From Washington, DC to the Water: Summer Fun in Maryland and Virginia

kayaking, Chesapeake Bay, Virginia, USA, lighthouse
Kayaking on the Chesapeake Bay
Wild horses on Assateague Island, MD
Assateague Island National Seashore in Maryland is famous for its wild ponies, who can often be found walking along the beaches.
Virginia Beach boardwalk
The Virginia Beach Boardwalk boasts bike paths, beach access, shopping and oceanfront entertainment.
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kayaking, Chesapeake Bay, Virginia, USA, lighthouse
Wild horses on Assateague Island, MD
Virginia Beach boardwalk

By Idoia Gkikas

Surfing, sunbathing, sailing, sand castles – If this sounds like the perfect summer, then start planning your vacation to the USA’s Capital Region, where you can experience the best of Washington, DC, Virginia and Maryland. With the Potomac River, Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean all within easy reach, this destination is a treat for water lovers, nature enthusiasts and beachgoers. 

Boating, Fishing and Crabbing on the Chesapeake Bay

The waters of the Chesapeake Bay span the length of the Capital Region, with the mainland to the west and the Delmarva Peninsula to the east. From the historic city of Annapolis, Maryland to the bayside of Washington, DC, and south to Virginia Beach, Virginia, the bay draws boaters every day of the year. Navigate a schooner, rent a private boat or just relax with a drink on a sightseeing cruise. 

A chartered fishing trip will take you to some of the best angling in the area. Depending on the season, you’ll catch rockfish, sea trout, perch, flounder or bluefish.  

Children and families love crabbing, an activity famous to the Chesapeake Bay region. Learn how to catch, cull (sort by size), steam and eat Maryland blue crabs on a guided excursion, or simply stop at the many piers and parks along the water’s edge to scope for crabs  (be sure to check crabbing regulations first). 

Assateague Island National Seashore

Assateague Island National Seashore is one of the nation’s most treasured coastal retreats. This 60-kilometer island that spans the coasts of Virginia and Maryland is known for its outdoor activities. Biking and hiking trails are plentiful. The bayside of the island is excellent for crabbing and fishing, wading with children, or water sports such as stand-up paddleboarding and kayaking (rentals are available). The Atlantic side of the island attracts beach lovers for sunbathing, splashing in the surf and overnight beach camping. 

Throughout the island, you’ll encounter Assateague’s famous wild horses. Watching these animals swim in the surf is a magical sight.

Classic Beach Vacations in Virginia Beach and Ocean City

A vacation on the beach is the quintessential way to spend the summer. Virginia Beach, Virginia is among the top destinations on the east coast of the US for beach-seekers. There are three main beaches, each with their own appeal.

Resort Beach is action-packed with a fabulous boardwalk, water sports, shopping and nightlife. For a quieter experience, families will enjoy the calm waters at Chesapeake Bay Beach. If you want to completely unplug, stay at Sandbridge Beach and watch dolphins play in the surf, shop at a local farmers’ market or explore nature at Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge and False Cape State Park.

Ocean City, Maryland is famous for its 5-kilometer boardwalk, rated among the best in the USA by Travel Channel and National Geographic. And of course, the beach is terrific – well-maintained, with full amenities and great surf. 

Getting Here: Just 42 kilometers west of Washington, DC, Washington Dulles International Airport is centrally located in the Capital Region USA and convenient to all destinations and activities across Washington, DC, Virginia and Maryland. Nonstop flights to Washington Dulles International Airport from major destinations worldwide make getting here easy.

Related: 
Scenic Drives
Outdoors & Nature
Tours & Trails
City Adventures
History & Culture
Attractions & Family Fun