A Local’s Guide to Living in Chesapeake Beach, Maryland
A small resort town in Calvert County, Chesapeake Beach is packed with restaurants and attractions. With a population of just under 6,000, (mostly families and young professionals), the town has a friendly atmosphere created by the sparse suburban feel.
Living In Chesapeake Beach
Chesapeake Beach developed around Fishing Creek, which was dredged for commercial fishing and pleasure boating. The US Navy also uses the creek to dock some of its smaller vessels and the area is a breeding sanctuary for eastern oyster and bay nettle.
The town started out as a resort community in the late-19th century. It was reachable via short-line railway from Washington DC and steamer ship from Baltimore. Chesapeake Beach was popular with visitors for its boardwalk with rollercoaster, bandstand, carousel, and other diversions. However, its main draw were the slot machines in an areas known informally as Little Nevada.
For several years, the town saw tens of thousands of visitors every weekend. This tourism came to a halt in the 1920s with the depression as well as a hotel fire, which resulted in the discontinuation of the railroad.
The community revived itself at the beginning of the 21st century with the construction of a new boardwalk and pier. Since then, there have been many more developments — including a water park, spa hotel, restaurants, and condominiums — which have brought new visitors and homebuyers to the area. Today, 19 distinct neighborhoods make up the town.
What’s It Like to Live in Chesapeake Beach?
Living in Chesapeake Beach allows you to experience bay life. There are picturesque views of the waterfront throughout the town. During the warm months, residents enjoy spending time out on the water — on a boat, in a kayak, or even swimming. You can climb aboard a vessel or charter your own at the marina.
Chesapeake Beach itself is a quiet town, but it’s just a short distance from two big cities: Baltimore and Washington DC. Maryland Route 260 passes through the town and connects directly to both Maryland Route 2 for Baltimore and Maryland Route 4 for Washington. Maryland Route 261 also serves the town, taking you to other communities around Chesapeake Bay.
Parks and Outdoor Areas in Chesapeake Beach
There are many parks throughout the town. The most important is Chesapeake Beach Veterans’ Memorial Park, which has a waterfall fountain and a large flag. Another one to visit is Bay Front Park. Here you can find fossilized teeth from the sharks that lived in these parts 17 million years ago.
There are also a couple trails to explore. Chesapeake Beach Railway Trail covers a two-mile stretch where the old railroad once ran. It’s made up of a wooden boardwalk along wetland and marsh — a great place for spotting all kinds of seabirds. The other is Chesapeake Beach Heritage Trail, a walking tour through the town with wayside signs providing information about historical sites along with way.
A key feature of the town is Randle Cliffs — sandstone cliffs to the south of the town topped with thick woodland. The cliffs rise to as high as 180 feet in some places and erosion has led to shallow sandbars along the bay.
More Things to Do
Chesapeake Beach may only be a small town, but you’re spoilt for choice with activities.
If you’re interested in the history of the town, you must pay a visit to Chesapeake Railway Museum, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It’s located on the site of the old railway station. You’ll be able to see an original passenger car and many other railroad items as well as photos of life back at the turn of the last century.
Another top attraction is Chesapeake Beach Municipal Water Park. It has eight water slides, a lagoon, fountains, waterfalls, and an area of kids. This is also one of the top places to go for views of the bay.
Finally, you have plenty of options for dining in Chesapeake Beach, including many family-owned restaurants. If you go fishing and want to enjoy your catch to the full, ask around the local restaurants to find out which will cook your fish for you.
Shopping in Chesapeake Beach
The main place to shop in Chesapeake Beach is Chesapeake Station Shopping Center. It has a supermarket, a few fast food restaurants, a post office, a bank, and a pharmacy, among other stores and services.
Finding the Right School for Your Kids
All the public schools in and around Chesapeake Beach are highly rated. Within the town itself, you have Beach Elementary School. Nearby, there’s also Windy Hill Elementary School, Windy Hill Middle School, and Northern High School.
Homes for Sale in Chesapeake Beach, MD
Houses in Chesapeake Beach have a median value of $333,760, which is close to the median home value of Maryland as a whole of $312,500. The median rent is $1,546. Close to 70 percent of residents own their homes.
Want to Move to Chesapeake Beach?
If you want to experience small-town life on the bay, Chesapeake Beach is an ideal choice. Reach out to us and our team of real estate agents in the area will help you find the perfect property.
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