Sandy Point Beach, just outside Annapolis by the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, is an easy day-trip away from Washington, DC and Baltimore whenever you need a beach fix.
1100 East College Parkway, Annapolis MD 21409
- 7am to dusk, year-round
- Mid-Nov. to Jan. 2: 7am to 4pm, during the holiday Lights on the Bay
The 786-acre park is centered around its wide-open beach. 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 the 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.
Yes, the Sandy Point Beach sand really is orange. That’s due to natural iron ore in the rock in the area. The shade of orange changes with the light. It’s colorful, not dangerous.
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.
If you want a little more natural, not-as-crowded experience, walk a little farther to the eastern beach. However, that section is reserved for fishing and swimming is not allowed. You can spread out a towel though.
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.
East Beach does have its own swimming beach and bathhouse, but it’s set aside for private functions. You can reserve the area through the park office.
Sandy Point is a big beach and has a big parking lot to go with it, with an overflow area.
However, 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, based each year on rain and river flows.
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 accepts exact change only in the form of $1 bills or quarters. It also accepts MasterCard and VISA credit cards.