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Enjoy Your Summer Without Hopping on a Plane

Want to have some summer fun without the lines at the airport? There are tons of gorgeous, family-friendly beaches within driving distance of the Baltimore area. So pack your bags and grab a book—it’s time for fun on the beach!

The Best Local Beaches

There are many public beaches along the Chesapeake Bay of various sizes that will allow you to spend quality time with yourself or your family.

  • Breezy Point Beach in Southern Maryland: This beach is owned and operated by Calvert County and features ½ a mile of sandy beach, a netted swimming area, a fishing pier, a picnic area with grills, and a campground.
  • Betterton Beach in Kent County: This charming beach, which was used for a beach resort decades ago, is five acres complete with a boardwalk, fishing jetty, public pier, parking area, and restrooms. Thanks to the freshwater currents, this beach has lower salinity and few nettles.
  • Cape Charles Beach in Cape Charles, VA: Cape Charles Beach is open to the public and hosts ½ a mile of beach with space for swimming and sunbathing, along with a swimming pier.
  • Hart-Miller Island State Park in Baltimore County: This fantastic 244-acre island located in the Chesapeake Bay can only be accessed by boat. If you’re looking for a fun, semi-private way to connect with your family, this might be a perfect choice!
  • North Beach in North Beach, MD: This town is right on the Chesapeake Bay and hosts a large public beach. The beach has a fishing pier and is free to residents, but does have a small access fee for tourists.
  • Ocean View in Norfolk, VA: Ocean View is a stunning bayside town with gorgeous sandy beaches perfect for swimming and enjoying the great outdoors. Ocean View offers public restrooms and showers, along with plenty of other fun activities.

Watch Out for Biting Flies

One of the only downsides of spending time outdoors in the summer is biting flies. If you spend time outside near the beach, a sea breeze will keep biting flies away, but a land breeze will carry flies right along with it. These flies are usually annoying and leave behind small bites. Biting deer flies can, in rare cases, lead to serious side effects like lesions, fever, and allergic reactions. Deer flies look like big house flies and are yellow or black.

Pesticides can stop the larvae from maturing, but once the flies grow into adults, there is virtually nothing that can be done other than wearing bug spray to protect yourself. If you are in an area with a lot of biting flies, you can wear a nylon head net or special bug-repellant clothing. If you are planning to hit a beach that is known for having biting flies, we suggest you wait to visit until a windier day, where the sea breeze will carry the pests away.