Only a stone’s throw from Washington DC and less than two hours from both Baltimore and Richmond, St. Mary’s County is nestled in Maryland’s southern peninsula, surrounded by over 500 miles of shoreline, endless adventure, delectable bites, and magical moments. From its humble beginnings as Maryland’s birthplace in 1634, St. Mary’s County is a destination brimming with history and culture, celebrated by its modernity as an emerging center for science, technology, and aviation. With so much happening throughout the year, St. Mary’s is the ideal place to have a perfect weekend getaway.
Start your journey by checking into one of our well-appointed hotels and B&Bs. Whether it is the newly renovated Ascend Collection hotel in Leonardtown, the classic style of Swanendele Inn (recently named as one of the Top 13 Great Luxury Hotels in the Northeast for 2020), or the rustic waterside rooms at the new Pier450, there is a home-away-from-home for everybody.
Kick your first morning off with a caffeine boost from St. Inie’s Coffee, a family-run roastery with an ever-changing seasonal menu, or grab your coffee and a nibble at Social, a neighborhood coffeehouse and cocktail bar in the heart of Leonardtown. In the mood for something more filling? Take a seat at Linda’s Café, the ultimate in delectable greasy-spoon diners.
With your newfound energy, the County is your oyster (literally and figuratively)! Take a tour of one of the oldest and continuously maintained plantations in the United States at Historic Sotterley. Learn about the complex history and legacy of slavery, walk the grounds and discover life as it was back in the 18th century. Nearby Greenwell State Park offers beautiful grounds to explore the nature, beach, and water in a truly picturesque setting – and a great place to launch a kayak or two. Still yearning to travel back in time? Walk in the footsteps of important historical figures, including Native Americans, missionaries, colonists, revolutionaries, merchants, farmers, and everyone in between at Historic St. Mary’s City, Maryland’s first capital. Journey to the first ever landing site in Maryland at St. Clement’s Island Museum to see where it all began.
Having taken a step back in time, its now time to take a step forward! Tour PAX Naval Air Museum to test out the only pilot training flight simulators in the region, and explore the history of aviation on the Chesapeake, from over a dozen full-size aircraft to prototype designs that were tested at the nearby PAX Naval Air Base.
Have a bit of the shopping bug? We have you covered! Shop at our many vintage shops, including Vintage Values, a shop from the Center for Life Enrichment, with its mission to provide employment that will increase the vocational and personal potential of individuals with disabilities. Looking for something new? Explore Leonardtown to check out its many different shops. From locally roasted coffee, art galleries, chocolatiers, to a unique small-business incubator and farmers market at Shepherd’s Old Field, there really is something for everyone.
Now that you’ve worked up quite the appetite, its time to enjoy some of our more succulent offerings. Oysters – a staple of St. Mary’s County – can be found at many of our restaurants (and don’t forget to check out our annual U.S. Oyster Festival every October). Take a light bite at The Slice House, featuring some of the best pizza found south of New Jersey. Indulge in The Front Porch featuring southern coastal cuisine at its finest. Fancy yourself a beer at the PAX River Ale House, a modern take on the classic neighborhood bar and gill with an impressive rotating menu of unique and complex beers from across the region and the nation. Set sail at sunset on one of our many charter boats provided by our local watermen, and cheers the perfect weekend with a glass of your favorite wine from Port of Leonardtown Winery.
With so much to do and see, we invite you to extend your stay and explore the boundless adventure that awaits you. For more information, visit us at www.VisitStMarysMD.com or on Instagram @VisitStMarysMD.