There are so many fun things to do in North Beach, MD, and I’m sharing all the best things to do so you can have a nice time.
So pull up your lounge chairs, and let’s dive into just how many things there are to do in this small town.
Located on the Western shore of the Chesapeake Bay, you’ll find North Beach, located between the bay and the Patuxent River.
The town of North Beach is only a mile away from the town of Chesapeake Beach (which you have to pass through to get to North Beach). It’s also only 45 minutes from Annapolis, Maryland.
While the ocean beaches are big and beautiful, hidden gems of bay beaches line the eastern seaboard.
While searching for day trip ideas, I came across a relatively unknown spot known as North Beach.
Driving from DC to Maryland takes only one hour. Traffic is a breeze because you bypass the Bay Bridge by driving to Calvert County. We had such a great first visit that we’ve returned many times now.
About North Beach
North Beach is more than a beach with a few shops and restaurants.
I consider North Beach a smaller version of Bethany Beach in Delaware. The small bay beach has a seven-block waterfront, which includes a fishing pier, a half-mile-long boardwalk and a bike path.
The boardwalk is sprinkled with benches and flower beds, allowing visitors to sit on the dock of the bay per say.
For those that want to enjoy the bay minus the sun exposure, there is a canopied tent.
Before you enter North Beach, you pass Chesapeake Beach. This town boasts the Chesapeake Beach water park, which allows for a perfect day trip.
North Beach has everything I want when visiting a beach: clean, quiet, and great for families with younger children.
Accessing North Beach
One difference with North Beach is that visitors have to pay to get actual beach access. While this shocked my husband, I didn’t mind shelling out the money because they did not want people trashing the property. The beach was extremely clean.
Beach Pass fees vary depending on where you live, and a valid ID is required.
Admission is free for North Beach residents and all children ages 2 and under.
Calvert County residents pay $6 for children ages 3-11 and active military, and $9 for Adults.
Out-of-county visitors pay $10 for children ages 3-11 and active military, and adults (12-54) are $25/person.
A family of five can invest in the season pass, which is $260 for Calvert County residents and $520 for out-of-county visitors, which guarantees a summer of fun.
You can bring your own chairs, umbrellas, and small coolers are welcome on the beach. Chair rentals will set you back $10, and $15 for an umbrella.
Note: All beach passes, and rentals must be purchased at the Welcome Center. They accept cash, Visa and Mastercard and also have an ATM.
Restrooms, showers and changing rooms are located behind the Welcome Center. For additional information on the opening times to purchase passes, visit the website.
Once you don your wristband and it is checked by an employee, you can descend the steps to the sandy beach.
Why North Beach is Good For Kids
There were virtually no waves, and the water was surprisingly warm. You can walk out far without the water being too deep.
The small, enclosed area is lined with rocks on one side and the pier on the other. There is no lifeguard on duty, so swim at your own risk. Several ducks and the occasional seagull flew and glided in and out of the water.
Kids will love the pirate ship playground. Simple in design with a slide and two swings, the ship’s underbelly led my child to compare the cool sand to that which lay in the sun.
Comb the beach for shells and maybe find some shark teeth (Calvert County has lots of areas with fossils).
At 2pm on a Friday afternoon, there were a total of seven families on the beach. Despite the fact that the beach area is small, the amount of people meant we had plenty of room to soak up the sun.
The Visitor Center: North Beach Welcome Center
Stop by the Welcome Center to gather information about the town and its surrounding areas. Inside, you’ll find an array of brochures and maps that can help you plan your trip and navigate the region with ease.
Note: For those planning to soak up the sun on North Beach’s beautiful shoreline, the Visitor Center is where you can obtain beach passes and fishing permits.
Simply swing by the welcome center to secure your passes and permits before heading out for a day of sun, sand, and casting lines.
Across from the welcome center is a snack stand with:
- Funnel cakes
- Snow cones
- Hot dogs
Things to Do in North Beach MD
#1 Go to The Beach (Of Course!)
When it comes to things to do in North Beach, Maryland, one activity stands out as a must-do: heading to the beach!
The beach at North Beach is a true gem, offering a picturesque setting with its beautiful sandy shores and calm waters. Located on the Chesapeake Bay, this beach provides a serene environment where families can relax and have a great time.
What makes this beach even more appealing is the absence of strong waves or undertows. You can let your kids splash around and swim without worrying about rough currents.
The calm waters of the Chesapeake Bay are perfect for a refreshing dip on a sunny day.
If you’re not in the mood for swimming, you can simply bask in the sun on the soft sandy beach. Some other activities include:
- Fish from the pier
- Go for a walk or bike ride along the beach
- Have a picnic lunch on the beach
#2 Wetlands Overlook Park
With its well-kept surroundings and lovely walkways, you can take a leisurely stroll while immersing yourself in the beauty of the wetlands.
