Discover why Washington D.C. is  a great place for a family vacation.


I love to be a tourist in my own town and that’s just what I was today. We joined some friends and headed downtown for a tour of Washington, DC with the DC Ducks.

The DC Ducks is a unique tour of DC in a converted WWII DUKW amphibious vehicle, which means after you take a drive past the major sites you’ll splash down into the Potomac River for a unique view of the city from the water. You may have seen similar tours in Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore or Seattle.

You can buy your tickets for the tours online (at a discount), but you are not able to choose a specific tour time. The vehicles leave from Union Station and are filled on a first come first serve basis. It is best to arrive early in the morning (9:00 am) to get your name on the list. If you don’t make the first car/boat at 10:00 am you can choose a later tour and come back. Union Station is near the Capitol and the National Mall so you will find you have plenty of options to fill your time if you end up on a later tour. We arrived at 9:30 am and were able to get on the first tour, but it is August – not the height of the tourist season.

We were with kids ranging in age from six to eight. It was a slow start (literally) as we were driving through DC traffic and the kids were a bit antsy and hot, but Captain Kent, our tour guide, kept it light and funny and the kids listened and asked questions. The tour is light on heavy history and heavy on fun facts.

Once we splashed down into the Potomac and headed out onto the water the kids got more into it, especially as the they were allowed to drive the boat. How cool is that!

And we watched as the planes landing at National airport flew right over us, cool and loud.

But it was about to get louder! Once we got back on dry land Captain Kent passed out the Quackers and we quacked our way back to Union Station,

Past the Jefferson Memorial

And the Air and Space Museum

And the Captiol.

After singing/quacking happy birthday to Captain Kent, it was his 49th birthday, we disembarked and I asked the kids what they thought. They gave it a thumbs up and we happily quacked our way back home.

Quick Facts:

  • Visit the DC Ducks website for complete information.
  • The tour is 90 minutes long and departs from Union Station. This is not a hop on/hop off tour, but the driver will stop after you exit the water for a bathroom break.
  • There is a metro stop and parking at Union Station. The DC Ducks ticket desk is just in front of you as you enter the main entrance of Union Station.
  • Tours run every 30 minutes from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, 7 days a week from mid-March through October. Tour buses do not run on Memorial Day, the 4th of July or the day of the Marine Corp Marathon.
  • Tickets may be bought in advance on the DC Ducks website for a discount or you may purchase tickets at Union Station. Tickets are $39.00 for adults and $29.00 for children under 12.
  • You can take food and water on the tour. It is advised to leave your strollers behind the ticket desk in Union Station.
  • There are lots of food options both in and around Union Station. Click here for some ideas.
  • And a final tip, for the best pictures sit on the right hand side.

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