6 Places to Find Canoes, Kayaks, Pedal Boats, and SUP Paddle Boards Around Philadelphia
Beat the heat with fun water activities like floating yoga and exploring a historic shipwreck.
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There’s still time to beat the heat by planning some summer social distancing activities. To get you on the water, 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: On the Schuylkill Banks under the Walnut Street Bridge
Boat options: Kayaks
Things to do: Book an hour and a half-long kayak tour on the Schuylkill River for $37 to $50 per person. While kayaking, 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.
Where: Outdoor classes at Spruce Street Harbor Park (301 South Christopher Columbus Boulevard); indoor classes at AKA University City (2929 Walnut Street) which start in October.
Boat options: Stand-up paddle boards
Things to do: Book a private or group session from their robust offering of paddle board classes, lessons and tours, which include everything from exploring the Penn’s Landing Marina to paddle by the WWII submarine and the Moshulu. Their AquaFlow classes will take your SUP skills to the next level improving your strength and flexibility while on the water.
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Where: 211 South Christopher Columbus Boulevard
Boat options: Kayaks
Things to do: Head to the Independence Seaport Museum for four different kayak adventures offered until the beginning of September. The Three Sisters Shipwreck excursion is a three-mile adventure along the Delaware to see what remains of the historical shipwreck. For advanced to intermediate, the Graffiti Pier tour kayaks for six miles, passing by the Instagramable location as well as the Penn Treaty Park. Whichever you choose, you’ll get an experienced guide, safety orientation, and a brief kayaking lesson.
Where: 301 South Christopher Columbus Boulevard, Penn’s Landing Marina
Boat options: Pedal boats
Things to do: Starting July 29th through the beginning of September, rent a pedal boat for $50 to $65 per one-hour session, then explore the Delaware River Waterfront up to the mainmast of the cruiser Olympia. The pedal boats are particularly kid and Instagram friendly — they come in fun designs that mimic, dragons, ducks, flamingos and swans. The sessions are offered at two one-hour time slots, at 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Wednesdays only. Plan ahead, because all tickets must be booked in advance.
Where: 264 Canal Street, Port Providence
Boat options: Canoes and kayaks
Things to do: Book an excursion to kayak or canoe down the Schuylkill River Canal at Phoenixville-area Port Providence Paddle. Their excursion, The Loop, takes about two and a half hours to complete and leads you back to their base at “the Fitz,” or Fitzwater Station. During your trip, enjoy scenic views and sightings of aquatic wildlife including turtles and ducks.
Where: 1810 Beagle Road, West Chester
Boat options: Kayaks and canoes
Things to Do: Head to Chester county to enjoy a one to two and half hour adventure of your choosing kayaking or canoeing down the Brandywine River starting at either Embreeville, Corcoran’s Bridge or Harvey’s Bridge. On the trips, which range from $50 to $60 per canoe and $40 to $50 per kayak, you can enjoy sightings of local wildlife, brilliant flowers and picturesque farms along the way. Plan ahead, as Northbrook offers reservations only for their excursions.
Additional reporting by Caroline Cunningham and Laura Brzyski.