Historic High Street, which ends at Long Wharf, is lined with 19th-century homes from a variety of periods, including French Second Empire, Queen Anne, and Federal. Take a look on your own or take the 1-hour tour offered every Saturday April through October, offered by the West End Citizens Association (tel. 410/901-1000). The tours begin at 11am at Long Wharf.
Stop in the expanded Dorchester Center for the Arts in a new location at 321 High St. (tel. 410/228-7782; www.dorchesterarts.org), to see the exhibits, which change every month, and browse the gift shop. Both feature local artists and artisans. It's open Monday through Thursday from 10am to 5pm, Friday and Saturday 10am to 4pm. The Historic Ghost Walk, which departs from here, combines a little exercise with history on Saturday nights in October. Call the center for reservations, which are a must.
The West End Citizens Association offers a 1-hour Historic High Street Tour Saturdays at 11am April through November. Call tel. 410/901-1000 to reserve.
At Long Wharf, check out the Nathan of Dorchester (tel. 410/228-7141; www.skipjack-nathan.org), a living museum built by local volunteers. Visitors can climb aboard the 63-foot skipjack for a 2-hour cruise on the Choptank River, offered Saturdays May through October. Stop by or call for a reservation.
Outside of Town
Three tributes to the Underground Railroad and its most famous conductor Harriet Tubman will be open to the public between 2011 and 2013.
A 17-acre parcel near Blackwater Wildlife Refuge is being developed as the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad State Park. The park, when it opens in December 2011, will have a visitor center with artifacts about Tubman and the Underground Railroad, as well as hiking and biking paths, a picnic pavilion, and spots for paddling and viewing wildlife. This is Dorchester's first state park.
The Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historical Park will protect 6,750 acres of farmland, forest, and wetlands over which Tubman and fleeing slaves found their way to freedom in the north. These landscapes won't really be available for the public's use but will be preserved. The state park land, which is included in this national park, of course, will be accessible.
Maps for the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad All American Road, a 125-mile byway through Dorchester and Caroline counties, are available at the visitor center. New interpretative signs will be added by 2013.
For a worthwhile side trip, visit the Spocott Windmill, 7 miles west of Cambridge on Route 343. The only existing post windmill for grinding grain left in Maryland, it's still operated at least twice a year. It's not the original -- three others have been on this site since the 1700s. Also on the building are a tenant house, a humble 1 1/2-story wood dwelling built around 1800; a one-room schoolhouse, built in 1870; and a country museum store, which evokes an old-time feeling with its potbellied stove and World War II-era merchandise (open only on special occasions). The sites stay open dawn to dusk every day so visitors are free to wander among the desks in the school and peek in the upstairs bedroom of the tenant house. Admission is free. Call tel. 800/522-8687 to make arrangements for a guide.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.