Are you looking for a place with a cool breeze and saltwater that’s not too far from the city?
Chesapeake Beach in Maryland offers this and more.
Established in the late 19th century, the town had ambitions of being a grand resort on Chesapeake Bay’s shores.
In 1894, the State of Maryland granted a charter to the Washington & Chesapeake Beach Railway Company, incorporating the town of Chesapeake Beach.
Since 1900, people have turned Chesapeake Beach into a tourism destination, coming mainly for day tours from Washington, DC, which is only 28 miles away.
They only took the railway and steamboats such as ‘The Dixie’ and ‘The Dreamland.’
As a resort, the government put a picnicking area and park on the nearby land and a boardwalk over the water.
They also opened a seaside park in 1930, whose name they changed to Chesapeake Beach Amusement Park.
Unfortunately, it closed in 1972.
Today, the town is home to about 6,000 citizens within municipal limits.
Besides being a residential town, it is also a favorite tourist destination with Chesapeake’s delicious seafood, including the Maryland blue crabs, bluefish and oysters, and freshly caught rockfish.
Chesapeake Beach also has boat ramps, hometown recreational fields, and the Chesapeake Beach Water Park.
Here are the best things to do in Chesapeake, MD:
Bring Your Family to the Chesapeake Beach Water Park
You know what excites the entire family.
It's a day of pure water fun, which you can get at the Chesapeake Beach Water Park.
Located on Gordon Stinnett Ave, the water park offers plenty of activities to enjoy.
You know what awaits you with two giant water slides, a kids’ pool, and lagoons.
There are different cabanas to give your family shade from the heat, ranging from the 10x10 Cabana to fit 10 to 12 people, Queen Cabana for 12 to 18 people, and King Cabana for approximately 25 people.
The park also offers swimming lessons for two weeks if you have the time, with sessions three days a week.
The Chesapeake Beach Water Park also serves great food, with their menu offering pizza, burgers, wraps, and drinks.
Go Biking at the Chesapeake Beach Railway Trail
Explore the outdoors of Chesapeake Beach by biking along the Chesapeake Beach Railway Trail.
Spanning almost two miles, it is bike and wheelchair-accessible, giving you stunning views of the Fishing Creek and the wildlife in the area.
Why the name?
The trail follows the railway line that gave birth to the town.
Watch the numerous songbirds and wildlife that have called the area their home.
What’s more interesting are the different exhibits along the trail, thanks to the Chesapeake Beach Oyster Cultivation Society (CBOCS).
They have also installed osprey platforms and designed educational gardens to teach the residents how to get rid of local mosquitos.
Check Out the Exhibits at the Chesapeake Beach Railway Museum
The Chesapeake Beach Railway Museum is how the local government and its residents connect the present to its past.
It collects, preserves, and shares the stories of the beach, railway, and the vision that started this community.
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Chesapeake Beach Railway Museum is also in the Maryland Inventory of Historic Properties.
The Chesapeake Railway operated from the fall of 1898 to the spring of 1935.
Located on Mears Avenue, it’s a stop that you shouldn’t miss in Chesapeake Beach.
Get Your Dose of Sun and Sand at the Breezy Point Beach
No holiday is ever complete without getting your dose of sun and sand.
Spend time at Breezy Point Beach, where superb fun waits for the entire family.
But you can enjoy more activities than just having beach fun and swimming here.
For example, the beach is famous for fossil-hunting.
Let your kids experience the thrill of reeling in different types of fish.
There is also a fishing pier, a playground, and picnic areas where you can relax and enjoy the ambiance.
Join a Chartered Fishing Expedition with Katherine Charter Fishing
Have you tried joining a chartered fishing expedition?
Reel in giant fish while anchoring out in the bay!
With Katherine Charter Fishing, Captain Sam Gotsis will take you out to the bay for a memorable fishing experience.
You can go to Solomons, Chesapeake Beach, and Deale.
While on the vessel, he will also talk to you about the interesting facts about the area and the resident fish, such as the Spanish Mackerel, bluefish, and rockfish.
You can trust Katherine Charter Fishing; it's a recognized Chesapeake Bay Storyteller, trained by no less than the Maryland Office of Tourism.
Enjoy the Chesapeake Bay with Chesapeake Windsail Cruises
Located on Mears Avenue Dock A, Slip 15, the Chesapeake Windsail Cruises offers a unique way to experience the area’s beauty.
Sail for two and a half hours and take in the glorious views of the Cliffs of Calvert and the region’s stunning environment.
You will sail out of the Rod’ n’ Reel Resort on the bayside town of Chesapeake Beach.
Enjoy a meal before or after the cruise, depending on your preferences.
Enjoy the Waters of Chesapeake Beach with DMV Jet Skis
Do you want to take your water experience a notch higher?
Why not get on a jet ski and enjoy the waters of Chesapeake Beach?
DMV Jet Skis is a family-owned and operated business and is the only one offering jet ski rentals on Chesapeake Beach.
Aiming to offer your family an unforgettable experience with its jet skis, they always strive to provide a safe environment for everyone.
