Sandy Point Beach

Sandy Point Beach just outside Annapolis is an easy day-trip away from Washington, DC and Baltimore whenever you need a beach fix. One side of the large “L” shaped beach faces the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, while the other side provides a wide-open view toward the Eastern Shore. 

The beach is famous for it’s view of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and for being close to the shipping channel with the amazing site of huge international cargo ships slipping by. 

Sandy Point State Park beach
A cargo ship cruising down the Chesapeake Bay’s shipping channel. The park was first opened on June 25, 1952.

The 786-acre park is centered around its wide-open beach. The main beach is “South Beach” and it has a bathhouse with restroom and showers. You’ll also find a concession stand with snacks, beach and picnic supplies. Off-season, you can find some of these items at the marina store.

South Beach also has lifeguards during season (Memorial Day to Labor Day), but you swim at your own risk off season.

Yes, the Sandy Point Beach sand really is a deep orange color. That’s due to natural iron ore in the rock. It’s colorful, not dangerous. 

If you want a little more natural, not-as-crowded experience, walk a little further to the eastern beach.

Sandy Point Shoal Lighthouse
The Sandy Point Shoal lighthouse was built in 1883 and features a 37-foot Empire-style, eight-sided red brick tower with a white roof and black lantern, which houses a 4th order Fresnel lens.

Sandy Point State Park is open year-round and off-season the park hosts a number of beach-centered activities: festivals, swims, boating, kayaking and paddle-board fundraising events.

Because of all that, it has a huge parking lot. However, it does fill up.

Sandy Point State Park is one of Maryland’s most popular parks. That means it fills up during hot weekends and holidays so get there early because once it’s full, park staff will close the park and turn visitors away at the park entrance.  No additional vehicles or visitors will be allowed in even if your friends and family are already here. Park officials suggest that everyone arrive at the same time. And be aware that if you leave during a park closure, they will not let you back in until the park re-opens.

Sandy Point Beach may have jellyfish in mid-to-late summer. It depends on how briny the area is and it changes each year based on rain and river flow. 

Dogs are not allowed on the beach May 1 through September 30. But from October 1 through April 30th, you’re welcome to throw a ball on the sand and have your dog take a swim.

There is a per-vehicle fee. It’s highest on weekends and holiday. During off-season, there’s an automatic toll machine that exact change only in the form of $1’s, quarters, MasterCard and VISA credit cards.

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