MIT - Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Most Traveled Cities in the United States

Masters rowers are a dynamic group who lead busy lives, and careers that take them all over the country. With the opportunity to travel comes the opportunity to see what rowing is like in a different city, and take in some sites, time willing. Boathouse Finder (www.BHFinder.com) provides a very useful geographic search of rowing clubs and boathouse around the country and throughout the world.

If you have any rowing travel-related stories, we’d love to hear about them. You can email us at info@bhfinder.com.

AUSTIN

Austin’s Town Lake is arguably the perfect spot to row. The 6 miles of water is dammed at both ends, so there is no strong current. The weather is mild throughout the year, so rowing never stops; in fact the winter is the preferred time to row among local rowers, and spring breakers. There are no motorboats or jet skis allowed (except for coaches’ launches), so no need to worry about getting waked.

Rowing Dock is a privately owned, privately managed rowing club and boat rental facility located on the west end of Town Lake. Here the water is calm and the lush banks create a serene atmosphere. It is easy to get to from MoPac or downtown, and it offers a large parking lot. Rowing Dock is open a dock attendant is on duty all year during busy hours to help patrons with boats. With proof of skill and current membership in any recognized club, out of town rowers can rent the recreational single sculling boat. Other patrons may rent from a selection of single, double or triple kayaks or quad water cycles. Check the website or call for hours.

Austin Rowing Club is a non-profit run by an elected board. It hosts the two major regattas in Austin each year. They offer sweep rowing and sculling. ARC is located in downtown Austin near the Four Season Hotel; if you get the timing of your row right, you could enjoy the nightly bat flight from Congress Bridge, which can be seen from ARC.

CLUBS ALLOWING GUEST ROWING

• Austin Rowing Club

• Rowing Dock

• Texas-Rowing-Center

SITES OF INTEREST

•World’s largest urban bat population under Congress Bridge; nightly flights spring, summer, early fall

•4 miles of Waterfront hike and bike trails around Town Lake

•Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum & IMAX Theatre

•Shopping SOCO and the Drag

•SOCO first Thursday

•(evening shopping, festival-feel)

•LBJ Library

•State Capitol and grounds

MAJOR REGATTAS

•Fall: Pumpkin Head Regatta; October

•Spring: Heart of Texas Regatta; March

BOSTON

Boston and Cambridge are rife with rowing history. Nine boathouses line the Charles River. Four belong to clubs: Union, Riverside, Cambridge, and Community Rowing. Five belong to colleges: MIT, Boston University, Harvard, Radcliffe, and Northeastern. Guest rowing can be difficult depending upon which club you contact as some clubs require sponsorship from a member. Cygnet Rowing Club, with two boathouse locations, offers hourly rentals of single sculls.

Dividing Boston and Cambridge, the Charles River is an elegantly serpentine aquatic ribbon that varies in width from about 200 meters to more than a kilometer. During warm weather, and even not so warm weather, it is alive with all manner of rowing craft, sailboats, kayaks, “duck” boats, excursion boats, and powered pleasure craft. The round-trip distance from the Science Museum to Watertown and back is about seventeen miles. On the average morning the entire length of the river is rowable, although the chop tends to kick up below the Boston University (BU) bridge after nine a.m. Almost all the college programs have agreed to use wakeless launches, which has maintained the generally flat conditions, and only on impossibly windy days (or winter, when the river freezes) is the entire river unrowable. The scenery along the way ranges from intensely urban to quietly suburban. The river is bordered by Memorial Drive on the north bank, and Storrow Drive on the south, and a bike path runs the entire length of the river on both banks.

CLUBS ALLOWING GUEST ROWING

•Cambridge Boat Club

•Community Rowing Inc. of Boston

•Cygnet Rowing Club

•Riverside Boat Club

SITES OF INTEREST

Boathouses dot both shores from the Lower Basin out to Watertown. Faneuil Hall Marketplace and Quincy Market are hugely popular settings for dining and shopping. Whale watch excursions leave from the inner harbor throughout the day, as to harbor island excursions. Jacques Cousteau once proclaimed that Boston Harbor is the most beautiful harbor in the world as one enters from the sea.

