Maryland Crab & Oyster Trail: Greater Baltimore Area

Succulent, sweet, and centuries of tradition.

Photo By: Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum

Central Maryland

Places along the way

The Greater Baltimore area serves up the energy and excitement of a big city but also offers rural escapes in the countryside north and west of the city near the towns of Bel Air and Westminster.

Seeking a special night out with spectacular views of the waterfront and city skyline? Head to the Rusty Scupper in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor for elegant harbor-side drinking and dining.

On the bay, Essex and Dundalk have a unique culture all their own where crab houses and restaurants combine rollicking night life and entertainment with delectable seafood. Check out Sue Island Dock Bar or the Riverwatch in Essex and the Hard Yacht Café, a dock bar in Dundalk.    

For impressive and peaceful water views, head to Havre de Grace where history and culture intermingle with the town’s excellent food and spirits, just like the waters of the wide Susquehanna Flats that merge with the Chesapeake Bay.

You’ll find crab houses and seafood markets at towns a little further inland too, such as CJ’s Crabhouse & Grill in Owings Mills, Conrad’s in Parkville, Richard’s Fish and Crabs in Belair and Rock Salt Grille in Westminster.

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The Great Baltimore Oyster Festival in mid-October kicks-off the oyster season, which lasts through the winter and early spring. At the festival, sample oysters raw, fried and grilled, then watch professional oyster shuckers compete against each other and against the clock.  Don’t worry if you’re a novice and want to shuck oysters. Westminster offers a Downtown Oyster Stroll and a Learn to Shuck Like a Pro event at Maggie’s Restaurant to hone your skills.

In Baltimore there is no shortage of oyster bars. These venues offer oysters from a variety of locales, so you can sample the subtle flavor differences that arise from their diverse environments and salinities. To savor oysters and seafood delicacies made with farm to table ingredients, head to Woodberry Kitchen in Baltimore or Catonsville Gourmet in the suburbs.

Museums, Festivals, and Events

Maryland serves up a diverse menu of seafood festivals, crab derbies and waterfront attractions. Explore maritime museums to discover what it was like to be a waterman in decades past. Try your hand at tonging or running a trotline, when you spend the day on a watermen’s heritage tour. See the unparalleled majestic beauty of a skipjack or log canoe race, both traditional watermen’s boats. Catch all the Chesapeake has to offer!

See more of the Maryland Crab & Oyster Trail.

Tour the National Aquarium in Baltimore to explore what lives in our oceans, then try a dragon or pedal boat in the Inner Harbor.

Maryland Lore

Many oysters change sex over the course of their lifetime. Most oysters less than one year old are male, while older oysters are usually female.

Photo By: Oyster Recovery Partnership

Trails in this Region

Carroll Wine Trail
Following in His Footsteps - Maryland's Frederick Douglass Driving Tour