Best Beaches Near Philly Besides the Jersey Shore

Rehoboth Beach. Photo courtesy of Rehoboth Beach
Rehoboth Beach. Photo courtesy of Rehoboth Beach
7/2/23 - By Hillary Moses Mohaupt
A family beach trip is on everybody's summer bucket list! It's time to for sunshine, water ice, swimsuits, and beaches. Philadelphia may be landlocked, but that doesn’t mean it’s not easy to find plenty of places to soak up the sun, catch the waves, or walk the boardwalk. And you don’t even have to head to the Jersey Shore! This summer, try something new and check out some of the other beaches our area has to offer.
If you do want to head down the shore, don't miss our round-up of the Best Beaches in New Jersey for Families. For more summer fun, be sure to head over to our Summer Activity Guide.



Best Beaches Near Philly Besides the Jersey Shore: Cape Henlopen.
Cape Henlopen. Photo courtesy  of Wikipedia

Delaware Beaches

Rehoboth Beach–  Delaware 

When people talk about Delaware’s beaches, they usually mean Rehoboth Beach, which features not only miles of sandy beaches but also a boardwalk, dolphin watching, and plenty of kid-friendly activities like mini golf and Funland, an amusement park on the Rehoboth Beach Boardwalk that has provided old-school family fun since 1962. Need a break from the beach? Check out Jungle Jim's River Safari Park, Delaware's largest water park. 

Cape Henlopen– Lewes, Delaware 

Cape Henlopen was recently voted best hiking in the state by Delaware Today Magazine, but that's not all that's great about this state park. The beaches look out on the Atlantic Ocean, and the park is the perfect place to spend a full day outside at the beach, complete with spacious bathrooms, a concession stand, and umbrella rentals. Cape Henlopen has dedicated spaces for fishing, boating, and kayaking, as well as scenic hikes through the woods and along marshes. Be sure to check out the Fort Miles Museum to learn more about the history of the site, and the nature center, where the whole family can borrow bikes for free. 

Bethany Beach– Delaware 

If your family craves calmer beaches, Bethany Beach is calling! Bethany Beach is a relaxing oasis. You’ll still get to enjoy quality beach time, but with less of the stress of the bigger, more popular beaches. Plus, there’s a free trolley service through the town of Bethany Beach, which makes it easier to explore and get to the beach without breaking a sweat. 
RELATED: Can't decide which Delaware beach to visit? Check out the best Delaware beaches for families.

Best Beaches Near Philly Besides the Jersey Shore: Virginia Beach
Virginia Beach, Virginia. Photo courtesy of Virginia Beach

Maryland and Virginia Beaches

Ocean City– Maryland 

Ocean City features a whopping ten miles of sandy beaches! And if you want to head off the beach, this town has something for everyone in your family–wildlife, surfing, fishing, ice cream, the boardwalk, and lots of kid-friendly local restaurants, plus festivals throughout the year.

Assateague Island– Berlin, Maryland

Technically Assateague Island spans both Maryland and Virginia. The barrier island is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean on the east and the Sinepuxent Bay on the west. The two miles of ocean beaches are perfect for swimming, beachcombing, sunbathing, surfing and fishing. Got a horse lover in your family? You won’t want to miss the island’s famous wild horses.

Virginia Beach– Virginia  

Wide sandy beaches are just the beginning in Virginia Beach. Be sure to check out the three-mile boardwalk and famous Atlantic Avenue, including the vibrant Live on Atlantic summer program featuring music and other family-friendly activities in Virginia Beach.  

Best Beaches Near Philly Besides the Jersey Shore: Jones Beach
Jones Beach. Photo courtesy of Jones Beach

More Nearby Beaches

Cape Hatteras National Seashore– North Carolina 

Hatteras has 70+ miles of beachfront, all of it protected by the National Park Service. Its beautiful shoreline is matched by sea turtles, shore birds, and lots of options for fishing close to shore. Because the park is so big we recommend deciding on your family’s favorite beach activities and plan your visit using the NPS website. 

Jones Beach State Park– Long Island

Jones Beach State Park features more than six miles of shoreline, plus a boardwalk and Nature Center. Long Island is a bit of a drive from Philadelphia, but the new splash pad, playground and other recent improvements to the park make the hike worth it. 

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