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Exploring The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum: A Nautical Adventure in Saint Michaels


Hello everyone, it’s Charlotte Dawson here! Today, I’m thrilled to take you on a captivating journey through one of Maryland’s most treasured maritime attractions—the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in Saint Michaels. Nestled along the scenic Miles River, this museum offers a deep dive into the rich maritime heritage of the Chesapeake Bay. Let’s explore the exhibits, learn about the history, and soak in the beautiful waterfront views. 🚤⚓🌊

Morning: Arrival and First Impressions

Getting There

Saint Michaels is a charming town located on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, about a 90-minute drive from both Baltimore and Washington, D.C. The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum is conveniently situated along the waterfront, making it an easy and scenic destination.

First Impressions

As you arrive at the museum, you’re greeted by the sight of historic boats and stunning views of the Miles River. The museum’s campus spans 18 acres and includes numerous exhibit buildings, a working boatyard, and a collection of historic vessels.

  1. Visitor Center: Start your visit at the Welcome Center, where you can grab a map and learn about the day’s events and activities. The friendly staff are always eager to help you plan your visit. 📸

Mid-Morning: Exploring the Exhibits

Watermen’s Wharf

Our first stop was the Watermen’s Wharf, an interactive exhibit that showcases the life and work of Chesapeake Bay watermen. Here, you can learn about the traditional methods of crabbing, oystering, and fishing that have sustained the region for centuries.

  1. Hands-On Experience: Try your hand at tonging for oysters or setting crab pots. It’s a fun and educational experience for all ages. 🦀

Floating Fleet

Next, we headed to the Floating Fleet, where the museum’s collection of historic boats is docked. The fleet includes everything from crab dredgers to log canoes, each with its own unique history and significance.

  1. Historic Vessels: Don’t miss the 1920 buyboat Winnie Estelle and the iconic 1955 skipjack Rosie Parks. Exploring these boats offers a tangible connection to the maritime heritage of the Chesapeake Bay. 🚢

Hooper Strait Lighthouse

One of the highlights of the museum is the Hooper Strait Lighthouse, a screwpile lighthouse that was originally located at the mouth of the Little Choptank River. The lighthouse was relocated to the museum in 1966 and offers a fascinating glimpse into the life of a lighthouse keeper.

  1. Panoramic Views: Climb to the top of the lighthouse for stunning views of the Miles River and the museum campus. It’s a perfect spot for photos and reflection. 🌅

Lunch: Waterfront Dining

Crab Claw Restaurant

For lunch, we headed to the nearby Crab Claw Restaurant, located just a short walk from the museum. This iconic waterfront eatery offers delicious seafood and picturesque views of the harbor.

  1. Menu Highlights: We enjoyed the classic Maryland crab cakes and steamed blue crabs. The outdoor seating area provides a lovely setting to relax and enjoy the local flavors. 🍴🦀

Afternoon: Immersive Experiences


In the afternoon, we visited the museum’s working boatyard, where skilled shipwrights and apprentices build and restore wooden boats using traditional techniques. Watching the craftsmen at work is both mesmerizing and educational.

  1. Boatbuilding Demonstrations: Check the schedule for boatbuilding demonstrations and workshops. It’s a unique opportunity to see the art of boatbuilding up close. 🛠️

At Play on the Bay

This family-friendly exhibit explores the recreational side of Chesapeake Bay life. From sailing and boating to fishing and swimming, the exhibit highlights the many ways people enjoy the bay.

  1. Interactive Displays: Kids (and adults!) will love the interactive displays, including a model of a classic Chesapeake Bay skipjack and a fishing simulator. 🎣

Evening: Sunset and Reflection

Sunset Cruise

To cap off our day, we booked a sunset cruise aboard the Winnie Estelle. The cruise offers a relaxing way to experience the beauty of the Chesapeake Bay as the sun sets over the water.

  1. Scenic Views: Enjoy the serene atmosphere and stunning scenery as you cruise along the Miles River. It’s a perfect ending to a day filled with exploration and discovery. 🚤

Dinner at Ava's Pizzeria & Wine Bar

For dinner, we headed to Ava's Pizzeria & Wine Bar in downtown Saint Michaels. The cozy atmosphere and delicious food make it a great spot to unwind and reflect on the day’s adventures.

  1. Menu Highlights: We loved the wood-fired pizzas and the extensive wine selection. The friendly service and charming setting make it a favorite among locals and visitors alike. 🍕🍷

Final Thoughts

A visit to the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum is a journey through the rich maritime history and culture of the Chesapeake Bay. From the historic vessels and interactive exhibits to the beautiful waterfront setting, the museum offers an immersive and engaging experience for all ages. Whether you’re a history buff, a boating enthusiast, or simply looking for a scenic getaway, the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum is a destination that should not be missed.

Have you visited the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum? Share your favorite moments and tips in the comments below. Until next time, keep exploring and enjoying the wonders of our amazing world! 🌍🚤

For more detailed information and to plan your visit, check out the official Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum website. See you in Saint Michaels!

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