Sandy Point

The Chesapeake Bay is one of the dominant features of the Maryland landscape. For beachcombers, the large estuary provides another dimension for enjoying a day filled with sun, sand, and surf. At the north end of the bay, which stretches some 200 miles down to Virginia, you'll find Sandy Point State Park, a 786-acre beachcomber's dream.

In the shadow of the Bay Bridge just outside Annapolis, Sandy Point Beach in Maryland is a fine place to swim, enjoy a picnic, and watch the big boats ply the waters of the Chesapeake Bay.

One of the finest of all the Maryland beaches for swimming, Sandy Point employs lifeguards during the summer when the weather is warm enough to hit the water. Beachcombers also have access to showers, places to change, and restrooms. When supplies are running low or it's time for a snack, you can head to the concession area for snacks, cold drinks, sunscreen, and other beach-going essentials.

In addition to swimming, there's a wide of array of recreational offerings to enjoy at Sandy Point. Boaters have access to a marina, which has 22 launching ramps as well as a place to rent rowboats and motorized vessels. The marina store is a handy place to stop into when you need picnic supplies, snacks, fuel, bait, and licenses for crabbing and sport fishing. The pier at the south side of the ramps is a favorite place for angling and looking for crabs. Chesapeake Bay is known for its signature crustacean, blue crabs. Anglers and surf fishers will find an array of species at the end of their lines, including perch, bluefish, and rockfish.

Sandy Point also features a launch area where small crafts can begin their journey, including canoes, kayaks, catamarans, and windsurfing. Chesapeake Beach, which is a little further south further south, is also another place where people enjoy the waters of the bay without gas-guzzling engines.

Back on land, visitors to Sandy Point State Park can follow the nature trails, which are open for hiking, biking, and casual strolls. Like Assateague State Park, Sandy Point is watched over by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. Since 1969, Project Open Space has symbolized the state's long-term commitment to conserving natural resources and providing outdoor recreation. What this means for you is there will be interesting natural spaces for enjoying the great outdoors.

Many people flock to Sandy Point Beach in Maryland for a picnic, whether they want to spread out a blanket for a casual affair or hold a catered event for the group. Picnic tables are scattered throughout the park and several shelters are available for big groups. Youth groups also can make reservations for overnight camping.

Sandy Point State Park is open all year, although operating hours change according to the season. From April through November, you'll find the longest hours, from 6 a.m. to sunset. Boat launching and fishing can be accessed 24 hours a day.

Like the operating hours, admission to Sandy Point Beach in Maryland varies, too. During the warmer months of the year, a small per-person fee is charged, with a discount for Maryland residents. In the off-season, the entry fee is charged per vehicle.

After a day of swimming, surf fishing, hiking, or other outdoor fun, you'll be ready to turn in for a good night's sleep. In nearby Annapolis, choices for Maryland beach hotels are plentiful, everything from a familiar and comfortable chain to a one-of-a-kind B&B.

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