Virginia has no shortage of excellent waterways. From the Chesapeake to the Potomac, the Great Dismal Swamp to the Virginia Beach Oceanfront, you’re never far away from water. Next time you’re in the mood to spend a day on the seas, consider the following nine best boat rental locations in the Commonwealth.
Parrot Cove, in Moneta, Virginia, sits nearby the scenic Smith Mountain Lake and offers houseboat vacations, boat rentals, fishing boats, wave runners, kayaks, and more. Parrot Cove boasts that they have the largest houseboat rental fleet on Smith Mountain Lake. For those that simply want a quiet day out with the fishing pole, their fishing boat rentals will do. But if you’re looking for a vacation adventure, you won’t do better than their gigantic houseboats, which come with a fly bridge and sun deck, sink, refrigerator, stove range, grill, full size shower, and bathroom.
Ed Allen’s Boats and Bait is located near the Chickahominy Lake in Lanexa, Virginia. While you could rent from Ed’s for any occasion, most of their boats are geared towards fishing. In addition to boat rentals, they sell live bait, have a tackle shop, and more. Choose from the Jon Boat Rentals, which start at $55 a day for two people, or the Pontoon Boat Rentals, which can carry 6-8 people and start at $200 a day.
Mariner Sailing School in Alexandria, Virginia is, as the name implies, a sailing school, offering private instruction lessons as well as basic courses for adults and youth, and an advanced youth course. In addition, Mariner’s rents boats, and have done so since 1977. Choose from canoes, kayaks, C&C sloop Canadame, 19-foot Flying Scots, 14-foot Sunfishes, and more. What better way to enjoy the Potomac river?
Clarksville Water Sports benefits from its close proximity to the 50,000-acre John H. Kerr Reservoir on Buggs Island Lake. They carry South Bay Pontoons, Tri-toons, kayaks, paddle boards, and aluminum fishing boats. They charge by the hour and offer weekly and daily rates. Consider making a reservation ahead of time, as boats are rented on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Adventure Parasail, based in Virginia Beach, Virginia, has been in business since the 1980s and has a perfect safety record. They offer parasail, jet ski, boat, kayak, and charter boat rentals. 20-foot sport boats are available, too, starting at $200 an hour with space for six passengers. Make a reservation online or over the phone, and be advised that Adventure Parasail is only open seasonally.
Open from April to October, Reeling and Rafting in Scottsville, Virginia, provides rental boats and self-guided tours along the James River. They offer canoe, kayak, raft, and tube rentals, but no speed boats. Rent for your own adventure or sign up for one of their trip packages, offered for all experience levels.
Poplar Pointe Marine was voted the “number one place to buy a boat” by Lake Magazine. Besides selling boats, they offer rentals. Choose from the 12-passenger 2016 Chaparral Sunesta 224, starting at $499 a day, the Hurricane Sundeck Spot 188 for up to 10-passengers and starting at $349 a day, the standard pontoon, starting at $260 a day, and performance pontoons at $280 a day. The boats most often go out on Lake Gaston and are perfect for sailing, fishing, or water sporting.
Claytor Lake Watersports aims to “provide a safe and fun atmosphere for individuals, families, and groups wanting a variety of entertainment one the water at an affordable price,” according to their website. Rent your motorized boat here and choose from nine different boat models. Each have varying amenities, lengths, and seating options, and differ in price based on time of day, size, and amenities. Consider renting an evening charter from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Add a captain for a small surcharge and dinner service, too.
York River Yacht Haven is a full-service marina in Gloucester Point, and includes amenities such as a freshwater pool, private showers, on-site store for marine supplies, restaurant, Wi-Fi, dockside electricity, captain’s lounge, laundry facilities, and more. Recipient of the “Best of Virginia” award, they rent York River Charters for fishing and sightseeing. Sign up for a day trip to one of the historic locations along their routes, including an old lighthouse, or go out on the Chesapeake Bay and York River on your own.