Taking the ferry to Oxford — Road Trip 2020

Oxford-Bellevue Ferry, Maryland

Although we left St. Michaels, Maryland, reluctantly, we knew we wanted to see Oxford one more time — and stay again at The Robert Morris Inn. But what route to take? You can drive from St. Michaels along Hwy. 33 through Easton and enjoy the scenery to Oxford, or you can take the Oxford-Bellevue Ferry. We chose the latter.

Waiting for Oxford-Bellevue Ferry, Oxford MD

It’s not a glam trip, by any means, that trip to Oxford on the ferry. But it’s one steeped in history and a chance to ply the waters of the Tred Avon River at a slower pace.

Waiting for Oxford-Bellevue Ferry, Oxford MD
Ferries carry cars and passengers, but be sure to check on schedules before you go.
Sign at Oxford-Bellevue Ferry, Oxford MD

According to Bike Washington/Oxford Loop, the Oxford-Bellevue Ferry (operable since 1683) is “the Nation’s Oldest Privately Owned Ferry Service,” having run continuously since 1836. We drove to the end of Rte. 329 and lined up for the usual 30-minute wait, enjoying our position as the only passengers that morning. (Be sure to check the ferry’s website for schedule, dates of operation, and cost per vehicle before driving out to the site.)

Boats, Oxford MD
Boats lined up in Oxford, Maryland

If you need to lower your blood pressure, then Oxford (founded in 1683 as the first seaport) is the town for your next vacation. There’s not a lot to do there (and that’s the good news), especially since it’s winter and so many places have cut their hours due to the coronavirus or closed for the season. But drive around this sweet town to see homes similar to the ones in St. Michaels and even some reminiscent of other coastal areas like Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket, or St. Michaels.

But it was a return to The Robert Morris Inn that brought us back to Oxford, the famous, historic inn that we remembered from our first trip to the Eastern Shore about twenty-five years ago.

The robert Morris Inn, Oxford MD
The Robert Morris Inn, Oxford, Maryland

Known as River View House when it was built in 1710, The Robert Morris Inn has maintained its distinction as the oldest full-service inn in America, operating since 1800. The inn proudly claims that President George Washington has slept there along with other dignitaries and political notables.

Bedroom, Robert Morris Inn, Oxford MD
Could it be that we stayed in the Michener room? Or is this the Washington Room?

More recently, James Michener sketched out his novel Chesapeake at the inn, and, if alive today, he might tell you that not much has changed in Oxford or The Robert Morris Inn. But we think that’s a good thing, especially since we love antiques, historic art, and walls that could probably tell you a lot about who’s been there.

Oxford MD Library

After dining on Maryland Crab Soup at Doc’s Sunset Grille and watching waterfowl just “hang out” in these historic waters, we left Oxford reluctantly, but not without regret: Oxford, Maryland, just may have it all — beauty, history, and a welcome respite from the busy life beyond.

Birds hanging out at Doc's Sunset Grille, Oxford MD

Travel the Eastern Shore,

Rusha and Bert

Map from Bike Washington/ Oxford Loop

14 thoughts on “Taking the ferry to Oxford — Road Trip 2020

  1. Greenglobaltrek

    It is extraordinary to think that institutions/businesses like the ferry and the inn have been in continuous operation since the mid 19th century. This is not atypical in Europe of course where buildings and businesses have been steadfast markers for 200-300 years past down from one generation to the next, but in the context of the U.S. which has a history of rapid change amongst cities and businesses it is quite a feat. Thank you for introducing us to this little corner of America’s East coast. One has to hope that the current pandemics devastating effect on tourism does not deal these historic businesses a death blow.

    The inn looks beautiful ~ so full of character and history.

    Ben & Peta

    1. Oh, the Places We See

      I think that’s the draw for us to little towns — they tend to remain untouched by progress, and that’s what we enjoy! I’m not sure what that says about us, but we also love antiques, old buildings and monuments, and tales of how things were named or founded. Thanks for your comments. And here’s hoping you’re liking your new place!

  2. Grammy Writes

    We lived in the Northeast when my daughter was young, and I remember taking day trips to places like this. Good memories! Our day trips don’t look a thing like this anymore!

  3. Anonymous

    A gorgeous place, no doubt about it Rusha. Your photographs capture it well and make me want to be there now, celebrating this historic day in the George Washington Room. So much history. And that ferry— operating since 1683. A great post for the day, and I appreciated the house you chose with its Biden sign. 🙂 –Curt

    1. Oh, the Places We See

      The Biden sign was quite accidental, but most of the houses in Oxford that put up signs put up Biden ones. We found in Maryland that rural counties were for Trump; towns and cities were for Biden. Not sure how that has panned out in the counting, but now that I’m thinking about it, I’ll look. This is a very historic day — one that I welcome wholeheartedly!

  4. Toonsarah

    I love being out on the water so the ferry sounds like a good choice to me! That inn looks like a beautiful place to stay 🙂 Seems like we would enjoy a trip to Maryland one of these days!

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