on the weekends (Friday afternoon – Sunday) will run you $625 for the whole boat or approximately $41 a person. If you don’t have a large group to go with, that’s not a problem. During the weekdays individual tickets (minimum purchase of two) go for $45 each.

The DC area is in for a great time on the water, as the Potomac Paddle Pub’s dream goal is to “build a fleet of boats and expand our number of stops in the years to come,” says Jack Walten. The future could bring other sweet docking spots such as The Wharf, Nationals Park, National Harbor, and Alexandria.

What better way to show up for a Nat’s game than to ride the Potomac Paddle Pub there with your friends!

What sets the Potomac Paddle Pub apart from other similar activities you may ask. Well, as mentioned previously, it is completely BYOB. The Potomac Paddle is also, to quote Jack Walten, “active, collaborative, and sustainable…the human power that propels the vessel paired with the solar panel atop the canopy that powers the vessel’s electrical system allows the Potomac Paddle Pub to minimize its carbon footprint while maximizing the customer’s experience.” Not a bad perk to be helping save the environment while having a good time!

Have you ever been aboard the pub? Let us know on social by using #FrayLife and #DcFray.

Looking for more water adventures? Check out these awesome kayaking adventures!

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View More Articles By Adam Rothe




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