Solomons (Solomons Island) is an resort island/city located on the tip of Southern Maryland, near the Patuxent Naval Air Station, within two hours of Washington, D.C., and a convenient drive from Baltimore or Annapolis. It is also close to the Calvert Cliffs State Park, which is fun for fossil hunting. Located, as it is, where the Chesapeake meets the Atlantic, it's a popular destination for boaters. It also has a nice, though short, boardwalk at the tip of the peninsula and a lively restaurant scene.
The principal, and really the only route going in and out of Solomons in either direction (north and south) is MD-2/MD-4, Solomon Island Rd. MD-4 leads from the Washington, D.C. border, and MD-2 from Annapolis. South of Solomons, MD-4 connects with MD-5, which heads east to St. Mary's City and west back to D.C. MD-5 westbound also connects with US-301, which leads south to I-95 in Virginia just south of Fredericksburg.
The three main marinas on the island are Solomons Harbor Marina (+1 410 326-1052)", Spring Cove Marina (+1 410 326-2161), and Zahnisers Yachting Center (1+410-326-2166), all of which are located on Back Creek/Solomons Harbor, and offer long & short term dockage.
Calvert Marine Museum, 14200 Solomons Island Road (Route 4) (On Route 4 just before the Thomas Johnson Bridge), . 10 am-5 pm. The premier marine museum of Maryland. Extensive exhibits showing the history of the Chesapeake Bay, including local fossils, an impressive set of aquariums highlighting various Bay ecosystems, and historical artifacts. Historic boat exhibit showing classic Bay watercraft. Children's Discovery room with period costumes, a boat to play in, touch-and-feel animal exhibits, and dig your own fossil sand box. The Drum Point screwpile lighthouse, which was relocated to the museum grounds after being retired, has been restored and can be toured every hour. During summer months, take a cruise on the bugeye Wm. B Tennison every afternoon at 2:00. Home of the Patuxent small craft guild, which works to preserve historic Chesapeake Bay boats and boatbuilding skills. $7/adult, $6/seniors, $2/children.
Sotterley Plantation, 44300 Sotterley Lane, Hollywood, Maryland (Take MD-4 south, turn right on MD-235, heading north 4-5 miles to Rt. 245 (Sotterley Rd)., turn right at the Burch Mart/Shell gas station and proceed approximately 4 miles to Sotterley), . 10-4 Mon-Sat, 12-4 Sun. Older than Monticello or Mount Vernon, Sotterley is the only Tidewater Plantation that is open to the public. The original house was built in 1703 by James Bowles, a member of the Maryland Lower House of Assembly. The mansion was completed by George Plater III, the sixth governor of Maryland. In the 1800's it was the home of one of the largest group of enslaved African Americans in Maryland, and the grounds have a very rare standing slave cabin as well as a full array of other outbuildings. The grounds also have classic 19th century formal gardens as well as kitchen gardens and orchards. A National Historic Landmark.$10/adult for mansion tours, $3/adult for self-guided grounds tours.
Calvert Cliffs State Park
Clipper's Canine Cafe, 14538 South Solomons Island Rd Solomons Island, MD 20688, ☎ 410-326-9294, . 11 am-6 pm. This place is a dog/cat lover's paradise! It's a "pet boutique and bakery" with toys, "spa products," and apparel for dogs and cats. They have legitimate bakery cases filled with dog treats of the highest order, many of them nautically themed to fit in with the surroundings. Also carries "holistic pet foods" including raw food diets.
CD Cafe, 14350 Solomons Island Road, ☎ 410-326-3877, . Fabulous fresh seafood, great burgers and salads and desserts that are divine.
Kim's Keyline Pies and Lotus Kitchen, 14618 Solomons Island Road South, Solomons, MD 20688, ☎ 410-326-8469, . Great key lime pies.
Tiki Bar, 1 Main Street, 410-326-4075. Opens the third Friday in April and closes in October. Up to 5,000 people pack this open-air bar on opening day. Order the Mai Tai.
Hilton Garden Inn Solomon's Island, 13100 Dowell Road, Dowell, Maryland, USA 20629 Tel: +1-410-326-0303 Fax: +1-410-326-0366. Pleasant, new hotel. Very quiet, despite convenience to major road (route 4). About a half mile from the restaurant areas. Free internet access. Spacious rooms, with mini-refrigerators and microwaves. Very comfortable beds. Standard single rooms or suites (with half-wall between living area and bed, no close-able door). Suites have pull-out couches for an extra bed. Would be a good place to stay for a vacation or for business at Pax River. Has a small, well-equipped gym and an outdoor pool.
The chalk cliffs at Calvert Cliffs State Park, a few miles north of town, are a fun spot for fossil hunting. The park is very popular, and its public beach is usually picked over by noon; however, even casual visitors can expect to find common fossils. The park also offers an elaborate playground constructed from used tires and excellent wildlife spotting along its marsh.
To the north, in Lexington Park, you can visit the Patuxent River Naval Air Museum.
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