Mondays are for dreaming: An Eastern Shore spring break

Eastern Shore Spring Break - Chincoteague ponies grazing

I still need to write a post about how life as a traveling parent changes once both your children are in school and have extracurricular activities. But I can say briefly that Woe Unto the traveling parent whose children love baseball! Because depending on how late Easter is, you may have to sacrifice your spring break for the greater good of the team if the season has already started.

Luckily for me, I live just outside the Chesapeake Bay watershed (my house is about 20 minutes from Havre de Grace, which is considered to be the northern gateway to the Bay). This offers up the possibility of a quick getaway to what is known as the Eastern Shore area of Maryland or Virginia, the counties in both these states that are east of the Bay. With lots of historic towns, beaches, and state parks, there are many things to do and in late April hopefully some lovely weather without the crowds that come from Baltimore or Washington, D.C. in the summer.

Hooper Strait Lighthouse in Saint Michaels, Maryland

In Maryland, the peninsula between the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic is a fairly wide area with lots to explore. Saint Michaels may be the best known town, and has a charming main street and lots of places to stay. The main attraction here is the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, a sprawling complex of buildings along the harbor’s edge that offers a history of the Bay from oystering to sailing. Among the buildings to explore are a crabber’s shanty and a lighthouse. The towns around Saint Michaels each have their own historic districts and small museums as well. And the nearby Pickering Creek Audubon Center offers a number of walking and kayak trails. Saint Michaels also makes a great vantage point for getting out on the water with everything from sailing to yacht cruises available.

Shell Tree Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge

The Virginia portion of the Eastern Shore is smaller and more remote, but with a gorgeous shoreline. Chincoteague would make a logical home base (I’m eying the Refuge Inn as a possibly place to stay). From there we could explore the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, home to famous wild ponies. There are nature trails that are apparently perfect for cycling, one of my family’s favorite activities. Another fun activity would be to rent kayaks and check out the Virginia Seaside Water Trail, a 100-mile long series paddling routes that stretches the entire length of the peninsula. And there are many historic towns and islands to explore with names I love like Onancock and Accomac.

So today I’m dreaming of the best of both worlds – checking out a beautiful nearby area that I don’t know too well, even though we’ve lived here for over a decade, and watching Tommy and Teddy bring in some runs. What’s your Monday dream? Feel free to share below. Questions? See About Monday Dreaming.

And for more spring break suggestions and tips, be sure to check out Best Family Travel Advice.

Photos of Chincoteague courtesy of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service via Flickr.

Photo of lighthouse in Saint Michaels courtesy of TalkingTree via Flickr.

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