Tree-lined streets and quaint shops add to the small-town charm of St. Michaels.
Fishing boats line Dogwood Harbor on Tilghman Island which remains a working-watermen's community.
St. Michaels looks like a village that Norman Rockwell would have loved to paint. There's a main street with boutiques, restaurants, and a church with bells that toll the hour. "In some ways, the town hasn't changed at all," says John. "You still have the charm of the place as it always was. It really is a postcard town." What has changed is the town's main industry. Over the years, St. Michaels has evolved from a shipbuilding center to a fishing village and now to a tourist destination.
Speaking of change, visitors can witness the area's evolution at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum. The collection of buildings hugs the water's edge, offering an up close view of a restored lighthouse and an exhibit on oystering.Terrific Tilghman
Though million-dollar homes are beginning to sprout on Tilghman Island, it remains very much an old-time watermen's community. The character here calls to people such as Mike Richards and his family. "We bought a boat in St. Michaels and were getting ready for a two-year cruise through the Caribbean," the charter captain explains. "But we liked Tilghman Island so well, we didn't go. We bought the old house instead and started the Lazyjack Inn." To understand Tilghman's place in the world, you must stand at Knapps Narrows and survey your surroundings. To the west lies the Chesapeake Bay. On the east side flows the great Choptank River. There's water as far as you can see on both sides. The Lazyjack Inn was one of the places devastated by Hurricane Isabel last year, but Mike and his wife, Carol, have rebuilt. "I think there's a tremendous sense of community here," Mike says. "There's no place else I'd rather be."Extraordinary Oxford
This sleepy hamlet sits on an L-shaped peninsula where the Choptank and Tred Avon Rivers meet and flow together into the Chesapeake. Though now more yacht club than watermen's village, it's a pretty place. The Oxford-Bellevue Ferry shuttles people and cars across the Tred Avon. A handful of shops and restaurants, most clustered along Morris Street, populates the town. Instead of driving to do their daily errands, many residents walk or bike from place to place. Here, as in each of these Eastern Shore towns, visitors are welcome to linger and savor the beauty.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Contact the Talbot County Office of Tourism, 11 South Harrison Street, Easton, MD 21601; (410) 770-8000 or www.tourtalbot.org