On the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay, Talbot (TALL-but) County is a region defined by water, with pristine wetlands and quiet coves promising a slower pace of life. Start your visit at Easton, the unofficial capital of the region. Browse well-stocked lined with gracious homes. Then check in for antiques stores and stroll picturesque streets the weekend at any of the seven guest rooms at the Inn at Easton, a newly restored 1790s Federal mansion with a cosmopolitan ambience and an outstanding restaurant.
Oxford , one of the oldest towns in the stale, is the perfect place for an afternoon amble past street-side gardens to the waterfront, and it’s a chance to enjoy one of the best-preserved Colonial settlements in the country. The Robert Morris Inn, built in 1710 as a home for a shipping agent, today houses 34 rooms. Dine at the inn’s excellent restaurant and enjoy the crab cakes that James Michener—who was a guest at the inn while writing Chesapeake— called “the best on the Eastern Shore.”
A ferry links Oxford to the Victorian village of St. Michaels, a busy shipbuilding center in colonial times. Today, yachts pack the harbor on summer weekends while the 1879 Hooper Strait Lighthouse stands guard. At the outstanding Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum at Navy Point, watch expert boat-builders at work or aspiring students who learn traditional skills through an apprentice program. Everyone seems to wind up next door at the casual and fun (and forever busy) Crab Claw, whose hot spiced Maryland blue crabs are plucked from waters just over yonder.
Secure your boat-lover’s fantasy as a pampered guest at the Inn at Perry Cabin, an exclusive, romantic getaway in a proud 19th-century mansion right on the Miles River. Its 81 rooms are simply but handsomely decorated. and the elegant restaurant offers water views across the manicured grass.
Tilghman Island was first charted by Captain John Smith in the early 1600s. It is home to the largest working fleet of skipjacks on the bay. A seagull is your morning wake-up call at the Lazy Jack Inn, an 1850s waterfront home with views over the harbor.