North Beach

North Beach feels like a small Delaware or New Jersey beach town that has been transplanted on the Chesapeake Bay’s western shore. It has a boardwalk, beach shops, tiny summer cottages and high-rise condos facing the shore.

Except in North Beach, there’s generally just one of each of those traditional beach shops.

9023 Bay Ave, North Beach, MD 20714

  North Beach is on the south-end of the bigger town of Chesapeake Beach. But ironically, Chesapeake Beach lost it’s Victorian beach a long time ago and now residents head to North Beach.

Historic Chesapeake City, MD
Chesapeake City boardwalk. It’s no longer there and the beach in the area is now in North Beach. (Photo courtesy Chesapeake Beach railroad museum)

Find the public beach just off North Beach’s business district where Rt. 261/Bay Avenue follows the scenic Chesapeake Bay shoreline.

Be aware of one-way streets. Drive down 3rd Street or 5th Street Extension. The beach is divided in two by a 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 is meant for kids; it has a playground ship with a slide.

North Beach, MD
North Beach’s beach playground

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.

North Beach, MD, boardwalk
Boardwalk & bike path along the North Beach waterfront

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.

Welcome Center at North Beach, MD
North Beach Welcome Center. You can rent chairs & other beach items here.

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.

North Beach, MD
Beach equipment, as well as kayaks, paddle boards and bicycles can be rented at the main pier.

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.  


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