The Freedom Trail brings history alive for millions every year, while the “duck” boat tours unite the experience of river and city. The Museum of Fine Arts, Fenway Park (home of the Red Sox), the Boston Public Library, and the Hatch Shell (riverside outdoor performances of all kinds) are just a sampling of rewarding outings awaiting the curious traveler.

MAJOR REGATTAS

•Fall: Head of the Charles

•Summer: Cromwell Cup

•Spring: Riverside Sprints

CHICAGO

Visitors to Chicago are often surprised to discover how very beautiful this city is – with its sparkling lakefront, world-class architecture, and incredible cultural attractions. For rowers, an additional source of amazement is the experience of rowing on the Chicago River in the very heart of a great American metropolis.

Chicago’s three rowing clubs are situated at different points along the “Y” shape of the River. The Chicago River Rowing & Paddling Center’s boathouse is located at the base of the “Y”, at the mouth of the River where it meets Lake Michigan. This downtown portion of the River, the Main Branch, runs East to West right through the business district and a panorama of famous buildings. Chicagoans walking to work hail to the rowers below from the many bridges that span this segment of the River. The other two sites – the Chicago Rowing Center’s site on the South Branch, and Lincoln Park Boat Club’s site on the North Branch, are located in industrial areas that evoke the “City of Big Shoulders” image. In any case, the water is as smooth and endless as the vistas are compelling.

CLUBS ALLOWING GUEST ROWING

•Big Shoulders Rowing Club

•Chicago River Rowing & Paddling Center

•Chicago Rowing Center

•Lincoln Park Boat Club

SITES OF INTEREST

The Chicago River Rowing & Paddling Center is within easy walking distance of Grant Park and Monroe Harbor, DuSable Harbor & Park, Millennium Park, Meigs Field, the Chicago Symphony, The Art Institute of Chicago, the Field Museum of Natural History, the Shedd Aquarium, the Oak Street Beach, Navy Pier, and the downtown Business and Theatre Districts. The Lincoln Park Boat Club is within walking distance of the Lincoln Park Zoo.

MAJOR REGATTAS

•Fall: Chicago Chase

•Summer: Chicago Sprints

•Spring: Iron Oars Marathon

LOS ANGELES

Sunny Los Angeles offers a lot of great things for rowers, with the best being the opportunity to row year-round. There are very few days each year when weather keeps you from getting a great workout. Los Angeles rowers have the good fortune to row in the largest man-made small boat harbor in the world, a place called Marina del Rey. The Marina’s waters are well protected, making it possible to row on flat water most mornings. A three-mile head race is hosted by the California Yacht Club every fall, which is one loop around the Marina. Beyond rowing, there are tons of tourist attractions and outdoor adventures to be had in Los Angeles, with countless hotels and restaurants near the water (and near LAX, which is just minutes from Marina del Rey).

CLUBS ALLOWING GUEST ROWING

•Lions Rowing Club

•Los Angeles Rowing Club

SITES OF INTEREST

Westside/close to rowing: Venice Beach, Fisherman’s Village on Fiji Way, Santa Monica Pier, 3rd St Promenade in Santa Monica, Manhattan Beach, hiking in the Santa Monica Mountains, bike riding/skating on the 26-mile-long bike path along the Pacific Ocean

Further inland: Beverly Hills, Hollywood Walk of Fame, Universal Studios Citywalk and Studio Tour, Getty Museum, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, La Brea Tar Pits, Griffith Observatory, Griffith Park, Old Town Pasadena

MAJOR REGATTAS

•Fall: Head of the Marina, November

•Summer: Regatta del Sol, June

MIAMI

Rowing in Miami Beach is a unique experience. The sheltered waterways of Indian Creek provide the perfect setting for training, just a few steps away from affordable oceanfront hotels. Guests are welcome and can rent by the hour provided they have sculling experience. For winter training, Miami Beach is the place to be. Escape to the warm waters of Biscayne Bay and enjoy the scenic views of tropical islands with palm trees and spectacular sunsets. While rowing at sunrise, expect to be accompanied by some playful dolphins, which are often seen within a few yards of our dock. Miles of flat water, year round rowing and a stunning location are the reasons people call Miami Beach a rower’s paradise.

