Today, the whole world has their eyes on Maryland for the 139th running of the Preakness. In honor of this event, we’re going to show you some of the reasons why we think our state is great. Everyone knows that Maryland is famous for it’s crabs and unabashed love of Old Bay seasoning, but there is much more to our state than that! So sit back with a glass of milk and a slice of Smith Island Cake (our official state drink and dessert) and enjoy this post we’ve titled “Maryland: More than Crabs!”
We can go from ski to surf in only 4 hours
Where else can you ski the mountaintops and hangout surf side all in the same day? Here in Maryland we are lucky to have the best of both worlds- Deep Creek Lake in the Mountains, and Ocean City on the Atlantic. Snow in the morning, sand in the evening, with miles of beauty in between.
We love a good festival
In Maryland if we love something, we celebrate it with a festival. From the iconic HonFest in Baltimore, to the Waterfowl Festival on the Eastern Shore, there’s always a party going on here. Some of our other fun festivals include OysterFest in St. Michaels, the Maryland Bacon Festival, Artscape in Baltimore, the Maryland Craft Beer Festival, and the Sunfest Kite Festival in Ocean City.
Maryland is home to the “Sailing Capital of the World”
Since we’re surrounded by water, it’s only natural that we love boating! Annapolis, the capital of Maryland, is also the “Sailing Capital of the World”. On any given day, you can see mega-yachts in port alongside cruising catamarans and sleek racing boats. Annapolis has been a stopover in the Whitbread and Volvo Ocean Races, and is the home to many local sailing fleets.
Maryland won’t leave you thirsty
Although milk may be the ‘official’ state drink of Maryland (seriously, milk?!), there are other tasty local options available on tap. Maryland is home to some of the nation’s best breweries, wineries, and distilleries. We’re home to National Bohemian (Natty Boh as it’s known here), Flying Dog Brewery, Boordy Vineyards, Great Frogs Winery, Lyon Distilling Company (making craft rum in St. Michaels), and Blackwater Distilling (creators of Sloop Betty Vodka on Kent Island).
Maryland has the best dock bars
We like to boat and we like to drink, so why not combine the two? Maryland’s beautiful coastline is the perfect setting for some amazing dockside bars. Tie up your boat, and tie one on (responsibly, of course)! There are plenty of waterfront bars on both sides of the Bay, but we think those located in the Kent Narrows region take the cake. Red Eye’s Dock Bar, The Big Owl Tiki Bar, The Jetty, and Fisherman’s Crab Deck are prime spots to grab an ice cold drink on a hot summer day. Sipping an orange crush, listening to a local band on a pier overlooking the Bay sounds like a perfect day to us!
Skipjacks still sail the Chesapeake
Skipjacks, large sailing vessels, were once the backbone of the Chesapeake Bay oyster trade. Though they have been largely replaced by motorized boats over the last century, skipjacks are still working the water in the small town of Tilghman Island in Talbot County. Once, there were over 1,000 skipjacks in use on the Chesapeake Bay. Today, there are only a handful still in operation. Tilghman Island is home to the last remaining commercial skipjack fleet in all of North America.
Maryland has the “Scariest Bridge in America”
The Chesapeake Bay Bridge connects the eastern and western shores of the Bay, and has earned the reputation as the “Scariest Bridge in America”. Why? Because it’s 4.3 miles long and nearly 200ft tall in spots, with no shoulder to pull over on… and I’m running on it later this year in the first ever 10k Across the Bay! YIKES!
Maryland loves our horses
Of course, on this day showcasing the best of the racing world, we couldn’t write this post without honoring the great horses of Maryland. There are 81,000 horses in Maryland, of which nearly 1/3 are Thoroughbreds- the official horse of Maryland. Some of the best racing horses have trained here in Maryland, including Man o’ War and Native Dancer. Today the 139th running of the Preakness will take place, the second part of the triple crown. I’ve got my heart set on California Chrome and I hope he can deliver the win!
Ocean City: http://www.oceancity.com/
Deep Creek Lake: http://www.washingtonian.com/articles/travel/best-places-to-ski-near-dc-va-md/
Annapolis sailing: http://www.southernliving.com/travel/mid-atlantic/smooth-sailing-in-annapolis & http://www.annapolissailing.com/boatrentals.php
Drinks: http://www.giftbasket2you.com/boordy-vineyards/ & http://www.blackwaterdistilling.com/
BoatBars: http://holidays.syl.com/en/hotel/170/Hilton+Garden+Inn+Kent+Island/ & http://figsflowersfood.blogspot.com/2013/08/boating-kent-narrows-in-summertime.html
Skipjacks: http://www.thebluecrab.com/Skipjacks/SJ-Thomas_Clyde.html & http://www.skipjack.org/
Chesapeake Bay Bridge: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chesapeake_Bay_Bridge