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.

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!