advertisement

126 miles SE of Annapolis; 153 miles SE of Baltimore; 155 miles SE of Washington, D.C.; 142 miles S of Wilmington

The remote town of Crisfield, on the extreme southern end of the Eastern Shore, offers an insider's look at the lives of the watermen and the seafood industry. Crisfield, built on acres of oyster shells, was once known as the seafood capital of the world. Even though the industry has shrunk over time, crab and oyster packing, along with services for pleasure boaters, remain major businesses here. Indeed, the crab-packing houses now share the waterfront with marina slips for yachts and new condominiums. For visitors, Crisfield and its neighbor, Smith Island, make a great launching point for fishing and boating trips on the deep waters of the southern Chesapeake.

Getting There -- Crisfield is accessible by car via Maryland Route 413 from Route 50 or U.S. Route 13. You can also take your boat to Crisfield past Smith Island. (Before heading into shallow Tangier Sound, check your charts.)

Visitor Information -- For helpful information about Crisfield and the surrounding countryside, contact Somerset County Tourism (tel. 800/521-9189 or 410/651-2968; www.visitsomerset.com). While in town, stop at the visitor center at 1003 W. Main St. (tel. 410/968-1543; www.crisfieldheritagefoundation.org).

Special Events -- The National Hard Crab Derby and Fair is a 3-day event with a crab-cooking contest, a crab-picking contest, country music, and, of course, the crab race. It's held Labor Day weekend at Somers Cove Marina; admission is about $4. Make hotel reservations well in advance. The J. Millard Tawes Crab and Clam Bake, held the third Wednesday in July from 1 to 5pm, is an all-you-can-eat affair; buy tickets in advance. For information on either event, call tel. 800/782-3913 or 410/968-2500.

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.