Boating around the Potomac River and upper Chesapeake Bay offers endless options for day trips and excursions. But these areas also offer a wide variety of overnight stays or longer trips that will keep you entertained for an evening or a weekend. And with cooler temps and fewer tourists, now is the perfect time to get out and explore the region by boat. Here are a few overnight or weekend boating trips that are worth your while.
Colonial Beach is a quaint waterfront town about halfway up the Potomac River. Bayside Marina in Colonial Beach accepts overnight guests and is just one block from downtown Colonial Beach and three blocks from the sandy beach. The marina also boasts a five-star restaurant, Light House, which serves a variety of dishes including fresh seafood. Spend the day here walking the shops of downtown, or take a stroll on the beach along Monroe Creek.
Westmoreland State Park and Cole’s Point
Just a little further south down the river from Colonial Beach is Westmoreland State Park. This park lies along the cliffs of the Potomac and boasts some of the best shark teeth hunting along the river. Docks there can accept daily visitors. Pull up and explore the park for free, then head a little further south down the river to Cole’s Point Marina where you can dock for the night. With a tiki bar right by the docks and a full-service restaurant, you can relax while enjoying the view of the lower Potomac.
If you’re exploring the Chesapeake Bay, Smith Island is a great place to spend a weekend. Smith Island Marina has the only overnight private slips available. The marina is within walking distance of two restaurants and also has fueling pumps, which you’ll need to get out to Smith Island and back to your home marina! Smith Island is a great place to “unplug” and immerse yourself in a real, working fishing village. Turn the cell phone off and relax at the small town full of delicious food, quaint shops and friendly people.
For more island exploring in the Bay, Tangier Island is a must-see. This town is even more of a “step back in time” with locals who have lived on the island all of their lives – some of whom have never left. Despite their intimate small town, Tangier locals are still inviting and friendly. The Tangier Island Parks Marina can accommodate overnight guests, and nearly everything is walkable on the island, but buggies or golf carts can also be rented. Although it’s small, Tangier does have a handful of restaurants and its own history museum.
Carefree Boat Club members have the benefit of taking our boats out for overnight or weekend trips. Choose the boat that’s right for you at one of our four marinas in the Potomac/Upper Chesapeake Bay area and get out and explore the waterways this season.