Discover Maryland’s Twin Beaches
If small-town farmers markets and lazy beachcombing are your thing, this is the place.
The brunch buffet in the resort’s Rod ’N’ Reel Restaurant is always buzzing with locals, but we preferred breakfast on the deck at another town favorite, Traders Seafood Steak & Ale. A beach visit is also incomplete without a trip to Abner’s Crab House for steamed crabs served on bayside tables covered with brown paper.
One easy-to-overlook attraction that sits to the side of the Chesapeake Beach Resort & Spa’s parking lot is the aforementioned Chesapeake Beach Railway Museum, a trove of interesting lore about the throngs of merrymakers who arrived by train more than a century ago. Get one of the curators in the old depot talking and you might be rewarded with a cool story about the safe in the back room, the luggage stacked high in another storage area or a tour of an antique railcar.
If you’re a nature-lover, pick up the nearby Chesapeake Beach Railway Trail, which, according to former mayor Bruce Wahl, was inspired by the Washington & Old Dominion Trail in Northern Virginia. Bald eagles, marshland and, of course, plenty of water are visible from this boardwalk-style byway that offers yet another way to unplug, unwind and do exactly what you came here to do—take it easy.
If You Go
Abner’s Crab House
Old Bay seasoning perfumes the air at this family-owned waterfront eatery. Grab a table outside so the kids can watch the ducks and boats while you munch on a crab-smothered pretzel or the signature steam pot full of crustaceans. abnerscrabhouse.net
Neptune’s Seafood Pub
Located a few blocks from the beach, this neighborhood corner bar is a solid spot for seaside pub grub like excellent mussels and gooey crab dips. neptunesseafoodpub.com
Traders Seafood Steak & Ale
You’ll love the filling and reasonably priced plates at this diner-style venue known for its breakfast, where an egg, bacon, toast and home fries go for a delightfully modest $5.29. traders-eagle.com
It’s one of the few white-tablecloth restaurants in the area, serving upscale versions of down-home dishes like cream of crab soup and pan-fried catfish. Friday and Saturday nights bring spirited live jazz. westlawninn.com
Bay Front Park
Situated just south of Chesapeake Beach, this strip of sand, known as prime territory for finding prehistoric shark teeth, is open year-round but charges a fee ($5-$18) only during summer months. chesapeake-beach.md.us/attractions_bayfrontpark.htm
Breezy Point Beach
With beach access, a fishing pier, playground, grills and a concession stand, this is a great spot for families. Campsites fill up fast, so reserve as early as possible. The fee for beach access ranges from $4-$10, free for children ages 2 and younger. www.co.cal.md.us/Facilities/Facility/Details/Breezy-Point-Beach-and-Campground-15
As with all the beaches in this area, bring water shoes since the bay floor can get rocky. It’s also a great idea to arrive with things to float on, plus cash or checks for antiquing later. Beach access fees for out-of-towners run from $9-$17, free for children ages 2 and younger. northbeachmd.org
Bayside History Museum
Develop a deeper understanding of the region through fossils, old-timey recreation displays and exhibits showing the contributions of the African-American community. baysidehistorymuseum.org
Chesapeake Beach Railway Museum
The historic train station now serves as a small but fun gateway to the past, showcasing the people who used the railway during its years of operation, 1900-1935. chesapeakebeachrailwaymuseum.com
Rina Rapuano is a freelance food and travel writer based in Washington, D.C. Follow her on Instagram at @rinacucina or Twitter at @rinarap.