Eastern Shores — the destination you need to see this year
If you’ve been following our Eastern Shore Road Trip, you’ve probably just spent hours inside at the Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art, so, how about some fresh air? There are 262 acres of it waiting for you at Pemberton Historical Park (5561 Plantation Lane; Salisbury, Maryland 21801 (410) 548–4900 ext. 114).
Pemberton Historical Park
If you love nature, you’ll be impressed with this description from their website:
“While hiking the trails, you will encounter ecosystems and their natural complement of plants and animals that are specific to many different regions of the Eastern Shore. It is rare to find any other place on the Eastern Shore where tidal and fresh water wetlands, fresh water ponds, upland pines, hardwood forests and meadows can all be studied within the same site. This unique feature, when coupled with the historical aspects of Pemberton Park, makes it especially attractive for school studies or a casual hike.”
What we found very interesting was Pemberton Hall. Built in 1741 by Isaac Handy, it was the site of a thriving plantation. Built almost entirely of materials made or found on site, it stands todays as testament to Eastern Shore regional architecture.
After 200+ years it had fallen into serious disrepair and was considered for demolition. Fortunately, the Pemberton Hall Foundation was formed, with the intention of restoring and opening the home for visitors to the park. Paint colors have been reproduced and furnishings have been added to match historic tax inventories of the property.
Today, it and the 260-acre park that surrounds it is a great stop for a tour and look back as to what life was like as our country was being formed.
If “small, charming and lovely” are typical words you use to describe your ideal getaway locations, then the Whitehaven Hotel in Whitehaven, MD should be on your short list.
Just 13 miles from Pemberton Hall, head WSW, following Rts. 349 & 352. It’s a small town, as small as they come, but don’t worry, you won’t miss it as you drive by. There’s the river ferry you have to stop for, and when you do, VIOLA, you are in Whitehaven.
The real jewel of Whitehaven is the Whitehaven Hotel (2685 Whitehaven Road — Whitehaven, MD 21856 (410) 873–3099). This B&B was originally built circa 1810, and expanded in 1877. At the time, Whitehaven was a thriving riverside port with shipyards and a cannery.
It originally served passengers crossing the Wicomico River on the small ferry which began in 1685 and still operates today. As a roadhouse, four salesman could share a bed for 25 cents each and many would sit on the porches, enjoying an adult beverage, watching the sun set to the west.
Today, the B&B offers eight beautifully redone rooms, each with lovely antiques and beautiful views. We stayed upstairs in The Victorian Bedroom, which was originally built for the innkeeper. A wonderfully large room, it opened onto a semi-private balcony and overlooked the river.
Breakfast was absolutely delicious as you will notice from the picture above. After a great meal, we had a chance to wander the garden, which was just overflowing with beautiful flowers and butterflies.
If you are looking for a short stroll to burn off some calories, you can walk the entire town in about fifteen minutes. Look out for the striking little schoolhouse and the wonderful, white-steepled church.
Red Roost Crabhouse and Restaurant
Looking for somewhere for dinner? Don’t miss the all-you-can-eat crab feast available at the Red Roost Crabhouse and Restaurant (2670 Clara Road; Whitehaven, MD(410) 546–5443) — a converted chicken house. Paper on the table, a pile of crabs, wooden mallet, and you are in heaven. They also have some great bar-b-que dishes for those who haven’t acquired the taste for crabs. And if you a westerner and just don’t know how to pick crabmeat out of the shell, they’ve got instructions for you.
Hours for 2017 are Thursdays and Fridays opening at 5:30 pm. Saturdays and Sundays they open at noon. If you’ve got an opportunity to stop during their live entertainment hours, you’re sure to enjoy the performers.
That’s all folks!
Well that’s it, a quick synopsis of our road trip last fall along the Eastern Shore. A big shout-out goes to the Talbot and Wicomico county tourism bureaus for hosting us, and to Chesapeake Tours and Promotions for hauling us and our gear all over Wicomico County. To plan your own Eastern Shores road trip — give them a call.
Have you been to this part of the Eastern Shore? If so, we’d love to hear about what your favorite destinations were. Leave us a note in the comment section below. Any questions? We’ll try to answer them as best we can.
Did you miss any of these Maryland Eastern Shore articles?
Originally published at Doug Bardwell.