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11 Fantastic Beaches near Baltimore, MD: within 1 hour drive

Baltimore's beaches are great for swimming, kayaking, fishing, and picnicking with friends. Many allow dogs and have excellent restrooms and showers.

Driving to Rehoboth Beach or Ocean City to enjoy beach activities is a long task, there are plenty of options much closer to Baltimore.

Local beaches are great for swimming, kayaking, fishing, and picnicking with friends. Many allow dogs and have excellent restrooms and showers.

Here are the 11 beaches closest to Baltimore!

1. Rocky Point Beach 

An empty chair in a waterscape background on the Chesapeake Bay
Source: dreamstime
  • Distance from Baltimore: 20 miles
  • Activities: swimming, fishing, kayaking, hiking, picnics, volleyball
  • Facilities: restrooms, boat ramp, trails, playground, volleyball court

Rocky Point Beach and Park, located in Essex, and merely a 20-mile drive from Baltimore, is an idyllic coastal area offering a range of facilities and activities for visitors. 

The beach spans a generous 375 feet, presenting opportunities for swimming, sunbathing, and beach volleyball, while the adjoining park extends over a sizable 375 acres.

For those interested in outdoor group activities, the park offers two spacious picnic areas. 

These areas are equipped with pavilions and grills for public use, fostering an environment ideal for family outings and social gatherings. 

Furthermore, the expansive playground provides an entertaining spot for children to play and interact.

Apart from its recreational features, Rocky Point Beach stands out for its historical significance. 

It was once the location of a popular amusement park, a historical echo that adds a distinct charm to the location. 

This blend of recreational opportunities, comprehensive facilities, and rich history makes Rocky Point Beach a popular spot for locals and tourists alike.

2. Miami Beach Park

Man in a single Kayak viewed through grassy swamp land in Chesapeake Bay, Maryland.
Source: dreamstime
  • Distance from Baltimore: 21 miles
  • Activities: swimming, fishing, kayaking, hiking, picnics
  • Facilities: restrooms, trails, playground, grills, seasonal rentals

Located in Middle River, Maryland, Miami Beach Park is a hidden gem offering an array of activities and facilities for visitors. 

Spanning a well-maintained 60-acre area, this coastal spot is an inviting destination for both locals and tourists.

The park’s beach area is a primary draw, perfect for those eager to swim or bask in the summer sun. 

Seasonal kayak and pedal boat rentals add to the dynamic atmosphere.

For fishing enthusiasts, Miami Beach Park provides a fishing pier, a haven for those seeking the thrill of the catch, with the serene backdrop of the Gunpowder River. 

A boat ramp is also available, facilitating easy access for watercraft into the River and the Chesapeake Bay beyond, a favorite among boating enthusiasts.

The park boasts a large picnic area equipped with tables and grills, making it an ideal location for family gatherings or social events. 

An expansive playground area caters to the younger crowd, making the park a family-friendly destination.

Four-pawed friends are welcome at the beach, too.

Also, Miami Beach Park is home to diverse local flora and fauna, allowing visitors to connect with nature and learn about the area’s biodiversity.

3. North Point Beach

Beach at North Point State Park MD
Source: wikimedia/CC BY-SA 4.0
  • Distance from Baltimore: 17 miles
  • Activities: swimming, fishing, kayaking, hiking, picnics
  • Facilities: restrooms, trails, playground, grills, piers

Situated in the heart of Edgemere, just a short drive from Baltimore, North Point State Park features a scenic beach that attracts locals and tourists alike. 

Sprawling over 1,310 acres, this coastal state park offers an abundance of activities, making it an ideal location for outdoor enthusiasts.

North Point Beach is a popular spot for swimmers who seek a refreshing dip in the waters of the Chesapeake Bay. 

Lifeguards are on duty only at designated times during the summer season, and the water is rather shallow.

Fishing is another prominent activity here. 

North Point State Park houses fishing piers, creating the perfect spot for catching a variety of local fish species. 

The park also features several hiking trails that weave through diverse ecosystems, including wetlands, fields, and woodlands. 

When it comes to facilities, North Point State Park offers numerous grills and picnic areas for visitors. 

As a state park, North Point does have an entry fee. As of 2023, the fee was $4 per vehicle for Maryland residents and $6 for out-of-state vehicles.

4. Fort Smallwood Park

Fort Smallwood Park on the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland in Autumn
Source: dreamstime
  • Distance from Baltimore: 25 miles
  • Activities: swimming, fishing, kayaking, hiking, picnics
  • Facilities: restrooms, trails, playground, grills, piers, boat ramp

Situated 25 miles from Baltimore, Fort Smallwood Park offers an alluring blend of outdoor recreation and historical significance. 

