The Only Way You Should Get To and From Nats Park

Photo by Kevin H.

Last Saturday, GM took a trip out to Nats park to watch the Nationals get beaten up by the Phillies. But on the way home, he finally gave the new American River Taxi a try, and he can report that it’s the only way to get to and from the stadium.

GM had to buy scalped tickets because the game was sold old. As a result he had to show up late to the game (tickets are a lot cheaper at that point), so taking the taxi out to the park wasn’t an option (it arrives before the game).

After the final out of the game, GM got up and left the stadium with the rest of the crowd. But rather than heading back to the Metro, he made his way over to the First Base Gate. From there he crossed over Potomac Ave. and entered Diamond Teague Park.  Two water taxis were waiting for the crowd: the American River Taxi (which is a small pontoon boat) and the Potomac River Boat Company (which runs down to Alexandria).

GM hopped aboard the Dolly Madison (the name of American River Taxi’s boat). About 10-12 other passengers ended up accompanying him. After the stadium’s gates were closed (approximately 10-15 minutes after the last out) the ship set off. Tickets are $9 one way and can be bought on the boat.

The boat travels along at about 15 miles and hour (sorry, 13 knots). Not speedy but not painfully slow. For what it’s worth, the boat left at the same time the Alexandria-bound boat did, but by the time it took the turn around Hains Point, the Georgetown-bound boat had left the other in its wake.

The ride is quite beautiful. You are treated first to views down the Potomac to Alexandria. Then National Airport looms into view and as you turn north towards Georgetown, you are treated to the sight of planes coming in for a landing overhead.

As the monuments pass on the right, you gently slip underneath the Virginia bridges. Passing Memorial Bridge, the boat slows down to observe the no wake rule.

From there it’s just a few minutes more and you’re pulling up to Washington Harbour. Docking takes seconds and then you’re just a short walk through Georgetown to home.

The ride itself takes only 25-30 minutes. For GM, the door-to-door time was just about the same as if he took Metro. But it was a significantly more enjoyable ride.

So next time you head out to watch the Nats lose, you really ought to go by boat.

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8 Comments

Filed under Transit

8 responses to “The Only Way You Should Get To and From Nats Park

  1. Ben

    This sounds like an enjoyable trip. One morning I want to ride my bike to the Georgetown waterfront, take the water-taxi to the Nationals stadium, and then take the Green line two stops to L’Enfant to work. This would probably take twice as long and cost twice as much but it would be a fun way to try to commute to work.

  2. Jacques

    My wife took the ART to yesterday’s game, avoiding the post-earthquake traffic and metro slowdowns. We’ve now used it a couple of times to or from games, and there’s no trip more relaxing.

    Ben, you could actually take the river taxi to the SW waterfront, and then just walk (or bike) a couple of blocks to L’Enfant. They allow bikes (as well as strollers and small dogs) on the river taxi.

  3. Erik Bootsma

    I took the Cabi from the stadium late on Friday after the game and it took only 40 mins to get through to Rosslyn. Riding up New Jersey Avenue, then across the mall and up Penn avenue the ride was gentle and pleasant way to get back rather than waiting for a packed full train to be late and then a transfer. I was surprised there wasn’t more use of the bikeshare for games, but I dunno what the stats really are for game nights and that station.

  4. Jacques

    @Erik, after coming in on the River Taxi, my wife and I rode bikeshare bikes home to Georgetown last night. My sense is that maybe 25-30 people take CaBi to/from the games, using the station at the park and the one at DOT headquarters, with another 50 people per game taking their own bikes and using the bike valet at the stadium. I’ve been surprised that the numbers aren’t even higher, as it’s a very relaxing way to get back (we always aim to ride down the Mall for the spectacular evening views, along with riding through the quiet residential parts of the Hill and Georgetown). But for now, at least, CaBi ridership is constrained by the number of docks in the nearby stations, which will be a little bigger once the new station at Yards Park is added in October.

  5. GeorgeM

    “the game was sold old”?

    Actually I like that expression.

  6. Serena

    Thanks for the report. I have wanted to try the River Taxi from the park, but the timing hasn’t worked out. I have a couple of more games before the end of the season so hope to try it this year. (No idea if they’re making money, so who knows if it’ll be around next year?)

    $9 is way more than metro fare, and I live further up Wisconsin so it would involve a transfer to a 30s bus, but since the current trip involves green line to red line (and the red line trains are so infrequent post game), I think it might take just about the same amount of time and would be way more peaceful.

    The only quibble I have with the post is this: “next time you head out to watch the Nats lose”… because they’re 37-26 at home! You’re more likely to see them win! :)

  7. Erik Bootsma

    Jacques: Thanks for the report. I think we may try next game to ride there. I agree that the Mall at night by bike is a great thing. DC by bike in general is better than racing by in a car, or missing everything riding the Metro. When my family came out this summer it was unfortunate it was during the heatwave, otherwise I’m sure they would have ridden a bit.
    Cheers

  8. Roy and pam

    i heard the second ART boat is coming. dunno if this is the Alexandria bound one. American River Taxi is gaining its momentum because DC needs it.

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