The Best Beaches Near Washington DC
Ocean City, in Maryland, is one of the beaches accessible from Washington DC | © William S. Kuta / Alamy Stock Photo
It might be landlocked, and not a place you’d normally associate with a trip to the beach, but Washington DC
has a number of beaches nearby where you can cool off in summer. Here, Culture Trip shares the best ones that take between one and four hours to reach.
Possibly one of the closest beaches to reach from the city (just over an hour’s drive), Chesapeake Beach in Maryland is popular with those who like to go boating and enjoy fishing. But it’s also good for walkers who can enjoy a 1.4-mile (2.3km) stroll the boardwalk trail, which takes you along the Chesapeake Beach Railway. From there, you can also visit the museum to get a sense of the town’s history.
Sandy Point State Park
This hugely popular beach is known for its swimming and sunbathing, and will take you just under an hour and a half by car from DC. It’s popular with families, who can be spotted enjoying ball games in the summer, or having a picnic. It’s in the Chesapeake Bay area and stretches across 786 acres (318ha) of recreational grounds.
The beach in Ocean City is a little further away but definitely one to visit, especially if you have children. It takes about three and a half hours to get there, so may be worth an overnight stop, but once you arrive there’ll be no regrets. The 3mi (5km) long boardwalk offers plenty to do and see, including mini golf, a ferris wheel and an arcade. It’s also lined with plenty of restaurants, and if you want to get out onto the water, hire one of the kayaks – or you could even take a boat trip to Assateague Island nearby.
With a drive time of just over four hours, you’ll have to make the most of this one. And with a 3mi (5km) long boardwalk, there is plenty to keep you busy for an entire day, or more. The shallow and calm waters also make it the ideal location for families, and there are plenty of amenities with numerous restaurants close by. If you’re done with the water, why not rent a bike or a kayak. And if you fancy escaping the sunshine for a couple of hours, try the Virginia Aquarium or the Military Aviation Museum.