Need a taste of salt air and the feel of sand between your toes but you can’t bear the thought of 4+ hours in Bay Bridge traffic? We’ll be featuring some of our favorite beaches near Washington, DC this summer. If you have a favorite, please let us know in the comments below.
Just an hour’s drive from DC, you can find several Chesapeake Bay beaches that may not offer the surf or the boardwalks of the Atlantic beaches, but they might tide you over until your next seaside adventure. Yes, I said tide you over. Sorry.
Flag Ponds Nature Park offers a sandy beach and salt-water swimming, with the added bonus of sharks teeth and other fossils to be found along the shore. The surf is gentle, and the water is shallow for about 100 yards from the shoreline with a sandy bay floor – perfect for swimming with young kids.
The Ponds for which the park is named can be found along two inland trails. Be sure to bring insect repellent, because though the trails are easy and well-marked, the mosquitos can make the walk less-than-pleasant. When we visited, we found one pond absolutely still and covered with green vegetation, with bullfrogs, turtles, sea birds, and something mysterious swimming just under the surface for company.
- The parking lots are about a half mile from the beach, so you may want to bring a beach cart. There is a handicap parking lot adjacent to the beach access path.
- There is a restroom about 50 yards from the beach with outdoor shower.
- There are no concessions in the park.
- You can bring a picnic, but no alcohol.
- Pets are allowed on leash only.
- There is an entrance fee per vehicle: $4 for Calvert County residents, $6 for non-residents in summer. (Off season, $3 per vehicle.)
- The park opens daily at 9am in summer and closes at 6pm during the week, 8pm on weekends.
- Bring shovels and sifters to look for sharks teeth, fossils and shells. There are some shared beach toys available by the beach access path.
- You must have a Maryland fishing license (tidal/saltwater) to fish.