The second annual DC Boat Show promises fun, both on land and on the water.

Second Annual DC Boat Show Brings the Party to the Capital’s Waterfront

With a festival atmosphere, the DC Boat Show offers opportunities to not just look at great boats, but also get out on the Potomac River.

The second annual DC Boat Show pulls into National Harbor over the weekend of May 3-5, bringing a huge collection of exhibitors, both power and sail, to the Potomac River.

The DC Show is still new, and as such it reflects a fresh approach to trade shows. With live music, the Cutwater Beach Party, and the grand National Harbor Ferris wheel in the background, show organizers create a festival atmosphere for boaters who want to explore new products, but also have a really good time.

The one thing DC Boat Shows takes exceptionally seriously is the VIP experience. This year, attendees with the luxurious golden ticket will enjoy private lounge access and balcony views of the show; hourlong rides on the Potomac courtesy of the experts at Annapolis School of Seamanship; grazing tables from the epic Brazilian restaurant Fogo de Chao; a cigar experience with fancy cocktail pairings; and even Medi Spa consultations.

From some angles, the DC Boat Show looks like a party with a lot of boats. But look closer and you’ll see educational seminars, boating opportunities, and plenty of fun to be had—on and off the water.

This is not your parents’ boat show.

If you are interested in boating and strictly boating, the Capital Boat School offers a variety of educational opportunities to expand your knowledge base. Courses in predicting wind, transiting the ICW, and understanding the fine print of boat buying give you the chance to talk with folks who have walked the walk (er… floated the wake? weathered the storm?).

The DC Boat Show will have docks full of quality boats, both new and pre-owned, for display and immediate sale. But if you want to bring your own boat to show off, Snag-A-Slip is offering spots at nearby marinas to allow you to avoid DC parking. Over 16 area marinas are participating, allowing visitors to stay close to the show itself or move a bit further down the river.

Show organizers have worked hard to make the DC show a destination. Find a slip for the night or a walkable hotel, and enjoy both a great show and the highlights of DC’s vibrant waterfront transformation.

For family members who want to do more than look at boats, there will also be a golf simulator and kayaks, paddleboards, and pedal boats to get out onto the Potomac. And once you’re finished with the bands, the food and drink vendors, and many opportunities to shop (both for your boat and yourself), the enormity of National Harbor is at your service with over 40 restaurants, eight hotels, and 160 retail outlets.

You might go for the DC Boat Show, but you’ll end up having a wonderful day exploring the treasure that is our nation’s waterfront capital.

DC Boat Show
May 3-5, 2024

Friday: 10am – 6:30pm
Saturday: 10am – 6:30pm
Sunday: 10am – 4pm

National Harbor Marina
165 Waterfront St.
National Harbor, MD
Washington, DC

General Admission: $30
Military Veterans / First Responders: $20
VIP Boating Experience (includes parking): $225