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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