Rob Deford, Boordy Vineyards owner and lifelong Marylander
Whether it’s your honeymoon, your anniversary or just an opportunity to get away with a certain special someone, we have the right combination of quiet escapes, calming activities and quaint places to wine and dine. Relax with us, and let all of your cares slip blissfully away.
Romantic, picnic-friendly wineries and vineyards – more than 30 in all – are located throughout every region of the state, offering tours, tastings and tantalizing scenery. For your convenience, the Maryland Wineries Association has mapped out several wine trails, including a new Frederick route that puts you among 120 acres of vineyards at six wineries. One of these is Elk Run Vineyards, winner of the 2007 Maryland Winemasters’ Choice Award for its Lord Baltimore Port 2002. Recent “double gold” medal winners include Sugarloaf Mountain Vineyard (International Eastern Wine Competition) and Fiore Winery (Tasters Guild International).
Wondering what’s on the Maryland menu? Thousands of waterside restaurants, international eateries, down-home family diners and other establishments are serving up mouth-watering dishes that feature fresh seafood, pit beef, steak, stuffed ham and locally grown produce. And don’t forget a dessert of fudge, ice cream or sinfully sweet Smith Island Cake. Cap off your evening at one of Maryland’s brewpubs or craft breweries. You’ll find a lot of local flavor on tap at fine establishments in towns like Baltimore, Bethesda, Bowie, Frederick, Gaithersburg, Hanover, Hyattsville, Westminster and White Marsh.
You never run out of romantic options at seaside resorts and small waterfront villages. Simmer in the Jacuzzi at a hotel suite in Chesapeake Beach, stroll among artfully presented gardens in Solomons, climb aboard a charter boat for a day in the sun, or rent kayaks and paddle at your own pace through unspoiled nature. Take a leisurely lighthouse tour, unwind under a beach umbrella, or follow tree-shaded sidewalks toward an old-fashioned ice cream shop. As night falls, sit back on a moonlit deck and listen to bay waters lapping against a wooden pier.
Relaxation takes various forms, from a bike ride down Main Street Westminster to a fireside chat after afternoons spent on Western Maryland ski slopes. You could also choose to schedule a European day-spa treatment after a morning on an ocean beach, indulge yourself with a garden-side Swedish massage in a sleepy village near Elkton or a full-service resort spa in historic St. Michaels. Other resorts, spas and salons, some of which partner with local accommodations to provide vacation packages, are found in Cambridge, Ellicott City, Rockville, McHenry, Flintstone and elsewhere.
An Eye for Antiques
Indulge your passion for precious purchases. Travel through Grantsville, Hancock and Hagerstown toward “Shab Row” in Frederick and the “Antiques Capital of Maryland,” New Market. Nearer Washington, D.C., window-shop at boutiques in Bowie, Kensington, Laurel, Mount Airy or Upper Marlboro. Central Maryland features an antiques mall in Hanover, “Antique Row” in Baltimore and the ever-popular Historic Savage Mill, while Southern Maryland has dozens of Main Street stores around towns like Huntingtown and St. Leonard. On the Eastern Shore, Salisbury sits among more than 100 crafts and collectibles locations within a half-hour drive.
Antique Dealers Association in Maryland: www.antiquesinmd.com
Brewer’s Association of Maryland: www.marylandbeer.org
Wineries Association: 1-800-237-WINE (9463), www.marylandwine.com.
Restaurant Association of Maryland: 410-290-6800, www.marylandrestaurants.com