Tuesday, July 26, 2011
A Great Option for a Weekend Getaway
There are miles and miles of waterfront on the Chesapeake Bay (more than 11,000 miles to be more precise) and most of the Eastern Shore (of the bay, that is, which is actually on the west side of the Delmarva Peninsula) is no more than 3-4 hours drive from central New Jersey. There are dozens of picturesque maritime towns and villages all along the bay that trace their origins all the way back to Colonial America. The activities you can find in the area range from boating, kayaking, canoeing, swimming, fishing, golf, tennis, bicycling, hiking, shopping, museum hopping, dining and just plain relaxing. And the best way to get close to the water is to find a bed and breakfast in one of the quaint costal communities. One such community that my husband and I visited this past weekend was St. Michael’s Maryland. This charming community boasts some great shopping and dining, the wonderful Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum that includes an example of one of the bay’s “screw pile” type lighthouses and a number of very comfortable bed and breakfasts. There are some that are inn type establishments right in the downtown area and there are some that are in homes in the community, often with a waterfront view. The one that we stayed in is run by an ex-New Jersey resident who has converted two bedrooms in her family’s summer home into a very cozy retreat with a waterfront view of the town of St. Michaels and the maritime museum across the Miles River basin. The B&B is called Point Breeze and the owner offers free use of kayaks, canoes and bicycles for the guests to use to explore the town. The breakfasts are scrumptious, served on a lovely screened veranda overlooking the water. The owner will gladly arrange a cruise on one of the sail or steam boats that tour the bay or make you a reservation at one of the area’s fine seafood restaurants. The area is known for crab, prepared in just about any way you can imagine. The Eastern Shore is also known for its many art events and galleries. We went this past weekend to attend the Plein-Air Competition and Arts Festival in Easton, the town that lies at the head of the of peninsula where St. Michaels is located which ends at scenic Tilghman Island. If you want to read a great account of what the area is all about before you go or if you are just an armchair traveler, there is no better choice than James Michener’s bestseller Chesapeake.