If you are looking for a great day trip with kids less than an hour from the Annapolis area – this is it! Last time we came here my twins were babies 😱 I won’t wait this long to come back again because we had the BEST time exploring this cute little town. North Beach has it all – a beautiful boardwalk, huge fishing pier, playground, gardens, tons of locally owned restaurants and shops, a wetlands park, gorgeous views of the Chesapeake Bay, and more! The whole town is super walkable and this was a really manageable trip with 3 kids 3 and under!
We parked in one of their free parking lots and started off heading to Callis Park (one block away from parking). I was so pleasantly surprised by this awesome playground! It is located just a block away from the beach and boardwalk. There was a fully fenced tot lot area as well as a huge separate play area for bigger kids. The tot lot had main play structure, two baby swings and a really cool slide for little ones – it had really high sides and a gentle slope – my 12 month old could crawl up and slide down by herself!
The main play area had see saws, a big play structure with slides, a tunnel, another huge climber with stepping stones, and several swings. The entire play area had rubber play surface in great condition. We spent about 45 minutes here and had the park mostly to ourselves the whole time. Love that it is just a short walk to the beach from here.
Afterwards we crossed the street and walked one block to get to the boardwalk and pier. The beach is currently closed due to COVID so we did not visit that today. FYI – when open the beach here has a fee for non-residents so keep that in mind. The cost for out of county residents is $17 for adults and $9 for children – Calvert County residents get in at a discount and North Beach residents are free. You can also purchase a season pass. Rentals are available for chairs and umbrellas and there are well maintained bathrooms, showers and changing rooms in the beach area, as well as a playground right on the beach. While we prefer to take advantage of beaches without an admission fee (that cost adds up for a family of 5!), there is plenty to do here to make it an amazing trip if you decide not to visit the beach.
The boardwalk and pier are so beautiful well maintained! They are also lined with benches every 3-ish feet, so there are plenty of spots to sit and have lunch. The girls loved running around in the big open area at the end of the pier. With the long boardwalk you really get to feel like you are at the ocean here – but without having to do the 2.5 hour drive.
From the boardwalk, we walked over to Sunrise Garden. This is a beautiful little garden area with curvy paved paths, 2 koi ponds with waterfalls, a gazebo, and several art sculptures. We spent about 45 minutes just walking around, climbing over the bridges, watching the fish and ducks, and checking out all the different sculptures.
After we were done at the garden we walked 2 blocks over to The Cold Penguin for ice cream for the girls – obviously that was a hit!
Our last stop in North Beach was Wetlands Overlook Park. This is a small natural area at the end of a residential area. From the north end of the boardwalk, it was about a 10 minute walk (with toddlers walking). In hindsight, I wish I had brought the double stroller for this part only because the twins had done a lot of walking already and were pretty tired at this point. Also about halfway there, the sidewalks stop. The streets were quiet and not busy at all but still would have been nice to have the stroller.
The views from the park were really pretty! There were too gazebos overlooking the wetlands and you could see the Chesapeake Bay in the distance. There was a boardwalk that took you over the wetlands and into a trail in the woods. We didn’t explore through the woods too much so I’m not sure how far back they go, and I can’t find any kind of trail map online.
I wouldn’t say this park is a *must see* but if you are looking for another stop to add to your trip, or if the boardwalk area is particularly crowded, this is a great place to head over to. Overall this was a nice stop and a great place to bring lunch for a picnic and enjoy the quiet and views!
North Beach, MD is definitely on our list to return to soon. I love the feel of this little town and all it has to offer to both kids and adults. Next time we hope to try one of the many locally owned restaurants!
Downtown North Beach Breakdown
🚽 Bathrooms 🚽: Clean public restrooms at the entrance to the pier/beach area
👩👧👦Solo w/ kids?👩👧👦: yes!
🛒 Stroller friendly?🛒: yes, perfect place for a stroller walk with amazing views
🦠Covid-safe🦠: yes – plenty of room to spread out and was very quiet on a Monday morning. Probably more busy on the weekend.
🅿️Parking🅿️: Free parking lots – follow signs for visitor parking once you get downtown
🧺 Picnic tables: not that I saw, but plenty of benches
Callis Park Breakdown:
9018 Chesapeake Avenue
North Beach, MD 20714
🚽 Bathrooms 🚽: Not at the park, but a short walk away on the boardwalk
👩👧👦Solo w/ kids?👩👧👦: yes!
🛒 Stroller friendly?🛒: yes
🦠Covid-safe🦠: yes – plenty of room to spread out and we had the park to ourselves from 10:00-10:45 on an Monday
🅿️Parking🅿️: Parked in the free lot about one block away
🧺 Picnic tables: yes, covered pavilion with several tables
Wetlands Overlook Park Breakdown
4014 11th Street
North Beach, MD 20715
🚽 Bathrooms 🚽: nice bathrooms were inside the visitors center
👩👧👦Solo w/ kids?👩👧👦: yes
🛒 Stroller friendly?🛒: yes
🦠Covid-safe🦠: empty while we were there (Monday @1pm)
🅿️Parking🅿️: We walked from the boardwalk, but there was a small gravel parking area near the entrance to this park
🧺 Picnic tables: No, just a couple Adirondack chairs.