St. Michaels was once a Colonial village known for oystering and shipbuilding. This charming town is located along Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Due to its idyllic location, there are many waterfront restaurants and shops, plus activities like sailing, kayaking, fishing, and more. As a visitor, there is plenty to see and do, regardless of the season. Popular attractions include visiting history museums, a late 1800s lighthouse, an iron mill, a local rum distillery, and many delightful seafood restaurants and markets. CDC information for travelers. Hours/availability may have changed.


1.1879 Hooper Strait Lighthouse

1879 Hooper Strait Lighthouse
© Andrea Izzotti/stock.adobe.com

Hooper Strait Lighthouse was built in 1879 to guide boats that passed through the Hooper Straight. During the first 75 years, there was one keeper and one assistant. The lantern that lit up the water burned from sunset to the first sign of morning light. When the fog reduced visibility the keeper and his assistant used a fog bell that operated by a hand crank. Then in 1934, an electric light and air whistle replaced the lantern and fog bell. Today, visitors who come to the 1879 Hooper Strait Lighthouse can visit the 1920s themed museum that includes the daily logbook from the first keeper.

213 N Talbot St, St Michaels, MD 21663, Phone: 410-745-2916

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2.Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum

Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum
© Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum


The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum (CBMM) is located on an 18-acre waterfront campus. Before the museum was built, the area used to house seafood packing houses and workboats could be seen lined up along the docks. The museum opened in 1965 to capture and display the economical, social, and geological history of Chesapeake Bay. Many of the exhibitions portray what life was like from the time of sailboats, to the steamboat era, to the advent of gas-powered engines. In addition, the CBMM research library has a collection of over 10,000 volumes. Also, its collection of watercraft totals more than 80 boats.

213 North Talbot Street, St. Michaels, MD 21663, Phone: 410-745-2916

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3.Lyon Distilling Co.

Lyon Distilling Co.
© Lyon Distilling Co.

Lyon Distilling Company (LDC) was co-founded in 2012 by Jaime Windon. She spent many years as a bartender striving to craft the perfect cocktails for her customers. Jaime also has a deep-rooted admiration for locally crafted spirits. Both her experience and her passion inspired the idea for LDC. Her micro-distillery launched its line of signature rums towards the end of 2013. The rums pay tribute to the traditions of the Chesapeake Bay and the Eastern Shore. All the spirits at LDC were specially made with a blend of innovation and tradition. Guests are welcome to tastings and to tour the distillery.

605 S Talbot Street #6, St Michaels, MD 21663, Phone: 443-333-9181

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4.St. Michael's Museum

St. Michael's Museum
© St. Michael's Museum


St. Michaels Museum is a community-focused museum that brings locals and tourists together. It’s a place where people can learn about and celebrate the rich history of the 19th century. The museum also provides a hospitable, inclusive and welcoming environment for all visitors. Those who do visit can participate in a guided walking tour or tour the exhibits that were curated by museum staff. During the guided tour, interpretations are given on St. Michaels culture and heritage. This includes stories that were passed down through the generations by oral history. There’s also programs and activities for children who come with their families or school class.

201 E. Chestnut Street, St. Michaels, MD 21663, Phone: 410-745-9561

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5.Iron Will & Woodworks

Iron Will & Woodworks
© Iron Will & Woodworks


Iron Will & Woodworks was founded by husband and wife team Mark and Tracey Miller. Their family-run business has numerous years of experience rebuilding old vintage pieces with unique customization. They’ve also spent many of those years teaching others about ironworking and woodworking. They chose the 1890s Flour Mill as the location for their business because of its rich history. The business began with a vision to rebuild and revive various architectural pieces of history, such as dilapidated buildings, lost treasures, and old wooden barns. Today, the company re-purposes items for its clients including lighting fixtures, barn doors, furniture, bars, home decor and much more.

