Lakes, Beaches and Swimming Holes Near Washington DC

Sandy Point from Bay Bridge

Acroterion / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 3.0

Looking for some summer fun and a great way to cool off in the Washington DC area? Grab your swimsuit and take a short drive to one of these great lakes and swimming spots in the capital region. Throughout the summer, you can enjoy the beautiful scenery and swimming at the following sandy beaches, swimming holes and small lakes in suburban Maryland and Northern Virginia. Enjoy a day trip and the great outdoors.

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Cunningham Falls State Park

Hunting Creek Lake
Matthew Scott / Getty Images

Thurmont, MD. Cunningham Falls State Park is a part of Catoctin Mountain Park and includes a recreation area with a 44-acre lake (Hunting Creek Lake) for swimming, boating, and fishing. There are a small sandy beach and a snack bar. The main attraction of this park is the beautiful 78-foot cascading waterfalls. There are also campgrounds, playgrounds, picnic areas, and hiking trails.

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Sandy Point State Park

Sunrise at dawn
Wale Oseni / Getty Images

Sandy Point State Park is a 786-acre park located in Annapolis, MD on the west side of the ​Chesapeake Bay Bridge and offers recreational activities including swimming, fishing, crabbing, boating, and windsurfing.  Sandy Point State Park is a popular destination for families during the summer months. Facilities include picnic areas and shelters, showers, restrooms, a marina store, and boat rentals.

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Point Lookout State Park

Grandpa fishing with granddaughter at Point Lookout State Park
Maryland State Parks

Point Lookout State Park is located in Scotland, MD on the west side of the Chesapeake Bay. Visitors enjoy great views as well as swimming, fishing, boating, and camping. Point Lookout is a historic site, the location of a prison camp during the Civil War. Point Lookout State Park has a boat launch, boat rental, campfire programs, campsites, cabins, camp store, fishing, flat water canoeing, hiking trails, hunting, picnic areas, playgrounds, swimming, and a nature center.

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Lake Anna State Park

The swimming beach at Lake Anna State Park in Virginia, USA
Wikipelli / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 4.0

Activity at Lake Anna State Park centers around the 13,000-acre lake. The park has a guarded swimming beach available for a fee, along with a children’s play area, a boat ramp, a food concession stand, a bathhouse, rental cabins, camping, hiking trails, and picnic areas. Lake Anna is one of the largest lakes in Virginia and is about 2 hours southwest of Washington DC.

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Lake Arrowhead

Lake Arrowhead
Ideawriter / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 3.0

Lake Arrowhead is a 34-acre lake in beautiful Shenandoah Valley in Virginia near the day trip destination  Skyline Drive. The lake is a prime spot for fishing and boating and has a white sand beach for swimming with an admission fee priced at around $2-$3. Two miles of hiking trails take visitors through wooded areas with one trail that circles the entire lake. There are picnic shelters, playground areas, and handicapped-accessible restrooms. ​

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