Berlin, Maryland: Where Art, History, and Coastal Flavors Collide

The town of Berlin, Maryland is an absolute hidden gem of the East Coast! Tucked away just 10 miles inland from the renowned Ocean City, this picturesque village has earned the title of America’s Coolest Small Town, according to this travel blog article from Southern Living. While coastal destinations like St. Michaels and Cambridge draw crowds, Berlin remains a tranquil haven, sheltered from the bustling masses.

Prepare to be enchanted by its vibrant Main Street, boasting over 60 unique shops, a dozen art galleries, and a myriad of dining options. With its small-town charm, rich history dating back to the 1700s, and a thriving artistic community, Berlin offers a delightful escape for those seeking an off-the-beaten-path adventure. So, join us as we explore the landmarks, activities, and natural wonders that make Berlin, Maryland a must-visit destination.

One of the standout features of Berlin is its strong sense of community. With a population of around 5,000 locals, the town embraces its small-town sensibilities while hosting nearly 50 events throughout the year. From quirky annual events like bathtub racing and a peach festival to a fiddler’s convention, Berlin knows how to keep its residents and guests engaged. Furthermore, the town’s rich history dating back to the 1700s is evident in its beautiful historic buildings and homes, creating an atmosphere that truly embodies the spirit of the Coolest Small Town in America.

A visit to Berlin is centered around its historic downtown, a place characterized by picturesque tree-lined streets, vibrant shop awnings, and architectural styles ranging from Victorian to Greek and Gothic Revival. The heart of the town is Main Street, divided into six distinct districts. Begin your exploration by venturing into shops like Sound Storm Records, where you can find new and vintage vinyl. For women’s apparel and unique gifts, head to Bruder Hill & Home.

Don’t miss the European-style flower shop, Bleached Butterfly, which exudes effortless chicness. Indulge your senses with calming scents at the whimsical Honey Water Candles or immerse yourself in the world of written and visual art at the indie bookstore, The Greyhound. On Sundays from May through September, the Berlin Farmers Market brings together talented local makers, producers, and farmers for a delightful gathering.

Berlin’s motto is “artistically alive,” and the town truly lives up to it. The Worcester County Arts Council serves as a gateway to the arts in Berlin, offering rotating exhibits and regular art classes in its charming tiny white clapboard home. Embark on a walking tour of the town’s best galleries, where you’ll find exquisite glasswork at Beach Memoriesand Jeffrey Auxer Designs.

For a diverse artistic experience, visit The Dusty Lamb for whimsical modern works and Henry Fine Arts Gallery for more traditional creations. At the Wooden Octopus, a working gallery, visitors can witness four talented artists in action and even purchase their creations. Art extends beyond designated spaces in Berlin, with several businesses like On What Grounds? coffee house and Baked Dessert Cafe showcasing the works of local artists in-house.

No visit to Berlin is complete without savoring its culinary delights. The town’s culinary arts scene is as enticing as anything else it has to offer. Start your day with a true taste of coastal cuisine at Boxcar on Main’s Sunday brunch. Indulge in the MD Cake & Eggs, featuring a mouthwatering five-ounce Maryland-style blue crab cake served with eggs, home fries, and lemon arugula. Alternatively, try the Boxcar Chesapeake, a delightful combination of fried green tomatoes, poached eggs, garlic kale, Old Bay hollandaise, and sautéed crabmeat. For a lighter and artisanal midday meal, create your own picnic spread with gourmet goodies from Gilbert’s Provisions. Don’t miss the opportunity to savor a slice of from-scratch pie from Mandala Pies, with options like the Banana Cloud or The Old Farmer’s Almanac, a creative twist on the classic apple pie made with cinnamon roll crusts.

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A Summer in Annapolis, Maryland is a Summer Done Right

Located on the Chesapeake Bay, the seaside city of Annapolis, Maryland is a destination that truly has enough entertainment, history, and features to be enjoyed by everyone, and with this handy guide to making the most out of your trip to Annapolis from Southern Living, you’re sure to make a trip to Maryland a regular feature of your summers.

Annapolis, Maryland is a gorgeous city that holds many enriching experiences in its coastline, waterfront, museums, and historic buildings, and simply put, it’s all the more enjoyable as a summer getaway. Whether you are looking to learn by visiting the city’s historic district, exploring the vibrant collection of entertainment and shops found on the waterfront, or enjoying the freshly-caught seafood at the town’s many heralded restaurants, there is something in store for everyone.

First off, if you’re looking to experience and learn about some serious American history, then look no further than Annapolis, as the streets hold more than 350 years of American history. Venture down Main Street for an obvious example of this as many of the street’s currently-operating shops and restaurants are found inside storefronts madewith 18th-century brick and mortar. Consider visiting locations with an enormous, long-storied history behind its features such as the once-thriving colonial shipping hub City Dock or the Maryland State House, which provides visitors with a self-guided understanding of Maryland’s rich and historic past.

One of the most notable locations in Annapolis is the Yard, or The United States Naval Academy campus, which sits only a short stroll away from Main Street along the junction of the Severn River and the Chesapeake Bay. Designed in the Beaux-Arts style, the Yard is a wonder to simply behold as it’s an architectural sibling to New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art and Paris’s Grand Palais. Be sure to visit this important United States Military institution to pass by pass by rare historic treasures such as recovered Japanese torpedoes from World War II or the legendary “Don’t Give Up the Ship” battle flag, but most importantly, seek out The United States Naval Academy to feel the grand, significant momentum of naval history.

If you want to truly experience some of what makes Annapolis so special, then be sure to head down to the nearly 17 miles of waterfront where you can take part in sailing lessons through Annapolis Waterfront & Sailing Center or take advantage of Annapolis’ many festivals throughout the year like Annapolis Crab Feast, US Boat Shows, Bay Bridge Run, or the Spring Sailboat Show.

If you’ve never eaten a certified Maryland crab cake, you simply haven’t enjoyed great seafood, as the first time you sit down to a fresh-from-the-sea crab cake, you’ll begin to regret ever giving the time of day to the poor imitators of the dish that are out there. Annapolis summers are often synonymous with gigantic platters of steamed hard-shell crabs served with loads of Old Bay Seasoning or J.O. spice. Some of the best restaurants in Annapolis that are sure to do right by you with their delicious offerings and preparations of seafood are  Boatyard Bar & Grill, Carrol’s Creek Cafe, Cantler’s Riverside Inn, Dock Street Bar & Grill,,and O’Learys Seafood Restaurant. However, if you’re looking for seafood for breakfast, then look no further than starting your mornings off right at the Iron Rooster or Miss Shirley’s Café.

For all of its long-storied history, seafood cuisine, waterfront experiences, and small-town charm, Annapolis is simply a destination that demands to be visited. No matter the reason for your trip, you’ll find plenty of reasons to salute this picturesque city on the Chesapeake Bay.

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