These jet skis are also the modern models using only cutting-edge water technology.
You don’t need to have any experience to rent a jet ski, but you should be at least 16 years old.
DMV Jet Skis will provide life jackets, instructions, and safety training through their qualified and highly-trained employees.
Try Delicious Crabs at Abner’s Crab House & Marina
Harbor Road isn't the same without Abner’s Crab House & Marina.
This family-operated crab house offers you a fun dining experience featuring everyone’s favorite—crabs.
Indulge in their spiced and steamed blue crabs laying on their paper-covered long tables.
They also offer steamed pots during the day.
If you don't like crabs for some reason, you can also try their other dishes, such as their popular fried oysters and the crab ball sandwich.
Whether you’re celebrating a birthday, wedding, or anniversary or are coming in for a perfect meal, Abner’s should be your top choice!
Celebrate the Stars and Stripes Festival in Chesapeake Beach
Nothing compares to the Stars and Stripes Festival in Chesapeake Beach.
It's an annual celebration sponsored by Chesapeake Beach.
Its primary aim is to educate the public on the significance of Memorial Day through a long weekend Memorial Day outreach.
Each year, they put a new theme and additions that help increase the people’s awareness of the sacrifice of those who died serving their country.
You’ll experience live music, tons of food and drinks, ice cream, games, activities, and more!
Celebrate the Taste the Beaches Festival
One fun thing about Chesapeake Beach is the way they name their festivals.
If you want to taste Chesapeake Beach’s local food and drinks with lots of entertainment, people, artists, and businesses joining in, then join the Taste the Beaches festival.
It’s the best time to try out every dish on the menu, hop from one food truck to another, and taste the local beer and wines!
Best of all, not a single ticket is sold for food.
However, the vendors can give out samples or charge the customers for what they take.
This is one exciting festival you don’t ever want to miss.
Light Up the Town at Chesapeake Beach
The Light Up the Town Event is a yearly event sponsored by the Mayor and the Town Council, held at the Town Hall.
This formally starts the countdown to the day when the Christmas lights in the town turn on for the holidays.
In short, it starts the Lighting of the Town event.
It’s a Christmas tradition in Chesapeake Beach that you wouldn’t want to miss.
Join the Easter Eggstravaganza
Every town has a different way of celebrating Easter.
Chesapeake Beach has the Easter Eggstravaganza.
Join train rides, egg hunts, and family photos with the Easter Bunny in an annual Easter celebration.
The kids will love every activity here; they are designed to entertain the kids and the entire family.
If you happen to come to Chesapeake Beach on Easter, this is the activity you shouldn’t miss.
Celebrate Independence Day in Chesapeake Beach
What's a bigger holiday than the Fourth of July?
Chesapeake Beach celebrates Independence Day with a fireworks display at the town’s center.
You can view the fireworks at Kellam’s Field, Fishing Creek Bridge, and Veteran’s Memorial Park.
With the fireworks held at dusk, bring a picnic basket and a blanket to enjoy and bask in the celebratory atmosphere.
Grab a Delicious Meal at Traders Seafood Steak & Ale
Known for serving mouthwatering local seafood, Traders Seafood Steak & Ale gives you a warm and homey atmosphere in a casual setting.
It's popular for its seafood platter, hot crab dip, shrimp salad, crab balls, shrimp mates, and fried calamari.
If you're up for non-seafood, the restaurant also serves delicious burgers, sandwiches, wings, and steaks, among others.
On warmer days, you can settle down at the restaurant's outdoor patio and enjoy the natural sunlight.
It also has an outdoor beer garden, where live music and DJs play on the weekends.
Traders Seafood Steak & Ale is located off Bayside Road.
Spend a Day at Chesapeake Beach Municipal Water Park
For traveling families, Chesapeake Beach Water Park offers a fun-filled activity in town, where you can get wet and have fun in the water.
Voted as one of Maryland's Best Water Parks, the park features lots of attractions, including the Lazy River; a family favorite.
The walk-in wading area is perfect for the smaller kids, and the bigger kids can enjoy the large slides and waterfalls.
You can also rent a nice cabana to use for the day, where you can share a picnic with your family.
Chesapeake Beach Water Park operates seasonally from May to September.
Shop for Antiques at A-1 Antiques Collectibles
Antique lovers can browse through the 20 rooms at A-1 Antiques Collectibles filled with home decor, collectibles, and many more.
As soon as you walk through its doors, you'll be in awe of the antiquity of everything in here.
From home furnishings, coins, kitchenware, and paintings, to handcrafted finds, you'll be delighted to buy one and take home!
Stepping into the store's floor will send you on a trip down memory lane.
You can find A-1 Antiques Collectibles at Chesapeake Beach Road.
Enjoy a Sweet Afternoon at Butterflies & Wishes Tea & Sweets
On a fine afternoon, it's nice to sit around a lovely spot with coffee, tea, and sweet treats.
At Butterflies & Wishes Tea & Sweets, you can enjoy spending a sweet and peaceful afternoon while savoring the delicious treats.
