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Go Colonial in St. Mary's City, Maryland

Replica of the Dove, which carried the first Maryland colonists from across the pond.
Replica of the Dove, which carried the first Maryland colonists from across the pond.

Three hundred seventy-eight years ago, the state of Maryland was founded in St. Mary’s County. Leonard Calvert, representing his brother – the second Lord Baltimore – started a colony that would be hospitable to Catholics and all faiths, and St. Mary’s City (today, about two hours' drive south of D.C.) became the fourth permanent settlement in British North America.

Historic St. Mary's City looks as it did in the earliest colonial days. It's beautifully preserved across hundreds of acres not far from where the Potomac meets the Chesapeake. A reconstructed 17th-century chapel commemorates the founding of Catholicism in what would become the U.S.A.

Board the Maryland Dove, a reconstruction of one of the ships that brought colonists from England. Check out open, working archaeological sites. The Woodland Indian Hamlet shows how the local Yaocomaco Indian tribe lived. Historic reenactors walk the grounds.

Woodlawn, an estate, B&B and wine tasting destination through its sister vineyard, Slack Wine, is located on a serene cove that opens onto the Potomac. Rooms in the historic accommodations have been modernized with touches like hot tubs and heated towel racks.

Scheibel’s is a hidden locals’ secret: it’s a charter fishing center on Smith Creek, local-catch-of-the-day seafood restaurant and a karaoke lounge, alongside a modestly priced sportsman’s motel. To accommodate early A.M. fishers and hunters, they serve early breakfast every day except Monday.

Port of Leonardtown Winery is a co-op of Southern Maryland wine growers right in town. Enjoy wine tastings and live bands. Fuzzy Farmer’s Market is another, women-owned co-op; they sell everything from handcrafted blankets to jewelry.

Point Lookout State Park has fishing and swimming and was the site of a notorious federal POW camp for Confederate soldiers. Next to the entrance are two competing monuments: the only federal monument to Confederate soldiers, not displaying Confederate colors, and one defiantly erected by the State of Maryland, with the flags of all the members of the Confederacy.

Kevin Thompson of Kevin Thompson’s Corner Kafé comes from a family that’s been in the seafood business for decades. Try Maryland favorites like crab, rockfish and stuffed ham sandwiches in a come-as-you-are joint designed to look like a boathouse.

Stuffed ham sandwiches are an exclusively St. Mary’s County delicacy. Each part of the county has a different recipe. Towns have conflicting stories of how ham stuffed with spiced greens such as kale or collard greens – always served cold – came to be. Some accounts speak of it being a favorite Calvert dish; others, a slave kitchen creation.

W.J. Dent & Sons is a grocery store with one of the most popular versions. If you fall in love with it, they’ll ship to you.

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Replica of the Dove, which carried the first Maryland colonists from across the pond.
Replica of the Dove, which carried the first Maryland colonists from across the pond.

Three hundred seventy-eight years ago, the state of Maryland was founded in St. Mary’s County. Leonard Calvert, representing his brother – the second Lord Baltimore – started a colony that would be hospitable to Catholics and all faiths, and St. Mary’s City (today, about two hours' drive south of D.C.) became the fourth permanent settlement in British North America.

Historic St. Mary's City looks as it did in the earliest colonial days. It's beautifully preserved across hundreds of acres not far from where the Potomac meets the Chesapeake. A reconstructed 17th-century chapel commemorates the founding of Catholicism in what would become the U.S.A.

Board the Maryland Dove, a reconstruction of one of the ships that brought colonists from England. Check out open, working archaeological sites. The Woodland Indian Hamlet shows how the local Yaocomaco Indian tribe lived. Historic reenactors walk the grounds.

Woodlawn, an estate, B&B and wine tasting destination through its sister vineyard, Slack Wine, is located on a serene cove that opens onto the Potomac. Rooms in the historic accommodations have been modernized with touches like hot tubs and heated towel racks.

Scheibel’s is a hidden locals’ secret: it’s a charter fishing center on Smith Creek, local-catch-of-the-day seafood restaurant and a karaoke lounge, alongside a modestly priced sportsman’s motel. To accommodate early A.M. fishers and hunters, they serve early breakfast every day except Monday.

Port of Leonardtown Winery is a co-op of Southern Maryland wine growers right in town. Enjoy wine tastings and live bands. Fuzzy Farmer’s Market is another, women-owned co-op; they sell everything from handcrafted blankets to jewelry.

Point Lookout State Park has fishing and swimming and was the site of a notorious federal POW camp for Confederate soldiers. Next to the entrance are two competing monuments: the only federal monument to Confederate soldiers, not displaying Confederate colors, and one defiantly erected by the State of Maryland, with the flags of all the members of the Confederacy.

Kevin Thompson of Kevin Thompson’s Corner Kafé comes from a family that’s been in the seafood business for decades. Try Maryland favorites like crab, rockfish and stuffed ham sandwiches in a come-as-you-are joint designed to look like a boathouse.

Stuffed ham sandwiches are an exclusively St. Mary’s County delicacy. Each part of the county has a different recipe. Towns have conflicting stories of how ham stuffed with spiced greens such as kale or collard greens – always served cold – came to be. Some accounts speak of it being a favorite Calvert dish; others, a slave kitchen creation.

W.J. Dent & Sons is a grocery store with one of the most popular versions. If you fall in love with it, they’ll ship to you.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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