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Maryland’s Coastal Charm – Top 7 Beach Towns You Must Visit

Nestled along the eastern coast of the United States, Maryland’s coastal towns offer a symphony of natural beauty, historical charm, and vibrant culture. Like a radiant pearl necklace adorning the shores of the Atlantic, these beach towns beckon travelers seeking respite from their daily routines.

From the bustling excitement of Ocean City to the untamed wilderness of Assateague Island, each destination has its own unique allure. Lose yourself in the lively boardwalks of Ocean City, where the scent of saltwater mingles with the laughter of children. Explore Assateague Island, where wild horses roam freely amidst pristine dunes and sparkling waters. Immerse yourself in the historic streets of St. Michaels, where colonial architecture whispers tales of a bygone era. Discover the tranquil beauty of Solomons Island, a haven for boating enthusiasts and nature lovers alike. And venture into Bethany Beach, a serene oasis offering a peaceful retreat from the outside world.

With its picturesque landscapes, rich history, and warm hospitality, Maryland’s coastal towns provide a haven for those seeking freedom and rejuvenation. Embark on a journey to these top seven beach towns, and let the coastal charm of Maryland captivate your senses.

Key Takeaways

  • Maryland coastal towns offer a combination of natural beauty, historical charm, and vibrant culture.
  • Ocean City is a bustling beach town with a lively boardwalk and a variety of dining options.
  • Assateague Island is famous for its wild ponies and offers camping experiences.
  • St. Michaels is a charming town with historic attractions and waterfront dining options.
  • Solomons Island boasts picturesque marinas and a maritime museum showcasing the region’s history.

– Bethany Beach is a serene coastal retreat with pristine sandy shores and delicious seafood restaurants.

Ocean City


Ocean City, located along the Atlantic coast of Maryland, offers a captivating beach experience with its pristine sandy shores, vibrant boardwalk, and plethora of recreational activities.

The town’s food scene is a major draw for visitors, with a wide variety of dining options that cater to all tastes and budgets. From fresh seafood to international cuisine, Ocean City has something to satisfy every palate.

Additionally, the town is known for its family-friendly activities, making it an ideal destination for those traveling with children. With amusement parks, mini-golf courses, and water parks, there is no shortage of entertainment for the whole family.

Whether you are looking for a relaxing beach day or an action-packed adventure, Ocean City has it all.

Assateague Island

Situated on the eastern shore, Assateague Island is a captivating destination that showcases a unique blend of untouched landscapes and abundant wildlife.

This barrier island, shared by both Maryland and Virginia, is renowned for its wild ponies that roam freely along the beaches and marshes. These majestic creatures, believed to have descended from shipwrecked Spanish horses, have become a symbol of Assateague’s natural beauty. Visitors to the island can witness these wild ponies in their natural habitat, grazing and playing along the shoreline.

Assateague Island also offers a remarkable camping experience, with several campsites available for overnight stays. Camping enthusiasts can immerse themselves in the tranquility of the island, falling asleep to the sound of crashing waves and waking up to breathtaking sunrises.

With its untouched wilderness and unique wildlife encounters, Assateague Island is a must-visit destination for those seeking a truly immersive and unforgettable outdoor experience.

St. Michaels

Nestled on the eastern shore, St. Michaels offers a serene and captivating escape for nature enthusiasts and history buffs alike. This charming town boasts a rich history and is home to a variety of historic attractions.

Visitors can explore the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, which showcases the region’s maritime heritage through interactive exhibits and displays. Another must-visit site is the St. Michaels Museum, where one can delve into the town’s past and learn about its role in the War of 1812.

St. Michaels also offers a plethora of waterfront dining options, where visitors can indulge in fresh seafood while enjoying picturesque views of the harbor.

Whether it’s exploring the town’s history or savoring delicious cuisine, St. Michaels provides a delightful experience for all who visit.

Solomons Island

Perched gracefully on the shores of the Chesapeake Bay, Solomons Island beckons visitors with its timeless allure and captivating maritime legacy. This charming coastal town is renowned for its picturesque marinas, where boats bob gently in the water, creating a scene straight out of a postcard. The Solomons Island boardwalk provides the perfect vantage point to soak in the beauty of the bay and watch as sailors navigate their vessels. For those interested in the area’s rich maritime history, the Calvert Marine Museum is a must-visit. This fascinating museum showcases the region’s nautical heritage through interactive exhibits, including a lighthouse and a collection of historic boats. Whether you’re a lover of the sea or simply seeking a tranquil retreat, Solomons Island offers an enchanting experience that will leave you longing to return.

