Sandy Point State Park
On this mile-long beach near Annapolis, you can gaze out onto the Chesapeake—and smugly watch traffic crawl on the Bay Bridge heading to and from the ocean. See dnr.maryland.gov. Distance from DC: 40 miles.
Flag Ponds Nature Park
This Southern Maryland beach is nirvana for fossil hunters, who comb the sand and surf for prehistoric sharks’ teeth. Go to calvertparks.org/fpp.html. Distance from DC: 53 miles.
Gunpowder Falls State Park
The park’s Hammer-man Area has a 1,500-foot-long beach along the wide Gunpowder River. The park can reach capacity on weekends and holidays. See dnr.maryland.gov. Distance from DC:56 miles.
Hunting Creek Lake
This 75-acre manmade lake in Maryland’s Cunningham Falls State Park offers two beaches. Take a short hike from South Beach to the park’s 78-foot-high waterfall. See dnr.maryland.gov. Distance from DC:66 miles.
This article appears in the May 2021 issue.