Wetlands Overlook Park is the perfect spot for a lovely picnic with your loved ones. You can also bring your furry friend along for a refreshing dog walk or let your kids enjoy a bike ride in a safe environment.
Note: while this is a prime spot for birdwatchers, the area is very small and has no parking as it’s positioned at the end of a residential street.
You’ll be captivated by the stunning grasses and the houses that gracefully overlook the bay. It’s a sight that truly showcases the beauty of North Beach.
Additionally, for those warm summer days, you’ll be pleased to know that the park provides well-maintained bathrooms. If you need a break from the heat, you can step inside and take a few moments to cool down.
#3 Bayside History Museum
We didn’t make it to the Bayside History Museum, filled with exhibits on the history of the Chesapeake Bay communities.
The museum features impressive fossil displays with specimen drawers, allowing you to explore the rich natural history of the area.
You can marvel at scale models and an entire dollhouse, giving you a glimpse into life in bygone eras. Antique doll enthusiasts will be delighted by the collection on display.
For those interested in fishing, the museum boasts a remarkable vintage fishing tackle collection. You can admire the tools and equipment used by anglers of yesteryears and appreciate how fishing has evolved over time.
Additionally, the museum pays tribute to the vibrant advertising history of the region by preserving vintage advertising signs from the past. These signs offer a glimpse into the local culture and commerce of earlier decades.
If you or your children are involved in scouting, you’ll find the Boy and Girl Scout collections particularly intriguing.
There is also a nice, fenced playground less than two blocks from the boardwalk.
#4 North Beach Boardwalk
The North Beach Boardwalk is a great spot to visit, especially when it’s not crowded.
However, if you plan to go during busy times or lunch hours, it’s important to note that parking can be a challenge.
But don’t let that deter you! During off-peak hours, taking a leisurely stroll along the boardwalk is a fantastic experience.
While some shops may be hit or miss during the off-season, it’s still definitely worth a trip. You’ll find a variety of activities to enjoy, ranging from renting bikes to indulging in delicious funnel cakes.
One must-visit spot is the Cold Penguin, where you can treat yourself to the best ice cream in town. They offer a wide selection of flavors, so don’t hesitate to ask if your favorite isn’t on display.
I highly recommend trying the Oatmeal Cookie flavor—it’s absolutely delicious!
Don’t forget to take a walk on the pier, which is adorned with benches bearing plaques donated by generous individuals. It’s a delightful experience and provides a scenic view of the surrounding area.
#5 Rod ‘N’ Reel Resort
If you’re looking for a fantastic waterfront getaway in North Beach MD, look no further than Rod ‘N’ Reel Resort. This place has it all!
The service is top-notch, and the location is simply unbeatable. Situated right by the water, you’ll be treated to breathtaking views throughout your stay.
One of the highlights of the resort is the Rod and Reel Restaurant, which offers a perfect setting for a quiet and high-quality dining experience.
When my daughter wanted to take me somewhere nice for breakfast, I knew this was the place to go. The restaurant’s ambience is simply unmatched, with its bay view, elegant tablecloths, and fine glassware.
Not only does the restaurant excel in its atmosphere, but the food is also outstanding. The breakfast meal was expertly prepared, with moist and flavorful bacon and delicious home fries that resembled sliced fingerlings.
The coffee was exceptional as well, as the hostess took the time to create a customized blend that proved to be popular among the patrons.
Whether you’re staying at the resort or just visiting for a meal, you’ll find the atmosphere to be incredibly relaxing.
#6 Eat lots of seafood
The beach has several seafood restaurants for you to choose from
Neptune’s Seafood Pub
The classic Maryland seafood house atmosphere instantly drew me in and made me feel right at home.
One of the standout dishes at Neptune’s Seafood Pub is their crab and corn soup. It’s a delightful blend of flavors that is both different and hearty. I highly recommend giving it a try.
As for my main course, I opted for the Cod Sandwich, and I was not disappointed.
The fish was perfectly cooked, and the bun was absolutely delicious. To complement my meal, I ordered waffle fries, which were a hit with everyone at the table.
What sets Neptune’s Seafood Pub apart from other places in the area is the live entertainment they offer. The atmosphere becomes even more vibrant when talented musicians take the stage. It’s an ideal place to enjoy some live music while indulging in fantastic seafood.
Traders Seafood Steak
Traders Seafood Steak & Ale is a hidden gem located in a charming seaside community. This cool little seafood cabin offers a delightful dining experience for families.
The cream of crab soup is a must-try, as it is filled with generous portions of crab and other delectable seafood like bay scallops. Their crab dip is also a tasty treat that warms up perfectly in the oven.
