Where to Find Canoes, Kayaks, Pedal Boats, and Paddle Boards Around Philadelphia

Beat the heat with fun water activities like floating yoga and exploring the area by boat.


Want to get on the water this summer? Here’s where you can rent kayaks, canoes, and more in Philadelphia. / Photograph by Miki Sparks for Schuylkill River Development Corporation.

We’re all about getting on, in, or near the water this summer — whether that’s via a public pool, a natural swimming hole, or a fun activity. Below, our list of where to find pedal boats, kayaks, canoes, and stand-up paddle boards in and around Philly.

Aqua Vida

Where: Outdoor classes at Independence Seaport Museum (211 South Christopher Columbus Boulevard) and Waterfront Point in Somers Point (198 Higbee Avenue); indoor classes at AKA University City (2929 Walnut Street)
On-the-water options: Stand-up paddle boards
What to expect: 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 testing your balance afloat a pool that’s 400 feet above street level.

Glen Foerd

Where: 5001 Grant Avenue
On-the-water options: Kayaks
What to expect: Every Saturday in the summer, enjoy a kayak tour of the Delaware River from Glen Foerd in Northeast Philly. The excursion is led by a certified guide and covers safety protocols and the fundamentals of kayaking. Plus, it’s a great way to spend some time with your significant other, bestie or most adventurous family member, as you’ll be exploring via a tandem kayak.

Glisten Fit

Where: 64 Norcross Road, Berlin, New Jersey
On-the-water options: Paddle boards
What to expect: In addition to open-water swim, Berlin-based Glisten Fit hosts three types of stand-up paddle boarding open sessions, intro classes, and yoga (both sunrise and sunset!) — that currently run on Tuesdays and Thursdays during the summer. A single-class pass costs $20, but there are package options, as well.

Hidden River Outfitters

Where: On the Schuylkill Banks under the Walnut Street Bridge
On-the-water options: Kayaks and paddle boards
What to expect: Book a 90-minute kayak tour on the Schuylkill River for $40 to $45 per person. Hidden River offers both daytime (“Basic”) and evening (“Moonlight”) tours. You can also opt for a two-hour private stand-up paddle board lesson for $65.

Independence Seaport Museum

Where: 211 South Christopher Columbus Boulevard
On-the-water options: Kayaks and pedal boats
What to expect: Head to the Independence Seaport Museum for six different kayak adventures offered through October. The Three Sisters Shipwreck excursion is a three-mile adventure along the Delaware to see what remains of the historical shipwreck, while the Graffiti Pier tour kayaks for six miles and the Petty Island for 10. Or, rent a pedal boat for $12 per person (30-minute session). The pedal boats are particularly kid- and Instagram-friendly — they come in fun designs like dragons, ducks, flamingos and swans.

John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge

Where: 8601 Lindbergh Boulevard
On-the-water options: Kayaks
What to expect: Thanks to a partnership with L.L.Bean, John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge is able to provide kayaking excursions right from the urban sanctuary this summer. There are two three-hour kayaking tours — a bird-watching one that runs May through October and another that focuses on fall foliage (October only) — plus a 90-minute course dedicated to learning the basics and enjoying your natural surroundings.

Northbrook Canoe

Where: 1810 Beagle Road, West Chester 
On-the-water options: Kayaks and canoes
What to expect: Head to Chester County to enjoy a one- to two-and-a-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 $60 to $70 per canoe and $50 to $60 per kayak (or BYO and they’ll transfer it for $40), you can enjoy sightings of local wildlife and picturesque farms along the way.

Philadelphia Canoe Club

Where: 4900 Ridge Avenue
On-the-water options: Canoes, kayaks, and paddle boards
What to expect: Since 1905, Philadelphia Canoe Club has been enhancing the community of local water lovers with their programming. Join them for a slew of activities, including intro to stand-up paddle boarding, canoe clinics, recreational and whitewater kayaking excursions, and more. View the full calendar here.

Port Providence Paddle

Where: 264 Canal Street, Port Providence
On-the-water options: Canoes and kayaks
What to expect: Book an excursion to kayak or canoe down the Schuylkill River Canal at Phoenixville-area Port Providence Paddle. They offer three excursions that range from two-and-a-half hours to six hours in length. A canoe will cost you $50 for the day, while a one-person kayak runs $44 for the day. There’s also the option for a tandem kayak, which is $55.

Additional reporting by Caroline Cunningham and Laura Brzyski.