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Chesapeake City, Maryland: A Name Says A Lot About Its Seafood!

By Jay Mankus, Contributor

In a place that seems like hundreds of miles from any big city, historic Chesapeake City, Maryland is an excellent example of Chesapeake Bay seafood. Once called the Village of Bohemia, Chesapeake City is within an hours drive of Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington DC off Route 213.

As construction began in 1824 on a canal to connect the Delaware River with Chesapeake Bay, Chesapeake City was born. While mules, oak buckets and shovels were used to dig what is now known as the C & D Canal, Chesapeake City became the hub of this construction project.

Between 1830 and 1860, most of the homes which stand today in the historic district were built along the southern shores of the Chesapeake & Delaware Canal. Today, restaurants lines both banks of the C & D Canal, while a marina sits within an inner harbor formed by Back Creek Basin.

Antiques shops, Bed & Breakfast Inns, the C & D Canal Museum and great seafood restaurants are the heart of the Chesapeake City experience. If you need to walk off a couple of pounds after a big meal, there are many streets in the historic district that you can explore.

If you are traveling by boat, you will not be alone. The eastern shore of Chesapeake Bay is now the most popular place in the US for retirees. To meet boating demands, customers can choose from Schaefer's Canal House on the north shore or the Chesapeake Marina & Restaurant on the south side for their dining pleasure.

Instead of finding a parking spot, which can be extremely difficult during the summer months, customers can drive up in their boats to any number of docks provided by both restaurants. Customers can even order from their boats if they like to dine in a more causal setting.

If you prefer elegance, yet lack a boat for your transportation needs, do not fret. The Bayard Restaurant overlooks the banks of the C&D Canal while The Yacht Club is further up Bohemia Avenue across from the Blue Max Inn.

However, if you ever visit the mid-atlantic region, the #1 seafood attraction is Maryland Blue Crabs. Blue crab meat dipped in old bay seasoning with a little butter or seafood sauce is awesome. Chesapeake City's best restaurant for Maryland Blue Crabs is called the Tap Room, which is also among the top places for blue crabs in northeastern Maryland.

If you are a rookie at eating crabs or it has been a while, the Tap Room has a 1999 Wilmington News Journal article on how to eat crabs mounted on the front wall. This feature story on the Tap Room has a step by step set of pictures to enhance your eating experience.

One thing you need to know about eating any type of crab, ITS GOING TO BE MESSY! Therefore, the Tap Room is perfect for a rainy day, a tough day on the golf course or after a hot sweaty day of work.

Since the staff does not care how you dress, The Tap Room has likewise not put much effort into its own appearance. The best words to describe this restaurant is "its a hole in the wall bar" known regionally for its blue crabs!

My only other advice for the Tap Room is that it is cash only, so be prepared or else you might have to work in the kitchen before you leave.

If you have too much to drink or want to spend the weekend, there are 2 inns within walking distance. The Blue Max, named after the best selling book by Jack Hunter who once owned this establishment, and Inn at the Canal. Both inns are rich in history and elegant bed & breakfast facilities.

By staying overnight, you will have the opportunity to play one of 4 nearby upscale golf facilities. To the west off of Route 272 is Chesapeake Bay Golf Club and to the Southeast in Middletown, Delaware are Back Creek and Frog Hollow Golf Clubs. The final golf club, though not open until 2002 is The Club at Patriot's Glen in Elkton, Maryland off east Main Street.

While all of these courses are within a 20 minute drive by car, The Club at Patriot's Glen will be the closest, just 9 miles north of Chesapeake City. Chesapeake City has just about everything a vacationer craves, and if you remember one thing from your visit, it will probably be its seafood!

The Blue Max Inn: (410) 885-2781
Inn at the Canal: (410) 885-5995, www.innatthecanal.com
The Tap Room: (410) 885-2344
Chesapeake Bay Golf Club: (410) 287-0200, www.chesapeakegolf.com
Back Creek Golf Club: (302) 378-6499
Frog Hollow Golf Club: (302) 376-6500

Jay Mankus, Contributor

A former golf standout at Concord High School in Wilmington, Del., Jay Mankus graduated from the University of Delaware with a degree in Recreation & Parks Administration. Before graduating, Jay spent time as an intern at a golf club in the east suburbs of Cleveland specializing in golf course maintenance and design.

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