Are you looking for a great beach to take the family to this summer? Then, check out our list of the best beaches in Maryland. Located on the East Coast, Maryland is a great place to explore a variety of experiences. From play areas, zoos, nature centers, beaches, you name it.
When it comes to beaches, Maryland is full of family-friendly and pet-friendly options ranging from the most popular ones like Ocean City to smaller ones.
With over 100 miles of coastline, Maryland has incredible options to keep you sun-kissed at the beach.
20+ Best Beaches in Maryland
If it’s the beach and water you are looking for, Maryland is where you should head. So whether you’re looking for a quiet beach to relax on or want to explore the waves, we’ve got you covered.
So pack up the sunscreen and head to one of Maryland’s beautiful beaches!
1. Ocean City Beach
One of the most popular and best beaches in Maryland for families is Ocean City Beach. With a long boardwalk, rides, restaurants, and plenty of shops, this beach can be enjoyed by everyone.
The beach is also dog friendly, so you can bring your furry friends along for the fun. Besides the beach, there are a ton of fun things to do in Ocean City, Maryland, with your kids. Make a day trip out of your trip to Ocean City.
2. Chesapeake Beach
If you’re looking for a more laid-back beach experience, Chesapeake Beach is the perfect spot. This beach is great for fishing, swimming, and relaxing in the sun. Plus, with plenty of restaurants and cafes nearby, you can always take a break from the sand to grab a bite.
A great restaurant close to Chesapeake Beach is The Crab Claw. This seafood spot is known for its fresh crab dishes and beautiful waterfront views.
3. Assateague Island National Seashore
This beach is perfect for those who love spending time outdoors. With miles of hiking trails and plenty of wildlife, Assateague Island National Seashore is one of the best places to explore. And if you’re lucky, you might even spot some wild horses.
If you’re looking to cool off, the beach here also has some of the best waves for surfing on the East Coast. So whether you’re a nature lover or an adrenaline junkie, this could be the beach for your family outings.
4. Assateague Island Beach
Same name but yet a different part of the beach. This section is dog-friendly all year long, so your furry friend can enjoy the sand and water too.
This beach is known for its clear waters, which make it perfect for water sports like swimming, kayaking, and stand-up paddle boarding. So if you’re looking for a little more adventure on your trip to the beach, this could be the place for you.
5. North Beach
The jewel of Chesapeake Bay is North Beach. This beach is perfect for those who want to enjoy the sun and the sand without all the crowds.
North Beach has a wide variety of shops and restaurants for the entire family to enjoy. And with its proximity to Washington, D.C., it’s the perfect place to escape the city for a day or two.
6. Calvert Cliffs State Park Beach
Located in Calvert county, this is a unique beach scenery. Massive cliffs that were formed 10-20 million years ago are what you will see at Calvert Cliffs State Park. A day-use park, it’s perfect for a family picnic or hike.
Many fossilized remains of sharks, stingrays, and fish can also be found on the cliffs. For those who want to cool off, there is a beach area where you can swim, sunbathe, and relax.
7. Sandy Point State Park Beach
Open year-round from 7 am to dusk, you can enjoy fishing and boating here at Sandy Point State Park. This park is more for those who enjoy fishing, as that is what is required when you are there.
However, many hiking and biking trails go through the park as well. If you are looking for a place to have a family reunion or wedding, this is the perfect spot, as they offer pavilions that can be rented.
8. Breezy Point Beach
This seasonal public beach offers camping, a fishing pier, swimming, a playground, and picnic areas. You can find this beach located on the Chesapeake Bay. If you are looking for a place to go crabbing, this is it!
They also offer canoe boat rentals and kayak rentals at Breezy Point Beach, so you can explore all the bay offers.
9. Fort Smallwood Park
This park offers many activities, such as fishing, swimming, picnicking and more. You can even bring your dog as long as they are on a leash no longer than six feet. Some pavilions can be rented for parties and events. The best part about Fort Smallwood Park is that it offers an amazing view of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge.
10. Deer Creek Beach
Located in western Maryland’s Garrett County is Deer Creek State Park. Over 1800 acres in size, it has two swimming beaches, a mile of shoreline, campgrounds, and hiking trails. Most importantly to some, Deer Creek is a dog-friendly beach.
11. Hammerman Beach, Gunpowder Falls State Park
A day-use park that features a wide, sandy beach on the Gunpowder River. The river is shallow and great for wading and swimming. There are also picnic pavilions, a playground, and volleyball courts.
Dogs are allowed in all areas of Gunpowder Falls State Park EXCEPT Hammerman Beach from Memorial Day to Labor day.
12. Tilghman Island Beaches
Three beaches on Tilghman Island are open to the public and are all dog friendly. The public beaches are located at the end of each street: Bayly, Second, and Dog Beach Road.
