PlanetWare: 14 Best Beaches near Washington, D.C.

best beaches near washington dc

The coastal states of Maryland, Virginia, and Delaware offer many options for those hoping to escape the sweltering summer heat in the nation’s capital. Virginia offers some great options close to the city on the Potomac River. Get out of the city and chill out on the beach with our list of the best beaches near Washington, D.C. Via PlanetWare.


Located approximately an hour and 45 minutes from Washington, D.C., Colonial Beach is in the historic town of the same name. This family-friendly beach is the second longest in the state, sitting on the shores of the Potomac River opposite Monroe Bay.

The public beach has a boardwalk, which allows easy travel to the various amenities along the shore, including a well-stocked beach shop and a waterside restaurant that offers live entertainment and outdoor seating by a fire pit. The beach has restrooms, changing rooms, and a spray-off station, as well as an access path for wheelchairs.

Boat and water sports rentals are available at many of the numerous marinas near the beach. Those who prefer to relax and let someone else drive can enjoy sightseeing and dinner cruises, as well as charter fishing trips. These, as well as bike tours, can be booked at Ferry Landing Pier (formerly known as Fisherman’s Pier).

Visitors should plan overnight trips to enjoy local festivities held on Town Commons, including the Potomac River Festival, Market Days, the Boardwalk Arts & Crafts Festival, Bluemont Concerts, and family movie nights.

In the off-season, October through March, leashed dogs with well-behaved humans are welcome on the beach.

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