Eastern Shore © Rory Finneren
The Eastern Shore occupies more than half of the
Delmarva Peninsula shared between Maryland, Delaware, and Virginia,
protecting the towns along Chesapeake Bay from the Atlantic Ocean.
Although linked to the mainland by the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, life
is much slower and sleepier on this side of the bay.
Miles of country lanes and Chesapeake waterways
await, while old wooden farmhouses and wheat fields, waterfront
towns and fishing craft, lonely wind-rusted marshes and the sound
of birds give the peninsula its charming character.
On the Atlantic Coast, the summer-swollen resort of
Ocean City with its lovely beaches, amusement arcades, and busy
fast-food stands is the most visited spot on the East Shore. In
contrast, the quaint old towns of Oxford, the colonial college town
of Chestertown, and Saint Michaels are waterfront communities that
sport old-fashioned family-owned stores and are the essence of life
along Chesapeake Bay.
Crisfield and Smith Island are classic old-world
villages in the south and home to huge numbers of soft-shelled blue
crabs that are the delicious speciality of Maryland. Easton is the
unofficial capital of the Eastern Shore and is the largest town
with a picturesque downtown district of historical colonial
The farmlands invite exploration by bicycle along
miles of quiet back roads. Visitors can also explore the inlets and
rivers by boat, stopping along the way to sample the fish, oysters
and crabs found here throughout the year.
See our separate guides to the following Eastern Shore holiday resorts: Ocean City