Maryland Crab & Oyster Trail: Lower Eastern Shore

From the Beach to the Bay

Maryland’s Lower Eastern Shore is known for its traditional watermen culture, where locals rise with the sun and work the waters to bring in the day’s catch.  Nestled between the vast, blue Chesapeake and the white, sandy beaches of the Atlantic, a tapestry of farms, woodlands, rivers and marshes paint an unparalleled landscape picture.

Among the wide open spaces, watermen villages and towns, like Deal Island, Crisfield, Princess Anne, Pocomoke City and Berlin, dot the countryside and provide a variety of places to pick crabs, slurp oysters and sample seafood dishes. 

Crisfield is especially known for its softshell crabs, which are most abundant in the early summer. The crabs molt (shed their shells) in the shallow grass beds in the bay close to land. When the watermen’s boats come to the docks, look to see if you can tell the difference between the live hard crabs and soft shell crabs. Then head to Captain Tyler’s Crab House or Linton’s Crab House to taste fresh soft shells.

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