Welcome to the town of Chesapeake Beach, where the seafood is always fresh and the views are always stunning.
Just an hour’s drive south from Baltimore, Chesapeake Beach is quintessential Maryland. You get the calm, relaxed vibe of the south that we like to embrace alongside the exciting modernity of the north we border.
There’s so much history here as it was once a thriving resort community that attracted throngs of visitors from Washington DC on the Chesapeake Beach Railway.
Today, you can visit to learn about its past while taking part in its exciting future by making your way through this list of things to see and do in Chesapeake Beach.
Chesapeake Beach Railway Museum
- Address: 4155 Mears Ave, Chesapeake Beach, MD 20732 | Website
The museum is housed in what was once the Chesapeake Beach railway station; the station was established in 1898 as a stop to bring in more visitors from Washington DC.
The hope was that more visitors meant that Chesapeake Beach would be recognized as a resort town, complete with beaches, boardwalk, hotels, and casinos. The dream ceased in 1935 with the growing popularity of cars and the Great Depression.
Now listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980, the museum is structured around the original railway depot. You’ll learn about the role the station played in the development of Chesapeake Beach through its many interactive exhibits, artifacts, photographs, and other memorabilia.
Chesapeake Beach Rail Trail
- Address: Gordon Stinnett Boulevard (the trail’s northern endpoint) | Website
For over 35 years, the Chesapeake Beach Railway Station whisked visitors between Washington DC and Chesapeake Beach so that they could unwind in the luxuries the resort town offered. Now you can explore a portion of the abandoned railroad in the converted railway trail.
The trail is about 1.5 miles of wooden boardwalk that is surrounded by breathtaking marshlands and creeks. Ornithology aficionados should bring along binoculars because they may spot a bald eagle or other birds.
You can walk or bike and the trail is fully wheelchair accessible; there are also 1 to 2 hour guided tours where you can get all of the lesser-known details about Chesapeake Beach and the rail trail.
Chesapeake Beach Water Park
- Address: 4079 Gordon Stinnett Ave, Chesapeake Beach, MD 20732 | Website
The Chesapeake Beach Water Park has been a key attraction in Chesapeake Beach for over 25 years. With slides, rides, waterfalls, and a long lazy river, it’s guaranteed fun for the entire family – especially on those hot summer days! Rent a private cabana or pavilion fitted with lounge chairs, picnic tables, and cold water bottles.
Keep in mind that the water park is only open to town and county residents on some days so be sure to check their schedule before you head on over.
- Address: 8934 Bay Ave, North Beach, MD 20714 | Website
Located by the town’s waterfront, Sunrise Garden is a beautiful space for visitors to unwind, have a picnic, and just enjoy the natural beauty of Chesapeake Beach. The garden is open from sunrise to sunset all year long.
Visitors will be able to see a stunning landscape of native plants, water structures for rain gardens, shallow ponds and waterfalls, and tons of historic and artistic sculptures. If you’re there during the holidays, you’ll be able to catch their annual holiday lighting displays.
Bayside History Museum
- Address: 4025 4th St, North Beach, MD 20714 | Website
The Bayside History Museum opened in 2001 as a way of preserving the area’s rich past. It’s filled with important documents, images, memorabilia, and more.
Some of the items in the exhibit include signage from Camp Roosevelt and remnants of local restaurants that shaped the community. There’s even an extensive collection of paleontological artifacts and fossils that have been found on local beaches over the years.
Wetlands Overlook Park
- Address: 4020 11th St, North Beach, MD 20714 | Website
Perfect for outdoorsy, adventurous people, Wetlands Overlook Park is a nature park that is flourishing with local flora and fauna. You’ll be surrounded by wetlands where you can observe wildlife such as birds migrating to and from the Atlantic Seaboard.
There’s a visitor center, gazebos, a pier, and designated picnic areas – don’t forget to bring your binoculars or camera along!
Feast on all of the Fresh Seafood
You can’t turn a corner in Chesapeake Beach without running into a seafood restaurant, so take advantage of it!
The Rod ‘N’ Reel Restaurant has been a local favorite for over 70 years and is famed for its baked crab imperial. Traders Seafood Steak and Ale has an awesome deck to dine on and my go-to is always the fried seafood platter which has crab cakes, flounder, clams, oysters, and shrimp.
For a more casual dining experience, head to the local hangout, Neptune’s Seafood Pub for their signature seafood neptune or the shrimp and chorizo tacos.
Little waterfront towns like Chesapeake Beach are a treasure trove for antique hunters. I have found some great pieces with charm and character from places I’ve just wandered into.
A-1 Antiques Collectibles has over twenty rooms of antique furniture, coins, and other collectibles.
Willetta’s Antiques on Bay Avenue is my favorite because of its extensive collection of hard-to-find and first edition books. It’s high-quality antiques at amazing prices.
Boat Tours & Water Sports
One of the best things about Chesapeake Beach is all of the fun water sports and activities you can spend your day doing. There are tons of rental and tour companies where you can either rent private boats or go on a group tour.
Book one based on your interests whether it be charter fishing, dolphin watching, or just go sailing and be out on the water. There are tons of boat tours where you can enjoy the scenic views or learn about the waterfront’s history – it’s a great way to cool off on a summer day.
Rent a jet ski for an exhilarating experience on the Chesapeake!