When you think Baltimore, you don’t typically think beach. Within an hour’s drive however,  there are several great beaches to enjoy all summer long. Here are some of the Baltimore area’s greatest beaches and reservoirs. Whether you are looking to relax on the sand, go fishing or boating, explore new trails or take your four-legged friend to explore a dog-friendly waterfront, these locations are sure to have what you seek. Pack your beach bag, load up your car and head out for a lazy summer day. Don’t forget the sunscreen!

Loch Raven Reservoir
12101 Dulaney Valley Road
Timonium, Md. 21131

The Loch Raven Reservoir is a lake and recreational park that is open to the public year round. Out of three local watersheds, Loch Raven is the largest. With a rich history and beautiful scenery, this place will bring you back again and again. In addition to picnic areas and hiking trails, Loch Raven Reservoir is the perfect location for fishing, and small fishing boats are available for rent. The reservoir provides drinking water and therefore, swimming is not allowed. Other activities include great opportunities for bird watching, horseback riding and mountain biking.

North Beach
8916 Chesapeake Avenue
North Beach, Md. 20714

North Beach offers the perfect day trip experience with beach, pier and boardwalk access. For residents of North Beach, admission is free; for out-of-county residents, a small admission fee is charged. Season passes are available for purchase. Prices can be found on the website. Umbrellas and chairs are available for rent and boat slip access is free. North Beach is also a popular fishing destination. Pets are welcome on the boardwalk as long as they are leashed but are not allowed access to the beach. Check the website for more information about fishing and beach passes.

Downs Park and Dog Beach
8311 John Downs Loop
Pasadena, Md. 21122
(410) 222-6230

Downs Park sits on 236 acres of land and offers a variety of activities for the entire family. Well-maintained nature trails offer beautiful scenic tours of the park and there is also a five-mile running and biking trail. Picnic spots, restrooms, a visitor’s center, a playground, pavilions and gardens make this an ideal day trip location. Perhaps the most unique aspect of this park is the dog beach. Dogs are permitted to swim and play on the beach grounds. Check the park website for more information including hours of operation and facility rentals.

Related: Out In Style: Most Comfortable Wilderness Retreats In The Baltimore Area

(Credit: WJZ)

(Credit: WJZ)

Sandy Point State Park
1100 E. College Parkway
Annapolis, Md. 21409

Sandy Point State Park is open throughout the year and is home to some of the Baltimore area’s best festivals and events. The park spans a vast 786 acres along the Chesapeake Bay. The park’s swimming beaches are staffed with lifeguards during designated hours and provide a great opportunity to cool off on a hot summer day. Restroom and shower facilities are located near the beach. Picnic areas and shelter rentals are offered. Not only is Sandy Point a popular fishing spot, it is also great for crabbing, boating, hiking and camping.  Check the park website for admission fees and hours of operation.

Chesapeake Beach
Chesapeake Beach, Md. 20732

Chesapeake Beach is another popular beach location that is close to home. This beach-oriented community offers a variety of events throughout the year. While the beach itself is part of the attraction, there is also a water park and plenty of opportunities for boating and fishing. The water park offers hours of fun for kids of all ages with attractions including slides, waterfalls and water-oriented play structures. Day passes and season passes are available for purchase. More information can be found here.

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Jillian Amodio is an author, writer and public speaker.There is nothing she enjoys more than being a stay at home mom. In addition to having recently published her first novel, Jillian also writes for her local Pasadena newspaper and on Examiner.com.