Along that line of thinking, one particularly warm spring day, J and I channeled our inner tourist and ventured to the Tidal Basin to rent a paddle boat. Or is it pedal boat? Even the website seems confused...
Whatever you want to call them, they'll cost you $10 for 2 ($18 for 4) per hour and 1 hour is just about right. That is how long it took us to pedal our paddle boat around the Tidal Basin's pretty perimeter. To permit this alliteration to persist, planning is particularly paramount if a peaceful perusal of the panorama is a priority. The tidal basin can get crowded on warm, sunny days so it is recommended that you go early. We were lucky to be one of the first boats out, but by the time we were coming in (around 11:30am), the basin was starting to resemble a bumper car pavilion. Unfortunately, ramming of paddle boats is not permitted.
The Tidal Basin's scenery clearly speaks for itself and floating on the water with the sun on your face was as serene as anyone could hope for - so long as you pedaled to a relatively unpopulated area. On the down side, the water was murky, at best, in parts. Nevertheless, you get a new perspective on one of the most beautiful parts of the city.
The First Mate Speaks
Yes, the paddle boats are cheesy and the water is pretty dirty, but you've got to try it at least once. We had fun pedaling around and wondering how many cameras, engagement rings, and other items of tourist paraphernalia line the bottom of the Tidal Basin. We also got a good laugh when the boat dock employee told us that two or three people had fallen into the water this year. Be careful out there!