There’s plenty of excitement in the air as summer begins in Southern Maryland. You might be looking for the best way to enjoy the next few months and maybe even work on your tan. With about a thousand miles of shoreline in this beautiful region, here are some of the best beaches to lounge on:
1. North Beach
Where: 9023 Bay Avenue, North Beach, MD
This beach is a popular choice, especially for those coming from the D.C. area. It was voted “Best Bay Beach” and boasts some lovely sunsets year-round. The beach itself isn’t too large, so make sure you show up early on summer days to get a good spot. They offer equipment rentals like beach chairs and umbrellas to help you enjoy your time there. For the more adventurous, they also rent kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, and inner tubes to enjoy on the water. You can even rent bicycles here to explore the town. If you get hungry, there are a few charming little restaurants and shops to explore near the water as well.
2. Point Lookout State Park
Where: 11175 Point Lookout Rd, Scotland, MD
While it’s hard to compare, Point Lookout State Park offers some of the most scenic views around. Located in St. Mary’s County on a peninsula between the Chesapeake Bay and the Potomac River, you can explore around the park or lounge on the beach. Point Lookout is also a great spot to go fishing, crabbing, and clamming. You might even spot wildlife like ospreys here. The beautiful natural surroundings contrast with its history as the site of a Confederate prison camp during the Civil War. If you want to delve into a little history, you can check out their Civil War Museum/Marshland Nature Center during your day here.
3. Breezy Point Beach and Campground
Where: 5300 Breezy Point Rd, Chesapeake Beach, MD
This beach in Calvert County is the perfect escape for Maryland residents and tourists alike. With a half-mile of sandy beaches, you can spend an afternoon sunning yourself or taking a swim in their netted area. Surrounded by the Chesapeake Bay, this picturesque beach is also great for searching for prehistoric fossils like shark teeth. There’s also a 200-foot pier where you can fish and crab. If you want to make a family weekend out of it, they have an attached campground where you can set up for the night after a long, fun day at the beach.
4. Calvert Cliffs State Park
Where: 10540 H G Trueman Rd, Lusby, MD
I’ve mentioned this unique park before, but it bears repeating, particularly for its sandy beach. It takes a hike and an adventurous spirit to reach the beach at the edge of the Calvert Cliffs, but it’s definitely worth the effort. After you travel through the trails which run through freshwater and tidal marshland, you’ll be rewarded when you reach the cliffs and the gorgeous beach. These cliffs originate back to over 15 million years ago, and the beach itself is filled with hidden fossils that echo its prehistoric past. Not only can you swim and cool off here, but you can search the beach for fossils from sharks, rays, whales, and seabirds. It’s family and dog-friendly here, but just make sure to keep your dogs leashed.
5. Flag Ponds Nature Park
Where: 1525 Flag Ponds Parkway, Lusby, MD
This beach rests within Flag Ponds Nature Park, which leads you to the Calvert Cliffs as well, but is a shorter hike down than from Calvert Cliffs itself. The most direct route to the beach is a half-mile down a paved and gravel path, but you can also opt to take longer trails to explore more of this lovely nature park. They also have observation platforms at two ponds as well as a Visitor Center to check out, making it a place the whole family can enjoy for the day. It fills up quickly on summer weekend days, so make sure to show up early.
With plenty of both state and national parks, as well as public beaches in Southern Maryland, it’s easy to find a great oceanside spot to enjoy your summer day. I recommend considering what kind of beach experience you’re looking for, whether you’re looking for somewhere dog-friendly, somewhere you can rent a kayak and explore the waters, or maybe somewhere you can set up camp for the weekend. What are some of your favorite beaches in SOMD? Share with us in the comments.