CLUBS ALLOWING GUEST ROWING

•Miami Beach Rowing Club

•Miami Rowing & Watersports Center Inc

SITES OF INTEREST

The Center is within walking distance of many restaurants from Norman’s, a local sports bar to small and delicious ethnic eateries. On the weekends, the Normandy Village Farmers Market sells delicious smoothies as well as fresh fruits, vegetables and many other items. Only ten minutes away is the vibrant South Beach Art Deco District for shopping, dining, movies and nightlife.

MAJOR REGATTAS

•Fall: Head of the Indian Creek

•Spring: Miami Beach Winter Sprints

PHILADELPHIA

Philadelphia was one of America’s original rowing cities. It is host to the infamous Boathouse Row and is home to hundreds of oarsmen/women. On any given day of the week, you can find numerous boats ranging from club rowers to high schoolers to collegiate rowers. Philadelphia is host to dozens of regattas each year, including the Dad Vail Regatta, the Stotesbury Cup Regatta, the Independence Day Regatta and the Head of the Schuylkill. Rowing in Philadelphia is truly an experience you could feel in very few cities across the USA.

CLUBS ALLOWING GUEST ROWING

There are no rowing clubs in Philadelphia that will allow guest rowing without being sponsored by a member. Most rowing clubs in Philly will allow guest rowing with a member.

SITES OF INTEREST

Philadelphia is filled with a wide range of historical sites, Museums and interactive institutes. One of the most famous is the Philadelphia Art Museum. The stairway leading up to it is the exact one that Rocky ran up in the movie Rocky. There is also the Franklin Institute, which has a variety of activities as well as an IMAX theatre. The Philadelphia Zoo is only five minutes from Boathouse Row. And you can’t visit Philadelphia, the home of Independence, without visiting the Liberty Bell.

MAJOR REGATTAS

•Fall: Head of the Schuylkill

•Summer: Independence Day Regatta

•Spring: Dad Vail Regatta

SAN DIEGO

Rowing in San Diego is pretty much situated on Mission Bay, located about six miles north of the San Diego Airport, and flanked by Mission Beach and Pacific Beach. The area abounds with restaurants, beach and bay boardwalks, and hotels. San Diego Rowing Club is located in Mission Beach, with ZLAC Rowing Club located in Pacific Beach. In general, due to water-skiers, most rowing is done in the early hours, or at dusk, but there is plenty of water, and ever-changing scenery, with bird sanctuaries, Sea World pens and the local marine life.

CLUBS ALLOWING GUEST ROWING

•San Diego Rowing Club

•ZLAC

SITES OF INTEREST

San Diego has it all, and most of it within a few miles of the airport and the rowing clubs, beginning with Seaworld (local crews train past the shows and the penguins), Belmont Park (with an original wooden roller coaster, swimming pool and amusement park rides, right on the beach) and Old Town (a historical area specializing in specialty stores and restaurants TIP, do lunch, evening waits can be a drag if you are really hungry); Balboa Park has museums, restaurants and the world famous San Diego Zoo, or you can head north to the Birch Aquarium by the UCSD campus. Further afield you can go to the Wild Animal Park, or Legoland (north about 40 minutes) or south to Tijuana, Mexico (20 minutes by car, 30 minutes by San Diego Trolley). You can find outlet shopping by Legoland or the last USA exit in San Ysidro (GREAT buys from all the major athletic shoe companies, plus Levi and the usual suspects). Interested in human wildlife? Check out Garnet Street in Pacific Beach, or the Gaslamp District downtown.

MAJOR REGATTAS

•Fall: San Diego Fall Classic, Row for the Cure

•Spring: San Diego Crew Classic

SEATTLE

Rowing in Seattle is rather mystical. Rowers often start their day by launching while looking at the top of Mount Rainier, and seeing the reflection of dawn breaking over the city skyline all in one glance. Then there is plenty of water to choose from, all of which has a different flavor and feel. One direction can take rowers up a shipping canal toward the Puget Sound (the Locks) where there are barges, huge ships and fishing vessels along the shore. Rowing in Lake Union offers the opportunity to see the awesome Seattle city skyline. Turn north from Lake Union and Portage Bay is home to many houseboats bobbing up and down on the water. The Montlake Cut, or “the cut” as it is known, connects Puget Sound via the Locks to Lake Washington. Once through the cut, Husky rowers generally populate this area. Rowing in Lake Washington offers spectacular views of the Olympic Mountain ranges and Mt Rainier.

