Road Trip! Destination: Chesapeake Beach, Md.
About five hours from Pittsburgh sits a beautiful bayside community that has a small-town feel with big appeal.
Chesapeake Beach, Md., located in Calvert County and about an hour from either Washington, D.C., or Baltimore, is a resort town with secluded beaches, waterfront restaurants and small shops, offering a perfect escape for a beach-lover less interested in chaos and more in quiet relaxation.
In the early 1900s, the town was a popular day-trip for folks looking to take in the fun and sun. Overnight guests could stay at the luxurious Belvedere Hotel, until fire destroyed it in 1923. The resort consisted of a boardwalk over the water and a park and picnicking area on the nearby land.
Today, the town boasts a boardwalk and pier, a water park, resort spa hotel and more for folks looking for a few days at the bay. Whether it's dining bayside, walking the boardwalk or taking in some local history, there's plenty for visitors of this laid-back little town to do.
Rachel Weaver is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-320-7948 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Beaches and parks
The Chesapeake Beach region gives visitors access to several public beaches, where they can take a dip or a walk or simply enjoy the scenery. Bay Front Park, located one-half mile south of Chesapeake Beach, is the spot to take a dip, a nap or a walk. It's also the place for hunting shark teeth. North Beach has a fishing pier, swimming, boardwalk and transient boat slips. Breezy Point Beach & Campground offers bayfront swimming, fishing, picnicking and camping. Veterans Memorial Park provides visitors the opportunity to remember and honor all of our national heroes in a peaceful setting along the bay. Details: www.chesapeake-beach.md.us, www.northbeachmd.org or www.co.cal.md.us/BreezyPoint
Bayside History Museum
The museum features memorabilia from the bayside communities. Exhibits include the explorations of Capt. John Smith, a War of 1812 exhibit featuring Francis Scott Key and “The Star-Spangled Banner,” and a “day at the beach” with memorabilia from the early 1900s. Details: 301-855-4028 or www.baysidehistorymuseum.org
All aboard Miss Chesapeake Beach
Passengers aboard the Miss Chesapeake Beach, a 63-foot-long boat built in 1955, can sport fish, party or simply pleasure cruise the waters in and around Maryland known for their blue crabs and oysters, in addition to hundreds of species of fish, summer dolphin sightings and even occasional winter sightings of humpback whales. Chesapeake Beach native Capt. Luke Thatcher pilots each trip. Details: 301-643-5775 or www.misscb.com
Scenic Chesapeake Beach Railway Trail
The new Chesapeake Beach Railway Trail runs alongside Fishing Creek, partially on the right of way of the long abandoned Chesapeake Beach Railway. The trail delivers scenic views of the creek, surrounding marsh and forest and local wildlife. It includes two bridges across the creek and several walkways either over the creek or marshland. Interpretative signs point out marsh plants, animals and other features of the adjacent water and marshland. The pet-friendly trail is open from dawn until dusk for pedestrians and those on bicycles. Details: www.chesapeake-beach.md.us
Chesapeake Beach Railway Museum
Prior to the Great Depression, the railway brought visitors to Chesapeake Beach where they could enjoy beachfront hotels, a race track, casino, bathhouse, beaches and a 1,600-foot entertainment boardwalk built over the water. Today, the station gives visitors a look into the past with photos and artifacts showing summer crowds enjoying the beach and rides on the railroad. Admission is free. Details: 410-257-3892 or www.cbrm.org
Make a splash at the Water Park
The Chesapeake Beach Water Park features eight water slides, fountains, waterfalls, a lagoon, kids' activity pool and more to treat everyone to a cool time. The park is open every day, weather permitting, through Aug. 16, then on weekends only until Sept. 2. Details: 410-257-1404 or www.chesapeakebeachwaterpark.org
The Chesapeake Beach region is known as the “Little Nevada” area of southern Maryland, with video machines and games of Keno common in area establishments. One popular spot for such fun is the Rod 'N' Reel Marina West, 3840 Gordon Stinett Ave., a Chesapeake Beach landmark. It offers Maryland Lottery, Keno, Racetrax and electronic bingo. There is nightly Bingo on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. Others spots offering gambling and Keno include Abner's Crab House, the Crooked I, Smokey Joe's Restaurant and Traders Seafood Steak & Ale. Details: www.chesapeake-beach.md.us
Chesapeake Beach Resort & Spa
Guests can experience luxury accommodations with balconies overlooking the bay, a full-service spa, marinas, slip rentals, charter fishing, two restaurants and an outdoor cafe. Details: 866-312-5596 or www.chesapeakebeachresortspa.com.