It's the dream of every person who wants to take some time to get away from it all: A nice, uncrowded beach where you can park your chair for a few hours and relax. Of course, reality tends to be a bit more of traffic jams, cruising the parking lot for an hour to find a spot, and wedging your chair next to the baby who won’t stop screaming.
Luckily, though, Maryland has a good number of beaches a bit off the beaten path—and here are some of our favorites.
1. Betterton Beach
Located near the mouth of the Sassafras River, Betterton Beach offers five acres of shore. It’s a small beach, to be sure, but well-kept, with its own boardwalk, picnic pavilion, and fishing jetty. Oh, and did we forget to mention that the town of Betterton only has 350 people? Which means beach access is much less of a headache.
2. Breezy Point Beach
At Breezy Point, you will find a half-mile of sand, a netted swimming area, grills, a pirate ship playground, bathhouses, a volleyball area, and a fishing pier. Pack a picnic (or, if you get there early enough to snag a grill, burgers and hot dogs) and eat in the shady luncheon area. On weekends in the summer, though, it can get busy, so an earlier start is recommended.
3. Assateague Beach
Let’s be real: Assateaugue Island is stunning. Pristine beaches, rolling dunes, and wild ponies roaming about, when paired with a lack of hundreds of other nature-seekers crammed into one space, lends itself to a wildly relaxing time.
4. Elk Neck State Park – North East Beach Area
This park is full of exciting things to see (like a lighthouse!), but offers a nice beach with shallow, warm water—perfect for a day of floating in Chesapeake Bay. Plus, there are bathrooms, showers, a convenience store, picnic tables, a playground, and more, meaning you won’t be roughing it (even if you are surrounded by nature).
5. Hart-Miller Island State Park
If you’re looking for something pretty far off the beaten path, the 3,000-foot sandy beach on Hart-Miller Island is ideal for you. This is mainly because while the beach is available for public use, the island can only be reached by private boat. Enjoy Chesapeake Bay knowing that most visitors with you will be locals, not tourists.
6. Sandy Point State Park
Found at the foot of Chesapeake Bay Bridge, this park features a length of beach along Chesapeake Bay. The beach is popular with sunbathers, fishermen, and crabbers alike, and you can rent boats from the park and get snacks on the beach as well.
7. Calvert Cliffs State Park
If you want seclusion, Calvert Cliffs is a fabulous option. It has a small, beautiful beach that you can only reach by taking the red trail and walking for a little less than two miles. The beach is nestled next to a cliff, and offers lovely views of Chesapeake Bay. Plus, the shore contains a variety of fossils, for those with a keen eye!