Perhaps your GPS talks like ours does: “You have arrived at your destination. Your route guidance is finished.” And when “she” told us we had arrived (for only the second time in our lives) at our chosen spot — St. Michaels, Maryland — we were glad we had braved the pandemic to spend a few days with harbors, quaint homes, and great seafood on the Eastern Shore. It’s no wonder St. Michaels was named one of the Top 10 Small Coastal Towns in America by USA Today!
We weren’t really sure we could find a place to stay when we were planning this trip. September in St. Michaels is prime time for tourists, so many of the quaint BnB’s were booked, at least for the weekend. But the Old Brick Inn, with five properties in town, had a vacant cottage on a quiet street waiting for us — and free gourmet breakfast the next morning served in an outside courtyard!
St. Michaels Lifestyle
People who live in St. Michaels or come for extended stays have no problem finding things to do. After all, it’s the Eastern Shore. So, fishing, boating, and relaxing probably rank high on anyone’s list.
But now it was our turn — and only two short days in a place meant for longer. What would we do besides relax?
We began at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum where we were greeted by Freedom’s Figurehead — masked as she should be! — that had to be removed from the 88-foot schooner yacht Freedom. Seems this 450-pound adornment fashioned by John M. Cook in 1950 was a bit heavy, so it found a new home here.
The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum offers hands-on experiences and real people who share knowledge and experience. But you can also tour the 1879 Hooper Strait Lighthouse and see the Chesapeake from a better vantage point for the same price of admission.
With sightseeing behind us, the search was on for great Eastern Shore food. St. Michaels has more restaurants than we had time for, but we listed our priorities: Crabmeat would have to be high on the menu with outdoor seating near the water a close second.
From St. Michaels Crab and Steak House, we ordered the chef’s special — broiled crabmeat — and took a seat at a picnic table at water’s edge. Who knew a simple concoction of pure lump crabmeat sautéed in butter would make for memorable luxury?
At The Crab Claw on the second night, we watched as two young cooks steamed baskets of crabs and then plopped them onto a platter for good pickin’ and good eatin’ by the guests who could hardly wait.
But it may have been Captain Bryan’s water taxi tour of St. Michaels that gave us the best glimpse of this lovely Chesapeake Bay town. We rode past the Inn at Perry Cabin where guests enjoyed drinks at sundown in white Adirondack chairs.
We read names of boats moored at private docks.
And watched the Wednesday Sailboat Races from a distance.
Saving the best for last, Captain Bryan drove past Hooper Strait Lighthouse just as the sun set on St. Michaels.
Our destination exceeded expectations, and our only regret was that the time was too short.
Coming up: Look for our next post featuring homes of St. Michaels and a surprise covered bridge!
If you’re even thinking of seeing charming seascapes at every turn of your vacation, book a trip to St. Michaels, Maryland, now. Remember, weekend rooms go fast!
Travel the waterways,
Rusha and Bert