Offering stunning views of the Bay Bridge and the water, Sandy Point State Park is a gateway for everything the Chesapeake Bay has to offer.
Though it's one of Maryland's small state parks, just under 800 acres, it's one of the most visited parks. Sandy Point State Park first opened on June 25, 1952.
Park manager Ranger Steve McCoy said the park can have between 8,000 and 9,000 people per day on an average weekend. He said the only limits on capacity are the park's 1,500 parking spaces.
The biggest draw to Sandy Point is the Chesapeake. Sandy Point State Park offers access for boaters, fishers and swimmers.
"People come from far and wide to get the great Chesapeake Bay," McCoy said.
Home to one of three public boat ramps in Anne Arundel County
History of the park dates back to Captain John Smith
24-hour fishing open for active fishing
Site of largest public boat ramp in the state
12 pavilion picnic areas available for rent (click here for more information)
Sandy Point State Park is a day-use park, meaning there's no overnight camping or cabins. The park is open 7 a.m. until sunset through the end of October. From November to December, the park closes at 5 p.m.
Ranger McCoy said one of his biggest goals at Sandy Point is to make the park's resources available to everyone. He said the Bay's history and activities make is such a popular destination.
"I think the heritage of the Bay, what it means to the people of Maryland, but especially the activities; the ability to swim right in the Bay, the fish, the crabbing opportunities, the boating, it's just a wonderful playground for the people of Maryland," he said,
The fishing areas are available to active fishers 24-hours a day. The park offers 22 boat ramps that are also available 24-hours a day. In addition a small craft boating area allows kayakers, canoers and paddle boarders access to the Chesapeake.
In addition to water activities in the summer, Sandy Point State Park offers spectacular views and wildlife in the fall and winter. There are a few hiking trails in the park and Ranger McCoy said it's a great place to bird watch.
"This is a great place to come and look at migratory birds during the fall and the spring as they're moving from north to south. The Bay and the beaches in the winter time are beautiful too, it's a completely different character of this environment."
Ranger McCoy said the park is very different from season to season and he believes people really enjoy that contrast.
Maryland Seafood Festival: September 10 & 11 - Savor the Bay at the 49th annual Maryland Seafood Festival. Click here for information on tickets
Polar Bear Plunge: January 26-28, 2017 - Take a frigid dip in the Bay to benefit the Special Olympics. For more information, click here
Chesapeake Bay Blues Festival: May 2017 - Enjoy blues on the Bay. All proceeds are donated to charity. Click here for more information