From what I can tell, Maryland is broken down into several areas. Once you cross the bridge at Annapolis you are on the eastern shore. Delaware does come between you and the ocean at some points. But you are never more than about an hour from a beach. For myself, I was on a mission to go spend time out on Assateague Island National Seashore,
Camping on the island is pretty competitive. Many people make their plans a year in advance. Me, well I look for the cancellations and grab those. It’s not something that’s for everyone, but for me it works. I don’t mind moving sites if I need to. It’s the price I pay for wanting to be on the ocean camping after all. Somethings are just worth it.
I had lucked out on gaining a site for 5 days. The only trouble was that it was non-electric and it was during a Nor’easter. I turned 52 while there and all I could think was “No complaining, I wanted an adventure!” In fact, there were 2 weeks in a row that 2 storms hit and I couldn’t have been more happy held up in my cozy silver nest.
But, when the weather was warm and clear I was on the move. Here is what I found to do on the Eastern Shore.
1. Assateague Surf Shop & Cafe, Berlin, MD.- Owned by a local woman, when you walk in you immediately feel the laid back vibe. For me, i felt like i was at a surf shop or at a surf cafe in Santa Cruz. The staff was personable and friendly and the food was on the healthy side and delish. The items sold in the “boutique” are unique, artsy, surfy and something for everyone. I told myself I didn’t need 2 more t-shirts, but now have my new favorite long-sleeved from there. A must stop even if it’s just for coffee. Best of all, they are dog friendly!
2. Assateague Farm, Berlin, MD.- Around the corner for. The surf cafe is this farm that is owned by a family. The 2 daughters are running the produce and flower part of it and the Father takes care of the wood they sell. The family owns a couple of Airstreams and they can be seen on the grounds next to the pumpkin patch. They just started selling produce & flowers this year and it’s an easy in and out for fire wood and fresh veggies.
3. Cruise into Ocean City on the 2nd weekend of October and you’ll find that it is classic and hot rod car heaven. This event takes place every year and is one of the largest on the east coast. Ocean City reminds me of Ft. Lauderdale in the late 80s. It has a mix of old hotels and new, with many restaurants and bars down the strip. I didn’t stay to stroll the boardwalk, but I did enjoy seeing the classic and hot rods cruising the streets.
4. Take a drive up Delaware’s coast to a State Park or Rehoboth Beach. There’s plenty of beach to explore, Delaware State Parks and cute Oceanside towns with shopping, restaurants and galleries that are dog friendly.
5. Visit local orchards and wineries- The Blades Family Orchard and Market in Federalsburg, MD has the best green apple I have ever tasted. It’s called Mutsu and it was crisp, sweet tart (but not to tart) and the skin isn’t tough. The owner also takes the time to bake, yes bake…cider donuts. I wanted to ask for the recipe, but I was afraid I’d be making them too much. Lynda is the owner who is very kind and runs the orchard with her family. You can also find them at the local Farmer’s Markets on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.
To the south just outside the tiny town of Vienna, MD. is the Layton’s Choice Winery. Situated in the middle of these huge agricultural fields you’ll see the winery with its gorgeous building and vines. This place is a popular destination for bus tours from the DC area and they have a banquet room that accommodates larger parties. The wine is made from grapes grown on the property and in some other areas of the US. It was a nice change from breweries and suggest trying the wine made with historically correct grapes during the time of Harriett Tubman and the Underground Rail Road.
Overall, I’ve had a really enjoyable trip. I was amazed at the difference between western, southern, eastern Maryland. I found the Eastern Shore to be charming with its small, fishing and harbor towns. I’m sure that these are all popular destinations during the summer, but I suggest checking our Maryland‘S Historic towns during the fall.