Jed Kirschbaum, Baltimore Sun
August 10, 2010
Distance from Baltimore: about 70 miles, a little more than a 90-minute drive
Why it's worth the gas: This quaint historic Eastern Shore town, which calls itself "The Hamptons of the Chesapeake Bay," has a short but sweet downtown and harbor area lined with tony shops - Claire Murray, Simpatico - and restaurants, many of which focus on local seafood - St.Michaels Crab & Steak House, Harbour Lights. Take a narrated historical tour on the Patriot, or just amble or bike through the town that famously fooled the British during the war of 1812 with their "put the lanterns in treetops" strategy. Seasonal celebrations include spring's WineFest, October's "Fall into St. Michaels" and November's Oyster Fest.
Don't miss: The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum (above) provides a one-stop, hands-on introduction to the cultural history of the region. In an "Oystering" exhibit, visitors get to climb aboard a wooden skipjack, a wooden sailboat popular from about 1886 to 1956, and dredge up a basket of the crustaceans. (Go to cbmm.org.)
Information: St. Michaels Maryland Business Association, 102 East Chew Ave., P.O. Box 1221, St. Michaels, MD 21663; 410-745-0411 or email@example.com; stmichaels.org