Land or sea
A 3 day tour of Maryland
from our Northeastern issue,
Photo: Dorchester County Tourism
|At Ruark Boatworks in downtown Cambridge, visitors can see the restoration of wooden boats most Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
Surrounded by the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries, Dorchester County is a haven for sightseeing by land or sea.
The abundance of open space makes the county home to some majestic wildlife. Its surrounding waterways, seafood industry and 18th and 19th century homes send visiting groups to another time.
After meeting your group’s step-on guide at the Dorchester County Visitor Center, journey together over scenic waterways to the quaint fisherman’s village of Hooper’s island.
There, hop aboard a vessel at Sawyer Fishing Charters & Tours for the Island Experience package.
On the cruise, seafarers observe local fishermen harvesting their day’s catch, watch for wildlife and learn about the history and legends of Hooper’s Island.
The tour continues to a seafood factory.
Lunch is at Old Salty’s Restaurant in Fishing Creek. Located in a renovated schoolhouse, Old Salty’s, a local favorite thought by some to be haunted, is known for its crab cakes.
End the day at Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, which claims to have the largest nesting of the American bald eagle north of the Florida Everglades.
In addition to kayaking and canoeing the Cambridge park’s waterways, tour-goers have the opportunity to watch educational films, browse exhibits and stroll through a butterfly garden and gift shop.
Visit the setting for James Michener’s Chesapeake and spend the day in historic Cambridge. Begin at the Richardson Maritime Museum, a repository of wooden shipbuilding. Learn about the watermen who labored this hard and dangerous trade and see their log canoes, skipjacks and other boats.
On Saturdays, the skipjack Nathan of Dorchester is in port at Long Wharf and offers a two-hour public sailing that usually includes oyster dredging. There are also one-hour Sunday sailings at least once a month.
Lunch can be takeout available from a number of the local restaurants. Eat in the park nearby or on board ship.
After, take a walking tour of historic High Street and view the 18th- and 19th-century homes.
If time permits, head across the lift bridge spanning Cambridge Creek and visit Ruark Boatworks. There you will find wooden boats being restored most Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
Travel to East New Market for a guided tour of Friendship Hall, the 18th-century Georgian style mansion.
The town, an agricultural center during the 18th and 19th centuries, has a church at the each of its four entrances — all different denominations representing the community’s diversity.
Next, head to Handsell Plantation, which hosts one of the last remaining 18th-century brick dwelling houses in the county. Learn how Nanticoke Historic Preservation Alliance is restoring the home and interpreting its long and rich history.
The exploration continues to Vienna, one of the oldest settlements in Maryland. Located on the Nanticoke River’s tidewater shores, visit stately homes Ewell House.
After lunch, your group will ride by the home of Annie Oakley, an American sharpshooter and star of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show.
End the day with tea and tours at LaGrange Plantation, home of the Dorchester County Historical Society.
Here, see Meredith House, a 1760s Georgian home. The plantation also boasts a museum, an 18th-century strong house, a blacksmith shop and herb gardens.
In August, add a day to include the all-you-can-eat Seafood Feast-I-Val.
The 33rd annual festival is Aug. 11 at Governor’s Hall in Sailwinds Park on the Choptank River in Cambridge.
Enjoy entertainment, craft sales, door prizes and displays, while feasting on steamed Maryland blue crabs, fried clams, fish, barbecued chicken, sweet potato, corn and watermelon. The festival opens at 1 p.m., and food is served until 6 p.m.
Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge
Dorchester County Visitor Center
Richardson Maritime Museum
Sawyer Fishing Charters & Tours
Skipjack Nathan of Dorchester
Old Salty’s Restaurant
Dorchester County Tourism
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