How to Plan a Mini-Moon in Maryland's Idyllic Eastern Shore
Whether you're getting married in nearby Washington, D.C., or you want to plan a short post-nuptial getaway somewhere in the United States, put the Eastern Shore of Maryland on your mini-moon destination short list. With tranquil waterfront views and charming historic landmarks, Maryland's Eastern Shore is an intimate setting for newlyweds looking for a peaceful retreat that's not too far from home. Encompassing all nine counties east of the Chesapeake Bay, the Eastern Shore has a plethora of options for your romantic getaway, but we suggest you set your sights on Talbot County, home to the quaint town of St. Michaels. The historic area dates to the mid-1600s when it served as a trading post for tobacco farmers. Today, the town is home to eclectic shops, views of the Chesapeake Bay, and rave-reviewed restaurants that offer Maryland-fare, such as locally caught blue crab and fresh rockfish. To help plan your perfect coastal mini-moon, consider our suggestions for lodging, activities, and dining in this charming locale.
Enjoy panoramic views of the water.
Perhaps no accommodation on the Eastern Shore of Maryland combines storybook charm with Victorian-level elegance better than the Inn at Perry Cabin, which you might recognize as the location of the famous reception scene in the movie Wedding Crashers. The nautically-themed colonial mansion has been an institution since 1816 and was inspired by the Commodore's cabin on the U.S.S. Niagara. Depending on which suite you choose, your room might offer terrace views of the Chesapeake Bay, garden verandas, and gas fireplaces that give the space a welcome intimacy.
The property offers a variety of activities, too, including a full-service spa, sailing lessons, yacht tours of the bay, and Qi Gong in the inn's lush 26-acre garden. For an incredible on-site dinner, be sure to dine at the property's award-winning restaurant Stars, which is the only Forbes-rated destination on the Eastern Shore. The fine-dining establishment, helmed by Executive Chef Gregory James, offers fresh rockfish, flounder, crab, and oysters. For a night-cap, you can stop by the Purser's Pub, which is located on the Inn's property. The pub offers rare whiskeys and bourbons, as well as craft cocktails muddled with fresh herbs from the garden.
With the stress of wedding planning behind you, your mini-moon is the perfect opportunity to relax and unwind as newlyweds. Shimmy into plush robes and head over to the inn's spa for a couple's massage. The nourishing coconut sugar and honey wrap will leave you spa glowing from head to toe, but we also love the full body massage that's finished off with a foot treatment and a glass of sparkling wine. No matter which option you choose, the 80-minute experience will leave you feeling so refreshed.
Explore the Chesapeake Bay by sea or by land.
A trip to the Eastern Shore of Maryland wouldn't be complete without a sail around the Chesapeake Bay. You can charter one of the inn's daysailers or opt for a private sailing tour; we suggest the latter for a romantic sunset cruise complete with bubbly and charcuterie. History buffs should check out the Patriot Narrated Historical Cruise, a St. Michaels Tradition Since 1969. The experience is defined by its epic views of historical mansions and wildlife. The scenic hour-long venture takes you along the Chesapeake Bay for unique views of the charming town of St. Michaels. Commemorate the event by giving the crew advanced notice and you can enjoy a fully catered meal, as well as drinks and wine of your choice, along the journey. After the cruise, wander over to the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum. One of St. Michael's most iconic attractions, the waterside museum is situated on 18-acres of land. It features a multitude of exhibits, but the real showstopper is The Hooper Strait Lighthouse, where you and your new spouse can watch the sun set on the Chesapeake Bay from 39-feet above the water.
Feast on some of Maryland's iconic seafood.
After tasting the award-winning fare at Stars, you'll be eager to try more of Maryland's incredible food institutions. Make an evening reservation at St. Michaels Crab and Steakhouse where you can watch the sun set over the water while you dine on authentic, locally-caught seafood. Order a bottle of the restaurant's vintage wine to celebrate your newlywed status. If you're looking for an elevated seafood experience, make a reservation at Bistro St. Michaels. The restaurant offers an intimate setting perfect for mini-mooners. Start by sharing a locally-inspired cheeseboard equipped with cornichon, fig jam, and crostini. After entrees—highlights of which include, seared scallops and oyster pot pie—move onto dessert. Split the dark chocolate mousse and treat yourselves to a vintage port of Taylor Fladgate's 10 and 20 year-old tawny.
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