Review of Sandy Point State Park
July 22, 2011
by Kim Engstrom
1100 East College Parkway
Annapolis, MD 21409
Photo by Kim Engstrom
The beach area at Sandy Point is patrolled by lifeguards from 11am to 6pm on weekdays and 10am to 6pm on weekends. The beach is wide with course sand and a lot of shells and rocks. The water remains shallow after a quick one foot drop off and the waves here are very small (and only come after boats have passed). My 5 and 6 year olds, who are not big ocean swimmers, loved the calmness of swimming in the bay. Tubes, floats and noodles are allowed on the guarded beaches.
Sandy Point State Park is a trash free park so be sure to pack some trash bags if you are bringing a picnic lunch or snacks with you. You can eat on the beach or at one of many picnic tables located on the grassy area. Picnic areas and covered shelters are available for rent through the park service to accommodate larger groups. For those not wanting to pack a lunch, head to the snack bar where items like nachos, hot dogs, smoothies and ice cream are available for purchase. Visa and Mastercard are accepted.
On the hot Wednesday morning of our visit the beach was crowded by the shore but there was still plenty of space to stretch out. There are two large parking lots near the beach area but choose the south lot if given a choice. This gives you closer access to the guarded beach, the south bathhouse, first aid station and snack bar. Showers, baby changing stations and restrooms are all located within the bathhouses.
Aside from swimming and playing in the sand there are many other activities that can be enjoyed at Sandy Point. You can walk on the trails, go fishing or crabbing, rent a boat at the Marina, let your kids play on the playground or play beach volleyball. There is also a free area to launch your small watercraft such as canoes and kayaks. The marina sells fishing gear and boating supplies as well as some food and drink.
A day at Sandy Point is a great beach experience for families. Consider a visit on a weekday to avoid the bridge traffic heading to the Eastern Shore. The exit for the park is to the right just as you begin to enter the toll area on route 50 which can be backed up for miles on Saturday mornings. Admission to the park is also cheaper on weekdays $4 per MD resident/$5 for non residents as opposed to their weekend prices of $5 per MD resident and $6 for non-resident. There is no charge for kids who are in carseats.
Pack up your kids and head to the beach, on this side of the bridge!
Know before you go:
- The park is open year round. Off season pricing for admission is $3 per carload regardless of residency.
- Pets are not permitted in the park from May 1 to September 30th.
- The park does fill up on summer weekends. There are no in and out privileges.
- Park admission can be paid with cash, Visa or Mastercard.
- The small store next to the snack bar rents beach chairs and umbrellas and sells sunscreen, towels and boogie boards Chesapeake Bay Sport Fishing licenses are required for all anglers who are 16 and older. These cannot be purchased in the park.
Our Kids Reader Comments
- "I have not been to Sandy Point in years, but on a whim decided to take the grandkids there. We had a WONDERFUL time. My 2 year old will forever be a fan. He is ready to go back! He says, "Grandma! Beach!" so much now that I must get him back there. As a parent, the calm water is a plus. I was able to enjoy myself as well because I was not overly concerned about the undercurrent. I usually go to Ocean City, Virginia Beach, or Daytona and my fear is that the water is too rough for the younger ones. My focus is so much on the kids, not only my own, but for others as well. I have not taken advantage of this treasure so close to home. I was able to let loose and allowed myself some water fun with the kids. So needless to say, I had a ball as well.
It was crowded but not overwhelming. I was glad to see that the life guards were alert and very proactive. The sand was hot and the water was cool so the balance leveled off. The crowd was friendly with kids joining us and having a good time. I really didn't see anyone taking advantage of the playground, probably because it was so hot. My only disappointment was the bathhouse. It should be manned more often or maybe because it was so crowded, the condition was less than stellar. But we only stopped by as we were leaving so it wasn't worth complaining about. But all in all, it was a great value and the kids and I had a great time. I am definitely a Sandy Point fan!" - Patricia W.
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