The waters closest to Baltimore are known more for crabs and the Naval Academy than they are for bathing suits and beach umbrellas. However, if you’re visiting the area and are up for a road trip, there are several beaches within a 2-3 hour drive from the Inner Harbor that will satisfy your sand lust. In addition, there are lakes and state parks perfect for swimming, picnicking and relaxing where you can still model your latest swimwear for all eyes to see. You may not have direct access to the Atlantic Ocean but these bodies of water will still get you wet and quench your thirst for all around fun in the sun.
Rehoboth/Bethany/Dewey Beaches in Delaware – These beach areas are popular summer getaways for Baltimore residents looking for sand, water, and sun. We’ve grouped them together because of their close proximity to one another. All three of the beaches are roughly 3 hours from the downtown Baltimore area and offer dining, entertainment, amusement, and lodging.
Ocean City is located on Maryland’s Eastern Shore and is approximately two and a half hours from Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. Easily accessible to residents in the Baltimore-Washington area, Ocean City is the most popular beach destination for locals. The area is home to numerous hotels, condominiums, a boardwalk, restaurants, and an amusement park.
Assateague Island is approximately two and a half hours from Baltimore, close to Ocean City just on the Maryland-Virginia border. Unlike other more refined beaches, Assateague’s attraction is its wild horses, wildlife, boat and kayaking tours, and outdoorsy feel. The unspoiled beaches on the island offer more rest and relaxation than they do restaurants, candy shops, and boardwalks. However, Ocean City and Chincoteague Island are just miles away and can offer the standard beach amenities that you may be looking for.
Sandy Point State Park - This 786-acre state park is nestled between Arnold and Annapolis, MD and is about 40 minutes from downtown Baltimore. Sandy Point sits just near the Bay Bridge with shorelines emptying into the Chesapeake Bay. Visitors can swim, crab, fish, boat, hike, camp, or just relax along the calm waters of the Chesapeake Bay.
Chesapeake Beach is located in Calvert County, Maryland, a little over an hour from the Inner Harbor. This quaint resort town houses a marina for boating, a railway museum and a water park. For a small fee, visitors can swim at Brownie’s Beach which sits on the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay.
Gunpowder Falls State Park - This 18,000-acre park is located in northwestern Baltimore County and eastern Harford County, approximately 20 minutes from the Inner Harbor area. Visitors can canoe, windsurf, kayak, fish, crab, tube, and swim in the Hammerman Area of the park, which offers 1,500 feet of beach and swimming.