The Best Chesapeake Beaches in Maryland
Need ideas on the best Chesapeake beaches in Maryland? Look no further. The Chesapeake Bay is quite gorgeous and offers a wide variety of beaches to choose from. You will find some with boardwalks and others with a more natural beach feel; some are even surrounded by woods!
Because the Chesapeake Bay is enormous and has miles of coastline, there are tons of beaches to explore. There are over 1000 different areas with public access to enjoy this stunning Bay. Instead of going to Ocean City, if you live close to the Chesapeake Bay, it is well worth the visit and provides plenty of incredible beaches the entire family will love.
Here are the best Chesapeake beaches in Maryland all along the Chesapeake Bay!
The Best Chesapeake Beaches in Maryland
1. North East Beach
Elk Neck State Park has one of the best beaches to visit in Maryland if you want to swim. It is at the top of the Chesapeake Bay, so it has more freshwater, meaning you probably won’t see many jellyfish on the North East Beach.
You will find a playground for the kids to enjoy on the beach. Because you can do so many fun water activities, this is a very popular beach and a great spot to visit with your family!
At the park, you can enjoy a nice trail leading to the Turkey Point Lighthouse. Along the way, you will see picnic areas by the water.
To get to this beach, you will have to pay a small fee of $3 to $4.
2. Hammerman Beach
Another popular destination along the shores of the Chesapeake Bay is Hammerman Beach, located in Gunpowder Falls State Park. It is a pretty big beach, and with the river running into the Bay here, you won’t see jellyfish at all, making it a popular spot for swimming, kayaking, and all other water activities, especially during the summer.
There are plenty of picnic tables and even grills to have a nice summer BBQ while enjoying the beach. Because you can visit this beautiful beach all year round, it is a local favorite!
You will find plenty of parking areas at this beach which makes it a convenient one to visit any time of the day. Depending on the time of year you visit, you will have to pay a fee between $3 to $7.
3. Betterton Beach
Betterton Beach is also in the upper bay and gets its water from the Sassafras River, which means no jellyfish are at this beach either! Here you will find shady picnic areas, grass, plenty of parking, a boardwalk, and a beautiful beach.
This beach is another great kid-friendly beach, and it is absolutely free to go to! This used to be a resort town, but after the Great Depression, it slowly declined. If you want a small-town experience, you will love Betterton Beach!
4. Rock Halls Ferry Park Beach
For a stunning beach sunset, you’ll want to visit Ferry Park. It boasts breathtaking views of the Chesapeake Bay and the western shore, as well as some of the greatest sunsets possible, and has pavilions, picnic tables, and BBQ pits.
Because it is a smaller beach, it rarely gets overcrowded, making it the ideal location for families who want some extra space and a fun time together.
5. Downs Park Public Beach
Downs Park is located in Anne Arundel County and is another beach that offers incredible views of the Chesapeake Bay. While you cannot swim at this beach, you can enjoy the beauty it brings while enjoying other aspects of the park.
You will find playgrounds, nature trails, a fishing pier, basketball courts, and many other great outdoor activities.
It costs $6 per vehicle to get into Downs Park. This is definitely one of the top best Chesapeake beaches in Maryland.
6. Fort Smallwood Park Beach
At Fort Smallwood Park Beach, you will find everything you could hope for on a beach. This is a great place to swim, fish, hike, and enjoy nature to its fullest. There is even a picnic pavilion to enjoy as well. Kids will also enjoy playing on the playground at this park as well.
It costs $6 per vehicle to access this beach.
7. Sandy Point State Park
One of the best places to go swimming in the entire state, Sandy Point State Park’s one-mile beach is wide and sandy. The park also features fishing piers, boat rentals, a park store, public restrooms, and walking trails. And if you’d rather stay on dry land, the park also offers a sandy campsite and playground equipment for kids.
Depending on the season, you will pay between $3 to $5 to visit this beach. Sandy Point is one of our fave best Chesapeake beaches in Maryland and also a great state park to visit.
8. Matapeake Beach
This gorgeous stretch of beach is reached via a short trail and is located in Stevensville. The white sand and blue waters are what make this a memorable beach, along with the Matapeake Clubhouse. This is another one of the beaches in the Chesapeake Bay that is swimmable.
There is a special dog trail in the woods surrounding the beach. You will also find a picnic area and an outdoor amphitheater too!
It is free to visit this beach, and it is perfect for families who want to swim, fish, and bring their dogs to the beach!
9. North Beach
If you’re looking for a great bay beach that’s accessible year-round, look no further than North Beach in Annapolis. There is a gorgeous boardwalk along the beach to enjoy, and it is a great one to take a dip in the water. Be sure to be careful on the southern beaches for jellyfish during the summer months.
In the summer months, go fishing and swimming, and when you are finished, get ice cream and take a walk on the boardwalk. It is the perfect place for families who want to visit a nice beach!
If you are a county resident, you can visit this beach for free. Otherwise, there are certain fees.
The town of North Beach is fun to explore as well as there are plenty of good stores around. Labor day weekends tend to be busier than normal.
10. Oxford Beach
This golden-sand beach is another one of the Chesapeake Bay beaches you will love. It has recently been renovated, and the beach area is now a shorter but wider beach. You will also find improved amenities here as well including public restrooms, outdoor showers, and a parking lot.
