A seaside trip is strictly what most of us want proper now after greater than a 12 months of hunkering down in our houses and avoiding gatherings. Fortunately, DC is inside simple attain of sandy dunes—from distant, quiet spots to well-liked summer season hangouts with busy boardwalks and arcade video games. So it doesn’t matter what kind of getaway you’re on the lookout for this summer season, we’ve rounded up the perfect seashores in Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia that make for a terrific day or weekend journey, and there’s one thing for everybody.
Sandy Level State Park
The 786-acre park has lengthy been a summer season day journey vacation spot for DMV residents searching for to beat the warmth with out crossing the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. The summer season entrance price is $4 per individual through the week and $5 on holidays and weekends. The calm waters of the Chesapeake Bay make it a superb swimming spot whereas the pavilions make it ideally suited for picnicking. Landlubbers can hike the paths by means of the pine forest and marshes the place they will spot birds and different wildlife.
On the way in which there, make a cease within the state’s scenic historic capital to seize a chew in your picnic or cease for lunch on the way in which there. Get recent and jumbo lump crabs from the longstanding Cantler’s Riverside Inn. Seafood lovers can even head to the ever-popular restaurant Carrol’s Creek Cafe, which is at present taking reservations inside and on its waterfront deck. Standard with politicos, the old-school Chick & Ruth’s Delly gives hearty breakfasts, six-pound milkshakes, and thick corned beef sandwiches that may be loved on the sidewalk, indoors, or wrapped as much as go. If all of that’s not sufficient, you may refill on baked items at one of many excellent bakeries within the space. Order fresh-baked breads from Bakers & Co. or a decadent dessert combo that mixes pudding, cupcakes, and ice cream at Smallcakes.
Guests to Virginia Seashore may discover that the seaside city seems to be somewhat completely different than they bear in mind this 12 months, because of new accommodations, breweries, and a inventive arts district. The primary cease for a lot of guests to Virginia Seashore is the 38-block boardwalk, the place you may snap a selfie by King Neptune because the solar units, journey your bike, or take pleasure in a waterfront dinner.
Past the boardwalk, Virginia Seashore gives an arts space, generally known as the ViBe Creative District, the place guests can take a one-mile strolling tour previous colourful murals and go to the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art after reserving a free reservation on-line. Cease at Vibrant Shore Brewing Company, which gives an indoor tasting room, rooftop, and patio. Full your brewery tour by visiting one of many different breweries alongside the Virginia Seashore Craft Beer Path. Some supply cornhole, bocce and eats from space meals vehicles.
For an outside journey, spend a while on the Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge, which gives practically 5,000 acres of wetlands and hundreds of migratory water birds, and First Landing State Park, with miles of strolling and biking paths and hammocks by the water.
Keep on the 350-room Marriott Virginia Beach Oceanfront, which debuted final 12 months with two eating places and a pool. It’s an extension of the swanky Cavalier Hotel & Beach Club, a storied property that after hosted presidents and celebrities, that reopened three years in the past and has since applied new sanitation guidelines.
Delaware seashores are again in full swing this summer season with occasions just like the July 4 fireworks and Rehoboth Seashore Bandstand concerts on the lineup. If you wish to journey by means of the Haunted Mansion at Funland, e-book a two-hour slot on the game-and-arcade vacation spot’s website. The governor just lately lifted capability restrictions for retailers and shops, providing you with a greater shot of snagging a desk at one of many well-liked eating places on the town.
Dine in Henlopen City Oyster House in Rehoboth, which serves an array of bivalves and recent fish dishes, or the realm’s well-known brewery restaurant, Dogfish Head Pub, or its regionally sourced seafood restaurant Chesapeake & Maine, which serve the corporate’s beers, cocktails, and spirits. Head to Confucius Chinese Cuisine for wonderful Hunan-style dishes and Bangkok Thai Cuisine for noodles and crimson curry in Lewes.
Take within the full seaside eats expertise with a cease on the space’s most celebrated pizza joint, Grotto Pizza, or get an enormous bucket of vinegar-topped fried spuds at Thrasher’s French Fries (please don’t ask them for ketchup). Dolle’s salt water taffy or a custard cone from Kohr Bros ought to fulfill your candy tooth.
Additionally identified for its tax-free purchasing, Rehoboth’s Tanger Outlets Rehoboth Beach has reopened with new shops promoting sweet and sun shades. Test the web site for the most recent data.
