|Family Travel Files Ezine Family Vacations Resource
|US: Mid Atlantic, Best Beach Spots for a Family Vacation. Throughout the Mid Atlantic region beach options vary from windswept barrier islands to boardwalks, piers and fishing zones. We know that “perfect” depends on your family. For sure a terrific family beach vacation includes sand, sun, sea plus an occasional surf board, a little beach music, crabbing, sailing and oceanside picnics. Find the perfect match for your family.
Check out our Mid Atlantic beach suggestions:
Maryland: Sandy Point State Park, Sailing, Fishing and Crabbing on the Chesapeake.
Located not far from Annapolis, Sandy Point State Park is host to a variety of great water-based activities, such as swimming, boating, windsurfing, fishing and boating in addition to some of the best views of Chesapeake Bay from Maryland’s western shore. The Chesapeake Bay blue crab, a delicious seafood treat, can be caught off of Sandy Point State Park’s fishing and crabbing pier at the south end of the boat launch ramps. Off beach bonus:
The park is located on the eastern flyway, so it’s a great place to view woodland, marsh, and migratory waterfowl. There are also a series of great picnic areas with views of Bay Bridge, as well as the many ships and boats which ply Chesapeake Bay. Discovery:
Families who stay at the Historic Inns of Annapolis can learn to sail at the National Sailing Hall of Fame
on City Dock in Annapolis – no previous experience required! (Historic Inns of Annapolis, 58 State Circle, Annapolis, MD 21401. (410) 263-2641, email@example.com
) (Sandy Point State Park is located Anne Arundel County, at the western terminus of the Bay Bridge, off U.S. Routes 50/301 at exit 32. (410) 974-2149, www.dnr.state.md.us/publiclands/southern/sandypoint.asp
Maryland/Virginia: Assateague Island National Seashore, Beach Hiking, Wild Ponies and Surf Fishing.
Assateague Island is home to more than 300 wild ponies, descendents of domestic animals that have reverted to a wild state and are tough enough to survive the heat, storms, and other challenges of life on this remote, windswept barrier island. Visitors to Assateague Island can take advantage of the great opportunities for bird watching, clamming, seashell collecting, surf fishing, beach hiking and swimming. Off beach bonus:
Adventurous visitors should plan to camp out on the island – although the barrier island habitat can be harsh, it’s a once-in-a-life time experience, especially for nature enthusiasts. Visitors should also take the time to explore the salt marshes and maritime forests of this island on the edge of the continent. Discovery:
There are ranger-guided programs available from both the Maryland Barrier Island Visitor Center (410) 641-1441) and the Virginia Toms Cove Visitor Center (757) 336-6577). (Assateague Island National Seashore. 7206 National Seashore Lane, Berlin, MD 21811. (410) 641-1441 or www.nps.gov/asis
Delaware: Bethany Beach, Windsurfing, Boogie Boards, and a Bandstand on the Boardwalk.
Bethany Beach is a part of a string of quiet beach resorts along a seven-mile stretch of sandy, Atlantic Ocean in the southeastern corner of Delaware. Guarded by its famous totem pole, Bethany Beach's ocean beaches offer many recreational opportunities, including swimming, fishing, surfing and boogey board and raft riding. The water is warm enough to swim in from late May through early October (some even take a dip in January!) Off beach bonus:
During the summer months the Bethany Beach bandstand hosts a wide variety of free musical acts and entertainment for residents and visitors. Discovery:
South of Rehoboth Beach, Delaware Seashore State Park offers the best in swimming, surfing, fishing, sailing, windsurfing and camping. The 2,557-acre park contains a full-service marina and almost seven miles of ocean beaches. It is home to many forms of wildlife, including piping plovers, osprey and brown pelicans. (Delaware Seashore State Park Route 1 Inlet 850, Rehoboth Beach. (302)227-2800 or www.destateparks.com/dssp/dssp.asp
) (Town of Bethany Beach Delaware 214 Garfield Pkwy, Bethany Beach. (302) 539-8011 or www.townofbethanybeach.com
Virginia: Yorktown Beach, Beach Picnics, Swimming and Market Days.
North of Virginia Beach and Norfolk likes a small, kid-friendly beach on the edge of historic Yorktown, a picturesque location steeped in a marvelous history. Yorktown Beach offers opportunities for swimming, fishing and boating, as well as a fishing pier and a 10-acre grass picnic area. Off beach bonus:
Yorktown will host Market Days every Saturday in the summer, and a few selected days in Fall. Wares vary from local produce, meat, seafood and baked goods, to flowers, herbs, sculpture, pottery, jewelry and more. Discovery:
This year Yorktown Beach is host to seven Saturdays of the "Shagging on the Riverwalk" Beach Music Concert Series. On Saturday evenings during the summer, guests can enjoy live music and dancing on the area's largest outdoor dance floor. All of the events are free and open to the public, guests are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets for seating. (Riverwalk Landing, 425 Water Street, Yorktown, VA 23690. (757) 890-3500 or www.riverwalklanding.com
Virginia: Sandbridge, Beaches, Stargazing and Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge.
Sandbridge is a barrier island which stretches to North Carolina - populated with beach houses, cozy cottages, deluxe condos and a couple of eateries for convenience. From any spot on the island the beach is only a short walk away and it is never crowded. In addition to miles of marvelous beach, predictable waves and refreshing breezes, stargazing is obvious benefit. The beach time is first class; the surf is kind to beginners. Nearby Bay National Wildlife Refuge encompasses more than 8,000 acres of beach, dunes, marsh, farmlands, woodlands, and water. Easy access to the Refuge is a huge benefit if you want to share nature with your kids. Off water bonus:
In addition to two boardwalks that lead to the beach, The Bay Trail, Environmental Study Area, and portions of interior dikes are also open hiking. Biking is also permitted on the east and west dikes on a seasonal basis so if you have a bike rack, load up the bikes because the riding is worth it. Discovery:
Seasonal interpretive programs are provided at various locations throughout the Refuge including Ashville Bridge Creek Environmental Education Center. (Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge. Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge, 4005 Sandpiper Road, Virginia Beach, VA. 23456-4325. (757) 721-2412 or www.fws.gov/backbay
) (Sandbridge and Virginia Beach. Toll- free 1-800-VA-BEACH (800-822-3224) or www.vbfun.com
Researed and written by FTF staff Images by Andrew Der, Virginia Beach CVB, and FTF. Copyright 2013.