If you’re in the mood for an early dinner with a seafood feast, their seafood platter is highly recommended, especially the flavorful crab cake.
The benedict-style crab cake is a true standout. In addition to the amazing food, Traders Seafood Steak & Ale prides itself on its great service and wide food selection.
You’ll be impressed by the cleanliness of the dining room and the phenomenal service provided by the staff.
#7 Herrington Harbour
This facility offers a range of great amenities that will make your stay enjoyable and memorable. With a beautiful beach, a large pool, and even a more upscale restaurant, there’s something for everyone here.
The marina provides a pleasant and relaxing atmosphere, perfect for a getaway with your family.
The beach is lovely, and there’s a designated swimming area that’s safe for kids to enjoy. Plus, the restaurant has recently upgraded their food, offering delicious options for all tastes.
And let’s not forget about the bar drinks—they’re absolutely fantastic!
Whether you’re looking to soak up the sun on the beach, take a refreshing dip in the pool, or indulge in some tasty food and drinks, Herrington Harbour has it all.
#8 Public Fishing Pier
Whether you’re planning a fun-filled day with the kids or a romantic date night, this charming pier offers something for everyone.
As you stroll along the boardwalk, you’ll be captivated by the stunning views of the Chesapeake Bay. On a clear day, you might even catch a glimpse of the magnificent Chesapeake Bay Bridge in the distance.
The tranquil atmosphere and gentle bay breeze create the perfect setting for a leisurely walk or a relaxing picnic.
Even those who want to do a bit of fishing can rent poles and crab traps on the pier.
#9 Chesapeake Market & Deli
Check out Chesapeake Market & Deli, located across from Herrington Harbor. They offer indoor/outdoor seating and serve fantastic food.
During my visit, I enjoyed grilled vegetables, crab dip with pretzel, and a fountain drink, followed by a slice of their delicious key lime pie.
Chesapeake Market & Deli not only has delicious food but also provides quick and friendly service. The staff is accommodating and made changes to our order without hesitation.
Whether it’s raining or not, you can still enjoy the beautiful harbor views at this local spot.
When we visited WonderWorks, my son was absolutely thrilled with all the interactive exhibits. We ended up spending about 3 hours exploring all the amazing activities this place has to offer.
From pretend play areas like a grocery store and fire station to building blocks, train tracks, and a theater/dress up section, there is no shortage of fun and interactive exhibits for kids to enjoy.
WonderWorks is specifically designed to cater to children aged 2-6, making it the perfect place for young ones to have a great time.
The variety of interactive exhibits ensures that there’s something for every child’s interest and imagination. Not only will they have a blast, but they’ll also be learning through play and exploration.
11. Sip on Brown Sugar Lavender Lattes
The Bakist, a charming café, is a great spot to grab a coffee and take a leisurely walk along the boardwalk. The highlight of their menu is the Brown Sugar Lavender Latte, a unique and flavorful drink that is sure to please your taste buds.
During my visit, I also tried their Apple Walnut Muffin, which was absolutely delicious. The muffin had generous chunks of apples that added a burst of flavor with every bite.
While I would have liked a stronger lavender taste in the latte, it was still quite enjoyable.
One thing I appreciate about The Bakist is their commitment to catering to different dietary needs. They offer gluten-free options, ensuring that everyone can find something delicious to enjoy.
12. Sunrise Garden
If you’re looking for scenic views of the bay, this is the perfect spot to go.
This lovely little park is the ideal destination if you’re seeking scenic views of the bay and a tranquil atmosphere.
As you explore the garden, you’ll find yourself immersed in its beauty. Take a leisurely stroll along the paths, and don’t forget to find a comfortable bench to sit and relax.
The park’s well-maintained foliage creates a peaceful ambiance, making it an excellent spot to unwind and escape the hustle and bustle of daily life.
One of the highlights of Sunrise Garden is the captivating sculptures made from driftwood by local artists.
Another delightful feature of the garden is its ponds, which are home to magnificent Koi fish. The vibrant colors of these fish combined with the graceful waterlilies create a mesmerizing sight.
13. Rent Jet Skis
One highly recommended facility for jet ski rentals is DMV Jet Skis. They pride themselves on offering newer models and maintaining a friendly and helpful staff.
To ensure a smooth experience, it’s best to arrive early as they suggest. This allows you to complete any necessary paperwork, receive safety instructions, and get acquainted with the jet ski you’ll be riding.
Stand up paddle boards, single or double kayak, and bicycles can be rented by the hour or day, with the cost being cheaper to rent for the day.
14. Rent Bikes
Are you ready for an inexpensive and super-fun family outing in North Beach? Rent bikes!
It’s a fantastic way to explore the area, by biking at bay avenue, and enjoy some quality time together.
