Summer in Washington, D.C. is hot, humid and infamously muggy. Sure, D.C. residents can hang out in the area’s vast network of public parks and pools to keep cool, but many locals choose to pack a swimsuit, slather on sunscreen and head to the closest beach instead.
Luckily, you don’t have to go far when you’re headed to beaches near Washington, D.C. In fact, many of the best beach getaways are just a short drive away.
The 10 Best Beach Getaways Near D.C.
- North Beach – While nearby Chesapeake Beach’s Bayfront Park is closed for the 2021 season due to COVID-19, Maryland’s North Beach is open at reduced capacity. It is the closest beach to Washington, D.C., but you’ll need to purchase tickets to visit. Enjoy features like a fishing pier and a boardwalk with a bike path.
- Sandy Point State Park – Only 38 miles from the city center, this beach near Annapolis is the next closest beach to Washington, D.C. Entry fee is $4 per person during the week and $5 on holidays and weekends. Swim, sunbathe, bring a picnic, go fishing, or rent a boat, all under the shadow of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge.
- Breezy Point Beach and Campground – This Maryland beach is 42 miles north of D.C., is situated on a half mile stretch of Chesapeake Bay’s sandy shorefront and is open with a capacity cap. There’s a netted swimming area, seasonal and daily camping, and a 200-foot pier for fishing and crabbing.
- Gunpowder Falls State Park — This Maryland state park, located just 59 miles from D.C., has 120 miles of trails for hiking, biking and horseback riding. But it’s the Hammerman Area’s 1,500-foot beach and swimming area on the banks of the Gunpowder River that’s the real draw.
- Colonial Beach – Located 65 miles south of D.C. along the shores of the Potomac River, Virginia’s Colonial Beach is one of the best beach towns near Washington, D.C. and is home to the second largest beach in Virginia. Visitors can enjoy swimming and fishing at the beaches, or break out the boat and spend time on the water.
- Rehoboth Beach – Situated on the Delaware Shores, D.C. residents regularly drive the 106 miles to this beach resort town to enjoy the lively atmosphere, mile-long boardwalk, amusement park, an LGBTQ-friendly beach and summer events like the July 4th fireworks and concerts at the Rehoboth Beach Bandstand.
- Dewey Beach – This family-friendly beach town is just a short walk from Rehoboth Beach. Dewey Beach features wide shorelines and charming cottages nestled between the Atlantic Ocean and Rehoboth Bay. During the summer, Dewey offers family activities including movies and bonfires on the beach.
- Assateague Island National Seashore – The National Park Service oversees this 37-mile barrier island that straddles Virginia and Maryland. Less than 120 miles from D.C., district residents make the drive to swim, hike, bike, kayak, fish, crab, and even camp on the Maryland side of the island. But the main draws are the wild ponies that live among the beaches and the island’s salt marshes, making it one of the most unique beach getaways near D.C.
- Ocean City – This popular Maryland beach destination is 140 miles from D.C. and has one of the cleanest beaches on the East Coast. Ten miles of sandy beaches and a plethora of water activities, including jet skis, kayaks, canoes and even surfing, draw big crowds, especially on weekends. Along the southern portion of the beach you’ll find a 3-mile wooden boardwalk, pier, arcades, and amusement parks.
- Virginia Beach – One of the best beach towns near Washington, D.C. isn’t the closest beach to Washington, D.C., but the 209-mile trip is well worth the drive. Virginia Beach has plenty to offer, including a 38-block boardwalk, plenty of restaurants and breweries, as well as miles of sandy shore for surfing, parasailing, and kayaking with dolphins.
Apartment Hunting is a Day at the Beach with Southern Management
One of the best parts about summer is going to the beach, and despite being a major metropolitan area there are plenty of beaches near Washington, D.C. So, if you already live here, explore some of these suggested beach getaways this summer and decide for yourself what the best beach towns near Washington, D.C. are.
If you’re moving to the Washington, D.C. area and are looking for a place to live, start by browsing Southern Management’s apartment communities in Northern Virginia and Maryland.
Interested in learning more? We’d love to answer any questions about living in Northern Virginia and Maryland, specific communities, pricing, our Corporate Partner Program and more.