Best Swimming Beaches Within 2 Hours of NoVA

Best Swimming Beaches Within 2 Hours of NoVA

Looking for a refreshing swim that doesn’t involve a pool? Take a day trip to one of these sandy beaches in Maryland and Virginia, all within two hours of Northern Virginia.


North Beach

Distance from Dulles: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Nestled in Calvert County on the Chesapeake Bay, North Beach offers calm waters with few waves and no lifeguards, so swim at your own risk. Enjoy the town’s fishing pier and seven-block boardwalk. Feel free to bring coolers and umbrellas, but dogs must stay home. Restrooms are available. A beach pass is required for entry.

  • Address: 9023 Bay Ave., North Beach, Maryland

  • Cost: $25 for adults, $10 for children (ages 3-11), $9 for seniors

Sandy Point State Park

Distance from Dulles: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Located just before the Bay Bridge, this 786-acre park features a 1-mile-long sandy beach with lifeguards. It’s perfect for both large and small gatherings. Bring your picnic or buy food on-site. The park includes multiple picnic areas, restrooms, and showers. Fishing is allowed in designated areas, but those 16 or older need a sport fishing license.

  • Address: 1100 E. College Pkwy., Annapolis

  • Cost: $5 per person on weekends, $4 on weekdays

Point Lookout State Park

Distance from Dulles: 2 hours

This small beach in St. Mary’s County offers swimming, fishing, and exercise opportunities. Be cautious of jellyfish, as there are no lifeguards. Grills and picnic tables are available on a first-come basis. Restrooms are present. The park, situated on a peninsula between Chesapeake Bay and the Potomac River, is open from 7 a.m. to sunset.

  • Address: 11175 Point Lookout Rd., Scotland, Maryland

  • Cost: $7 per person on weekends through September, $5 on weekdays


Colonial Beach

Distance from Dulles: 1 hour, 50 minutes

Situated on the Potomac River, Colonial Beach boasts the second-largest public beach in Virginia. Enjoy a cost-free day trip here. The North Beach area is quieter, while the beach near the boardwalk and pier offers shops, restaurants, and food trucks. Castlewood Beach has picnic tables and play areas. Restrooms are available. Parking is available on the street or in lots, payable via meter or parking app.

  • Address: Beach Terrace, Colonial Beach

  • Cost: Free

Lake Anna State Park

Distance from Dulles: 1 hour, 40 minutes

Located in Spotsylvania, this state park features a large swimming beach on Lake Anna. Parking fills up quickly, so arrive early. The park closes at 4 p.m. Facilities include a bathhouse, walking trails, freshwater fishing, and a visitor center.

  • Address: 6800 Lawyers Rd., Spotsylvania

  • Cost:

  • Parking: $10 on weekends, $7 on weekdays

  • Swimming fees (ages 13+): $5 on weekends, $4 on weekdays

  • Swimming fees (ages 3-12): $4 on weekends, $3 on weekdays

Pleasants Landing at Lake Anna

Distance from Dulles: 1 hour, 50 minutes

This privately owned beach in Louisa County offers grills and rentable pavilions. Daily cabana or pop-up shelter rentals are available for $20. Water shoes are recommended for going into the lake. You can also rent tandem kayaks, canoes, and pontoon boats.

  • Address: 349 Pleasant Landing Rd., Bumpass

  • Cost: $8 for adults, $5 for children

(571) 517-2012

12923 Fitzwater Dr. Nokesville, VA 20155 
(703) 594-3800 |

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