Lighthouses & Local Fare in Southern Maryland

Journey to Chesapeake Bay to learn about the maritime history and lighthouses by land and bay. Enrich this experience with regional cuisine as you savor seafood, stuffed ham and more.
Rating (4.6)
Program No. 23362RJ
6 days
Starts at

At a Glance

The beautiful coast of the Chesapeake Bay is home to more than 30 lighthouses that tell the stories of the region’s rich maritime heritage. Enhance your experience by visiting several lighthouses of the Southern Maryland region and listening to a presentation on bay lighthouses. Through these experiences you will learn about different styles of lighthouses and the men and women who kept them lit. Further enrich your experience of Southern Maryland heritage through its regional cuisine by participating in historical hearth and modern local fare cooking classes. Be adventurous and indulge in local seafood, delicacies, beverages and tasty bites to enhance your experience. Enjoy cruises on the river and bay, performance by local musicians and special hands-on experiences while exploring museums.
Activity Level
On Your Feet
Walking up to one mile on flat terrain with some uneven surfaces; stairs; getting on/off boats. Spending up to 20 minutes on bench seating in a water taxi and 4 hours on a 44-foot fishing boat with a seated cabin, bathroom, partially covered stern deck, and backless benches. Please be aware that all boat trips are marine weather dependent, so alternate plans will be in place, if trip is changed last minute or even cancelled.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 10 to 24 participants.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • Discover Southern Maryland through its lighthouses, while visiting several land lighthouses, two by water and a lighthouse presentation.
  • Learn about and savor regional cuisine during special food experiences, including a stuffed ham demonstration, a 1600s hearth cooking lesson, local seafood cooking class, and a special Chesapeake Bay crab feast.
  • Enjoy two evening cruises on different historical boats that will highlight the local seafood industry and exploration of the Patuxent River.
Featured Expert
All Experts
Profile Image
Lori Cole
Lori Cole has worked at the Calvert Marine Museum in Solomons, Md. For more than 15 years as an interpreter. She holds a bachelor’s in biology and a master’s in elementary education. Lori spent nearly 12 years in research laboratories, including the Academy of Natural Sciences Estuarine Research Laboratory and Chesapeake Biological Laboratories studying toxins in the Chesapeake Bay. At the Calvert Marine Museum, Lori's special areas are leading the Road Scholar programs and leading programs for children ages 3 to 5 years of age.

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

Profile Image
Ralph Eshelman
View biography
<%= Bio %>
Profile Image
Kevin Allor
View biography
<%= Bio %>
Profile Image
Lori Cole
View biography
<%= Bio %>
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
Maryland's Eastern Shore: A Journey in Time and Space
by John Wennersten
A hundred years ain't a very long time on the Eastern Shore, " local farmers and watermen used to say, and that is a telling refrain. Past and present mix easily on the Shore, and in this respect, as well as in certain local customs and habits of language, the region is very much still an old-fashioned English society. This same mix of history and social commentary is what makes this book about Maryland's Eastern Shore unique. Until fairly recently, the peninsula was one of the most geographically isolated regions on the Atlantic coast. In this isolated society, the most important factors have been agriculture, seafaring, and race -- a blend of soil, sea, and soul. In his attempt to convey the special character of the region -- before accelerating change effects its transformation -- John Wennersten has used these themes as a framework for an absorbing narrative.
Beautiful Swimmers
by William Warner
Written in narrative form, Warner weaves together the stories of the Bay's watermen with a substantial amount of information about the biology and habits of the crabs themselves. Crabbers work in all weather and throughout the Bay. Techniques for harvesting crabs vary from month to month according to region, weather and a crabber's preference. While the ways of the watermen are a significant portion of this book, the crab is definitely the central character. Warner writes "the biology of the blue crab is interesting and complex, characterized by season migrations, sophisticated mating practices and a number of less understood phenomena." Of the waterman, he continues, "Correspondingly, the watermen have over the years developed a bewildering array of special gear and techniques trying to outguess and outsmart the crab." The conversations between the author and the Bay's crabbers reveals the ambiguous relationship of respect and individual rights through which the watermen connect with their prey and the Bay in general. Warner's writing reveals the respect he gains for both of these agents in the Bay. Beautiful Swimmers presents an interesting cultural landscape because of the clear illustration of the crab's (and therefore nature's) influence on the people who work the waters and crabbers effects on the rest of the Bay's creatures and environment as they perform the harvest. What do crabbers do out of season? They go oyster tonging. Warner provides some insight into the oyster, the work of tonging and the packing industry. Beautiful Swimmers walks the fine line found in conservationist measures between conservation of the Bay and its creatures and an appreciation for the ways of the waterman. [M. Enloe]
Robert Cole's World: Agriculture and Society in Early Maryland
by Lois Green Carr
Based on the family story of Robert Cole, an English Catholic, who moved with his family and servants to St. Mary’s County, Maryland in 1652, this gives an in site to the social and economic life of a seventeenth-century planter on the Chesapeake.
by James Michener
Once again James A. Michener brings history to life with this 400-year saga of America's great bay and its Eastern Shore. Following Edmund Steed and his remarkable family, who parallel the settling and forming of the nation, CHESAPEAKE sweeps readers from the unspoiled world of the Native Americans to the voyages of Captain John Smith, the Revolutionary War, and right up to modern times.
Mrs. Kitching's Smith Island Cookbook
by Frances Kitching & Susan Stiles Dowell
Smith Island on the Chesapeake Bay is only accessible by boat, where a 300-year-old culture has survived in singular isolation. In this unique setting Frances Kitching operated a small, widely renowned restaurant and inn. Susan Stiles Dowell, working closely together, gathered many recipes from the generation-to-generation oral tradition to create this cookbook.
Tobacco Coast: A maritime History of Chesapeake Bay in the Colonial Era
by Peirce Middleton
“Tobacco Coast” is the history of how the Chesapeake shaped the society and economy of an entire region. Middleton looks at how the early settlers not only survived, but thrived in Maryland and Virginia due in part to the growth of tobacco as means of commerce.
Bay Country
by Tom Horton
Turning the Tide, Water's Way
by Tom Horton
Turning the Tide is a unique and accessible examination of the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem. The book took an in-depth look at the Bay's vital signs to gauge the overall health of its entire ecosystem and to assess what had been done and what remained to be done to clean up the Bay. Much has changed since that book came out, and while success is evident in many areas, the bottom line on the last decade is sobering. How can we ensure that the next decade does not end like the last, with numerous battles won but little progress made?This new edition of Turning the Tide makes a vital contribution to the effort to restore the Bay. It addresses new developments of the past decade and examines the factors that will have the most significant effects on the health of the Bay in the coming years. With new case studies and significantly updated maps, charts, and graphs, the book builds on the analytical power of ten years of experience to offer a new perspective, along with clear, science-based recommendations for the future.For all those who want to know not only how much must be done to save the Bay but what they can do and how they can make a difference, Turning the Tide is an essential source of information.

Click here to provide website feedback
Website Feedback