Top 10 Best Beaches Near Washington DC, Maryland & Virginia – NBC4 Washington

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No, Waikiki is not on this list. We take a look at the best beaches within a short drive of the DC metro area.

The best public beaches near DC, Maryland and Virginia have soft sand, water parks, amusement parks, water sports, beach movies – there’s something for every traveler. Get ready to suck the sand out of your car!

In order of estimated distance, from closet to farthest:

Bethany Beach, Delaware

Bethany Beach bills itself as a “quiet resort”, offering a more serene option away from the party bustle of some other places. There are a limited number of bars, but plenty to do in terms of water sports, a farmer’s market, water park, pirate mini-golf, boardwalk and movies on the beach. Listen to free live music at the Boardwalk Bandstand on weekend nights. You can find something to do in Bethany until late summer, when the town says goodbye to the season with a jazz funeral. DISTANCE: approximately 125 miles from downtown DC

Rehoboth Beach, Delaware

You’ll find just about everything you need from a beach town to Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. We talk karts, mini-golf, hang gliding, board games and kiddie rides – plus ice cream, of course. Rehoboth is also home to some fantastic farm-to-table restaurants, so if boardwalk cooking isn’t your thing, you’ll definitely be very happy here. Nearby Dewey Beach offers a slightly calmer atmosphere from the busier and more crowded cousin Rehoboth. DISTANCE: approximately 120 miles from downtown DC

Ocean City, Maryland

OceanCity, Maryland, is a destination that kids (or your own inner child) will love. Go for waterslides, boardwalk rides, and haunted houses, or head out into the water to go parasailing, kayaking, surfing, or, you know, just swimming. You can also catch free concerts and movies many nights during the summer. Like Bethany and Rehoboth, Ocean City is one of the closest beach destinations for DC area residents. DISTANCE: approximately 145 miles from downtown DC

Fenwick Island, Delaware

Located about halfway between Bethany Beach and Ocean City near the Delaware-Maryland border, Fenwick Island offers laid-back family fun via the Thunder Lagoon Water Park and the only one DiscoverMuseum of shipwrecks at sea. DISTANCE: approximately 132 miles from downtown DC

Sea Isle City, New Jersey

Sandwiched between Ocean City, New Jersey and the more densely populated Avalon, Sea Isle City is a jewel of the Jersey Shore. The island town offers a good mix of laid-back vibes, family fun and great bars – like favorite Ocean Drive – for partying with friends. The town’s slogan, prominently displayed on the water tower when you arrive, is “Smile, you’re in Sea Isle”. There is a 1.5 mile promenade facing the white sand beaches of the Atlantic coast. You’ll find plenty of boating and fishing opportunities in the Back Bay, and Atlantic City and The Wildwoods are a short drive away via the Garden State Parkway. Sea Isle City doesn’t have many hotels, so booking a summer rental is essential. DISTANCE: approximately 180 miles from downtown DC

Wildwood and Cape May, New Jersey

We put Cape May and wild forest, New Jersey, together because it’s easy to do both in one weekend. At the southernmost point of New Jersey’s barrier islands, Cape May is famous for its stunning Victorian mansions and bed and breakfasts (and the historic tours that come with them). Its neighbor to the north, Wildwood, offers a more typical shore experience on a larger scale than its Delaware counterparts, with a different kind of retro via its 1950s motels. You’ll also find the necessary boardwalk, tons of rides, and two water parks. Just “watch the tram car, please.” DISTANCE: approximately 185 miles from downtown DC

Ocean City, New Jersey

This other Ocean City (the one in New Jersey) offers plenty of family fun, with a boardwalk that, while often crowded, offers a ton of rides and all the old food favorites ashore, including pizza and Oreos. fried. What else could you want? DISTANCE: approximately 192 miles from downtown DC

Virginia Beach, Virginia

In addition to outdoor activities, from fishing to kayaking to dolphin watching, Virginia Beach also offers a promenade full of rides and restaurants, numerous festivals, bars, clubs and breweries, as well as the Virginia Aquarium and the Military Aviation Museum. Accommodations include everything from high-rise hotels to nearby campgrounds. DISTANCE: approximately 210 miles from downtown DC

Kitty Hawk and Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina

The magnificent beaches of External banks are worth a look (and the OBX sticker you obviously want for your car). They’re not quite what you would call close in DC, but Kitty Hawk Beach and Kill Devil Hills are the easiest to get to as they are near the Wright Memorial Bridge. Swim, surf, rent a boat or go fishing off Avalon Pier. There are also historical sites dedicated to the colony lost on Roanoke (near Manteo) and the First flight of the Wright brothers, and you’ll find plenty of accommodation options on the beach or within walking distance. The main disadvantage is that these beaches are very developed. On the plus side, you might see wild ponies or dolphins at nearby Corolla, which also makes driving on the beach possible. DISTANCE: approximately 270 miles from downtown DC

Cape Hatteras National Seashore, North Carolina

Sand dunes open up to 70 miles of mostly undeveloped beaches at Cape Hatteras National Coast. The waves in the open sea are ideal for surfing or boogie boarding, or you can visit historic lighthouses. Drive to the south end and you will find Ocracoke Beach, which Dr. Beach has declared one of the best in the country. Beach driving and bonfires are permitted here with a appropriate permit. DISTANCE: approximately 290 miles from downtown DC to the Hatteras Island Visitor Center

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