Old Town Alexandria is a fantastic place for a day trip from Washington DC. It’s located about 10 miles from downtown. It’s close enough that it doesn’t take long to get there, but far enough away that it kind of feels like going out-of-town. There are a lot of ways that you can get to Alexandria. However, the DC water taxi is a probably the most fun option.
In 2017, the Wharf opened up on the Washington Channel. This brought in a brand new water taxi system to DC. You can ride the bright yellow boat to destinations on the water, like Georgetown and Alexandria. The water taxi is easy to use. If you’ve never ridden one before, we broke down exactly how to ride the DC water taxi.
Check the schedule
The water taxi is like public transportation, but boats run much less frequency than Metro trains, You’ll want to check ahead to make sure you know when you want to go so you don’t spend unnecessary time waiting around.
Head to the Wharf or Georgetown
From Washington, DC you can catch the water taxi to Alexandria from either the Wharf or Georgetown.
To catch it at the Wharf, take the Metro to either the L’Enfant Plaza station or the Waterfront station. It is about a 10 minute walk from either. The water taxi dock is right next to the Anthem theater. To catch it at the Wharf, you can take Metro to Foggy Bottom and walk about a mile or take the DC Ciculator bus from downtown.
Buy a DC Water Taxi Ticket
You can reserve your tickets online or buy them at the ticket window. There is no discount for booking online. Although it doesn’t happen often, boats can sell out. So if you are visiting on a very busy day, like during cherry blossom season, you may choose to buy online.
Water taxi prices are higher on Saturdays and Sundays than they are during the week. A round-trip ticket will cost you a little under $20 on a weekday and a little over $20 on a weekend.
Grab a seat with a view
The water taxis have both indoor and outdoor seating. Indoor seating is on the bottom level. It is perfect for hot, humid days when you want to spend a few minutes relaxing in the air-conditioning. There are also outlets and USB ports so you can charge up, and a restroom. Outdoor seating is on the top level, which is great if you want a view or you’re traveling with kids who want a view.
The ride between the Wharf and Alexandria takes about thirty minutes. Once you get to Alexandria, the water taxi will drop you off at the dock which on the Alexandria waterfront. You can take the free King Street Trolley to get all around Alexandria. When you are ready to come back to DC, you’ll go back to the same place where you got dropped off.
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