6 Places to Find Canoes, Kayaks, Pedal Boats, and SUP Paddle Boards Around Philadelphia
Plus, where to try fun water activities like floating yoga and white-water kayaking.
There’s something about paddling around in the sunshine that can be incredibly soothing — not to mention a killer arm workout. To get your summer waterfront plans off on the right foot, here’s our list of where to rent paddle boats, kayaks, canoes, and more — and where to take lessons and guided river tours on all of the above.
Where: Outdoor classes at Penn’s Landing Marina (301 South Christopher Columbus Boulevard); indoor classes at AKA University City (2929 Walnut Street) and The Rittenhouse Spa and Club (210 West Rittenhouse Square)
Boat options: Stand-up paddle boards
Things to do: Book a private or group session from their robust offering of paddle board classes, which include everything from hip-hop to meditation classes on the paddle boards. Their Acro Jam classes will take your SUP skills to the next level.
Where: 5400 Lindbergh Boulevard
Boat options: Kayaks and rowboats
Things to do: Bartram’s Garden offers free boating every Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. through October 19th and every Tuesday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. until August 13th. The best part? Once a month, they host a free full-moon rowboat session with a live deejay, drinks, and snacks.
Where: On the Schuylkill Banks under the Walnut Street Bridge
Boat options: Kayaks
Things to do: Book an hour-long kayak tour on the Schuylkill River for $40 to $50 per person. Whether you’re in a single or tandem kayak, you’ll enjoy views of the Fairmount Dam, Art Museum, Fairmount Water Works, and city skyline. Hidden River offers both daytime (“Basic”) and evening (“Moonlight”) tours, as well as special Movie Night tours (snacks included!), through the end of September.
Where: 211 South Christopher Columbus Boulevard
Boat options: Kayaks
Things to do: Head to the Independence Seaport Museum for two different kayak adventures. Their beginner-friendly Eco Tours will have you paddling with ease for two hours while learning about the Delaware River watershed. The Three Sisters Shipwreck excursion is a three-mile adventure along the Delaware to see what remains of the historical shipwreck. Whichever you choose, you’ll get an experienced guide, safety orientation, and brief kayaking lesson.
Where: Penn’s Landing Marina
Boat options: Kayaks, rowboats, and pedal boats
Things to do: Through the end of September, rent a kayak or boat for $8 per person per half hour, then explore the Delaware Riverfront. The pedal boats are particularly Instagram friendly — they come in fun designs that mimic pirate ships, dragons, and swans.
Where: 4900 Ridge Avenue, on the banks of the intersection of the Wissahickon Creek and Schuylkill River
Boat options: White-water and flat-water canoes and kayaks, and stand-up paddle boards
Things to do: This club — which doesn’t require a membership to attend events — hosts paddling trips in the area, and also provides lessons. A full-day kayak intro course and intermediate white-water class will run you $80 ($40 for members). Already a pro? Join one of their many group paddling trips to river rapids, flat waters, and more.