Potomac River Marinas

Discussion in 'Mid-Atlantic' started by quality time, Mar 25, 2019.

  1. quality time

    quality time Well-Known Member

    Oct 30, 2007
    Upper Chesapeake Bay
    2003 480DB
    Planning our summer trip and have decided to possibly head up the Potomac around mid July. My only Potomac experience is bringing our boat back from the Occoquan in 2014. Our first stop will probably be Solomon's so looking for 3-4 more choices. We like laidback places with a pool, restaurant and interesting areas to dink around in the evening. Any suggestions on Potomac marinas?

    A couple places that have caught my eye:

    Cole's Point Marina
    White Point Marina
    Colonial Beach area
    Alexandria Waterfront
  2. Pilot

    Pilot Member

    May 7, 2009
    Chesapeake Bay
    2009 370 Searay DA
    V Drives
    Twin 8.1's
    I would stay at the wharf in dc versus Alexandria,, no good marinas in Alexandria. Plus, watch the debris. That river is loaded up that way with logs and trees, especially after a rain. Come in daytime and go slow.
    quality time and Jaybeaux like this.
  3. sbw1

    sbw1 Well-Known Member

    Oct 10, 2006
    West Michigan
    This is listed in my signature
    This is listed in my signature
    tiara in the snow 01.JPG
    I hear people,talk about all the trees and debris floating in the Patomic. Why is it so full of junk? Sorry to hi jack the thread. Ignore if you want to.
  4. PlayDate

    PlayDate Well-Known Member

    Dec 25, 2006
    Washington DC
    1994 370 Express Cruiser
    454 Mercruisers
    Three marinas to choose from that I would recommend. I have kept my boat at one of the three during the past 20 years.

    The Wharf on the Washington Channel- under construction and may not have any slips available.
    The Yards on the Anacostia River- branches off the Potomac and is home to National's Stadium. I keep my boat there.
    National Harbor- Across from Alexandria.....a city by itself. Great marina and fuel dock.
    quality time likes this.
  5. PlayDate

    PlayDate Well-Known Member

    Dec 25, 2006
    Washington DC
    1994 370 Express Cruiser
    454 Mercruisers
    Two rivers come together in DC....the Potomac and the Anacostia. The Potomac runs down from Harpers Ferry and runs through a set of fall rapids in Great Falls. The Anacostia is more of a run off river from Maryland. Both get heavy debris from rain flooding which puts the debris in the headwaters and eventually finds its way down to DC. The worst offenders are the hillbillies in Maryland, Virginia and Pennsylvania who dump cut wood in the river to get rid of it. That stuff will rip the props off the boat if you get a log jammed in between the prop and the prop tunnel. You have to keep a sharp eye out for logs all year long. The worst ones are floating just at the surface.....we call those Potomac alligators.

    It was horrible last year because we had some much rain. Out of 30 usable weekends.....it rained on 20 of them which made boating a challenge.

    Jaybeaux likes this.
  6. Mikemapva

    Mikemapva Member

    Aug 6, 2007
    Potomac River, VA
    2001 Chaparral Signature 300
    Twin 5.0 Volvo DPs with 7KW Kohler
    You've already received good info from Playdate, so I'll just add to it a little.

    White Point Marina has received good reviews and it has a pool. We used to stay at a nearby marina, Port Kinsale, that went down hill, closed the restaurant, and then donated the marina to Christopher Newport University.

    Coles Point has a fun tiki bar (part of the Tim's Rivershore chain up that are up and down the Potomac and on Lake Anna), and has a pool. I haven't been there since they upgraded some of their facilities a few years ago.

    In Colonial Beach, I think you'll want to stay at Colonial Beach Yacht Center. It's right at the entrance to Monroe Bay and would probably be best for you as Monroe Bay is pretty skinny water. No pool at CBYC, and I don't think any of the marinas there in Monroe Bay have a pool. This marina is the farthest from the town of Colonial Beach, but you can rent a golf cart and get up there. If you do, try to have a meal at Denson's which is a tiny place, but has awesome food.

    I don't think that any of the marinas farther up the river have a pool, unless you can snag a slip at Prince William in Occoquan (where you may have bought your boat).

    In the DC area, you already got good info on the marinas in an earlier post, but I wouldn't totally write off Old Town Alexandria. If you stay there, you're within easy walking distance of tons of restaurants, and a cool historic district. The one big downside to Alexandria is that the marina is not gate controlled like the other ones mentioned, so you have the possibility of people wandering around the area. We've stayed there multiple times and have never had any problems. If you're a member of a yacht club, you may be able to stay at Old Dominion Boat Club right next to the municipal marina. They recently moved their clubhouse 2 blocks south due to redevelopment along the waterfront, but the docks stayed in the old location.

    The marinas mentioned previously are all on the DC/Maryland side of the river and are connected to the touristy areas by water taxi (as is Old Town). The Wharf and the Yards are part of the major new waterfront development in DC and have lots within easy walking distance. National Harbor is right below the Wilson Bridge and also has the MGM casino nearby.

    Sounds like a fun trip!

    quality time and PlayDate like this.
  7. quality time

    quality time Well-Known Member

    Oct 30, 2007
    Upper Chesapeake Bay
    2003 480DB
    Our boat was at National Harbor when we first saw it then moved to Occoquan Harbour Marina for surveys, National Harbor looked like a neat place to check out at the time. I do remember idling a lot on the upper river due to debris on the way home.

