FX Excursions

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Family-Friendly Beaches on the Chesapeake Bay

by Barbara Rogers

Jul 27, 2022

Calvert Cliffs © Jon Bilous | Dreamstime.com


While the long barrier beaches of Ocean City and the wild Assateague Island National Seashore, both on the Atlantic Ocean, get the most attention, Maryland offers many smaller beaches on the Chesapeake Bay. Most of these are closer to Washington, D.C., and other population centers, handy for city-dwellers whose family travels call for a shorter trip.


Sandy Point State Park

Close to Annapolis, Sandy Point State Park is on the northwestern shore of Chesapeake Bay and features a mile-long sandy beach with a bathhouse and marina. Lifeguards are on duty daily from Memorial Day through Labor Day. You can also rent boats at the marina.


Matapeake Beach

Across Bay Bridge on Kent Island, Matapeake Beach is a long sandy beach with a large picnic area and a historic clubhouse that serves meals. Dog owners can follow a trail through the woods to a dog-friendly section of beach.


North Beach

Southeast of Washington, D.C., several beach areas are open to the public in and near the town of Chesapeake Beach. At North Beach, there’s a boardwalk with benches and a long fishing pier. North Beach is popular with families, especially in summer evenings when there are movies on the beach. During the busiest seasons, you will need to make reservations in advance to use this beach.


Breezy Point Beach

Just south of Chesapeake Beach is Breezy Point Beach, with a half-mile of sandy coastline and a secure swimming area for children. There’s a playground, barbecue grills and tables, as well as a campground. On summer weekends, check before going to be sure the beach is not at capacity.


Calvert Cliffs

Farther south along the shore, Calvert Cliffs rise dramatically for several miles, and at the foot is a quarter-mile sandy beach. You’ll have to earn this beach, with a 1.5-mile walk along a level trail, but children will love hunting for fossils in the sand. Even small children will be able to locate a handful of fossilized sharks’ teeth.


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