Looking for campgrounds on the Chesapeake Bay? You can look on a Chesapeake Bay map, but these days, searching the Internet will be much easier and faster.
The question is, which part of the Chesapeake do you want to visit? You need to decide that before you search for specific campgrounds.
A Quick Overview of the Chesapeake Bay
The Chesapeake Bay is an extremely large bay. Technically, it is an “estuary,” which, according to Wikipedia, “is a partially enclosed coastal body of brackish water with one or more rivers or streams flowing into it, and with a free connection to the open sea.”
The Chesapeake Bay is the largest estuary in all of North America, spanning 200 miles from Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia. It connects to the Atlantic Ocean. The Bay is 64,299 square miles and has more than 150 rivers and streams that empty into it.
The Chesapeake Bay is a beautiful place to visit. It also offers much in the way of recreation, including sailing, fishing, motorboating, and crabbing. Some of the smaller rivers running into the Chesapeake Bay are also calm and safe enough for one-person watersports, including kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding.
The two main states where you might want to camp near the Chesapeake Bay are Maryland and Virginia. Both states offer wonderful stops for camping or spending some time in an RV.
Why Visit the Chesapeake Bay?
The Chesapeake Bay area is not only rich with history, but it offers a diverse ecosystem filled with wildlife. Unfortunately, through overfishing and pollution, the Bay itself has seen a reduced number of crabs and oysters. However, conservation efforts, while slow, have encouraged a comeback of the Bay’s delicate ecosystem.
If you are used to taking your family to the beach, you might try the Chesapeake Bay instead this year. The beach offers sand and waves, but not necessarily the sense of exploration you can find near the Bay.
However, if “beach” is what you want, you can actually find some beaches for swimming at the Chesapeake Bay, if you look hard enough.
Chesapeake Bay Camping in Maryland
Maryland does not get enough credit for being a beautiful state. Somehow, it gets forgotten despite it’s amazing access to the Chesapeake. In Maryland, you can experience amazingly tall, majestic trees, lots of nooks and crannies of rivers and streams entering the Bay, and really amazing wildlife such as great blue herons.
Here are just a few places to try camping in Maryland:
1. BayShore Campground in Rock Hall, MD
The BayShore Campground is situated directly on the Chesapeake Bay, offering amazing sunsets as well as fishing. Amenities include full showers, a boat ramp, volleyball, a game room, and campfire pits.
2. Elk Neck State Park
Are you looking for Maryland state parks camping? Consider Elk Neck State Park. This park offers camping, fishing, boating, and hiking. Certain areas are also available for hunters.
The Turkey Point Lighthouse is a must-see. This offers a wonderful panoramic view of the Chesapeake Bay.
Chesapeake Bay Camping in Virginia
Virginia camping offers many wonderful ways to experience the Chesapeake Bay. You can find a lot of terrific Virginia campgrounds that provide the best of both worlds – access to nature with a lot of modern comfort.
1. Cherrystone Family Camping Resort
The Cherrystone Campground is a “family camping resort” along the Chesapeake Bay in Virginia. They offer access to 300 acres of waterfront. Camping options include cabins, on-site camper rentals, and places to pitch your tent. This amazing resort has five swimming pools and a total of four fishing piers.
2. Belle Isle State Park
The Belle Isle State Park is technically located on the Northern Neck’s Rappahannock River, which empties into the Chesapeake Bay.
At this park, you can explore the diverse tidal wetlands that are part of the Bay’s ecosystem. If you missed the blue herons in Maryland, you might find them here, along with bald eagles, ospreys, and hawks.
The 892-acre park includes a campground and offers a motorboat launch.
Enjoy the Campgrounds on the Chesapeake Bay
This article provided just a brief glimpse into some of the camping options on the Chesapeake Bay. Of course, with the Bay covering a large area, there are many more sites to choose from. Along the way, you might also do some siteseeing in places like Annapolis, the historic state capital of Maryland, or Washington, D.C. Also, Baltimore, which has a harbor to access the Bay, even has its own replica of an old sailing ship you can venture aboard. With lots of activities to choose from, you won’t be bored by the Chesapeake Bay.