Keep in a single day at one of many space’s fancy accommodations, together with The Bellmoor Inn & Spa, which gives two swimming pools and seaside entry to friends, or the Victorian-style Boardwalk Plaza Hotel, with a waterfront restaurant and a heated soaking pool.
Assateague Island Nationwide Seashore
The Nationwide Park Service oversees this 37-mile island in Virginia and Maryland, the place wild ponies that roam the seashores and salt marshes are the primary sights. The practically 100-year-old annual pony swim on neighboring Chincoteague Island was canceled as soon as once more this 12 months on account of COVID-19, however guests can nonetheless gaze on the beauties together with shorebirds and other animals.
Visitors can hike, bike, swim, and kayak on Assateague’s seashores and trails. Although reveals and the knowledge desk within the guests middle are nonetheless closed, the park retailer has resumed its day by day operations. Lifeguards will probably be on responsibility day by day from June 19 to Sept. 6. Begin your day early as Assateague State Park will flip away guests as soon as it is crammed to capability.
To expertise the realm’s true magnificence, safe an NPS campground web site, provided solely on the Maryland facet. However should you’re not one for roughing it, strive the Refuge Inn, which feels woodsy and rustic, with fashionable facilities like a pool, Wi-Fi, and free breakfast, which might be delivered to your door. Different sights embody the 142-foot Assateague Lighthouse and the Assateague Explorer, which gives boat and kayak excursions to view horses, dolphins, and birds.
In the event you’re into area missions, keep in Assateague throughout a rocket launch on the NASA Wallops Flight Facility, simply 15 miles from the seaside. The subsequent launch is scheduled for June 15. Although the guests middle isn’t open, the NASA web site lists possible viewing areas the place you may view the rocket launch because it heads to the Worldwide Area Station or into lunar orbit.
Head to West Ocean Metropolis, simply six miles down the highway, for loads of eating choices. Watch the sundown and take heed to stay music with an Orange Crush in hand exterior on the waterfront Harborside, which additionally gives carryout. Or have dinner simply throughout the water at Shark on the Harbor, which gives a collection of native craft brews and recent catches accessible for carryout, in addition to indoor and out of doors eating.
Positioned inside a 90-minute drive south of DC, Colonial Seashore boasts Virginia’s second-largest seaside entrance alongside Virginia’s Northern Neck peninsula. Guests can take pleasure in swimming and fishing on the seashores or escape the boat and kayak. Discover the realm’s many historic sights by golf cart, which might be rented and legally pushed across the city.
Begin your day with a cappuccino and cinnamon roll on the woman-owned Colonial Buzz Espresso Bar, which incorporates a take-out window and out of doors seating. Seize lunch at Denson’s Grocery, a mom-and-pop deli identified for its oysters, ice cream, and sandwiches that gives curbside carryout Thursdays by means of Saturdays. Then spend the day sampling one in every of Virginia’s largest wineries, Ingleside Vineyards, which is open day by day with indoor and out of doors seating and hosts acoustic musicians Sunday afternoons. Seize a cocktail and take heed to stay music on the two waterfront eateries, Dockside Restaurant and Tiki Bar and High Tides on the Potomac & the Black Pearl Tiki Bar.
Gunpowder Falls State Park: Hammerman Space
Positioned 60 miles Northeast of DC, Gunpowder Falls State Park options 120 miles of trails for climbing and biking, kayaking, fishing, and a marina. Divided into six areas, the Hammerman Area gives the right metropolis escape with a low-key, well-maintained seaside. Maryland residents pay $5 per individual and non-residents pay $7, throughout weekends and holidays from Memorial Day by means of Labor Day and $3 through the week ($5 for non-residents).
Loos and picnic tables can be found and the Riverside Grill concession has reopened with a restricted menu. In the event you don’t deliver your individual cooler, head to one of many cafes and eating places simply exterior the park. Choose up pancakes, breakfast burritos, and sandwiches to go from Kelly’s Kitchen & Bakery in Center River. Throughout the road, you’ll discover Hunan hen and different Chinese language specialties accessible to go from Asian Wok. About 20 minutes away in Kingsville, Gunpowder Lodge serves fried inexperienced tomatoes topped with lump crab, delicate shell crabs, and burgers that you could savor below an umbrella at one of many out of doors picnic tables or to go.
Julekha Dash is a Maryland author who covers meals, journey, and design with bylines in USA Right now, American Approach, Architectural Digest, Eater, Fodor’s, and others. Observe her on Twitter and Instagram and take a look at her Contently portfolio.