In our April issue of Martha Stewart Living, we featured this lovely area on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. It’s long been a weekend destination for Baltimore and D.C. natives, but it’s only four hours from New York! The main little towns we focused on are Easton, St. Michaels, and Oxford, all within a short drive of each other.
Where to Stay:
Inn at Perry Cabin: It’s a hotel you’d want to go to, even if it was in the middle of nowhere—great restaurant, inspired gardens, and lovely water views. And the décor is great—cozy, comfy, elegant. Fresh flowers everywhere—in the rooms, public spaces…cozy public spaces with lovely furniture. Kayaks available for checking out the Miles River, and bikes to go into town. Cookies made and put in the room every night, cooked by Mrs. Gussy, who has been making them for 24 years. It’s about a 5-10 minute walk into St. Michaels town.
Dr. Dodson House: Right in the middle of St. Michaels, and it’s a real favorite that locals recommend—5 star accommodations, and historic details abound.
Sandaway B&B: A waterfront property in Oxford, that actually has a sandy beach! Although we did not stay here, it looks to be a lovely property and not as expensive as some of the other options.
Where to Eat:
The Crab Claw: Whether you commit to the blue crab extravaganza (you should) of crabs cooked in Old Bay Seasoning, award-winning crabcakes, or buckets of steamed clams…you just have to come here. It’s been around since 1965, same family, and it’s awesome. In warm weather, sit outside on picnic benches, looking out onto the Miles River, and while you wait, feed the ducks some corn. Try the cheese and pickles starter platter for $5.95. It’s so good. Watch families gather together and order piles, and piles, and piles of crabs.
Go for dinner at the Inn at Perry Cabin, and tuck into a fancy, but worth it dinner. Every purveyor is listed, and the wine list is extensive. But don’t worry, the waiters are opinionated, and smart, but not overbearing. The crab cakes were epic, as was the Smith Island cake.
Key Lime Café: A good breakfast spot in St. Michaels—go for the scrambled eggs with lump crab, and even if it seems decadent, don’t miss the homemade key lime pie.
Robert Morris Inn: In sleepy historical Oxford, this is the spot to get lunch. From local oysters to burgers, this British chef gets it right.
Afterwards, take a walk to the Scottish Highland Creamery, and splurge on an ice cream—they’re all homemade, with great flavors like coffee chocolate crunch, and pooh bear honeycomb ice cream.
What to Do:
In St. Michaels, a walk down main street (S. Talbot St.) which is filled with shops—our favorites—the estate jewelry shop Guilford & Company, the classic toy store Calico Toys & Games, and Big Al’s, to pick up some lump crab to bring home. If you’re not staying at the Inn at Perry Cabin, you should definitely check out their beautiful gardens, and don’t forget your camera.
Chesapeake Maritime Museum: It’s such a great museum it’s really worth building a trip around, even if you didn’t think you were into boating. Learn about the oyster and crab industries, and…build in some time to take a historic boat cruise on the Patriot. You can even be a drop-in boat-building apprentice for a day!
Easton: Walk around the historical downtown and meander into the Garden and Historical Society—we loved the herb garden with it’s okra and purple beans. Shop at the Easton Antiques and Art Gallery, which has a mix of great finds—like a beaver top-hat in it’s original case for $150, an English car picnic basket, and and Danish credenza. The Hills Pharmacy may look like any old-school drugstore, but walk through to the back, and there’s a tin-ceilinged soda shop. We did not make it to the Amish County Farmer’s Market, but it came highly recommended.
It’s the oldest continuous running ferry in the country—since 1683, and it runs every 15-20 minutes.