The sun is shining and DC nightlife is on fire when the moon comes out! The pool is nice, but nothing beats that ocean smell and the feeling of sand between your toes. Sometimes the weekend is best spent at the beach!
— Keeping it Local —
With the Atlantic Ocean so close to DC, there are tons of great beaches in the area to choose from. But which one floats your boat?
Outer Banks, North Carolina
Wild horses wandering the Outer Banks
- A classic East Coast destination, the Outer Banks offers miles of clean sand, excellent swimming, and plenty of water sports. Don’t forget to check out Kitty Hawk, the site of the first Wright Brothers’ flight, or brush up on your pirate lore!
Rehoboth Beach, Delaware
- A sleepier alternative to the nearby and developed Ocean City, Rehoboth Beach is traditionally a summer getaway for families and people looking for a little peace and quiet. Recently, it has also become a favorite destination for gay and lesbian travelers.
Take a stroll on Ocean City's famed boardwalk!
Ocean City, Maryland
- One ofthe most frequented beaches in the Mid-Atlantic, Ocean City’s 9-mile pleasure strip has everything from amusement rides and boardwalk fries to competitive fishing and delicious seafood.
Cape May, New Jersey
- The crown jewel of the Jersey Shore, Cape May was once a favorite escape of America’s Founding Fathers. The town features 19th century Victorian architecture, pampered beaches, and a slew of gourmet restaurants.
Virginia Beach, Virginia
- Listed in the Guinness Book of World Records for having the largest pleasure beach in the world, there’s plenty to do in Virginia Beach. Check out one of its many outdoor parks, take a swing on one of its eleven golf courses, or stop by the city aquarium.
— Great American Beaches —
For getaways a little further away, here’s a list of great American beaches to catch some rays, build a sandcastle, or fly a kite.
Hilton Head, South Carolina
- A popular resort town and one of the biggest islands on the East Coast, Hilton Head boasts both nightlife and wildlife, expansive beachfront, and is a golfer’s paradise!
Welcome to Miami (bienvenido a Miami)!
- Home to some of the world’s hottest nightlife and most glamorous people, Miami’s South Beach is swimming with appeal!
Santa Barbara, California
- With an unspoiled shoreline, lush hillside, and thriving downtown area, Santa Barbara is must-visit destination in Southern California. Oh, and the surfing is most excellent!
Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Famous for its lighthouses, Cape Cod has 14 of them!
- Home to great boating and fishing, iconic lighthouses, epic sand dunes, and the best cranberries and shellfish in the world, hitting the beach on Cape Cod is a New England!
Big Island, Hawaii
- Head to Hawaii’s Big Island for warm, clear waters, a variety of marine life, excellent snorkeling and scuba diving, and volcano expeditions. Still somewhat off the beaten path, the island place is a slice of paradise.
— Top Caribbean Picks —
If you’re looking to abandon the outside world and plunge into paradise, here are two of the best beach spots in the Caribbean.
St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands
Trunk Bay, St. John... absolutely beautiful
- With two-thirds of the island protected by the National Park Service and home to the aquamarine, coral-filled waters of Trunk Bay, St. John is easily one of the most pristine beach destinations in the Caribbean!
- Turn up the Bob Marley, grab an umbrella drink, kick back on Negril’s white sand beach, and soak up Jamaica’s informal island vibe in this “Capital of Casual.”
When the DC summer gets to be too much, remember, there are plenty of weekend escapes the DC, Maryland, Virginia area!