15 Top-Rated Beaches in Maryland: Best Time To Visit In 2022

15 Top-Rated Beaches in Maryland: Best Time To Visit In 2022

Maryland has many miles of coastline that stretches from the shores of the Chesapeake Bay to the Atlantic Ocean. Whether you discover the free public beach or take a remote route and take the speedboat to a secluded beach is up to you, and you can do it all.

Some Maryland beaches advise their visitors not to swim because of strong currents; you must follow these signs for your safety.

Depending on where you visit, some beaches may be protected by lifeguards so children can swim more safely. Expect to encounter many swamps with shelters for wildlife. There is plenty to do in Maryland, but let’s take a look at the top 15 beaches in the state.

1. Ocean City

Top-Rated Beaches in Maryland
Top-Rated Beaches in Maryland

Ocean City Beach is a premier beach destination in Maryland. If you want to take public transportation, there is a bus ticket that you can buy throughout the day that will take you to the main attractions in Ocean City.

You can park at the Ocean City Park and Ride; plenty of free parking is available. The beach is free to enter and is open from 6:00 am to 10:00 pm; note that it is only patrolled from 10:00 am to 5:30 pm.

A section of beach is intended for surfers, and surf fishing is allowed 50 meters offshore. Many events take place on the boardwalk, so take a look at the schedule before planning your trip. There are nearby facilities including restaurants and shops.

2. Calvert Cliffs State Park

Top-Rated Beaches in Maryland

The Chesapeake Bay in Calvert Cliffs State Park, Maryland. Take a walk in nature and experience a less commercialized park. Calvert Cliffs State Park is located on the Chesapeake Bay.

This area offers visitors a beach full of unique fossils; a freshwater section, a marsh area ideal for fishing; a fun sandy beach to rest; and a playground with recycled tires for the kids to enjoy.

There are over 10 miles of trails in Calvert County, with beautiful scenic views all over the place. You can find them in the open beach area towards the red trail, about three kilometers from the parking lot if you want to hunt for fossils.

This area is fascinating; there are more than 600 different fossils.

3. Cherry Beach

Top-Rated Beaches in Maryland
Top-Rated Beaches in Maryland

Whether you want to go for a speedboat ride or canoe paddling, Cherry Beach is the place to go. Open from dawn to dusk, and it is ideal for water activities.

Due to strong currents, the beach itself is not the best for swimming. Parking, picnic areas, and restrooms are available to the public, and the beach is free to enter. Cherry Beach is a laid-back and easy place to kick back and get away from the city. It is a great place to enjoy solitude.

4. Sandy Point State Park

Top-Rated Beaches in Maryland

Sandy Point State Park has a million-dollar view and is open year-round. The 786-acre park is located on the northwest side of the Chesapeake Bay.

This may be the best picnic park in the state. The park was opened in the 1950s and remained a favorite with locals. From swimming and crabbing to hiking, biking, fishing, and picnicking, there are tons of activities to keep you busy all day.

Whether you’re fishing or boating, you have year-round access to Sandy Point State Park. If you want to rent a boat, there is also a marina. There is a minimal cost to enter the beach – paid per vehicle – but it is well worth it.

5. Assateague Island National Coast

Top-Rated Beaches in Maryland
Top-Rated Beaches in Maryland

The coast of Assateague Island is known for its majestic wild horses. The waves are strong, and the wind displaces the sand, making this island a perfect piece of paradise. There is a wildlife refuge here, home to many unique species of wildlife.

This island is off the coast of Maryland and Virginia and has 37 miles of shoreline. Swimming is excellent on the island, as is kayaking, crabbing, and clam fishing.

Camping is the best accommodation option on the island, so come prepared. There are more than 140 campsites with fully operational facilities.

If you are in Maryland and looking to experience something a little different, Assateague Island National Seashore is the place to go. Wild horses are amazing to see and take beautiful pictures.

6. Deep Creek Lake

Top-Rated Beaches in Maryland

Deep Creek Lake is the largest body of water in America and is located in the middle of the mountains. You can experience Deep Creek Lake during any season of the year.

Since the lake is relatively calm, it is a great place to paddle and take in the panoramic views. You can also see one of the tallest waterfalls in Maryland.

Whitewater rafting is challenging, but there’s no better place to do it than near Deep Creek Lake. There are many ski options in winter, and the area looks beautiful with the snow-capped mountains as a backdrop.

You can also go tubing in winter if you don’t like skiing. Once you get to Deep Creek Lake, all your worries will disappear.

7. Cunningham Falls State Park

Top-Rated Beaches in Maryland
Top-Rated Beaches in Maryland

Cunningham Falls State Park, located in the Catoctin Mountains, is a place you won’t want to miss. Rent a cabin or choose a campsite and spend a few days enjoying the sights.

You won’t want to leave from swimming and fishing to canoeing, hiking, and other outdoor activities. If you’re going to bring your pet, they are allowed at Addison Run, Manor Camping, and Bear Branch. Pets are also allowed on all trails.

It is important to note that people hunt in the park; certain areas are for permits only. If you are a nature lover, you will enjoy this place.

8. Breezy Point Beach

Top-Rated Beaches in Maryland

Breezy Point Beach is a great place to spend a few days and take advantage of camping. It is a seasonal location and offers excellent swimming, fishing, and picnics areas.

Admission fees range from $6.00 to $10.00, depending on when you decide to visit. If you need a wheelchair, you can use a beach wheelchair if you advise before your visit.

There are restrooms, charcoal grills, and concession stands for your convenience. Because the park fills up during the summer season, there are capacity limits; people are rejected once the space is filled.

9. Matapeake Beach

Top-Rated Beaches in Maryland
Top-Rated Beaches in Maryland

Matapeake Beach dates back to the 1930s when ferries used to go from Annapolis to Matapeake to connect people from eastern and western Maryland. There is a clubhouse on-site, serving food and drinks after the trip.

There is a public swimming beach that people can enjoy. Matapeake Beach is the perfect place to spend an afternoon enjoying delicious food and drinks. There is an open-air theater, which hosts events throughout the summer. This is a great beach to watch the sunrise or sunset; if you have time, stay for both.

10. Point Lookout State Park

Top-Rated Beaches in Maryland

Many people are familiar with Point Lookout State Park because of the lighthouse located at the southern end of the park.

If you want to know more about the park’s history, there is a museum called Point Lookout Civil War Museum, which you can visit from 9-5 PM from May to October.

In October, Point Lookout State Park is a bird watcher’s paradise. You will be able to observe birds of prey, songbirds, shorebirds, and other species. If you like ghost stories, you will be delighted to know that the lighthouse is recognized as one of the most haunted lighthouses in America. 

11. North Beach

Top-Rated Beaches in Maryland
Top-Rated Beaches in Maryland

North Beach is a famous beach that offers many fun festivities throughout the summer. This beach is a “swim at your own risk” beach, but it must be perfectly safe to do so.

Pets are allowed on the boardwalk but cannot be on the beach, or you will be fined up to $500. There are umbrellas and fishing chairs that can be rented and single and double kayaks, paddleboards, bikes, and tubes.

12. Chesapeake Beach

Top-Rated Beaches in Maryland
Top-Rated Beaches in Maryland

Chesapeake Beach is located in County Calvert, on the west coast. It is a seaside town with many different attractions.

You can walk along the Chesapeake Beach Railroad or catch a chartered fishing boat from the marina. If you are a history buff, visit the Chesapeake Beach Railway Museum to learn more about the area.

There are many different places to stay and eat, shops and even a water park to choose from. Chesapeake Beach has all the amenities you need. If you want to stay on the waterfront, then look at the Chesapeake Beach Resort hotel – the views are amazing.

13. Betterton Beach

With a population of 350, Betterton – located in northern Kent County – was known as a fishing village. With so much boat traffic coming from Philadelphia and Baltimore, tourism grew.

The docks and hotels were renovated to prepare all the tourists. The area began to develop into a resort town, bringing us to Betterton Beach.

Betterton Beach has a 5-acre shoreline with 700 feet of shoreline access and a 300-foot frontage for bathing. There are benches, restrooms, and picnic pavilions for public use.

14. Elk Neck State Park

Elk Neck State Park is located on a peninsula formed by the Chesapeake Bay, located in Cecil County. With over 2,188 acres of forests, swamps, cliffs, and sandy shores, this park is a great place to explore.

All forest areas can be used for hiking, biking, and camping. You can go boating, swimming, and fishing off the coast. Many hunters come to Elk Neck to hunt whitetail deer.

One of the main attractions of Elk Neck State Park is the Turkey Point Lighthouse, which is located in the southern part of the peninsula.

This place offers incredible scenery and views of the Chesapeake Bay. The best times to visit the park are early in the morning or after 6:30 pm.

15. Hart-Miller Island State Park

Hart-Miller Island State Park is located in Baltimore, on the Chesapeake Bay. You will have to take the boat to the park.

With over eight miles of trails and views of the beautiful pond and the Chesapeake Bay, you won’t want to miss out on exploring the trails. You can rent bikes if you prefer to explore this way.

The campsite is available for the summer season, from May to September. Bring your pet for the trip because pets are welcome on the island. There is also a boat for boaters.

Frequently Asked Questions: Top-Rated Beaches in Maryland

Does Maryland have good beaches?

Heading to the shore for a day, a weekend or even a week is a fun, relaxing option for travelers of all ages. For many who live in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia, the Maryland beaches are easiest to get to and full of activities to enjoy.

Does Maryland have good beaches?

Are the beaches in Maryland warm? Along this stretch of ocean beaches, the water averages above 70 °F (21 °C) during the summer. Some of the warmest sea water is at Solomons Island in Maryland, a fishing village and boating resort located where the Patuxent River empties into Chesapeake Bay.

Does Maryland have any beaches?

Maryland beaches are found fronting the Atlantic Ocean on the east, and along the Chesapeake Bay in the middle of the State. Beaches also extend along lakes and rivers further inland. While the most renown of Maryland’s beaches is in Ocean City, many are found scattered on the Eastern Shore.

Is Ocean City Maryland a nice beach?

Ocean City it a great beach town. There are tons of restaurants and bars which makes the town a wonderful vacation destination. Once summer ends the town empties out and it is a relaxing location. There are many parks for recreational activities.

Can you swim at Chesapeake Beach?

Chesapeake Beach, Maryland – This Calvert County Maryland town provides beach access at Bay Front Park. Elk Neck State Park – Located near North East, Maryland. This state park has a sandy beach for swimming and sun bathing. Picnic tables, playground, restrooms and showers.

Can you swim at Assateague Island?

Assateague State Park has one of the best swimming beaches in the area, and with water temperatures in the 70s during summer, many people get in the water as soon they get here. Kayaking and swimming in the calm bay side waters are absolutely fun too, and more secluded.

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