Georgetown Waterfront Park

One of the best transformations of D.C. over recent years has been the revitalization of the waterfront areas, including a park along the Potomac River in Georgetown. Georgetown was founded as a port in 1751, and by the 20th century the waterfront had become an industrial site. In the 1980’s, a group of citizens started advocating for the D.C. government to donate the land to the Federal government, in exchange for the National Park Service creating a park there. The waterfront park was completed in 2011.

The Views

Standing on the riverfront, you can see the Kennedy Center and the Washington Monument in one direction, and Rosslyn and Key Bridge in the other direction.

July 4th fireworks @Rob Klug
Kennedy Center lit for the Kennedy Center Honors. ©Victoria Pickering
Sunset view, looking toward Rosslyn. ©Victoria Pickering

The People

You can often see people dancing or performing along the riverwalk:

©Rob Klug
©rob Klug
©Rob Klug
©Rob Klug
©Rob Klug

The Birds

There are all the usual water birds – gulls and geese and ducks:

©Angela N.
©Angela N.
©Angela N.

Recently, we’ve been seeing a pure white domestic mallard:

©Rob Klug

If you leave your food unattended, the starlings will find it:

©Rob Klug

There’s a purple martin house right by the river, and it is fascinating to watch the martins fly at high speed along the Potomac and swoop into their house:

©Victoria Pickering

Lush bushes have been planted along the river, which are a favorite for a variety of birds:

©Angela N.
©Angela N.
©Angela N.

The People and the Birds

Wherever there are a lot of birds, there are a lot of people who feed and interact with them:

©Angela N.
©Rob Klug
©Rob Klug
©Rob Klug
©Rob Klug
©Angela N.

The Activities

The waterfront trail is a great place to run or stroll:

©Angela N.
©Rob Klug
©Rob Klug

Boating crews are out most early mornings and late afternoons practicing along the river by the park.

©Rob Klug

There’s a large area of fountains, which are turned on it warmer months:

©Victoria Pickering

There’s a skating rink right by the river:

©Angela N.

When the rink is not being used for skating, there are decorative fountains:

©Victoria Pickering

On the side nearest to Key Bridge, there’s a contemplative labyrinth to walk around:

©Victoria Pickering

There are several restaurants right along the waterfront. One of the notable restaurants is Fiola Mare (the Bidens dined there with the Macrons when the French President came to D.C. a few months ago). The restaurant has set up dining igloos by the waterfront path.

©Victoria Pickering

The Flood Walls

You may have noticed the columns as you walk along the riverfront, which appear to be purely decorative. They are actually a sophisticated flood wall system, where flood walls can be raised up from the pavement to protect the flood-prone stretch along the lowest elevation. It’s easy to predict when the walls need to be raised, because any flooding potential is first noticed much further up the river. There was one spectacular failure in 2011, where the property management company in charge of raising the walls failed to do so, causing massive flood damage to the restaurants and office buildings in back of the wall.

Flood walls raised ©Victoria Pickering

Join the Conversation

1 Comment

  1. Great pictures and descriptions of one of my favorite areas in Washington. The waterfront in Georgetown is always beautiful, fun, interesting and filled with people.

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