5 Best Beaches Near Washington, DC

From Virginia Beach to Ocean City, discover the Capital Region’s top beaches and scenic shores.

Virginia Beach, beach, ocean, sand, dune, Virginia
Discover fun in the sun along the Capital Region's many beaches
Neptune statue, Virginia Beach, boardwalk, sand, dune, sunrise, Virginia, beach
King Neptune statue along the Virginia Beach boardwalk
Ocean City Beach, Maryland
Ocean City's beaches and boardwalk offer fun for the entire family
Beach at Ocean City, Maryland
Plan a classic beach vacation at Ocean City, Maryland
Wild horses on Assateague Island off the coast of Maryland
Stroll the beaches with wild ponies on Assateague Island
Assateague Island National Seashore
Assateague Island National Seashore
Virginia Beach, beach, ocean, sand, dune, Virginia
Neptune statue, Virginia Beach, boardwalk, sand, dune, sunrise, Virginia, beach
Ocean City Beach, Maryland
Beach at Ocean City, Maryland
Wild horses on Assateague Island off the coast of Maryland
Assateague Island National Seashore

No summertime visit to the Capital Region is complete without a day spent at the beach. But these aren’t any ordinary beaches — you can surf in clear blue waters, kayak with dolphins and watch wild horses gallop along the shoreline. Grab your sunscreen and go!

Virginia Beach

The 35-mile-long Virginia Beach is nestled along the Atlantic Ocean at the mouth of Chesapeake Bay. The boardwalk is dotted with crab shacks and nautical-themed shops. Outdoor adventures include surfing, parasailing and kayaking with dolphins. 

Assateague Island National Seashore

A barrier island straddling Maryland and Virginia, Assateague Island is a favourite of nature lovers. See the wild ponies that inhabit the island, go birding, kayak through a salt marsh and explore the shoreline. 

Ocean View Beach Park

This sprawling park has sandy beaches, a boardwalk and a large bandstand that draws crowds for music, dancing and summer concerts. It’s also one of the best swimming spots in the region. 

Chesapeake Beach & North Beach

Chesapeake Bay is home to two popular beach towns: Chesapeake Beach’s Bayfront Park is set amidst scenic cliffs, whilst nearby North Beach features a fishing pier and boardwalk with a bike path made for cruising.  

Ocean City

Stretching for three miles along the Atlantic coastline, the focal point of Ocean City, Maryland, is its nostalgic wooden boardwalk, with a vintage carousel and street perform­ers of every kind. Ocean City also offers beachfront hotels, shops and restaurants.  

See top things to do in every season in our four-season roundup!

Related: 
Outdoors & Nature
City Adventures
Attractions & Family Fun

Guide Footer Popup