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NOTE: The descriptions of the places in this guide were accurate at the time the articles were posted. Please be advised that you should call ahead before traveling to any of them.

Solomons Island, MD - Good Things Come In Small Packages

By: Michelle Harper

Solomons IslandSolomons Island, MD is located on Rt. 2 in Calvert County where the Patuxant River meets the Chesapeake Bay. This tiny harbor village, established in 1867, is separated from the "mainland" of Solomons, MD by only a mere 23 ft long causeway but crossing it is like stepping into a mini-resort paradise. Your real adventure, however, begins even before you reach the island when your route takes you over Governor Thomas Johnson Bridge on Rt. 4. This bridge, connecting Calvert and St. Mary's County, is over 140 feet high with only a jersey wall separating you from the 120 foot deep Patuxant River below. If the height and the view weren't enough to get your adrenalin pumping, the occasional crosswinds blowing across your path will definitely get your attention.

Thomas Johnson BridgeThe island may be small, scarcely over a mile long, but from the moment you park your bike (ample public parking is available), you will find an abundant list of activities all within a short walking distance: fishing and crabbing along the pier, boating, cruising, shopping, dining, or just leisurely walking along the Solomons Riverwalk. The island has many restaurants and bars that feature live entertainment, music and dancing.

 

 

Solomons Island Tiki BarSolomons Island is also home to the infamous Tiki Bar, an open air bar whose annual reopening in mid-April has come to symbolize the unofficial beginning of the season to thousands of visitors who flock from near and far to celebrate the event. A recommended place to eat is The Wharf whose reasonably priced fare includes a fried catfish sandwich, which is quite tasty. There are also several inns and bed & breakfasts conveniently nearby should you decide to stay the night. To learn of all the possibilities it is recommended that you begin by paying a visit to the Solomons Information Center.

Oyster House MuseumIn addition to recreational activities, the island includes educational attractions as well including the J.C. Lore & Sons Oyster House. This historical building was actually built on a huge pile of oyster shells that had been discarded over the years and was an operating packing house until it closed in 1978 due to the sudden decline in the number of fish and marine life available. Today it has been preserved as a museum dedicated to the history of the fishing, clamming, crabbing, oystering and eeling industries that began booming in the area in the late 1880s and virtually became nonexistent in the early 1970's.

Chesapeake Biological LabAnother educational attraction is the Chesapeake Biological Laboratory. Here you can learn about what is being done to protect the remaining marine life in the area that is threatened by the ever growing human population moving into the area and over-harvesting. You can also learn what you can do to help "save the bay". Admission to both the Oyster House and the Chesapeake Biological Laboratory is free.

 

 

 

Drum Point LighthouseA great place to visit within a half-mile of the island is the Calvert Marine Museum and Drum Point Lighthouse - a fully restored cottage-style light house that served the bay in the early 1900's. The museum itself contains a collection of Chesapeake Bay Small Crafts such as canoes, skiffs and workboats. Through its many aquatic and historical exhibits you can learn of the life and history of the region. You can also get a first hand glimpse of the variety of life in the area while strolling along the Marsh Walk. Special activities at the museum include the Waterside Music Festival in May, Sharkfest in July, and Solomons Christmas Walk in December.

 

Calvert Marine MuseumIf it is serenity you seek, Annmarie Garden is located just a few miles north in Solomons, MD. The garden is a combination of public sculpture and botanical gardens which demonstrates man and nature in harmony. It is the perfect place to seek peace or just to commune with nature. Seasonal activities include Artsfest, Gardenfest, Haunted Trail at Halloween and the "Garden of Lights" drive-through at Christmastime.

 

 

Dining in Solomons IslandFor a memorable day trip or even an overnighter, this tiny island packs enough punch to keep you entertained and coming back for more. Whether it's for a special event such as the island wide "Spring Launch" in May, the "Waterfront Fireworks" on the 4th of July or just to spend a lazy afternoon along the river, Solomons Island, MD is proof-positive that "good things do come in small packages".

 

 

For more information visit:
Solomons Island: http://www.sba.solomons.md.us/
Calvert Marine Museum and Drum Point Lighthouse: http://ww.calvertmarinemuseum.com
Annmarie Garden: http://www.annmariegarden.org
Chesapeake Biological Laboratories: http://www.cbl.umces.edu/

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