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.
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.
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.
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.