Rowers can go out every day of the year. Inclement weather is few and far between, though a constant soft drizzle in the winter is common. When the sun is out, it is arguably one of the most spectacular urban rowing landscapes.

CLUBS ALLOWING GUEST ROWING

•Cascade Rowing

•Conibear Rowing Club

•Lake Union Crew

•Lake Washington Rowing Club

•Moss Bay Rowing and Kayaking Center

•Pocock Rowing Center

SITES OF INTEREST

Seattle is comprised of twenty-six neighborhoods all of which have their own character and charm. Fremont, near Lake Washington Rowing Club, is a funky/artsy neighborhood full of unique boutiques, restaurants and pubs. In Fremont, you can visit the infamous Troll that overtook a VW BUG that lives underneath the Aurora Bridge or the rocket ship that is stuck on a building or the statue of People Waiting for the Bus.

A few miles from Fremont is another neighborhood called Ballard. In Ballard, it’s still possible to hear Swedish and Norwegian being spoken on the streets. Ballard traditionally housed Seattle’s fishing industry, which was dominated by Scandinavian immigrants. If you want fresh-caught fish from the market, this is the place to go.

North of the University District is the Greenlake neighborhood. This hugely popular lake has a walking/biking/ rollerblading path around the whole lake (about 3 miles). The north side of Greenlake has some wonderful coffee shops and a great chowder house.

Capitol Hill is the gay/lesbian/artsy part of Seattle. It is known for its nightlife and houses a trendy strip of nightclubs. The best cup of coffee in Seattle can also be had on Capitol Hill, at Espresso Vivace.

The downtown Seattle area boasts one of the most famous open-air markets: Pike Place. This market is known for its flying fish, crafts, food, pastries and shopping. Virtually anywhere you go in Seattle, you’ll find something totally different and unique.

MAJOR REGATTAS

•Fall: Head of the Lake Regatta

•Spring: Opening Day Regatta

WASHINGTON, D.C.

Rowing in the nation’s capital dates back to the early 1800’s. The oldest boat club in Washington, D.C., Potomac Boat Club (circa 1869), is well over one-hundred and thirty years old. Thompson’s Boat Center, a public facility located a half-mile down river from Potomac Boat Club hosts the majority of the high school and collegiate rowing programs in the area. At Thompson’s Boat Center, individuals can rent single sculls by the hour, providing they can prove they have sculling experience. Capital Rowing Club, located next to the Navy Yard, in southeast D.C., rows on the Anacostia River, and also offers opportunities for guest rowing. Perhaps the best thing about rowing in D.C. is being able to see many of the monuments from the shoreline such as the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, and Arlington Cemetery to name a few.

CLUBS ALLOWING GUEST ROWING

•Capital Rowing Club

•D.C. Strokes Rowing Club

•Potomac Boat Club

•Thompson Boat Center

•Alexandria Community Rowing

SITES OF INTEREST

Obviously the tourist attractions are numerous in Washington, DC, but a couple of sites near Potomac Boat Club and Thompson’s Boat Center include the Iwo Jima Memorial and Arlington Cemetery, the National Cathedral, a plethora of monuments on and around the Smithsonian, and walking and shopping in historic Georgetown, Dupont Circle and Adams Morgan. If you’re in the neighborhood of Capital Rowing Club, a nice place to visit on the weekends is the Eastern Market, an open-air crafts and foods market that has been in existence for over 100 years. It’s directly across the street from the Eastern Market metro stop.

A nice place to have lunch or dinner right on the Potomac River is Tony & Joe’s or Sequoia’s at the Washington Harbor in Georgetown. In fair weather, these restaurants are packed on the weekend, and are great places for people watching.

MAJOR REGATTAS

•Fall: Head of the Potomac, September

•Summer: Crabfeast Regatta, July

•Spring: Oxford-Cambridge alumni regatta

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