When it comes to bike rentals, you can go with Tessa scooters. Their services are top-notch, and their workers are simply fantastic.
They are incredibly patient and will take the time to teach you and your family how to ride the scooters safely.
15. North Beach Community Center
The North Beach Community Center is a typical community center with an arts & crafts room, gym, and a newly updated outdoor playground.
Inside the center, you’ll find an indoor sports space primarily used for basketball.
This is a fantastic option for families looking to engage in friendly competitions or for individuals who want to stay active and play a game of hoops.
#16 See a Theater Show
If you’re looking for a delightful and entertaining experience, be sure to catch a theater show at Twin Beach Players. This wonderful theater company caters to both adults and children, making it a perfect choice for families.
The Youth Troupe at Twin Beach Players offers excellent theater development training. Led by Harvey Williams and guest lecturers, students learn:
- Audition techniques
- Theater history
- Props creation
- And more!
The Youth Troupe covers essential theater skills like script analysis and character building. It’s a fantastic opportunity for aspiring actors, directors, or anyone who loves the magic of theater.
#17 Grab a Sweet Treat
Our favorite place to go for sweet treats is Jango’s Frozen Treats.
This delightful dessert spot offers a wide variety of frozen treats that are sure to satisfy your cravings. What sets Jango’s apart is not only their delicious treats but also their exceptional customer service.
One of the highlights at Jango’s is their topping bar, which boasts a remarkable selection. From brownies to gummies and everything in between, you’ll find a wide array of toppings to customize your treat just the way you like it.
Whether you’re a fan of fruity flavors or prefer indulgent chocolatey goodness, Jango’s has something for everyone.
If you’re craving a classic frozen treat like Dole Whip or want to explore new flavors, Jango’s Frozen Treats should be your go-to spot.
#18 Go Wine Tasting
This relatively new vineyard is nestled in the picturesque southeast Maryland area, boasting a stunning hilltop location with breathtaking views.
Upon arrival, you’ll be captivated by the well-decorated setting, which adds to the charm of the vineyard. Two Lions Vineyards offers a fantastic selection of wines that are sure to please even the most discerning palate.
As a family-friendly establishment, they also offer delicious food options, making it a perfect destination for a day out with the kids.
But that’s not all – brace yourself for the ultimate treat: ice cream! Yes, their ice cream is simply to die for and will leave both parents and kids smiling from ear to ear.
What makes the experience even more special is the friendly and knowledgeable staff. They go out of their way to ensure you have a fantastic time, expertly explaining the different wines and making you feel right at home.
#19 Visit ArtWorks@7th
If you’re looking for a vibrant and diverse art experience, make sure to stop by ArtWorks@7th.
This co-op artists gallery features around two dozen members showcasing their impressive work in a mix of genres.
One of the remarkable aspects of ArtWorks@7th is the constant rotation of artwork, ensuring that each visit brings new and exciting pieces to admire.
Beyond being a gallery, ArtWorks@7th actively engages with the community. The gallery members participate in various community activities, aiming to enhance public knowledge and appreciation of the arts.
They organize monthly shows that feature individual artists, guest artists, small works, and theme shows, all of which are selected by the membership through voting.
20. Attend an Event
One of the best ways to make the most of your time in North Beach, is by attending the special events held there. My favorite is First Fridays.
Taking place on the first Friday of each month from May to October, First Fridays is an exciting event from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM.
- DJ music
- Classic cars
- Food trucks
- Beer and wine vendors
- Small pop-up shops
- Craft vendors
- And free beach access
If you’re looking for another special event to attend, you’ll find plenty of events and performances like live music, dance performances, and art demonstrations.
First Fridays is a family-friendly event that lets you enjoy the summer weather, support local businesses, and discover new things in North Beach.
21. Chesapeake Beach Railway Museum
In nearby Chesapeake Beach, this adorable little museum is packed with a lot of railroad history.
The Chesapeake Beach Railway Museum is housed in the original Chesapeake Beach Railway depot, which is on the national register of historic places.
This museum offers a fantastic opportunity for the whole family to learn about the fascinating progress of the railway industry.
Step inside and be transported back to the late 1800s, when railways were the lifeline of transportation.
The museum proudly houses the last remaining railway car from that era, which used to run from Washington DC to Chesapeake Beach.
It’s a remarkable piece of history that allows you to experience the golden age of train travel firsthand.
Good to Know Before You Go
- In addition to restroom facilities, there are portable toilets across the street from the boardwalk.
- Free visitor parking is located at the southeast corner of Chesapeake Avenue and 5th Street, one block from the beach.
- There is also free, but limited, 2 hour parking located by the boardwalk.
An Hour’s Drive From North Beach
One nice thing about being at North Beach is how close it is to many other great places to go. Within an hour of North Beach you’ll find: