North Beach, Maryland, is a beach community on the Chesapeake Bay’s western shore. And it feels like a small Delaware or New Jersey beach town that has been transplanted on the Chesapeake Bay, with a boardwalk, funnel cake shops, tiny summer cottages and high-rise condos facing the shore. Except in North Beach, you can park and walk to all those places.8916 Chesapeake Avenue, North Beach, MD 20714
Directions: Follow MD Route 260 until it ends at the Chesapeake Bay. Turn left onto MD Route 261 and go north approximately 0.6 mile.
North Beach’s beach is just off the business district, where Rt. 261/Bay Avenue follows the scenic Chesapeake Bay shoreline. You’ll find it at the end of 3rd Street or 5th Street Extension.
The beach is divided in two by the long fishing pier. The south side beach is about a block long, and the north side beach is about a half-block long. The south side has a climbing playground thingy built to look like a ship, but with a slide.
A boardwalk follows the shoreline for about four-and-a-half blocks with benches at regular intervals along the entire walk. At the end of each street, the boardwalk juts into the bay for prime photo opportunities. The boardwalk is relatively new, replacing the one destroyed by Hurricane Isabel in 2003.
The beach has full facilities next to the visitors center, including a bathhouse and beach-supplies. Umbrellas and chairs can be rented. The beach does not have lifeguards. Pets are allowed on the boardwalk, but not on the beach. And be aware, there are rules against wearing certain kinds of (revealing) swimwear.
There is a fee during the summer months for out-of-town visitors. You need to pay at the Welcome Center and get a wrist band. Calvert County residents pay $5 for adults (age 12-54) & $4 for children (age 3-11); out-of-county visitors pay $12 for adults & $8 for children.
Parking is plentiful. There’s some parking along the boardwalk, but keep an eye out for signs reserving the parking for residents. There’s a large (free) lot at the end of 5th Street, and when that’s full, parking overflows onto nearby grassy areas.