Swimming is a popular summer pastime at the park’s designated swimming area, a stretch of sandy beach providing a serene space for leisure and exercise. 

Fishing enthusiasts can take advantage of the pier that reaches into the Patapsco River, offering an ideal spot for catching a variety of fish species.

For those with a passion for hiking, the park’s numerous trails, which wind through an assortment of natural landscapes, offer both light exercise and captivating views. 

Numerous grills and picnic areas can be found within the park, perfect for family outings or group gatherings.

One of the distinguishing features of Fort Smallwood Park is its historic gun battery and barracks. 

These remnants from the late 19th and early 20th centuries provide a glimpse into the past, offering both education and intrigue.

Maintaining a clean environment is a priority at Fort Smallwood Park. It is well-known for its cleanliness.

As a county park, Fort Smallwood does charge a fee for entry – $6 per vehicle for Anne Arundel County residents and $9 for non-residents.

5. Downs Park Beach

Dachshund Dogs running on a beach
Source: unsplash
  • Distance from Baltimore: 27 miles
  • Activities: swimming, fishing, kayaking, hiking, biking, picnics
  • Facilities: restrooms, trails, playground, grills, piers, dog beach

Located in Pasadena, Downs Park Beach offers a variety of recreational activities and facilities to its visitors. 

Occupying sprawling 236 acres, this park effortlessly merges natural beauty and well-designed amenities, providing an engaging experience for all who visit.

For water enthusiasts, Downs Park Beach offers a calm, scenic space for swimming, while the designated fishing areas and two piers allow anglers to enjoy a peaceful day out by the water. 

These piers also provide a launching spot for those keen on kayaking, enabling visitors to explore the serene waters of Chesapeake Bay at their own pace.

The park boasts 5 miles of paved and natural trails, making it a haven for both walkers and bikers. 

Downs Park is also well-equipped for social events and family outings, with numerous picnic areas and grills scattered throughout the park. 

A unique feature of Downs Park is its dedicated dog beach, allowing canine friends to frolic and swim. 

This dog water park has quickly become a favorite among dog owners.

6. Hammerman Beach

a beach in Maryland with lifeguard chair
Source: dreamstime
  • Distance from Baltimore: 22 miles
  • Activities: swimming, fishing, kayaking, hiking, picnics
  • Facilities: restrooms, trails, playground, grills, piers, seasonal lifeguards and rentals

Located in Gunpowder Falls State Park and just a short trip from Baltimore, Hammerman Beach offers a plethora of recreational activities for nature lovers. 

Covering a vast 1,500 feet of sandy shore, this beach caters to a variety of interests.

During the summer months, the beach becomes a hotspot for swimmers, with seasonal lifeguards on duty to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. 

Fishing is prohibited from the beach but the park has a designated fishing area for anglers.

For the adventurous, the park has an extensive network of hiking trails that travel through marshes and woods.

Equipped with numerous grills and picnic areas, Hammerman Beach is ideal for those looking to spend a day in the great outdoors with friends and family. 

Further enhancing the beach’s appeal is the availability of kayak and canoe rentals, but motorboats can’t be launched here.

As for the park’s policies, there is an entry fee – $5 per person on weekends for Maryland residents, and $7 for out-of-state visitors, with slightly lower weekday rates.

Unfortunately, camping isn’t allowed at this location.

7. Sandy Point Beach

Sandy Point State Park near Annapolis Maryland
Source: depositphotos
  • Distance from Baltimore: 38 miles
  • Activities: swimming, fishing, kayaking, hiking, picnics
  • Facilities: restrooms, trails, playground, grills, piers, seasonal lifeguards

Sandy Point State Park, located 38 miles from Baltimore, is home to a popular Sandy Point Beach – a sizable expanse of sand and surf that appeals to visitors seeking a myriad of outdoor experiences.

With its generous size, Sandy Point Beach accommodates a large number of beachgoers. 

Swimming is a popular activity, particularly in the summer when the beach is patrolled by seasonal lifeguards to ensure safety for all visitors. 

The calm waters of the Chesapeake Bay also offer a pleasant environment for kayaking.

Anglers enjoy the designated fishing jetties, relishing the opportunity to catch a variety of local fish species. The park’s fishing facilities cater to both novice and experienced fishermen.

