Learn fun-facts and bike to some of the city’s most notable sites via safe trailways and sidewalks. Twenty-one-speed comfort bikes are available for adults, plus trailer tandems and carriages for kids. The Guided Monuments or Sites@Nite tours are great for families. Each is a three-hour, four-mile tour that covers the monuments and memorials along the National Mall and Potomac tidal basin (with 5 to 10 minute stops at most).
Tip: The Sites@Nite Tour covers the same ground, only with cooler air, smaller crowds, and magnificent nighttime views. The daytime tours are $40 for adults and $30 for children 12 and under. Prices include bike rental, helmet, bottled water, and snack. Available March to November.
For a mix of family adventure and history tour, book the Mount Vernon Bike and Boat tour. This almost full-day outing begins at Bike and Roll’s Old Town Alexandria store. From there, pedal your way nine miles along the scenic woodsy Mount Vernon Trail to Mount Vernon Estate, then lock your bikes (Bike and Roll picks them up) and spend the day exploring Mt. Vernon’€™s expansive grounds, interactive exhibits and hundreds of original artifacts. Leave Alexandria by 11 a.m. in order to have enough time to see Mt. Vernon’s mansion, stables, animals, short films and sit back and enjoy the front lawn overlooking the Potomac. Board the Miss Christin for the 4 p.m. narrated boat cruise back to Old Town (arrives at 5:30 p.m.). Price includes bike rental/bike pick-up, admission to Mt. Vernon, and return boat ticket. Reserve by 12 p.m. on Fridays: 703-548-7655.
Tip: even though our 9-year-old son is quite good on a bike, we were glad we booked a trailer tandem for him and my husband to share because of some of the initial street crossings and for the hilly areas where they both grew tired. Take a break along the way at one of several scenic Potomac River overlooks.