Maryland Crab & Oyster Trail: Southern Maryland
Enjoy hushed woodlands, tidewater vistas and colonial-era towns. In Southern Maryland, the history is rich and the seafood superb.
Museums, Festivals, and Events
While on Solomons Island be sure to visit the Lore Oyster House, part of the Calvert Marine Museum. J.C. Lore and Sons was a large and successful seafood packing company founded at the height of the Chesapeake oyster industry in 1888. The company specialized in Patuxent River fish, crabs and oysters. Today you can explore all aspects of oyster processing – from receiving oysters at the dock to storing, shucking, washing, packing, and shipping the product to markets across the region.
Also in Solomons, stop by the Chesapeake Biological Laboratory Visitor Center to see where cutting edge research from the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science is conducted. Visitor center exhibits highlight the health of the Chesapeake Bay, ongoing research, and an oyster reef community aquarium. Visitors will discover who CBL scientists are, what they are researching, and why it is important. The center offers group tours, an annual open house, programs and seminars.
Time your visit to take in the U.S. Oyster Festival and National Oyster Shucking Championships in Leonardtown. Get a taste of the bay at the Oyster Festival Tasting Room and pair oysters with a locally-crafted oyster stout. Try some tasty recipes from the National Oyster Cook-off. You’ll want to make them at home, and with all of the fresh seafood markets in Southern Maryland, that might be possible!
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!
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Hunt for the fossilized remains of sea creatures at Calvert Cliffs State Park. The fossils found here are from a coastal ocean that covered the area 10-20 million years ago. Fossilized sharks teeth are plentiful and the walk along the water’s edge is delightful. Combined with a visit to the companion Paleontology Gallery at the Calvert Marine Museum, you will be an expert in a day.
St. Clement’s Island was the first place settled in Maryland by the Catholics seeking religious freedom. A cross marks the location where Father Andrew White first held Mass here in Maryland. Access to the island is by ferry from the St. Clement’s Island Museum in Coltons Point.
A male crab is called a “jimmy,” and a female crab is known as a “sook.” They can be told apart by the shape of the apron on their undersides. The females have a bell-shaped apron that resembles the dome of the U.S. Capitol. The males have an inverted T-shaped apron that resembles the Washington Monument.