Outdoor enthusiasts have the option of exploring the park’s hiking trails, providing immersion into Maryland’s diverse landscapes. 

One of the unique events held at Sandy Point Beach is the annual Polar Bear Plunge

This winter event, organized to benefit the Special Olympics Maryland, involves participants taking a dip in the frigid waters of the Bay.

The entry fee is $5 per vehicle for Maryland residents and $7 for non-residents on summer weekends.

8. Mayo Beach Park

Seaglass on the beach at Chesapeake Bay Maryland
Source: pixabay
  • Distance from Baltimore: 38 miles
  • Activities: swimming, fishing, kayaking, picnics
  • Facilities: restrooms, showers, picnic tables

Mayo Beach Park is a family-friendly hidden gem that boasts a tranquil beach area.

Though relatively small in size, the park offers a quiet retreat from the bustling city life, and its well-maintained, clean beachfront is a testament to its diligent upkeep.

Mayo Beach Park offers a pristine, sandy beach that provides a safe and enjoyable environment for children and adults alike. 

Its calm and clear waters are particularly enticing for swimming, and the park’s serene ambiance adds to the overall relaxing experience.

Complementing the beach experience, the park is equipped with picnic tables scattered conveniently across its green spaces. 

These facilities are perfect for a relaxing meal in the open air and include shaded tables, restrooms, and showers.

Another appealing feature of this park is its suitability for kayaking.

Despite the 38-mile drive, it’s worth a visit, especially for families with kids. 

9. Triton Beach

Sea kayaking fishing
Source: pixabay
  • Distance from Baltimore: 38 miles
  • Activities: swimming, fishing, kayaking, picnics
  • Facilities: trails

Situated just down the road from Mayo Beach Park, Triton Beach offers a charming coastal retreat, less than an hour from Baltimore.

Just like Mayo Beach Park, Triton Beach is sheltered by jetties providing a safe environment for swimming.

However, unlike Mayo Beach Park, there are no restrooms or showers here.

One of the main activities enjoyed at Triton Beach is kayaking. 

The South River estuary and surrounding bay also provide a rich habitat for many fish species, making it a promising spot for anglers.

A unique advantage of Triton Beach is that access is free of charge. 

Dogs are welcome and the park has short trails to stretch the legs.

10. Kent Island Beaches

Terrapin Nature Park Beach near Annapolis Maryland
Source: flickr/CC BY 2.0
  • Distance from Baltimore: 44 miles
  • Activities: fishing, kayaking, picnics, hiking, photography 
  • Facilities: trails, boat ramps, picnic tables

Located just across the Chesapeake Bay from Annapolis and within easy reach of Baltimore, Kent Island hosts two notable beach parks – Matapeake Park and Terrapin Nature Park. 

These parks, though not ideal for swimming, offer a variety of other outdoor activities making them worthy destinations for nature enthusiasts.

Matapeake Park, with its scenic views of the Chesapeake Bay and the Bay Bridge, offers an extensive trail system that meanders through forests and wetlands, making it a haven for hiking enthusiasts. 

The park’s trails are also suitable for bird watching, as they are home to a wide variety of bird species.

Kayaking is a popular activity at Matapeake Park, with a boat ramp and the calm waters of the Bay providing an ideal environment for paddlers. 

Nearby, Terrapin Nature Park boasts a 276-acre nature reserve with a three-mile trail. 

This trail provides an immersive experience as it winds through wildflower meadows, wetlands, and sandy dunes. 

While not suitable for swimming, the park’s beach area is a great spot to relax and take in the beautiful views of the Bay and Bay Bridge.

Kayaking and fishing opportunities also abound at Terrapin Nature Park. 

11. Sand Island

Great Blue Heron fishing on a sandbar during a beautiful Chesapeake Bay sunset
Source: dreamstime
  • Distance from Baltimore: 41 miles
  • Activities: fishing, kayaking, picnics, boating
  • Facilities: remote party island for boaters

Sand Island is located 3 miles from Havre de Grace. 

Accessible only by boat, this idyllic island is a popular party hotspot. 

On summer weekends and holidays, groups of boaters swarm the island’s beach and cool off in the shallow waters.

However, venturing to Sand Island is not solely a power boater’s domain. 

Some experienced kayakers, eager for adventure, also make their way to the island. 

This route requires skill and determination due to the open waters and shifting currents of the Chesapeake Bay. 

Millard Tydings Memorial Park is where most people start their voyage.

Part of the adventure is visiting the remote Susquehanna National Wildlife Refuge, known locally as Battery Island. 

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