    Maybe we'll run down to the Tides then just play around in the lower Potomac as I'm not sure my kids would enjoy DC especially if there are no pools to cool off in July. Any other marina suggestions below the Harry Nice Bridge are greatly appreciated. We like the hidden gems and are open to trying new places.
  8. Jaybeaux

    Jaybeaux Active Member SILVER Sponsor

    Jan 3, 2016
    Upper Potomac River
    420 Sundancer 2004
    Naught On Call
    Cummins 6CTA-8.3's with V-Drives
    9KW Onan Genset
    Check out Chesapeake Boat Basin. https://www.chesapeakeboatbasin.com/marina/ It is off of the bay, Virginia side, between the Potomac and Rappahannock Rivers. I ran across them planning a trip to Norfolk the other week. They get nice comments on Active Captain. I called inquiring about their fuel. The Diesel has ValTec, and the other week it was $2.50/gallon. I have not been there personally, but I liked what I read about it.

  9. quality time

    quality time Well-Known Member

    Oct 30, 2007
    Upper Chesapeake Bay
    2003 480DB
    Definitely will add Chesapeake Boat Basin to the list. I spend a fair amount of time perusing Active Captain reviews looking for the hidden gems.
  10. Pierpressure1

    Pierpressure1 Member SILVER Sponsor GOLD Sponsor

    Sep 8, 2015
    Richmond, VA
    1998 400 Sedan Bridge
    Cat 3116
    This is a picture I took at the Wharf a couple weeks ago. They had a skiff pulling logs out of the river and offload on the dock.

  11. Korkie

    Korkie Active Member SILVER Sponsor

    Feb 2, 2016
    Leonardtown, MD Potomac River / Chesapeake Bay
    340 Sundancer 2006, Garmin 7612, xHD Radome
    Merc 496 Mags, Bravo III Drives
    Lots of good info and spot on. Been boating on the Potomac going on 35 years. We come out of Breton Bay, which is near St. Clement's Island. We normally don't see a lot of the alligators south of the Harry Nice Bridge, although we always keep a watchful eye. We frequently do weekends at Cole's Point Plantation - they have pool and nice beach. Restaurant is hit or miss. Had some wonderful meals and some not so good there. The Tiki bar has evening entertainment that goes on til midnight or so. They have a nice floating doc right in front of the restaurant and Tiki bar that allows you to sit on your boat and enjoy or the bar is just a short walk away. Downfall of this on weekends is, if you retire on the earlier side, the band is also - right there.
    Another favorite is the Colonial Beach Yacht Center. The also have a floating dock, you will need to request it when making reservations. For the weekend, do so as early as you can. It can fill up quick. Restrooms are not the greatest (we don't use them), the restaurant is good and the Tiki bar has great drinks and entertainment daytime and evenings on the weekends. Colonial Beach has a nice celebration in June (the 7-8-9) this year. We go every year with a group of about 4-5 boats. It is called Potomac River Festival. Has parades, carnival, awesome fireworks Saturday night, boardwalk event, and more. Lots of good restaurants there - Densons already mentioned. You can rent a golf cart or we usually call a cab. The fare is quite reasonable and they use mini vans so plenty of room.
    Another marina we stay at is Bayside Marina which is at the head of Monroe Bay. It is a narrow channel going in, but is well and accurately marked on GPS. When the channel disappears, do the obvious - stay in the middle. Bayside has 4.5 feet at low tide. The staff there is wonderful and the restrooms are clean. Nice thing about Bayside is it is walking distance to town. A couple of blocks. We usually stay there if we are making frequent trips to town , such as for the June celebration. They have a restaurant on location, The Lighthouse. Serves Thai, steak and seafood. Very good food, never been disappointed.
    On the waterfront (boardwalk) is the High Tides restaurant and Blackbeards which is another Tiki Bar with good drinks and yes - more evening entertainment. As stated earlier - no pools at any of the marinas.
    Fuel and Pump out at the Colonial Beach Yacht Center only. Easy to get to on way in or out.
    Further up river, near the bridge is Gilligans, a beach bar and restaurant. They have a pier that is first come first serve. If full, anchor out (nice bottom) and they will pick you up and tender you to shore. Just tip the Captain. Next to that is a couple of other seafood restaurants - Capt Billy's we have been to, it is your typical seafood restaurant. We haven't been to the other - Shymanskys. Also - On Cobb Island, on the right just beyond the mouth of Wicomico River, is Capt John's, Another seafood restaurant we frequent.
    Another nice place to stop is the St Clements Island. There is a lighthouse you can visit and a nice place to have a picnic, although no open flame permitted with out a permit.
    Our Bay, Breton Bay, is a nice safe harbor if you want to lay up for an overnight. Nice bottom for anchoring and not much boat traffic. Hope this all helps and enjoy your summer. Let me know when you come up and we will keep and eye out for ya.
    quality time likes this.
  12. quality time

    quality time Well-Known Member

    Oct 30, 2007
    Upper Chesapeake Bay
    2003 480DB
    Thanks for the detailed info!

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