By: Lucinda Anderson Hughes
Living in the D.C. area affords access to many beaches within a three hour drive, but which are the best choices for family fun? From luxury to low-cost, to laid back, download these ideas into your database for this summer.
Virginia Beach, Virginia
Put a little Survivor in your beach weekends with an adventurous trek to False Cape State Park, Virginia’s least visited park. There are only four ways to get there – canoe, hike, bike or ride the Terra Gator,the motorized cross between a Hummer and a school bus. The 4, 321 acres include a wildlife refuge, five miles of natural beach, incredible sand dunes,overnight camping and an extensive educational program.
Sandbridge Beach is called the “Outer Banks of Virginia” and sits just a few miles south of the main beach. Since house rentals are the main accommodations, the area is uncrowded and not commercialized. Enjoy whale watching and horseshoe crabs.
Ocean City, MD
In Ocean City, free is the theme for many activitiesyou normally pay for: tennis courts,family beach Olympics, movies and water safety classes.
If you’re a music lover, add Sunday night into yourplan. Radio Disney takes the stage on select Sundays through August 21st.Sundaes in the Park is an outdoor ice cream feast with free music. Free jams takeover Thursday nights in Sunset Park. Download OC’s new Smartphone app beforeyou go: www.ococean.com
Fager’s Island is a hidden paradise at OC. It sits on60th street across the road from the beach on the bay side like alittle Martha’s Vineyard. It’s a romantic, quiet, marsh-lined stretch with twoluxury hotels – an actual renovated Lighthouse and The Edge, an art deco, floorto ceiling glass-lined hotel. The dining/club complex is home to the best chefsand adult parties in the area. Over the years, Fager’s had had consistentlystellar service and quality. Kids are welcome, but this is a definite treat fora special date night during vacation.
Chesapeake Beach, Maryland
Just about an hour from downtown DC and you’re atthe water in Chesapeake Beach, MD, another undervalued sandy destination. Crabbing,serene landscapes, fishing, a railway museum, quaint shopping and the waterparkare the main activities. Seafood dining is about the freshest you’ll find.Bayfront Park and Chesapeake Beach Resort and Spa have waterparks and familyprogramming.
Lucinda Anderson Hughes is The Frugal Socialite, a journalistand broadcast personality who knows how to live it up on colossal cash or coins,with hubby & toddler in tow. Marketing and Events are also executedfrugally fabulously! www.frugalsocialite.com or [email protected]