All three beaches have a pavilion, picnic tables, a fishing pier, and beautiful views of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. Plus, Tilghman Island is a must-visit.
13. Elk Neck State Park
This is a small beach but just as beautiful, with stunning views of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. The beach is covered in a lot of rocks, so shoes are advised. It’s perfect for swimming, fishing, picnicking, and relaxing as well. It also has a nice walking trail leading up to the turkey point lighthouse, where you can get a beautiful view and climb up to the top of the lighthouse if it’s open. If you have little ones, be careful, as the hills can be quite steep.
14. Cherry Beach
This is the perfect beach if you are looking to enjoy some boating and fishing. It is also a pet-friendly beach, so bring your furry friends along to enjoy the day. Cherry Beach has a fishing pier, a shaded picnic area with lots of benches and tables, a boat ramp, and even a playground area for kids.
15. Deep Creek Lake
Deep creek lake is such a beautiful lake. It offers about 3,900 acres of lake and 69 miles of shoreline. It’s a perfect beach for every season as you can do a variety of sports here all year round. Families can enjoy some rafting, dog sledding, fishing, and more.
There is also the Deep Creek Lake Discovery Center, where kids can explore the exhibits and learn about the wildlife in the area. The lake also has a nature center and playgrounds for kids to have fun.
16. Hart-Miller Island State Park
One thing to note is that Hartmiller Island state park is only accessible by boat, which makes it less popular than most other beaches in Maryland. However, it is worth it if you can make your way down there. The Island has about 8 miles of trails for walking or hiking, bike rentals, and camping sites. Kids can enjoy exploring the beach and bird watching as well.
17. Cunningham Falls State Park
Located in Catoctin Mountain and close to DC, Cunningham Falls has a small but nice lake with a beach and great hiking trails. Families can also enjoy kayaking on the lake or hanging out on the campgrounds. This state park also has waterfalls which are the largest in Maryland.
Guests can get to the waterfall using the Upper Falls trail, which is the easy route and is about a mile walk round trip on gravel ground. They can also take a more challenging route, the Cliff trail, which is very popular but contains a lot of uneven hills and rocky surfaces to walk on. For younger kids, be careful as the rocky surfaces are slippery when wet.
18. Betterton Beach
This is another great family-friendly beach located in Eastern shore Maryland. It started as a fishing village and then became a beach resort.
It has a bathhouse where guests can get changed and wash off the sand from the beach before heading out. It also has several restrooms, about 500 feet of boardwalk, and more. If your family loves fishing, the beach also allows fishing and boating.
One great thing about this Maryland beach, which is perfect for little kids, is that the water is not deep, and they can easily enjoy the calm waters.
19. Matapeake Beach on Kent Island
Another great beach in Maryland is Matapeake Beach, located on the beautiful Chesapeake Bay on Kent Island. There is ample opportunity to enjoy swimming at the beach, a family picnic, and hiking around the woods. This is also a dog-friendly beach as it has a dog beach where you can take your dogs to enjoy their private swim.
Although not a large beach, it has an outdoor amphitheater to enjoy shows. One thing to be careful about, the beach sometimes has a lot of jellyfish around.
20. Rocky Point Beach
Rocky point beach is close to Hartmiller Island State Park, which is only accessible by boat, but it is possible to kayak to Hartmiller from Rocky point beach.
Due to its proximity to Hartmiller, you get a nice view of all the boats sailing through. The beach also has a lot of picnic areas, a volleyball court, a sailing center, a fishing pier, and a boat ramp. If you have kids, they are not left out, as the beach has many playgrounds to keep them entertained.
21. Rocky Gap State Park Beach
If you are looking for a nice quiet beach with lots to do, check out Rocky Gap State Park beach. It has a really beautiful lake with sandy beaches, bathhouses to wash off the sand, boat rentals, lots of space to have picnics, and more.
To top it off, there is also a golf course and a resort town with a casino with a variety of bars and restaurants to explore. On New Year’s Eve, the casino does some fireworks.
22. Point Lookout State Park Beach
Point Lookout State Park beach is located between the Chesapeake Bay and the Potomac River in St. Mary’s County. This beach holds a ton of festivities annually. In October, the Invasion of Point Lookout tells guests more about Point Lookout as it relates to the Civil war of 1812.
Like most beaches, families can enjoy boating, fishing, hiking, hunting, grills, picnic tables, and more. They also have playgrounds to entertain kids.
Get Ready To Explore the Best Beaches in Maryland
Any Maryland beaches mentioned above will be perfect if it’s family time or alone time. Enjoy walking, hiking, swimming, playing in the sand, enjoying a picnic, camping, boating, or fishing. You can have anything your heart desires when it comes to beach time in Maryland.
With more than 3100 miles of shoreline, there is plenty of opportunity to feel the sand between your toes.