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Eastern Shore (Maryland)

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Maryland's Eastern Shore region is Maryland's part of the Delmarva Peninsula, which also contains the state of Delaware and Virginia's Eastern Shore. The area is rich in culture and history, making it a great travel destination for anyone who's looking to soak up the local culture!

Cities

Other destinations

Geography and Climate

The Eastern Shore is part of the Delmarva Peninsula. The topography of the Eastern Shore is flat. Mountains are non-existent and hills are rare. Because of its proximity to the Chesapeake, the Eastern Shore has several islands, marshes, beaches, and inlets.

Its location on the Atlantic Coastal Plain in Maryland gives the Eastern Shore a humid subtropical climate, with hot, humid summers and cool to mild winters. For botanists, the USDA hardiness rating is a 7B-8.

Understand

The Eastern Shore was largely isolated from the rest of Maryland until the construction of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge in 1952. As a result, values tend to be conservative and closely related to Virginia, with which it shares a border, as opposed to the western portion of Maryland, which is perceived by locals as more liberal. For this reason, many residents take offense being compared to Marylanders from the "Western Shore" or other side of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. This sense of alienation from the rest of Maryland has spurred several attempts to split off from the state of Maryland. Proposals have been debated in the Maryland General Assembly in 1833-1835, 1852 and recently in 1998 for the Eastern Shore becoming its own state.

Because of its unique location, Maryland's different regions portray different regional characteristics.


NOTE: For tourists coming from the South (United States of America), be aware that many, if not most, residents of the Eastern Shore consider themselves Southerners. The Eastern Shore has a long history related to the rest of the South and many residents have ancestors that fought for the Confederacy in the Civil War, or the "War of Northern Aggression" as it is called in the area. Consequently, attempts to dissuade residents otherwise may be met with a heated response.

Talk

The Eastern Shore, because of its proximity to Virginia and historic isolation from the Western Shore, maintains a Southern accent akin to the Tidewater region of Virginia. This is especially true of the four counties on the "Lower Shore" or counties nearest Virgina: Wicomico, Dorchester, Somerset, and Worcester.

In addition, are interesting dialects to be found in the isolated island communities of the Chesapeake Bay, where Victoria-era British accents have been near-perfectly preserved.

Get in

U.S. Routes 13, 50, and 301 are the main roads into the Eastern Shore.

Get around

U.S. Routes 13, 50, and 301 are the main roads into the Eastern Shore.

Ferries are available from Crisfield, MD to Deal Island, Smith Island, and Tangier Island.

See

Itineraries

Do

  • Salisbury MD Zoo, 755 South Park Drive, 410-548-3188, [1]. Daily except Thanksgiving and Christmas. Free.
  • The Centre at Salisbury, 2300 N Salisbury Blvd., 410-548-1600. Large mall with Macy's and many other stores.
  • Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art, 909 South Schumaker Drive, 410-742-4988, [2]. Daily except Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day. Houses the the world's largest collection of wildfowl carvings.
  • Assateague Island, the Assateague Island National Seashore and Assateague State Park.
  • Ocean City has long been popular with Baltimoreans and Marylanders from the Western Shore in general, thus rendering the flavor of Ocean City life unlike that of the rest of the Shore. The skyline, featuring many tall hotels and condominiums, is also a stark contrast to the rest of Delmarva. On the southern end of Ocean City is a highly popular recreational boardwalk spanning over thirty blocks and featuring carnival rides and games, restaurants, bars, arcades, and clothing boutiques.
  • Other picturesque tourist destinations include the town of St. Michaels on a neck surrounded by water; the colonial former port of Oxford; Chestertown; and isolated Smith Island in the Chesapeake Bay.

Eat

No trip to the Eastern Shore would be complete without having sampled the region's world-famous crabs and 7-layered Smith Island Cake. Many restaurants in the area serve crab, crab cakes, and Chicken Chesapeake (Chicken with Crab Imperil). In addition, many restaurants also serve Smith Island Cake.

Drink

Stay safe

Poison ivy is widespread along forest edges. It shouldn't prevent you from enjoying nature, but learn to recognize it before you go off-trail. Ticks, mosquitoes and chiggers abound during summer months. Humidity can be quite high during the summer, so stay well hydrated. The Copperhead, a poisonous snake, is found in some areas. Jellyfish live in the Chesapeake Bay during warm-weather season, and can be a hazard to swimmers.

Get out

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