5 Best Beaches Near Washington, DC

From Virginia Beach to Ocean City, discover the top beaches near Washington, DC and the scenic shores of the Capital Region.

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

Virginia Beach

The 35-mile-long Virginia Beach is nestled along the Atlantic Ocean at the mouth of Chesapeake Bay. The locally loved 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 or read up on more water activities in the Capital Region!