It’s easy to find your dream waterfront vacation in Maryland, whether you’re seeking romance, a family adventure, time away with friends, or peace and solitude. We’ve got it all—beautiful beaches, rivers, lakes, waterfalls, and the largest estuary in the United States!
Seeking romantic time with the one you love?
Point your car in the direction of historic St. Michaels on the Eastern Shore. The “town that fooled the British” during the war of 1812 beckons you to enjoy its splendor set on the Miles River. Enjoy historic landmarks, shopping, and its center-of-town gazebo. The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum offers tours and river cruises. Book a stay at the exquisite Inn at Perry Cabin, where you’ll enjoy vistas of the Miles River.
If Baltimore is closer to home, schedule a night of romance on a boat tour to see the skyline of the city from the water. The city’s lights are breathtaking. Watermark Journey cruises are 45- to 90-minutes in length. The Key Bridge Cruise and the Sunset Cruise will set the scene for an evening of romance as you unwind, cruise the Inner Harbor, and perhaps even listen to live music.
If you live closer to Washington, D.C., National Harbor is a treasure. Perched on the Potomac River, this destination offers restaurants, the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center, and entertainment and casinos for fun. Romantics will enjoy taking a ride on the Capital Wheel to see the vistas of the Washington Monument across the river.
Looking for a family adventure?
If boating, kayaking, and canoeing float your boat, head to the Chester River Water Trail on the Eastern Shore, which features over 100 miles of waterways and lots of history. Families can navigate the narrow aspect of the water trail in boats as they ride from Millington past Crumpton. Or you can tackle the base of the water trail near Rock Hall, where the river is three miles wide.
The western side of “America in Miniature” features the well-known Deep Creek Lake. The lake lures families from all over, tempting them to get wet and have fun on the water. Watersports of all types—from jet skis to wakeboarding to stand-up paddleboards—will create family bonds and memories that last a lifetime. Additionally, boat rentals of all types are available.
Ocean City and Assateague Island are great spots for families to explore. There’s nothing like camping and seeing the wild ponies of Assateague. In Ocean City, try fishing the lagoons at Northside Park, dining on the bayside at Fager’s Island, flying kites on the wide beaches near the boardwalk in Ocean City, or taking in the annual Ocean City Air Show every June.
Looking to have fun with friends?
Make some memories with a weekend away at the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Golf Resort, Spa and Marina on the Choptank River in Cambridge. The resort features golf, tennis, walking trails, and an infinity pool that overlooks the river. Restaurants and spa services are available on-site. Personally, I have fond memories of a girls’ weekend spent there, and it’s reminding me that we need to return. Pronto.
If you’re not afraid to venture far out into the Chesapeake Bay, there are a variety of fishing charters you can pick up from Chesapeake Beach. With direct access to the Bay, friends can bond over a genuine fishing expedition. Upon return, eat at one of the waterfront restaurants and retell your tales of victories and life at sea.
Travel a mere 24 miles north of Frederick, and you will land at Cunningham Falls. Picnic along the 44-acre Hunting Creek Lake within the park. You and your friends can enjoy boating, fishing, and swimming at three designated swimming areas. A 1.1-mile trail that takes about 35 minutes to walk will land you at the base of a picturesque 78-foot waterfall. It’s a water photo worth taking.
Looking for some peace and solitude?
If solitude and reflective time are in order, you may want to try Sunrise Yoga on the Leonardtown Wharf in St. Mary’s County, offered by Evolve Yoga and Wellness. Wake up, stretch, and meditate in this waterfront setting in order to revive your spirit. Sunrise yoga is offered periodically, so check for times and classes.
Personally, when I need restorative time near the water, I take the drive to Oxford. A small town on the Tred Avon River, Oxford is the perfect place to unwind and escape the stresses of the world. Sandaway Suites and Beach’s property sits right on the river, replete with Adirondack chairs and loungers. Rooms offer views of the river, and breakfast baskets are delivered to your door. Walk a few steps to The Strand, the waterfront “beach” area, where you can sunbathe and relax at the river’s edge.
Take your bike to the Scottish Highland Creamery, voted one of the Top 5 ice creameries in the United States by TripAdvisor in 2015. Sit on the docks and enjoy your cone!
Finally, Havre de Grace boasts a beautiful boardwalk and promenade in town—a perfect place to stroll and clear your mind. With vistas of the Chesapeake Bay, you may want to bring your favorite picnic basket, beverage, and book, where you can relax along the shores in this charming town set on the water.
Lead Photo: Deep Creek Lake & Garrett County, Maryland
About the Author
Stephanie Verni is an Adjunct Professor of Communication at Stevenson University and the author of seven novels. She has taught a variety of communication courses, and she especially loved teaching courses in travel writing. A true Marylander, she enjoys writing about the beauty of her state and incorporating Maryland locations into her books. When she's not writing, you can find her on her boat cruising the Severn River with her family. She's on Instagram at @stephanieverniwrites