Pssst….Want to know a secret? You don’t have to go far for a taste of Eastern Shore charm. Simply cross that big, old Bay Bridge and turn north into Stevensville. Right there on Kent Island.
Ignore all that traffic whizzing past toward Easton or Dover or the beaches. Sure they’re great, but maybe today’s the day to visit Kent Island. I’ve already written about two great reasons to stop here: Blackwater Distilling and the Paul Reed Smith guitar factory.
But if you want an afternoon of shopping, poking around historic old buildings and maybe a bit of lunch or something for your sweet tooth, it’s all right here.
Now Stevensville is a small town, a teeny town. But you could say its history almost goes back as far as the days when Virginia thought Kent Island belonged to them. (The Ark and the Dove had yet to appear in their colony of Maryland.) Stevensville itself developed back in 1850 and grew with the rise of the steamboat and the railroad. Download the walking tour to guide you through the town with stops at 19th Century houses, the post office, the railroad station and the former Episcopal Church. (The Archbishop of Canterbury visited that church in 1981 when the island celebrated its 350th anniversary.)
Get a hankering to shop or get a bite to eat while you’re strolling through Stevensville? You won’t find malls or department stores…but I bet you find something pretty, something sweet, something antique here.
As for food, skip the fast food joints on Route 50 and head to Rustico Restaurant and Wine Bar. You can never go wrong with Italian.
You’ll finish your day well-fed, caught up on local history and maybe even weighed down with a shopping bag or two. Fun, huh? And easy.
ⓒ Text and photos Mary K. Tilghman