One of the best parts about Oxford Beach is the scenic views of the sunset on the water. The Oxford Town Park has even built-in stadium seating to enjoy the sunsets from!
11. Chesapeake Beach
Chesapeake Beach actually doesn’t have a public beach at all! However, North Beach and Brownies Beach are both public beaches right next door. Close by, in the town of Chesapeake Beach, you can also find charter fishing, the Chesapeake Beach Railroad Museum, and many other interesting things to do.
While it may not be the actual beach, there are plenty of things to do that make the visit worthwhile. One of the best things to do here is to visit the Chesapeake Beach Water Park! Here are some nice indoor and outdoor waterparks in Maryland for kids too.
If you come here, be sure to visit the local restaurants for some delicious seafood and some great places to go fishing in Maryland.
12. Brownies Beach
Bayfront Park, also known as Brownies Beach, is closed to all non-residents as of right now. However, it is quite beautiful and has a short trail to reach the sandy shores. This is more of an all-natural beach with no facilities nearby. Here you will find some cool driftwood pieces and other beach treasures!
13. Breezy Point Beach
If you’re looking for one of the best beaches in the entire bay area, look no further than Breezy Point Beach. This beach is one of the most popular spots on the bay, and it’s also one of the most accessible.
The big and wide sandy shores make it a perfect place to visit any time of the year. One of the best times to visit is during Memorial Weekend. It is a great beach for families as it has a netted swimming area to help prevent jellyfish on the beach.
With a snack shack, beach rentals, a pier for fishing, picnic shelters, playgrounds, volleyball nets, and so many more amenities, this is definitely one of the Chesapeake Beaches to visit, even if there is a fee to enter!
14. Calvert Cliffs State Park
Located in Calvert County, Calvert State Park is the perfect place for people who want to explore nature. This is one of the best places to find shark teeth on the entire Chesapeake Bay!
Here on the western shore of Chesapeake Bay, you will find prehistoric fossils from sharks, rays, seabirds, and even whales located along the cliffs.
While it is probably not one of the sandy beaches for swimming, it does offer a natural beach to go hiking and explore nature at its finest. This nature feature makes it one of the best things to do in Maryland with kids.
15. Flag Ponds Nature Park
If you want to find some awesome beach treasures, head to Flag Ponds Nature Park. Here you will also find some shark teeth, along with shells, driftwood, and plenty of natural rocks. This is a natural beach that changes all year long, so it remains clear and beautiful.
It is about half a mile’s walk to get to the beach, but it is definitely worth it. Families can come here and enjoy a nice day out in nature, and even dogs are allowed if you keep them on a leash. There are picnic tables and a playground at the top of the hill as well.
There is an entrance fee all year round for this beach.
16. Greenwell State Park Beach
At Greenwell State Park Beach, you will find plenty of hiking and biking trails to keep you busy. It is located on the southern end of Chesapeake Bay, so during the summer months, you can expect to see some jellyfish. However, it is perfectly fine to swim in during the spring months!
Besides swimming, you can go kayaking, canoeing, fishing, and even hunting during certain seasons. Have a nice picnic in the pavilion and enjoy this beautiful beach. You will have to pay a small fee to enter this beach as well.
17. Wellington Beach
Wellington Beach is one of the best southern beaches along the Chesapeake Bay. Here you will find a pirate-themed playground for your kids to enjoy and a nice community beach that is free to visit. Even dogs are allowed on this beach!
It is a wide sandy beach with few picnic areas. There is a pier on one side of the beach, perfect for crabbing or fishing. This beach offers some of the best sunsets along the ocean shore.
You can enjoy swimming at this beach during the summer with a netted section to prevent jellyfish from entering, making it a family-friendly Chesapeake beach as well.
18. Elm’s Beach Park
Another pet-friendly beach, Elm’s Beach, is a good-sized beach with cool waters to enjoy on a hot day. Here you will find picnic benches, a playground, and a few other great amenities. It is a great place for families to enjoy spending time at the beach! You can find a charcoal grill here and a pavilion perfect for a family picnic out on the waters.
There is a fee to enter Elm’s Beach Park, and it varies depending on if you are a resident or not.
19. Myrtle Point Park
If you want some great hiking trails along the beach, you will love Myrtle Point Park. There are a few hiking trails that will each lead you to the beach. It makes for some nice scenery before hitting the beautiful beach.
At this beach, you can swim, hike, fish, and have a picnic. You can also go visit Solomons Island if you want to as well. You’ll find some great amenities here, including a charcoal grill, picnic tables, and a bathroom.
There is a fee to head to this beach, but it is pet-friendly!
20. Point Lookout State Park
The Point Lookout State Park is another great Maryland beach to enjoy all year round. This state park is located right on the tip of Southern Maryland, which means you might encounter jellyfish during the warmer months.
This park is on a peninsula between the Potomac River and Chesapeake Bay. It has some very interesting history with the Civil War that is fun to learn about while you are there.
Here you will find grills, picnic tables, a playground, and plenty of sandy shorelines to enjoy. It is another one of the family-friendly beaches in Maryland and is a lot of fun to explore.
Conclusion: The Best Chesapeake Beaches in Maryland
With the miles of shoreline, these are some of the top beaches in the Chesapeake Bay to go visit in the state of Maryland.
The Chesapeake beaches are some of the best places to visit all year long for incredible views of the Bay and to relax on the waterfront. Enjoy any of these Maryland beaches during your next trip!