The shop serves bubble tea, coffee, scones, baked goods, and specialty teas in a warm and cozy atmosphere.
Butterflies & Wishes Tea & Sweets also hosts tea parties and events for special occasions and private meetings.
The seats here are limited, so it would be great to call ahead for a reservation.
Butterflies & Wishes Tea & Sweets is located off Harbor Road.
Honor the National Heroes at the Veterans Memorial Park
Because of its peaceful and relaxing ambiance, the Veterans Memorial Park is popular among those who want to just sit and chill out on a lazy day.
What makes it more inviting is that you get to remember and honor all the heroes that served in the military.
The memorial park sits along the Chesapeake Bay, which gives amazing views while you're paying tribute to the fallen heroes.
You can also donate memorial bricks to be placed around the monuments that are dedicated to all the branches of the military.
Also, both sunrise and sunset here are unbeatable.
You can visit the Veterans Memorial Park at Bayside Road.
See Surfing Art at Bruce “Snake” Gabrielson’s Surfing Museum and Art Gallery
Chesapeake Beach's surfing allure is what makes Bruce “Snake” Gabrielson’s Surfing Museum and Art Gallery a significant town must-visit.
Opened by appointment, this museum and gallery feature an extensive collection of artifacts and memorabilia related to surfing.
From paintings and sculptures to early surfboard displays, there is much to see and explore at this quaint museum.
And the best part is the museum is free for everyone!
To get to Bruce “Snake” Gabrielson’s Surfing Museum and Art Gallery, head over to Bayside Drive on Route 261.
View the Game Room at Northeast Community Center
For a bit of indoor fun with the whole family, you can never go wrong with a visit to Northeast Community Center.
This multi-faceted center has a gymnasium for the athletes and striving-to-be.
There are also basketball courts and a special game room.
Bond with loved ones at the gym equipment, indoor play set for the little ones, and the center's gazebo.
At Northeast Community Center, there's always a reason to stay active.
Get your daily dose of fun at this center on Gordon Stinnett Avenue.
Purchase an Artwork at Chesapeake Beach Art House Bed and Breakfast
Want more secluded and laid-back accommodations while in Chesapeake Beach?
Then, you might want to stop by Chesapeake Beach Art House Bed and Breakfast.
This bed and breakfast is not an ordinary one.
A privy place with stunning bay sunrise and sunset views, this place is every artist's paradise.
What's more, the home also has an art shop with local artwork.
Make your trip more memorable by taking home with you a crab art or a framed photo from this shop.
Chesapeake Beach Art House Bed and Breakfast is on 17th Street.
Play Some Games at A&A Gaming
There's a multitude of entertainment spots at Chesapeake Beach.
And A&A Gaming is only one of them.
Serving as both a bingo hall and a gaming casino, this entertainment facility has all sorts of games and machines for the playing tourist.
It also hosts several events and giveaways that you should watch out for.
Opened in 2007, this gamehouse is within Abners Crabhouse.
Try your luck at A&A Gaming's free-play games or pull-tab machines on Harbor Road.
Look Out for Turtles while Standing by the Fishing Creek Aquatic Life Marker
The town of Chesapeake Beach is famous for its water-based attractions and festivals.
And this is more evident with the Fishing Creek and its Aquatic Life Marker.
The creek, or inlet as some may call it, serves as the entrance to Chesapeake Beach.
The creek offers a home to various sea creatures, including turtles and fish.
And overlooking the creek, right along the Chesapeake Beach Railway Trail, is an informative marker that guides you on the creek's friendly residents.
So, while on a hike, stop by this marker and be on the lookout for red-eared sliders.
If you happen to stumble upon snapping turtles, be on your guard.
The Fishing Creek Aquatic Life Marker is about 300 feet away from Abner's Crab House.
Other Things to Do Nearby
Explore the Stunning Sunrise Garden in North Beach
Located on Bay Avenue, the Sunrise Garden is a passive neighborhood park strategically situated near the town’s waterfront area.
Bask in the gazebo as you admire the stunning surroundings or sit on the benches and seating walls.
Watch the water features consisting of rain gardens, waterfalls, and shallow ponds.
Relax on the walkways while enjoying the beautiful scenery landscaped with native plants, the pad areas and the historical sculptures.
It’s a great place to sit back, relax, and enjoy the scenery that makes you feel like you’re far away from the city’s complexities.
Bring your kids along and let them admire the flowers or play with the other kids.
Learn about Chesapeake Bay Culture at the Bayside History Museum
Travel some two minutes to North Beach to reach the Bayside History Museum.
Learn about Chesapeake Beach's role in shaping the culture of the area.
The museum interprets the collections, preserves historic resources, and promotes stewardship of this heritage.
Likewise, the museum ensures that future generations will still know about them.
Explore the various exhibits and see items from Camp Roosevelt, the first permanent Boy Scout Camp in the US, the paleontological show, and other memorabilia.
Chesapeake Beach can offer you beaches, history, and culture.
It’s the ideal place to visit for the entire family—one that will entertain every age and preference.
Start planning your Chesapeake Beach trip today!