605 S. Talbot St. Unit: #7, St. Michaels, MD 21663, Phone: 267-221-5107

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6.208 Talbot

208 Talbot
© 208 Talbot


208 Talbot is a fine dining American restaurant located inside an intimate and vintage space. The mastermind behind it all is David Clark. He has several decades of experience in the restaurant and culinary industry. His menu features New American-Chesapeake fare, local seafood dishes, savory selections like lamb, filet mignon, duck, vegetarian, gluten-free dishes and more. There’s also a dessert menu that features a handful of decadent items, such as bread pudding, cheesecake, angel food cake among others. 208 Talbot has a full-size bar that can make a variety of housemade cocktails, and it carries different varieties of wine and beer.

208 N Talbot St, St Michaels, MD 21663, Phone: 410-745-3838

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7.Bistro St. Michaels

Bistro St. Michaels
© Bistro St. Michaels

Bistro St. Micheals is owned by Executive Chef Doug Stewart. Doug was born and raised in Talbot County and he began his culinary education at Chesapeake College’s Culinary School. When Doug opened the Bistro he intended to serve food that was rooted in tradition but also had a modern touch. And that’s exactly what he’s created. The Bistro St. Michaels features American food prepared with European style and techniques. Doug sources local and high-quality ingredients, including sustainable seafood, free-range eggs, and organic vegetables. They only work with farmers that use sustainable farming practices and who raise their animals humanely.

403 South Talbot Street, St. Michaels, MD, Phone: 410-745-9111

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8.Chesapeake Landing

Chesapeake Landing
© Chesapeake Landing

Chesapeake Landing is a restaurant and seafood market that was built by husband and wife, Joe and Nida Spurry in 1991. Over the last several decades, the restaurant has developed a reputation in the Mid Atlantic for having some of the best seafood dishes. In addition to seafood, guests of Chesapeake Landing can also find Certified Angus Beef steaks, burgers and other beef dishes on the menu. Plus, the menu includes chicken entrees and a baby back rib meal. Since the restaurant has its own market, the oysters and crabs being served are always fresh and come from local waters.

23713 St. Michael’s Road, St. Michaels, MD 21663, Phone: 410-745-9600

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9.St. Michaels Crab and Steak House

St. Michaels Crab and Steak House
© St. Michaels Crab and Steak House

The owner of St. Michaels Crab and Steak House is a native of Philadelphia who moved to St. Michaels in 1983. Years later, in 1994 he opened Michaels Crabhouse, which was the original name before it changed to St. Michaels Crab & Steak House. The restaurant is located in a 1830s building that was formerly an oyster shucking shed. This area still marks the spot where oysters and crabs get regularly brought in by watermen. Given its location to the sea, many of the items available on the menu are Eastern Shore seafood specialties. To ensure freshness and quality, every meal is made to order.

305 Mulberry St., St. Michaels, Maryland, 21663, Phone: 410-745-3737

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9 Best Things to Do in St Michaels, MD



Attraction Spotlight: Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum

Located in St. Michaels, Maryland, the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum is an 18-acre museum displaying artifacts related to the history of the Chesapeake Bay, including the world’s largest collection of the region’s boats and fishing vessels. The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum is located along the Navy Point dock area of St. Michaels, a former hub for the area’s seafood packing industry.

History

In 1965, the Historical Society of Talbot County obtained ownership of three of the Point’s waterfront buildings and opened a museum of Chesapeake Bay artifacts. Throughout the following decade, the museum acquired several historic watercraft, including the Edna E. Lockwood, now a National Historic Landmark, along with the former Coulbourne and Jewett crab packing facility. In 1965, the Society rescued the historic Hooper Strait Lighthouse, set for demolition by the United States government, and relocated it to the Navy Point complex. The museum was incorporated as a private nonprofit museum in 1968, and by the beginning of the following decade, had expanded its facilities to encompass the entirety of Navy Point’s former industrial district. In 1978, the museum was officially accredited by the American Association of Museums. Subsequent expansions and renovations have stretched to include facilities in the adjacent Fogg’s Cove area.

