Top Five Must Visit Islands in Maryland
Are you and your family looking for a new vacation spot? You have come to the right place! Maryland has hundreds of islands that offer a great day trip for locals, while also offering a great vacation for tourists. These islands are also very easy to get to, only requiring a short boat ride or a drive along a bridge. There are tons of fun activities to do like fishing, sunbathing, shopping, and simply taking in the beautiful scenery of Maryland and the beautiful water of the bay. Here are our top five must-visit islands in Maryland!
1. Assateague Island
Assateague Island, or the Assateague Island national seashore, is located on the eastern coast of the Delmarva Peninsula, which is the peninsula that hangs off the side of Maryland, having parts of it in Delaware, Virginia, and Maryland, hence the name Delmarva. It only costs 25 dollars per car to visit, so this trip is definitely worthwhile, for tourists and locals alike.
The island is Maryland’s only oceanfront park, meaning visitors can experience the Assateague island beach and view the natural parks. This island is known for its variety of wildlife, particularly its feral horses, giving the island the nickname horse island. These small horses are referred to as the Assateague horse and have their own reserve on the island, managed by the national park service. There are also a variety of fish types and breeds, as well as an oyster population.
This makes this park a great fishing spot. The state of Maryland even offers a fishing tourney in the summer. Camping is also very popular on Assateague, as there are many places where you can reserve camping spots to stay comfortably on the island. Ranging from 30-50 dollars these reservations are fairly cheap too!
2. Solomons Island
3. Tilghman Island
Solomons Island, located on the Patuxent River, in Calvert County, is only an hour and a half drive from our nation’s capital and only two hours from Baltimore City. The island also has its fair bit of history, having been used for training soldiers during WWII. There was an estimated total of 60,000 troops trained on Solomon’s Island. Solomons Island also has a variety of marine life that can be explored in the Calvert Marine Museum. The Calvert Marine Museum offers many different exhibits, especially for curious children.
The museum has a “please touch” policy and features marine life from the past and present of the whole Chesapeake Bay. They also host many events
The Calvert Marine Museum isn’t the only way families can experience and learn about the bay. There are also harbor cruises that you can take a one-hour long trip along the bay for only 7 dollars per adult. The boat, named the Wm. B. Tennison, is the oldest boat of its kind carrying people across the bay.
Solomons Island, Maryland also offers a beautiful outdoor art gallery called Annmarie Sculpture Garden and arts center. Annmarie Garden is Smithsonian-affiliated and offers classes, exhibits, and different events. One large event that crafters and creatives can look forward to is the Annmarie Gardens Maker’s Market which allows artisans to sell handmade, homemade, and homegrown products. These are hosted on the Saturday of each month from February to December.
Only two hours away from Washington D.C, Tilghman Island is a relaxing lush island full of shops, restaurants, and history. The featured store on the island is called 2 vintage chicks and they carry eccentric clothes, upcycled furniture, and homemade pieces of art.
If you are trying to get the catch of the day there are multiple boats that will help you discover the marine life of the Delmarva and the Chesapeake Bay. Some of these boats include the Chesapeake Lady II, the Class Act, the North Star, Elle’s Angels, and Working Girl. Stop by the Fairbank tackle if you need to buy some bait or tackle or any other miscellaneous things you will need for your fishing journey.
When you need to grab a bite after an exciting day of fishing Tilghman Island has you covered. For a romantic dinner with your partner, stop by The Tilghman Island Inn for dinner on the bay. They offer a wide variety of seafood and dry-aged beef from the Chesapeake Bay area that is sure to delight. For a more laid-back atmosphere try the Tilghman Island Country Store. They have a full-service deli and free wine tastings every Friday.
4. Kent Island
Kent Island is the largest island on the Chesapeake and is right off the Bay Bridge. Kent Island is rich in history, being the third oldest English colony established in 1631 only being beaten by Jamestown and Plymouth. Kent Island is proud of this history, featuring the historic Stevensville arts and entertainment district. Stop by in April through December on the first Saturday of the month to attend one of the many events hosted by the historic Stevensville.
There are also many things to do outdoors, including multiple walking trails, fishing piers, and beaches. Some of the walking trails include the South Island Trail and the Cross Island Trail. There are two beaches on Kent Island, that being Terrapin Nature Park And Beach and Matapeake Clubhouse And Public Beach. Matapeake also offers a fishing pier, and so does the Romancoke Fishing pier.
Speaking of fishing, Kent Island offers many seafood restaurants that feature Maryland classics. One of these restaurants is Kentmorr Restaurant and Crab House. One could guess by their name that they are known for their Maryland Blue Crabs which are caught locally.
5. Smith Island
Smith Island Maryland is located 12.5 miles off the coast of Crisfield Maryland. Despite its name Smith Island is actually not one singular island but a collection of several small marsh islands that are slowly disappearing due to the rising sea level in the area. There is only one way to get to the island, which is by boat, as there are no airports, bridges, or roads leading to the mainland.
The Smith Island Center is a great first place to stop when visiting. The island is very walkable and because of this, you can pick up your own walking tour guide. If you’re a fan of crabs, the next must-stop is Smith Island Crabmeat Co-Op. Here you can watch the process of picking and processing the crab meat for free. For only 3 dollars extra you can get closer to the picking area, ask questions and even get a sample of the fresh crab! You can also order fresh crab by the pound so dinner is covered too!