Havre de Grace -- tucked up near the Mason-Dixon line, 28 miles northeast of Baltimore -- is primarily a sailing town now, though it was once an important Colonial crossroads. In fact, it is said that a single vote kept it from becoming the new nation's capital. Today, this picturesque town makes an excellent stop either to or from Baltimore. It's known for good restaurants, charming shops, a lighthouse, and stunning views of the spot where the Susquehanna River becomes the Chesapeake Bay.
The area was originally home to the Susquehannocks, with the first European settlers arriving in 1658. First called Harmer's Town, it soon became the location of a river ferry, which operated for 170 years. After the Revolutionary War, it adopted its current name from a suggestion by French soldiers who lovingly compared it to Le Havre back home. This was a popular destination in the early 20th century, when a famous racetrack drew the likes of the legendary Seabiscuit, Man o' War, and Citation. Today, the town is much quieter, but it remains a crossroads -- for trains racing across the river, for barges carrying stone down the bay, and for people speeding along I-95.
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