Fishing is permitted from the rock jetties and the pier
Designated swimming areas
Lifeguards are on duty from Memorial Day through Labor Day
Swimming, Fishing, Crabbing, Boating, Picnicking
Lifeguards, Portable Restrooms, Picnic Areas, Marina Store, Boat Ramp, Fishing Pier, Nature Trails
$5 per person from May 1st through September 30th on holidays and weekends and $4 per person on weekdays; $3 per vehicle from October 1st through May 30th
Two large parking lots near the beach; entrance fee includes parking
Atlantic City Beach
Long Branch Beach
If you find yourself near the Chesapeake Bay and want to enjoy a peaceful day at one of the best beaches in Maryland, we highly recommend checking out Sandy Point Beach State Park. Its mile-long sandy beach offers picture-perfect views of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and a great designated swimming area.
In this guide, we'll share all things Sandy Point Beach to help you prepare for your ideal beach day.
About Sandy Point Beach
Sandy Point Beach is found in Sandy Point State Park. It's a public recreation area and popular attraction on the Chesapeake Bay, a popular destination for locals and visitors. The beach and park are located in Anne Arundel County, Maryland, close to the city of Annapolis.
The state park is relatively small, with the beach taking up a decent portion of it. During summer, the beach can become rather crowded as the park draws in many beachgoers. We recommend going early in the morning, as there is a maximum amount of visitors allowed in the park. While it's not the best spot for a secluded vibe, there's plenty of space to spread out on the beach.
Its bluish-grey water is warm in the summer, making it the perfect place for a dip in the Bay. While some areas of the Chesapeake Bay pose the danger of jellyfish stings, Sandy Point doesn’t have a jellyfish population, so it's safe for swimming.
The sand is moderately soft without many rocks or other obstructions. It's typically clean, so it's a great place to stroll and hunt for seashells.
As for amenities at the beach and park, you can find many of them. You can find just about everything you need, from nature trails and picnic areas to BBQ grills and fishing areas. The one convenience many beachgoers miss at Sandy Point Beach is clean restrooms. However, you can find porta-potties at the beach and park.
Sandy Point State Park Attractions
The park and beach have no shortage of attractions, including these:
- Boat ramp: 22 launching ramps and 6 finger piers are available on a first-come, first-serve basis
- Marina Store: opened from mid-April to mid-October to purchase various supplies for boating, fishing, crabbing, and picnicking
- Picnic areas: located throughout the park with grills and picnic tables; food concession available from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day
- Fishing: fishing is permitted from the rock jetties and the pier
- Swimming: designated areas at the beach for swimmers
- Trails: two trails offers bird watching and various wildlife and plants
- Sandy Point Shoal Lighthouse: 37-foot Empire-style red brick tower built in 1883; only available to view from afar
How to Get to Sandy Point State Park
The beach is easy to find and access. From mid-island, you'll hop on the Melvin H. Evans Highway West. Continue until the highway turns into a road. Then, head down the two-way road until you see the entrance gate labeled “Sandy Point National Wildlife Refuge.”
Go through the gate and drive down the dirt road. You’ll pass salt ponds on either side and eventually reach several parking areas. The parking areas are accessible to the public, and they're just a short walk from the beach.
Sandy Point Beach has a deep history. It has fascinating connections relating to the use of ferries and racial segregation. Sandy Point was one of the first ferry landings in Maryland, and passengers would travel back and forth from Kent Island.
Besides being a transportation hub, the beach also played a pivotal moment in desegregating the state and America as a whole.
When the beach was founded in 1952, it was the first and only spot in Maryland that black citizens were allowed to visit. However, it was still segregated. One-half of the beach welcomed visitors of color. The bathhouses and facilities were also segregated.
Just a few months after the beach opened, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) filed a lawsuit. The lawsuit stated the segregated facilities did not demonstrate equality. It resulted in the famous supreme court case Lonesome v. Maxwell, which ended the desegregation of the facilities and beach. That set a precedent for more desegregation based on inequality.
Today, Sandy Point Beach is a welcoming destination for all beachgoers.
Sandy Point Beach is favored for its convenient location near Annapolis and its beautiful scenery. It's located within a small state park that's loved for its nature.
If you're looking for a peaceful atmosphere, we recommend visiting during the early mornings or evenings as the park can get busy during the day, especially in the summer. It's a bit quieter during the week of the off-season.
We especially appreciate Sandy Point because it's a great place to enjoy various activities. There's something for everyone, from hanging out by the ocean and taking in the views to having a photoshoot and exploring trails. It's also an excellent place for families to hang out with little ones!
The only complaint some visitors seem to have is that the facilities could be more upkept. We prefer to enjoy and appreciate the park's natural beauty!