Deal Island has the prettiest Chesapeake Bay beach outside of Tangier Island.
The west-facing beach has fine off-white sand that slips into dark-green water. The water turns blue as the sun sets in front of it.
You won’t be able to see it from the parking area because the beach is tucked below a sand dune. The drop can be several feet depending on how it was adjusted by the latest storm. Look for the walkways through the dune to get to the beach.
WHERE IS DEAL ISLAND BEACH?
Deal Island is off of Maryland’s Eastern Shore near the town of Princess Anne toward the bottom half of the Chesapeake Bay.
You’ll find the beach at the Deal Island Boat Ramp near the bridge across the Upper Thorofare. That section next to the bridge is a bit desolate. Look for the University of Maryland Cooperative Shellfish Program clump of buildings behind a fence topped with barbed wire. The beach is next to it.
WHAT’S AT DEAL ISLAND BEACH?
Deal Island’s public beach is known for sea glass that’s been ground smooth by rolling through the fine sand.
Be aware there are no bathrooms or showers there. And, it’s a natural beach which means no one cleans up the critters that wash up onshore. But nature seems to handle that chore just fine. Because of where it’s located, not a lot of junk washes up.
It’s a pack-in, pack-out beach, meaning you have to take your trash with you when you leave.
ANY AMENITIES NEAR DEAL ISLAND BEACH?
Arby’s Dockside Bar and Grill is the only restaurant on the island. It’s a lively, friendly waterside shack is next to the marina on the far end of the island. Arby’s is where you’ll find cold beer and fresh Chesapeake Bay Blue Crab sandwiches. If the crab is sold out, there’ll be baskets of all sorts of deep-fried fare.
Arby’s is a popular stopping point for motorcyclists and bicyclists because it’s such a beautiful drive on a nice day. The marina, across the road from Arby’s, is where the island’s fishing fleet docks.
If you don’t want to drive to the other side of the island, make sure you stock up on provisions in the town of Princess Anne before heading down Deal Island Road.
The island has no hotels. You can find some places to rent on Deal Island though.
You’ll notice many abandoned buildings collapsing along the island’s main road that winds through tidal marshes, giving the island a ghostly, abandoned feel.
However, natural modern Deal Island is slowly reclaiming time-worn historic Deal. The island is increasingly becoming home to tucked-away retirement and beach houses.