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Based on 54 traveler reviews
Know before you go
Nov 18, 2014 by: ProHistorian from Annapolis, Maryland
Smith Island has been in the news a lot lately due to rising sea level. First settled nearly 350 years ago it is isolated geographically and prior to modern marvels of electricity and computer, culturally. Most of the houses date to the late-19th or early 20th century when comfortable livings could be made oystering and crabbing. The condition of some now illustrate the opposite. Tourism is a fairly modern concept here. The Captain Tyler is the "tourist boat" that seasonally makes a round trip from Crisfield. Its owner also operates the restaurant that does a good job of serving up local cuisine. The other "ferries" are used by locals and also carry freight. During the summer you may be sitting next to boxes and bushels of crabs headed to market. On Ewell Ruke's grocery and Otis' Store are where the locals gather and the best place to eavesdrop on the famous accent. Both serve good sandwiches, with Ruke's possessing an authentic rustic charm acquired over decades. Tylerton's Drum Point Market is the only show in town, but fortunately for the visitor very good--especially the crab cakes. Other reviewers are correct that there is not a lot to do unless you bring a kayak or bike. There is a small museum and golf carts can be rented. Walk around, listen to the voices, watch the work boats come in, visit the cemeteries (especially the old graves at Rhodes Point) and feel the presence of 13 generations of inherited traditions. Imagine what life has been like through the centuries for the people living on this small island in the middle of the Bay.
Nov 02, 2014 by: Janice T from Westminster, Maryland, United States
Smith Island has been on our bucket list for years. Come for several days, like we did, to get to know the residents. We ventured here on Halloween weekend, decidedly out of season. Most attractions were closed, but The Ewell School hosted an all-Island Halloween party for kids of all ages. It was a hoot! In another night, the Ewell Community Center produced its annual waterman's dinner ($15 of wonderful 'down-home' cooking on the 1st Saturday in November). The entertainment was good local fun. I'll be posting video. We stayed at the modern, cozy Smith Island Inn, from whom we rented a golf cart. Bird watching here is a must. Wild turkeys occasionally cross the road. The marsh and the sunset from Rhodes Point are tremendous. Relaxing? We slept like the dead and still napped. Come if you love nature, peace & quiet. The folks are VERY friendly. We'll be back. This is a unique place everyone should experience before a way of life dies and the Island disappears.
A Piece of Living History!
Sep 30, 2014 by: ErnTrekker from PA
This was on my list of places to see & I finally gathered up the kids to make the trip over to the Island...a great afternoon! The quiet atmosphere stands in contrast to the hustle & bustle of the Shore towns to the east - a throwback to an earlier time. Granted, this isn't a place for a whirlwind of touristy glitz, but it is a place where you can arrive, grab something to eat & stroll around streets of the small town via foot/bike/golf cart...and really get an appreciation of what the Chesapeake Bay used to be like. The boat ride to & from the Island is also a great experience as well - I'd definitely recommend Smith Island for a family visit or for someone wanting to do something different while visiting the Eastern Shore! PS - try the cake!
A Total Waste
Sep 22, 2014 by: Unhappysenior50 from
$40 x 5 poor senior ladies = $200 wasted!! The ride over was boring! The shipmate or whatever his title was, was very rude and never smiled . As soon as we arrived at Smith Island we were ushered into a restaurant . The menu was high so we 5 seniors moved on to look at whatever else was there. A museum and a shack of a restaurant where we afforded a crab cake and fries for $14 . The crab cake was delicious! People who worked there and anyone else involved with this money making racket were not inviting and did not make you feel warm and welcome. Do not waste your hard earned money on that sickening 'cake'. Go have crepes at Bob Evans or somewhere . It was awful! Please find something fun and worthwhile to spend your money on!
Short time to visit, few things to see/do
Sep 03, 2014 by: MaryKop from Colorado Springs
Took the ferry over ($25/pp RT + $2 per bike). "Ferry" was really a small commercial boat. We shared the aft deck with a washing machine. Pleasant ride, nice skipper---calm seas and sunny. About a 45 minute ride over, about 2 1/2 hours on the island. 2 restaurants, the 9-Layer cake factory and a museum are about it. Ate at Ruke's--lots of fried seafood--soft shell crabs were outstanding. Very friendly people, but a serious lack of....island pride? I know the sea takes its toll on things, and the economy is really tight, especially here, but could someone take the time to stand up signs about the island history? We wanted to come because of its endangered status and to help the locals by spending $$ .... but not much to offer. We enjoyed riding our bikes the 5 miles of roadways---beware if you're coming at high tide--they won't rent the electric carts due to the bad mix of batteries and sea water. It was very interesting to watch the tide rise, especially on the outer roads...
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