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Best Public Beaches And Reservoirs To Spend A Summer Day In Washington DC

June 8, 2013 8:00 AM

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Tourists line the beach in Ocean City, Maryland. (Credit: JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)

Tourists line the beach in Ocean City, Maryland. (Credit: JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)

File photo of a Hawaii beach. (credit: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

File photo of a Hawaii beach. (credit: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Summer is just around the corner, and there is no better way to enjoy the season than a sun-soaked day at the beach. These three beaches are within a short drive D.C., so you don’t need to worry about buying airline tickets or spending a huge amount of money to enjoy sand and sun.  Each one of these beaches has plenty of warm water, as well as other fun outdoor activities, so get ready to dust off your bathing suit and take out those flip-flops!

Sandy Point State Park
1100 E. College Parkway
Annapolis, MD 21409
(410) 974-2149
www.dnr.state.md.us

If your time is limited, head to Sandy Point State Park in Annapolis. It is the closest beach to the District, allowing you to maximize your sunbathing time and minimize the time you spend in transit. Lifeguards are on the beach from May to September, so you can enjoy safer swimming, in addition to tanning, hiking, picnicking and boating. There are showers available, as well as a food stand if you don’t want to bring your own food. The state park overlooks the Chesapeake Bay and Bay Bridge, so it offers a lovely scenic spot to enjoy your summer day or take family photos. Boats are available for rental, and pets are welcome in some areas. Sandy Point is great for friends, families or even just a day for two on the beach. See the website for information on parking fees, hours, boat rental costs and special events such as the Chesapeake Bay Blues Festival. Sandy Point is the ideal place to escape from the hectic city, especially when temperatures start rising.

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Chesapeake Beach
Chesapeake Beach, MD 20732
(301) 855-8398
www.chesapeake-beach.md.us

Chesapeake Beach has a cozy small-town vibe to it, while still offering all of the attractions of a popular beach: sun and surf, boating, biking and beachfront dining. One of the best features of this beach is its huge water park, which is great for families with young kids. Older kids can bike or walk along the Chesapeake Beach Railway Trail, located behind the water park. There are also several marinas, where boats can be rented for the day, and which also feature lovely seaside dining options. The beach does have a number of fun summer events including a stars and strips festival and an exciting Fourth of July party on the beach. Less than an hour from D.C., this beach is perfect for a day trip. The website has more information on their events and summertime specials, such as the moonlight cruise on Chesapeake Bay.

North Beach
8916 Chesapeake Ave.
North Beach, MD 20714
(301) 855-6681
www.northbeachmd.org

Known for its many attractions, North Beach is a great place to visit for a day or weekend. Its main feature is the beautiful sandy beach overlooking the Chesapeake Bay, but this beach town has much more to offer. The boardwalk is great for a jog or leisurely stroll, with a whole host of interesting stores and boutiques and extensive dining options. The bar and grills are especially popular for their casual atmospheres, tasty fare, and drink specials. There is also a farmer’s market, a wildlife refuge and the Bayside History Museum. North Beach is perfect for a relaxing getaway from the hectic city life of D.C. There are fees for visiting the beach, parking, umbrella rentals and kayak, paddleboat, and bicycle rentals so be sure to check the website before you visit. The website also has information on the plethora of special summertime events such as free movie nights, campfires, concerts, fireworks and the annual dragon boat festival.

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Priya Konings is a freelance writer and restaurant critic in Washington D.C. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.

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