Sandy Point State Park beach faces the Bay Bridge, offering an amazing view of not only one of the longer bridges in the U.S, but close-ups of large cargo ships going under it. The 786-acre park takes up the tip of a peninsula and the whole edge is a sandy swimming beach.1100 East College Parkway, Annapolis, MD 21409
Directions: At the western terminus of the Bay Bridge, off U.S. Routes 50/301, take exit 32 & follow signs.
Sandy Point State Park has a wide-open beach and it’s big. There are some trees in the grassy areas between the beach and parking lot, but not many of them. This is a sun-drenched beach with room for lots of people with towels, umbrellas and other beach necessities.
It is also a full-service Chesapeake Bay beach, open year round. Lifeguards keep watch over a portion of South Beach between Memorial Day and Labor Day, from 10am to 6pm weekdays, and 8am to 8 pm on weekends and holidays. Volleyball nets are permanently set up at intervals across the beach.
Just off the beach, you’ll find a bathhouse with restroom and showering facilities. And nearby, a concession stand next to a small store selling picnic and beach supplies.
Pets are allowed in the park on a leash during off-season, October through April.
Be aware that because it’s in the Bay, the water is brackish (part salt water, part fresh water), and because of that jellyfish may come close to shore during the warm summer months, mainly from late through through the first frost.
The picnic area with tables and grills is located in a slightly shaded grassy patch between the beach and the parking lot. There is a playground nearby. You can buy picnic and grilling supplies at the park’s marina store.
The park has a fishing area with six piers, a marina with 22 launching areas, picnic tables and grills, and two miles of hiking/biking trails.
Covered picnic shelters are available, but must be reserved. Normally small boats can be rented at the marina, but that’s on hold while the dock is undergoing construction.
The marina store sells fishing and picnicking supplies.
There are large parking lots near the beach, but you may have to walk a bit on busy days.
The fee to enter the park is $3. Season passes are available through the state of Maryland Department of Natural Resources.