Mar 28, 2024 - Things to Do

D.C.'s hot tub boat lets you throw a party on the Potomac

A hot tub on a boat's deck.

D.C.'s Sea the City hot tub boat. Photo: Mimi Montgomery/Axios

D.C. is officially in its peak party tub era.

Why it matters: Locals are extremely intrigued by this whole hot tub-on-the-water thing. When I recently posted on Instagram about my maiden voyage on The Wharf's hot tub boat, my DMs exploded.

The big picture: Not only can you take to the high seas of the Potomac, but you can also hot tub hang at … Hook Hall?

How it works: Earlier this month, I headed to The Wharf to sail aboard Sea the City's hot tub boat (Sea the City gave Axios a complimentary voyage). There are two tubs on the boat, and you can reserve one or both.

  • It's BYOB, so my fellow tub-lings and I brought a cooler of drinks, which the crew puts on ice. (They also provide cups and koozies, and you can get towels for a small fee).
  • There's an on-board changing room and bathroom, and the crew lets you DJ over the sound system. (Obviously, I blasted Spotify's tropical house mix for maximum tubby vibes.)
  • Our two-hour journey took us down The Wharf, around Hains Point, along the GW Parkway past the Washington Monument and Lincoln Memorial, then back.

The intrigue: Hot tubs sometimes get a bad rep — they can read more SNL's Welshly Arms or transport you across the dimensions of time — but this one was clean and well-maintained. (Granted, we were the only ones on the boat, and it was early in the season.)

  • Plus, once the evening cooled post-sunset, we stayed toasty in our little aquatic cauldron.

It's also a great way to see a different perspective of D.C. — the stately backside of Fort McNair's General's Row, planes soaring overhead on the way to DCA, the moonlight hitting Gordon Ramsey's Wharf empire.

  • Much to my chagrin, we didn't encounter the aqua-bros aboard Whitlow's booze cruise, or else I would have challenged them to a maritime skirmish.

Yes, but: Tub lyfe isn't cheap — it starts at $336 for two people with a discount through March 31, after which it goes up to $449.

  • While it's steeper than the GoBoats or various tiki cruises, remember — you're paying extra to wave at all the poor souls stuck in parkway traffic while you're jammin'.

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