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Slow Down: Tales of Dorchester County

Historic Dorchester County - Travel Destination. Three crab trio at Old Salty's - Hooper's Island, MD
Historic Dorchester County - Travel Destination. Three crab trio at Old Salty's - Hooper's Island, MD
Old Salty's Crab Trio - Photographs by Dara Bunjon©

A recent trip to the often overlooked, driven through Dorchester County unveiled numerous stories of land and waterways; generations of watermen and farmers, a revitalized community and rich history. Other than a pit-stop, fast food quick bite on the go or picking up produce at a farm stand most travelers to Maryland’s Eastern Shore drive through Dorchester County on their way to Ocean City. My advice, slow down – take time to partake of all the entire county is offering.

Historic Cambrdige - Dorchester County, Maryland
Photographs by Dara Bunjon©

From my first morning’s stop at the new Cambridge bakery Elliott’s Baking Company to my final stop at Layton’s Chance Vineyards and Winery in Vienna the day after, a few things were crystal clear; two days were insufficient to encompass everything that should be seen and enjoyed in Dorchester County. And the sense of community and working together with the folks I met was preeminent.

The Renaissance of downtown Cambridge is quite apparent with its own brewery RAR Real Brew, highly touted fine dining at Bistro Poplar or the ever so creative Chef Patrick Fanning’s High Spot, Stoked, Squoze with his up-and-coming charcuterie, Nose 2 Tail smokehouse and butchery shop close to a reality. Sip on a glass of wine, relish assorted cheeses and for that sweet finale, Philadelphia’s Ashers Chocolates at A Few of My Favorite Things. Grab a brew, have some oysters while enjoying the Cheers' like atmosphere “where everyone knows your name” at Leaky Pete’s.

No one seems to have just one job; take Jay Newcomb who is the owner of the destination restaurant on Hooper’s Island, Old Salty’s renowned for the best crab cake in the state. If owning a restaurant isn’t job enough, he owns four school buses and on any given school day would be driving 150 miles transporting high school students to and from classes. Oh, did I tell you Jay is also President of the Dorchester County Council.

Terra meets 1700 miles of Dorchester County’s Chesapeake Bay tributaries inviting, enticing one – like the sirens of yore, calling you to the water; fishing, crabbing, boating, kayaking, canoeing, birding and just dangling your toes. The Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge is not only a naturist’s dream; bring your bikes, hike and enough batteries and a large memory card for your cameras.

Plan to stay overnight, two or three from the highly ranked family resort Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Resort, Spa and Marina to the unabashed charm of the historic Mill Street Inn – Bed and Breakfast, a moment’s walk to the water and docks.

History abounds; check out the Underground Railroad “conductor Harriet Tubman Museum, take the historic walking tour of Vienna and Cambridge’s Historic High Street or follow the numerous heritage trails.

This is just a snippet, a quick glance at Dorchester County and like the old television show, The Naked City whose closing line was "There are eight million stories in the naked city; this has been one of them" There will be more stories to come, the Tales of Dorchester County will continue over the next couple of months with a closer look into the lifestyle and the lives of those who live in Dorchester County.

Dorchester County - Office of Tourism - 2 Rose Hill Place - Cambridge, MD 21613

410.228.1000 – www.visitdorchester.org Follow on Facebook: I Love Dorchester County or Instagram: @VisitDorchester