Where can I go beach camping (with booze) in the mid-Atlantic region?
July 19, 2010 6:52 AM   Subscribe

Where can I go beach camping in the mid-Atlantic region?

I'm trying to plan a trip for about eight friends (including myself) to go camping on a beach for a long weekend next month, however I've never organized something like this before so I don't even know where to look. River, ocean or bay would all be good. The idea is to just sit around on the beach all day and then around the campfire at night, drink some brews and play a little music.

The only real requirement we have is that booze -must- be allowed at the site. I've read that Maryland state parks have a ban on alcohol now? Are there good private campgrounds that allow this?

Thanks, gang!
posted by Loto to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (11 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
You might get lucky and find an available site at Assateague Island National Seashore. I say "get lucky" because the sites are usually booked months in advance.

Availability can be researched here. Campsites in the "Oceanside Walk-In" loops are the ones I'd recommend.
Bring bug spray, the mosquitoes can be bad (but only near the campsites. Near the water, no problems.)

Alcohol is permitted, fires on the beach are permitted, and there are wild horses roaming around, if that is your thing.
I've been camping there twice (and will be there for a third time in a few weeks) and can highly recommend it. Plus, Ocean City, MD is a short drive away, if you're so inclined.
posted by namewithoutwords at 7:26 AM on July 19, 2010 [1 favorite]

My first thought was Assateague Island; I had a great time camping there (though it was over a decade ago). Don't know about the alcohol laws, but it's a great place to beach camp regardless.
posted by The Michael The at 7:26 AM on July 19, 2010

Response by poster: Assateague, unfortunately, is unavailable the weekend we are planning on camping.

Also, regarding alcohol at the park: http://www.dnr.state.md.us/publiclands/alcoholfaq.asp
posted by Loto at 7:47 AM on July 19, 2010

Are you that afraid of sneaking it?

Unless you're planning to get roaring drunk and draw attention to yourself, I don't think anybody cares. Don't advertise it with cans/bottles littering your campsite, but pour it into plastic cups inside your tent and you should be fine.

(We drink on the beach at the Outer Banks every trip with no issues from lifeguards/beach patrol/etc, even with glass bottles)
posted by sprocket87 at 8:05 AM on July 19, 2010

We just went to Cape Henlopen in Delaware this past weekend, and it was spectacular. Fulfils all your requirements (and is pretty reasonably priced).
posted by General Malaise at 8:05 AM on July 19, 2010

The canoe-in campsites on Assateague are open - you have to get your permit that day; first come, first served. I've done it and it's great - isolated, beautiful, bring bug spray. They rent canoes on the Maryland side and then it's about an hour paddling to get to the campsites. However, if you're not used to backcountry camping (no cars, no bathrooms, you bring in all your own water, etc., and take it all out again too) it might be more of a commitment than you want to get into. I've never camped at Henlopen but I hear good things, although it may be crowded.
posted by mygothlaundry at 8:24 AM on July 19, 2010

Henlopen is very nice. There's also a state campground at Breezy Point, MD which fits the bill. They didn't hassle us over our beer and wine when we were there in June.
posted by sudama at 8:50 AM on July 19, 2010

The Breezy Point campground is on the Chesapeake Bay. http://www.co.cal.md.us/visitors/beaches/
posted by sudama at 8:52 AM on July 19, 2010

ughh..assateague island. do you like narrowly avoiding massive piles of stinking horse shit while hummingbird-sized flies buzz around your head? then assateague is the place for you.
posted by en el aire at 12:13 PM on July 19, 2010

Also, regarding alcohol at the park: http://www.dnr.state.md.us/publiclands/alcoholfaq.asp

FWIW, the alcohol prohibition only applies to the State Park.

The National Park still allows alcohol (as I can personally attest, having been there just last week.)
posted by namewithoutwords at 10:08 AM on August 3, 2010

For what it's worth, this is memail that I sent to Loto. Far East Beach (mdbeach.com) is a decent place to camp and drink beer with your friends:

That place is really two campgrounds in one. One side is the beach cottages and an RV park. It's pretty awful and overrun with kids. That's the Camp Merryelande (campmd.com) side. Don't go there.

The other side is the Far East Beach tent camping area (mdbeach.com). That's where we went and had a great time. It's concierge camping in that they will drive you and your gear from the parking lot in a dunebuggy with a trailer (but it's only 1/4 mile, you can walk if it if you want). They'll help you set up your tent if you need a hand. They'll leave you alone if that's what you want.

It's not the kind of camping that you go to "to get away from it all." It's a good place to go camping to drink beer and hang out. It's the first place that I ever camped that didn't have a posted list of rules. No rules anywhere. (It's private property, alcohol is ok with them.)

The people that work there are awesome. They're all young and laid-back. They volunteered to cook a bushel of crabs we had delivered and were all-around helpful. They do ice runs if you need some for your cooler. They'll deliver a firepit and firewood for a small fee.

The beach is nice. The water is warm and not very deep, you can walk out 100 yards and still only be waist-deep. It's great for fishing. There are kayak rentals down the beach at the Camp Merryelande side.

There is a communal kitchen area, there are a couple of grills (gas and charcoal), a couple of turkey-fryer burners, a big sink for dishes, and pots and pans. There's a big communal tent with tables and chairs. There's also a pavilion tent with a dance floor, they have music there some weekends (there was a DJ when we were there).

The beach tent sites are all good. On this map http://mdbeach.com/campmap.html the ones further to the left are better. We stayed in on of the forest sites, it was a little buggy. There's no breeze back there and it's more wetland than forest, but the spot at the bottom of the map (124) is really private and secluded.

Anyhow, I recommend it and will go back. It's good for big groups.
posted by peeedro at 9:16 PM on August 23, 2010

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