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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
Travel the Eastern Shore,
Rusha and Bert