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7 great beaches to hit in the D.C. region

Just because D.C. is landlocked doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a nearby coast

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Summers in the District are infamously muggy. If one of the museums or public pools in the city just won’t cut it for your cooling-off needs, you’ll want to visit these Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia beaches and feel that Atlantic breeze. We’ve included estimated drive-times (assuming the most direct routes and little to no traffic) from downtown D.C.

What are some of your favorite beaches in the region? Sand Sound off in the comments.

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1. Dewey Beach

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A bit less busy than neighboring Rehoboth Beach, Dewey Beach offers wide shorelines and charming cottages. It’s about one-mile long and situated between the Atlantic Ocean and Rehoboth Bay. Estimated drive-time: three hours and 10 minutes.

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2. Rehoboth Beach

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During the summer, Rehoboth Beach can be party central for East Coast ocean-seekers. It boasts a mile-long boardwalk and a main business strip replete with restaurants and bars. It’s also long been known as an LGBTQ-friendly beach. Estimated drive-time: three hours and 14 minutes.

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3. Bethany Beach

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Fora more family-friendly atmosphere, head further south to Bethany Beach. It also has a boardwalk. Estimated drive-time: three hours and 18 minutes.

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4. Ocean City

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In Maryland, Ocean City has something for everyone, including a ferris wheel, arcades, and mini-golf. Its boardwalk is three miles long. Estimated drive-time: three hours and 27 minutes.

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5. Sandy Point State Park

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1100 E College Pkwy
Annapolis, MD 21409
(410) 974-2149
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Near Annapolis, Sandy Point State Park offers beaches on the Chesapeake Bay. The entire park is 786 acres large and includes picnic areas. Estimated drive-time: one hour and 23 minutes.

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6. Chesapeake Beach

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A relatively quick drive from D.C., Chesapeake Beach in Maryland is a popular place for fishing and boating. Be sure to check out the Chesapeake Beach Railway Museum to get a sense of the town’s history. Estimated drive-time: one hour and 12 minutes.

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7. Virginia Beach

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Just east of Norfolk, Virginia Beach is the biggest city by land area in the state. The boardwalk is three miles long and features numerous restaurants, an aquarium, and a military aviation museum. There are dozens of parks in the area, too. Estimated drive-time: four hours and 13 minutes.

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1. Dewey Beach

Dewey Beach, DE 19971
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A bit less busy than neighboring Rehoboth Beach, Dewey Beach offers wide shorelines and charming cottages. It’s about one-mile long and situated between the Atlantic Ocean and Rehoboth Bay. Estimated drive-time: three hours and 10 minutes.

2. Rehoboth Beach

Rehoboth Beach, DE
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During the summer, Rehoboth Beach can be party central for East Coast ocean-seekers. It boasts a mile-long boardwalk and a main business strip replete with restaurants and bars. It’s also long been known as an LGBTQ-friendly beach. Estimated drive-time: three hours and 14 minutes.

3. Bethany Beach

Bethany Beach, DE
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Fora more family-friendly atmosphere, head further south to Bethany Beach. It also has a boardwalk. Estimated drive-time: three hours and 18 minutes.

4. Ocean City

Ocean City, MD
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In Maryland, Ocean City has something for everyone, including a ferris wheel, arcades, and mini-golf. Its boardwalk is three miles long. Estimated drive-time: three hours and 27 minutes.

5. Sandy Point State Park

1100 E College Pkwy, Annapolis, MD 21409
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Near Annapolis, Sandy Point State Park offers beaches on the Chesapeake Bay. The entire park is 786 acres large and includes picnic areas. Estimated drive-time: one hour and 23 minutes.

1100 E College Pkwy
Annapolis, MD 21409

6. Chesapeake Beach

Chesapeake Beach, MD 20732
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A relatively quick drive from D.C., Chesapeake Beach in Maryland is a popular place for fishing and boating. Be sure to check out the Chesapeake Beach Railway Museum to get a sense of the town’s history. Estimated drive-time: one hour and 12 minutes.

7. Virginia Beach

Virginia Beach, VA
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Just east of Norfolk, Virginia Beach is the biggest city by land area in the state. The boardwalk is three miles long and features numerous restaurants, an aquarium, and a military aviation museum. There are dozens of parks in the area, too. Estimated drive-time: four hours and 13 minutes.