It's summer! Which means it's time to head east for the beach!
Having trouble figuring out where to go?
We've got you covered.
So lather on that sunscreen, grab your favorite novel, make a margarita and check out our five favorite beaches:
Rehoboth Beach is easily one of the most popular beaches for D.C. locals to scoot off to for a weekend. Why we love it: The mile-long boardwalk has everything from arcades to pizza to a small amusement park. It's family friendly and home to some small shops and narrow walkable streets that remind us of New England -- not to mention the outlet shopping. It's also easily accessible for District residents -- the DC2NY bus company offers daily trips from Dupont Circle and Union Station to Rehoboth. What makes it special: It's super LGBT friendly! For years the city hosted the Delaware Pride festival and has its own LGBT Community Center. One thing you must try: If you're into nature, the Junction & Breakwater Trail connecting Rehoboth and historic Lewes, Del. provide for a cool hike through the Delaware wetlands. Distance from D.C.: 2.5-3 hours
Easily one of the most popular ocean towns in the Mid-Atlantic. The town of 7,000 swells to the second-largest city in Maryland during the summer. Why we love it: What doesn't Ocean City have? Two-and-a-half mile boardwalk? Check. Large amusement park? Check. Skate park? Check. Night clubs? Check. Some of the cleanest water in the country? Check. What makes it special: Ocean City is looooong. It runs from the Delaware border down to the confluence of the Ocean City Inlet and the Atlantic Ocean. If there is something you cannot find here, you may need a passport to find it. One thing you must try: It's pretty much impossible to miss the boardwalk, and when you're there, check out the Jolly Roger "At The Pier" amusement park near the southern tip of the walk. It has been an Ocean City icon for decades. Distance from D.C.: About 3 hours
This is a nature-lover's beach getaway, home to more than 300 wild ponies and zero, read it (0), hotels. Why we love it: What is not to love about tis 37-mile national treasure? Fishing, crabbing, kayaking, swimming, hiking and all the shoreline wildlife you can dream of all in one place. Set up camp on the Maryland side of the island and you are set for a wild adventure. What makes it special: We mentioned the ponies, the wildlife and the lack of hotels, right? Where else can you really get away from everything? One thing you must try: Kayaking tours are some of the best ways to see wildlife in the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge located on the southernmost tip of the Virginia side of the island. Distance from D.C.: About 3 hours to the Maryland side of the island
Well, it doesn't quite look like like it did in the 1930s or '40s (pictured here), but Cape May is still known for its iconic Victorian houses. Why we love it: It's not exactly the Jersey "shore" as you may have come to know it on MTV. It has wildlife, beautiful homes to gawk at and many festivals, including the Cape May Jazz Festival. And instead of a boardwalk, Cape May sports a "promenade." What makes it special: Dutch naval captain Cornelius Jacobsen Mey originally charted the area around 1611–1614 and claimed for New Netherland. How cool is that? One thing you must try: When you think "beach" and "New Jersey," you don't necessarily think of giraffes and tigers, but you can find those and more at the Cape May County Park and Zoo. Distance from D.C.: About 3.5 hours
Often considered the younger, quieter sibling to Rehoboth Beach, Bethany stands out on its own as the super-friendliest of the Delmarva beaches. Why we love it: The town is littered with World War II lookouts and is home to a small but homely boardwalk. What makes it special: Travel + Leisure Magazine recently called Bethany one of the country's "Best Secret Beaches." So if you like secrets, this is the beach for you. One thing you must try: The boardwalk wakes up a bit during the summer concert series. Groups perform at the bandstand in the center of the boardwalk. Distance from D.C.: About 3 hours
Don't see your favorite beach on our list? Let us know which beach you think is the best!