Delaware Seashore State Park is definitely a hidden gem of a beach near Washington DC! This park reminds me of Assateague Island with its rugged and desolate shoreline. A bonus this beach is close to Washington DC, the same distance as Ocean City, but not nearly as crowded.
Where is Delaware Seashore State Park?
This state park is along the Delaware coast about a 2.5-hour drive from Washington DC, 15 minutes from Bethany Beach, and about 30 minutes north of Ocean City. We took a day trip to Delaware Seashore State Park from our stay at Bethany Beach on a whim and we are so glad we did.
Parking at Delaware Seashore State Park
There are 5 oceanside parking lots at Delaware Seashore State Park. The most popular are the North and South Day use areas near the bridge. We parked at the Conquest Road entrance parking lot. This is a pretty small parking lot with no bathrooms or showers and the beach has no lifeguards so I doubt it is super busy here even on a weekend at this entrance.
Parking is $5 for Delaware residents and $10 for out of state.
There was no attendant where we parked and it was strictly on an honor system. There’s a little machine you can pay with a credit card and get a receipt. We visited on a weekday though so I don’t know if there’s someone at the pay station during the week.
Bathrooms at Delaware Seashore State Park
Conquest Road, where we entered the state park did not have any bathrooms, but many of the other parking lots do have bathrooms and showers. For a map click here.
Why We Loved this Beach Near Washington DC
I’m so glad we found Delaware Seashore State Park on a whim! My friend spotted this beach as we were driving to Bethany Beach and thought it would make a fun day trip. And it was absolutely perfect. We came for sunset the first day and it was completely EMPTY, though that was on a Tuesday. For comparison, our own beach at Bethany was super crowded even on a Tuesday. And Greenbrier State Park was still packed on a Tuesday when we visited!
We were in a hurry to pick up dinner that day so had to leave quickly, but planned to come back the next day.
After some morning rain we made it over to this beach in the afternoon of the next day and it was amazing!! There were just a few other people there tanning and fishing, so much less crowded than our private beach at Sea Colony.
This time we stayed all the way until sunset and experienced a spectacular show! The sky was cotton candy.
Bonus, all the kids loved it here!! We didn’t need to worry about them social distancing because everyone was spread out. They could run free. And the tides created a fun shelf and pool of water around 6 or 7 pm for all the kids to wade in!
It was the perfect end to our beach trip!
Also, it’s a super close beach to DC, at only 2.5 hours away driving, so it makes for a great day trip!
My bikini available here for only $15.
You can camp at this beach near DC, but it’s not on the ocean like Assateague Island. There are 2 camping spots at the Indian River Inlet. Though I think camping at Assateague Island would be more fun if you can score a spot on the beach in the sand dunes.