Maryland Crab & Oyster Trail: Anne Arundel and Howard Counties

Annapolis and its surroundings

Downtown Historic Annapolis is a favorite waterfront dining destination with plenty of oyster bars, shops and more

Photo By: Bob Peterson Photography/Visit Annapolis

Central Maryland

Places along the way

Central Maryland is located on the Chesapeake Bay’s western shore, where the Chesapeake Bay Bridge has its terminus. The colonial waterfront city of Annapolis, dubbed the sailing capital of the world, presents plenty of top-notch sight-seeing, eating and shopping venues. But there’s more to explore. With miles of shoreline above and below Annapolis, the area boasts numerous charming waterfront historic towns like Edgewater, Deale and Shady Side.

Several well-known seafood restaurants, like The Pier Oyster Bar & Grill in Edgewater and Cantler’s Riverside Inn in Annapolis are accessible by boat, but you’ll find crab houses and seafood markets and restaurants at towns a little further inland too, such as Ellicott City, Pasadena and Columbia. All of this adds up to more dining options to please your palate.

Try Victoria Gastro Pub for exquisite cuisine with local ingredients. For a dock to table experience, check out Pasadena Seafood, which is owned by a working waterman.

​(continued below)

Photo By:

Many restaurants in Annapolis shell out superb oyster dishes. Annapolis and its surroundings offer four “oyster bars,” where you can sample raw oysters from a variety of locations. See if you can taste their subtle differences, like a true ostreaphile (oyster lover that is). Try an “oyster shooter,” a raw oyster in a shot glass, topped with spicy cocktail sauce, horseradish, lemon juice, black pepper and pepper vodka. Some chase it with a 1 ounce shot of beer.

For an authentic cultural experience, look for Bull and Oyster Roasts, where pit-roasted beef and raw oysters are served with beer and other delicious accompaniments. Eastport, a neighborhood in Annapolis, (also affectionately known as the Maritime Republic of Eastport) says good-bye to oyster season and celebrates the beginning of spring with their annual ritual Oyster Roast and Sock Burning in mid-March. This event marks the time of the year when water lovers and mariners go sockless in their deck shoes for the spring and summer ... and crab season is just around the corner.

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

Photo By: Oyster Recovery Partnership

Maryland Lore

While oyster farms have made raw oysters available during most of the year, fresh wild-caught oysters are available in the late fall and winter – the months with an “R” in them.

Trails in this Region

Maryland Crab & Oyster Trail: Greater Baltimore Area
Following in His Footsteps - Maryland's Frederick Douglass Driving Tour