Solomons Island is in fact an island, but you’d never know it to look at it on a map. There is just a small sliver of water that cuts its way across the peninsula. But one thing’s for sure, the big attraction to Maryland’s southern tip is water. Lots and lots of water. Solomons Island is where the Patuxent River meets the Chesapeake Bay.
Solomons Island is ideally located for weekenders who want to be out of the city, and near the water. Just 80 miles south of Baltimore and 65 miles south of Washington, DC, Solomons Island makes for a great getaway weekend without having to spend hours in the car. I highly suspect many of the city residents dock their boats at Solomons. But, don’t quote me on that as it is just a semi-educated guess.
Southern Maryland is an interesting place to visit. It’s green and lush and obviously surrounded by water. It’s also home to the Naval Air Station Patuxent River. Each of the communities, including Solomons Island, Lusby, historic St. Mary’s and Leonardstown all make for relaxing days of exploring. And, a few of them definitely have a strong sense of local culture. Having spent multiple days exploring the area, we became keenly aware of the different lifestyles and communities.
As mentioned, Solomons Island is a boaters paradise. The heart of the little city is wide open to the water with a pedestrian walkway where one can stroll along the waterfront. There are eateries that line the streets, as well as a couple of outdoor bars. B&B’s and Airbnb accommodations are also tucked in and around the main street near the piers. Brand name hotels are within one or two miles of the waterfront. On any given weekend in the summer the waterfront is the place to be. Although, we prefer the more quiet days in the off-season.
We’ve enjoyed our visits to the waterfront. It’s a lovely place to take a stroll, enjoy lunch with a view and, if you’re so inclined, get out on the water with a guided boat tour. There are plenty of options.
We recommend the Hilton Garden Inn, Bugeye Grill and of course, Rita’s! These are just a few of our favorites that will beckon us back again, and again.
Point Lookout State Park
It’s definitely worth the effort to visit Point Lookout State Park, literally at the southern tip of the St. Mary’s County peninsula. Once across the Governor Thomas Johnson Bridge, which isn’t as scary as it looks, you’ll find quiet two-lane back roads and lush green rolling hills and pastures. You’ll also see a few confederate flags waving in the wind, as well as the Confederate Memorial Park, which is privately owned. Suffice it to say it’s a very conservative region of southern Maryland, and I’ll just leave it at that.
The state park is beautiful. It feels wild with the wind blowing in off the Chesapeake Bay and through the tall grasses. Walking the sandy beaches it’s hard to imagine the history of the park as one of civil war. The area was home to a camp where 52,000+ confederate soldiers were held as prisoners of war. Within the park boundaries there is a museum detailing the history. An historic lighthouse sits at the edge of the water, which at the time of this writing was closed for renovations.
We visited the park in early June on a weekday and nearly had the entire park to ourselves. The park has a lot to offer tourists and locals alike. There are long stretches of sandy beach, camp grounds, day use picnic areas, hiking trails and piers where fishing is allowed.
If You Go:
- 11175 Point Lookout Road, Scotland, MD
- Weekdays: $3.00 fee per vehicle for MD residents, $5.00 for non-residents
- Campgrounds and day-use picnic areas
- Camp office and camp store
- Restrooms available
- Hiking trails and beaches
- Boating and fishing
- Historical events, programs and Civil War Museum
Annmarie Sculpture Garden
One of our favorite places to visit, when in Solomons Island, is the Annmarie Sculpture Garden. There’s just something very tranquil and special about the garden. It’s mission is to bring people, art and nature together. It wins on all three counts and it’s why we keep returning. Each time we visit we discover something new. On our last visit, we enjoyed the whimsy of fairy gardens created by children.
Set in 30 acres of forest land, Annmarie Sculpture Garden is owned and operated by the Board of Calvert County Commissioners. The land was originally purchased, in 1960, as an investment by Francis and Annmarie Koenig, residents of Washington, DC. Decades later, wanting to give back to the community where they had owned a vacation home and docked their boat “Annmarie” for many years, they donated the land to the county in the early 1990’s. And, the rest as they say, is history.
If You Go:
- Open Daily 10:00 – 5:00 Friday 10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
- 13470 Dowell Road, Solomons Island, MD
- Free admission $5 donation requested for non-members
- Ample parking
- Gift Shop on site
- Restrooms on site
- Classes and summer camp available
Maryland Roads: Solomons Island
So, there you have it. A quick look at what Solomons Island, in southern Maryland, has to offer visitors and locals alike. If you love the water, boating, fishing, swimming, camping, or just taking a lovely stroll along the waterfront or through the sculpture gardens, or exploring the backroads, Solomons Island has it all.
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