The Maine Avenue Fish Market has been operating in some form since 1805. That makes it the longest continually operating open air fish market in the United States. For 200 years, this waterfront market in DC's Southwest quadrant has been a main feature of Washington Channel, just off of the Potomac River. The fish market was one of the defining river features for 19th century Washington along with Washington Navy Yard on the Anacostia, and the port at Georgetown on the Potomac.
The municipal market has seen plenty of changes over the years, but the latest change is the most significant. The market's surrounding area is being transformed into Washington, DC's newest entertainment district, aptly called "The District Wharf."
The Wharf is a mixed-use development with commercial, residential, and industrial uses, with some open/public space. It consists largely of new construction, but incorporates existing structures including the Maine Avenue market. New office buildings and residential towers abut a pedestrian promenade and the Washington Channel with slips for hundreds of boats. Phase I of the project opened in October 2017.
Some highlights for visitors to DC include a 6,000 capacity music venue, a dock for water taxis to Georgetown and Alexandria, several hotels, waterfront restaurants from casual to fine, a public fire pit, walkable piers into the Washington Channel, shops (clothing, books, furniture, more), and water sporting activities such as kayaking. The area is sure to adapt and evolve over time, but the mix of a historic base and new mixed-use density instantly make The Wharf a great option for visitors and are residents alike.
Ask about adding a stop at the Wharf as part of our day-long, private Discover DC van tours. If your DC accommodations are at the Wharf we're also happy to start a walking or van tour direct from your hotel. We'll come to you. Call to learn more 202-681-0046.
The Wharf is located at 1100 Maine Ave SW. It is accessible from L'Enfant Plaza or Waterfront Metro stations and has stations for Capital Bikeshare nearby. There is also a free shuttle bus that circulates from the development to the National Mall, to L'Enfant Plaza station, and back to the development.
District Wharf (official site)
Destination Wharf (five part news series)
Evolution of Washington DC's Southwest Waterfront (Destination DC)
The Problem With 'Fast-Casual Architecture' (architectural review)