Eastern Shore of Maryland - Land of Pleasant Living
There are only a few places left in the world where life continues to move at a gracious tempo. One of these places, the Eastern Shore of Maryland, still has sleepy towns where doors remain unlocked and the only unwelcome guests are summer's mosquitoes. Kids find the light of fireflies more enchanting than the light from their video game consoles, and some Eastern Shore families were generations old before the U.S. Constitution was drafted.
With an historic district which predates the Revolution, Talbot is where you'll find the Historical Society of Talbot County. It's a great place to learn all about Talbot's boat-building and decoy carving industries, and to arrange for a tour of the town's historic homes. If you need a quiet spot to relax and soak up all the surrounding Colonial charm, the Museum's Federal-style garden can oblige!
In the tiny village of Wye Mills is the same 1671 grist mill which provided flour to the colonial troops at Valley Forge. Until 2002, Wye Mills also had the largest white oak in the entire United States. The tree's stump, left after it fell during a storm, is still visible behind a protective fence.
The town of St. Michaels grew up around shipbuilding, fish canneries, and oyster packinghouses. Its Chesapeake Bay Museum has a wealth of information on every aspect of bay life. Ask about the Cannonball House, and how the blackout strategy now used in wartime was born.
The Eastern Shore of Maryland town of Cambridge, directly across the Choptank River from Talbot, was founded in 1684. Harriett Tubman led over three hundred slaves through Cambridge on their way north to freedom. Annie Oakley once lived here on Bellevue Avenue.
You can't appreciate what it means to be a waterman on the Eastern Shore of Maryland without visiting Smith Island. Make the trip for a meal of crabs steamed the minute they arrive on the dock followed by legendary Smith Island cake topped with homemade ice cream. Smith Island is actually three islands accessible only by boat, about 12 miles west of Crisfield. Ferry service provides day trips, but you might wish you had more time!
Founded in 1706 on the Chester River, Chestertown had its own Tea Party prior to the Revolution. The stately brick homes on water Street attest to the wealth of Chestertown's colonial era sea captains and merchants. On High Street is a 108-foot American Basswood tree.
Because Chesapeake City can be reached right from I-95, it's the easiest town of the Eastern Shore of Maryland to reach. You'll arrive by crossing the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal Bridge, as commercial and private watercraft transition between the Delaware River and the Chesapeake Bay. The canal brought wealth to Chesapeake City, and you can learn all about it at the C&D Canal Museum on Bethel Road.
Shop at the Back Creek General Store for a taste of 19th century Eastern Shore Life, and treat yourself to a canal-view meal at the Bayard House, known up and down the shore for their Tournedos Baltimore!
Southeast of St. Michaels, across the Knapps Narrows Bridge, is Tilghman Island, where you'll find no purer experience of Eastern Shore living. Kayak from the harbor (filled with crabbing boats and two genuine skipjacks) along one of the island's ten water trails, or rent a bike for the Grand Tour of the Island's three square miles!
End your day with a sunset cruise on one the Tilghman Island skipjacks, as the water glides slowly and peacefully around you, matching the tempo of life along the Eastern Shore of Maryland!
Now, that tempo picks up a bit as you head east through Salisbury, Maryland and just about 30 minutes more and you will find yourself smack in the middle of one of the most exciting Oceanside Party Towns in the world…Ocean City, Maryland. From Marlin fishing to night life, to an astonishing array of first class eateries, Ocean City, Md. has it all. Did I mention that the beach in Ocean City is gorgeous? Yep, it is!