Charming Marinas Calvert Marine Museum
Solomons Island is home to several charming marinas that add to its coastal charm. These marinas offer a picturesque setting with boats of all sizes bobbing gently in the water. Visitors can stroll along the marinas, taking in the sights and sounds of the bay, and perhaps even catch a glimpse of a sailboat race or a fishing boat returning with a fresh catch. The Calvert Marine Museum is a treasure trove of maritime history. Located on Solomons Island, this museum showcases the region’s rich nautical heritage through a variety of exhibits and artifacts. Visitors can explore interactive displays, learn about the Chesapeake Bay’s unique ecosystem, and even climb to the top of the Drum Point Lighthouse for panoramic views of the bay. The museum also houses a collection of historic boats, including the J. C. Lore and Sons Oyster House, which provides insight into the area’s once-thriving oyster industry.

Bethany Beach

Located along the Atlantic coast, Bethany Beach offers a serene and idyllic coastal retreat for those seeking a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

With its pristine sandy shores and clear blue waters, this beach town is a favorite destination for families and seafood enthusiasts alike. Bethany Beach is renowned for its best seafood restaurants, where visitors can indulge in fresh and delicious local catches. From mouthwatering crab cakes to succulent shrimp dishes, these eateries offer a culinary experience that is sure to satisfy any seafood lover’s palate.

In addition to its culinary delights, Bethany Beach also offers a wide range of family-friendly activities. Visitors can enjoy beach volleyball, miniature golf, or take a leisurely stroll along the boardwalk.

With its charming atmosphere and abundance of attractions, Bethany Beach is the perfect destination for a memorable beach vacation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are there any restrictions or permits required to visit Assateague Island’s famous wild horses?

Permits for Assateague Island’s wild horses are not required for visitors. However, it is important to maintain a safe distance from the horses and not feed them. The best time to visit is in the early morning or late afternoon.

What are some local seafood specialties to try while visiting St. Michaels?

When visiting St. Michaels, one cannot miss the opportunity to savor the local seafood specialties. The town boasts a plethora of top-notch restaurants offering delectable dishes, such as succulent crab cakes and buttery steamed blue crabs.

Can you rent kayaks or paddleboards in Solomons Island?

Rent kayaks or paddleboards in Solomons Island to explore the best places for water sports in Maryland. Enjoy the freedom of gliding through the scenic waters, surrounded by the coastal charm of this beach town.

Are there any specific rules or regulations for bonfires on the beach in Bethany Beach?

Bethany Beach has specific rules for beach bonfires to ensure safety and protect the environment. A permit is required, and regulations include restrictions on the size of the fire, the use of wood, and the distance from vegetation. Enjoy the freedom of a beach bonfire within these guidelines.

Are pets allowed on the beaches in Ocean City?

Beach pet policies in Ocean City allow pets during certain hours and seasons, with specific leash and clean-up rules. Pet-friendly accommodations are available for visitors who desire freedom to enjoy the beach with their pets.


Maryland’s coastal charm is evident in its top beach towns, including Ocean City, Assateague Island, St. Michaels, Solomons Island, and Bethany Beach. Each of these towns offers unique experiences and attractions that draw visitors from near and far.

Whether it’s the bustling boardwalk of Ocean City, the wild horses of Assateague Island, or the historic charm of St. Michaels, there is something for everyone to enjoy. These beach towns are not just destinations, they are gateways to unforgettable memories and experiences.

So pack your bags, hit the road, and let the coastal charm of Maryland take you on a journey like no other.

One story that captures the essence of Maryland’s coastal charm is the tale of a family visiting Ocean City for the first time. As they walked along the boardwalk, they were enchanted by the sights and sounds of the bustling beach town. The children squealed with delight as they rode the Ferris wheel, while the parents savored the taste of freshly caught seafood. It was a moment of pure joy and togetherness, a snapshot of the magic that can be found in Maryland’s beach towns.

Just like the waves that crash upon the shore, these towns have a way of washing away worries and bringing people closer together.