Permanent Exhibits

Today, the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum campus spans 18 acres across the Navy Point and Fogg’s Cove areas, including 35 historic, exhibition, and administrative buildings. 10 of the museum’s buildings are open to the public as exhibit areas, offering interactive exhibits that detail the area’s natural, social, and economic history, with a focus on maritime technologies and industries. As the only museum solely devoted to the history of the Chesapeake Bay area, the museum holds the largest collection of Bay area historic watercraft, preserving more than 100 ships and ship models, along with a variety of artworks and artifacts related to maritime industries on the Bay.

Visitors may explore a number of preserved historic structures, including the 1879 Hooper Strait Lighthouse, relocated 60 miles north of its original location near Tangier Sound. The screwpile-style lighthouse was the second lighthouse built on the Strait, following the destruction of the area’s original lighthouse structure by an ice storm in 1877. Exhibits within the lighthouse detail lighthouse keeping practices of the 19th century, allowing visitors to climb into the structure’s sea hatch and observe the Bay from its lookout. Other historic structures within the museum campus include the Tolchester Beach Bandstand, formerly located within Kent County’s resort and amusement area, the original Knapps Narrows Drawbridge, relocated from Tilghman Island, and the Point Lookout Tower, the companion structure of a former lighthouse located at the junction of the Bay and the Potomac River.

A number of permanent exhibit areas chronicle the Bay’s natural and social history, including the Bay History exhibit, which details the area’s indigenous history through its involvement in the American Civil War.At Play on the Bay, the Museum’s largest exhibit area, recounts the Bay’s 20th-century transition from an industrial hub to a recreational tourist-driven area. Visitors may try their hand at fishing industry activities in the Oystering on the Chesapeake, which offers onboard experiences on the historic E.C. Collier skipjack, and Waterman’s Wharf, located within a recreated crabber’s shanty. A Maryland Crab Meat Company exhibit showcases three crabbing skiffs and other equipment used by Crisfield’s Maryland Crabmeat Company, and a Waterfowling exhibit details the area’s history of bird migration and hunting practices.

The museum’s Floating Fleet exhibit showcases a collection of docked water vessels, including the historic Edna E. Lockwood, the 1912 Delaware river tug, and a collection of racing log canoes, including the Edmee S., which is still raced by museum staff during area summertime competitions. Activities and exhibits for young visitors are offered aboard the 1909 Old Point dredgeboat, and summer weekend tours are hosted aboard the museum’s replica buyboat, Mister Jim. A Working Boatyard exhibit serves as a restoration and educational program area, allowing visitors to help construct a skiff boat as part of the museum’s Apprentice for a Day program.

An Heirloom Garden is maintained by museum volunteers, featuring medicinal and culinary herbs and plants native to the area from indigenous times through the 19th century. The museum also maintains the Navy Point shoreline as a Living Shoreline project, helping to prevent erosion and biodiversity loss through natural plantings and landscaping. More than 10,000 volumes may be accessed within the Howard Chappelle Research Library, available by appointment to students and researchers.

Ongoing Programs and Education

In addition to field trip opportunities for elementary, secondary, and college students, the museum offers a Lighthouse Overnight program, an annual Sea Squirts Summer Camp, and a Rising Tide after-school boatbuilding program for area youth. Workshops and classes for all ages are held at the museum’s Working Boatyard, including woodworking, metal casting, and tool sharpening courses. Adult education courses are offered through the museum’s Academy for Lifelong Learning, and periodic public lectures are presented by members of the museum’s Speakers Bureau. Annual public special events include a Maritime Model Expo, a Charity Boat Auction, and an Annual Antique and Classic Boat Festival over Father’s Day Weekend.

213 North Talbot Street, St Michaels, MD 21663, Phone: 410-745-2916

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