Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum
213 N. Talbot St., 410/745-2916,
HOURS: Jun. 1–Sept. 30, daily 10 a.m.–6 p.m., reduced winter hours
COST: $13 adult, $6 child, $10 senior
This sprawling campus and working boatyard is one of the few heritage museums to live up to its mission: you’ll be able to walk past (and maybe sail aboard) working boats, learn about life as a waterman, and chart the history of modern-day (and pre-European settler) civilization on the fertile bay. There are year-round demonstrations, classes, and lectures, which let guests get a real feel (and, sometimes, smell) of the fishing life.
The sound of saws, planes, and hammers means that sailors, carpenters, and shipwrights are at work in the boatyard restoring classic old vessels or improving newer ones. Think of the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum as a real-life Colonial Williamsburg without the phony costumes or accents; these are real people who make themselves available to talk about their lives and tools and boats.
At the Waterman’s Wharf, a re-creation of a typical crabbing shanty, visitors can see (and try) the tools used to capture crabs, eels, and other edible aquatic life. This museum complex is a living tribute to the traditions of the bay and the people who have made their homes here for centuries, and well worth a lengthy visit. (Kids will love it, too.)
© Geoff Brown from Moon Baltimore, 1st Edition