Beyond the Beach

Stray away from the summer beach crowds and explore the small towns that are just a short distance away from the Atlantic. Think of it as a vacation from you vacation and discover locally-made treasures — from food to art.

In Maryland

Berlin, MD

Look for the ‘Made in Berlin’ decal on shop windows to see all the items made here. Sneak a peek in Jeffrey Auxer’s glass blowing studio, enjoy a cocktail as you sit on the rocking chairs on the front porch of the historic Atlantic Hotel, take a brewery tour of Burley Oak Brewery named “best craft brewery in Maryland,” take our walking tour to learn the history of our town and take a carriage ride around town. Be sure to enjoy the town’s official dessert, the peach dumpling at Baked Dessert Cafe along with a scoop of ice cream from Island Creamery. If you are visiting on a Thursday or Friday, stay for live music at Sisters Wine Bar, The Globe and the Burley Inn Tavern.

Crisfield, MD

The ultimate Eat Drink Buy Art Experience in the Crisfield begins with breakfast at Gordon’s Confectionary. A local legend and the real deal, this is a place to meet watermen as they get ready for their day on the water (if you make it there when the restaurant opens at 4 am) or to get an old-fashioned ammonia soda if you are more of an afternoon person.  Serving everything from scrapple to occasional specials like the Double Bacon Donut Burger, Gordon’s is as authentic as it gets.

A six-minute drive would take us to our next stop to rent a kayak for a peaceful paddle at Jane’s Island State Park Great for bird-watching, seashell gathering, or just relaxing, Janes Island includes over 2,900 acres of saltmarsh, over 30 miles of water trails, and miles of isolated beaches.

Hungry again from our kayaking trip, we will stop at Bubby’s Wing Shack for a seafood lunch.  Located next to the City Dock, we can watch the ferries and mailboats load passengers and goods for trips to Smith and Tangier Islands.  

After lunch is a great time for a walk to local shops including The Bay Gift Vault located in a historic bank, the Weathered Porch and Tim & Doris’s.  If you are in town Thursday and Friday from 11 am to 4 pm, or Saturday 9:30 am to 3 pm a stop by Vintage Treasures, a must for Chesapeake antiques at prices you will never find outside of the Eastern Shore.  In between shopping, we will stop at Johnnysweets for refreshing ice cream or a miniature Smith Island “Baby Cake”.

With a cozy atmosphere and locally sourced seafood, Watermen’s Inn is the perfect place to finish up our day with a crab cake dinner and a glass of wine.

A sunset at the City Dock is another must. Legendary for the best sunsets on the Chesapeake Bay, this dock features a second story pavilion for stunning shots and is a great spot to relax.

Queen Anne’s County

Shop, dine and discover charming art culture in Queen Anne’s County. The region is home to a state designated an Art & Entertainment District, Historic Stevensville.

Historic Stevensville Arts & Entertainment District has a variety of art galleries and shops offering fine art basketry, pottery, jewelry, furniture and other hand crafted gifts of distinction. Marvel in local artists creations and discover modern art. Stevensville comes alive the 1st Saturday of each month (April – Dec) for family friendly community events.

Top attractions in the region include Kent Island Federation of Art (KIFA)

KIFA’s mission is to provide an opportunity for people of all ages to better appreciate the visual arts and to develop their own creative and artistic skills; hosts exhibits, classes, fundraisers, and summer art camps for children. 405 Main Street, Stevensville|410.643.7424 |kifa.us

Blackwater Distilling

Nearby attractions include Rams head Shore House, Big Bats Café, Blackwater Distillery & Tavern & Cult Classic Brewery.

Rams head Shore House: festive local tavern featuring a wind range of craft beverages, burgers, bar bites and & live music

Big Bats Café:  Sports bar with wings, burgers, pub grub TV’s and outdoor seating

Blackwater Distilling & Tavern: Fully licensed distilleries, take the tour, taste the flight and enjoy local cuisine (typically D’Alessio’s Wood Fired Pizza)

Cult Classic Brewing: brewery and taproom that hosts live music, movie screenings and event nights. Check the website the latest happenings

D’Alessio’s Wood Fired Pizza: family- friendly atmosphere with made to order wood- fired pizza among other menu items

In Delaware

Bridgeville, DE

Follow route 404 across the Maryland/Delaware state line and you have arrived to Bridgeville, DE! Magically, the fresh produce stands begin to appear during the summer-into-fall months. Continue on and, adjacent to a field of contented cows, is Vanderwend’s ice cream parlor (try the Sweet Corn ice cream in the summer).  This enticement may cause an unplanned dessert stop before you reach the Kiwanis Chicken Barbecue stand farther down the road.

Another two or so miles down the road, a decision must be made: take the faster bypass to miss Bridgeville’s two traffic lights or continue into Bridgeville for an initiation into Lower, Slower Delaware and a peek into a true Victorian farm town that still exhibits evidence of glories pastRead more »

Seaford, DE

First, stop at Davelli’s for coffee and baked goods or breakfast, then to tour the nearby Victorian Italianate Ross Mansion built in 1859 and home of Governor William H. Ross who served Delaware from 1851-1855.  As well as the home, the property includes the only documented log slave quarters, a granary, and other out buildings and gives a authentic reminder of life before the Civil War.

Then travel about 6 miles to Woodland to view the Georgian-style Cannon Hall, privately owned and currently being renovated, built in 1810 by James Cannon, a relative of the notorious slave runner Patty Cannon who used the adjacent ferry to transport slaves. The Woodland Ferry, originally known as Cannon’s Ferry, has been in continuous service since 1793 with documented evidence that it began transversing the 500 feet across the Nanticoke River at least 50 years prior. There is no charge to ride the 6 car ferry. The natural beauty from the ferry is outstanding and often eagles, osprey, and other wildlife can be seen.

Next, it is a short car ride to Laurel with lunch at Abbott’s along Broad Creek.  If weather cooperates, outside dining is available. After lunch, it is back to downtown Seaford for shopping. The Seaford Museum is a must see for an overview of the area’s history, including the first nylon plant in the world. Less than half a block takes visitors to Two Cats in the Yard, a bath and body store; next door is Act II Florist and the perfect place to pick up some flowers. A short walk will take visitors to Gallery 107, a non-profit local artist cooperative.  

After a day of sightseeing, a quiet dinner at Bon Appetit ends the trip nicely.

Be sure to let us know if you visit these towns. Post your best photo and tag us @eat.drink.buyart!