Dorchester County on Maryland’s Eastern Shore offers up some great ways to enjoy the winter months!
1. Go birding.
Grab your binoculars and look to the skies, the waters, and the fields for views of bald eagles, tundra swans, ducks of many types, Canada geese, snow geese, great blue herons, and more. One of the ultimate experiences is watching a flock of snow geese swirling and soaring. Drive, bike or walk Wildlife Drive at Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge. Learn more and check out the Dorchester Birding Guide. Also, here are some tips for winter birding from the Chesapeake Bay Program.
2. Take the Harriet Tubman road trip.
Harriet Tubman of Underground Railroad fame was born here in Dorchester County in 1822. She’s about much more than you may have learned in history textbook as a kid. Take the scenic road trip known as the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway, with more than 30 sites on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.
3. Eat oysters – and muskrat!
This time of year you have your choice of local oysters – both wild harvested and farmed. You’ll find oyster specials in many of our restaurants – oysters on the half shell, fried oysters, oysters Rockefeller, oyster stew, and more! Enjoy dine-in or carry-out; you can even take home oysters in the shell or already shucked direct from the harvester. MORE
This is also muskrat season, and a handful of local restaurants, including Cindy’s Kitchen, River View at the Point (both in Cambridge) and Mom -n- Pop’s in Hurlock serve up occasional muskrat specials. Also, mark your calendar for the National Outdoor Show Feb. 24-25, 2023, which features World Championship Muskrat Skinning – plus muskrat on the festival menu. Plus, Feb. 26 is the Crawfish Boil & Muskrat Leg Eating World Championship!
4. Step back in time.
Learn about Dorchester County and regional history at the Heritage Museums & Gardens of Dorchester (home of the Dorchester County Historical Society). Step into an authentically built Native American longhouse at Handsell Historic Site in Vienna, where you can stroll the grounds and learn about three cultures that have lived and worked on the land over the centuries.
5. Take a hike.
Explore one of Dorchester’s trails while the weather isn’t too hot and the trails aren’t too buggy. There are four walking trails at Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge. Or try an off-the-beaten-path trail, such as the one at Robinson Neck Preserve on Taylors Island. MORE
6. Wander the Chesapeake Mural Trail.
With two new murals added in 2022, Dorchester County is now home to more than 20 murals! Experience the fun of getting to the next mural, and learn a bit about Dorchester County’s history while you’re at it. There’s also an audio guide that highlights the murals created by local (and nationally known) artists Michael Rosato. Learn more about the murals.
7. Cozy up to a fireplace.
Sip on a cocktail by the huge, stately fireplaces in Michener’s Library at the Hyatt Chesapeake, or head outside with a s’mores kit and toast marshmallows by the outdoor fireplace. You can also warm up by one of several fireplaces at Suicide Bridge Restaurant.
8. Take advantage of special lodging deals.
Hotels, resorts, and vacation homes have off-season rates now. For instance, the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Resort is offering specials for Delmarva residents; use offer code DELMAA and reserve at 410-901-1234 or HyattRegencyChesapeakeBay.com.
9. Go hunting.
Dorchester County is known for excellent waterfowl and deer hunting on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Here you’ll find adventure, challenge, and reward in hunting a range of ducks, snow geese, Canada geese, turkey, and deer (including the elusive sika deer). MORE
10. Explore from home.
If you prefer to settle in to your cozy armchair, here are some great virtual experiences of Dorchester County:
- The waterfowl cam at Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge
- Our three audio guides on the Chesapeake Mural Trail, Downtown Cambridge, and Pine Street
- The Harriet Tubman Byway audio guide
- Videos from the Tubman Visitor Center, including the 16-minute introductory film, “Soldier of Freedom.” and virtual ranger tours. Plus this brief virtual tour of the Harriet Tubman Museum & Educational Center.
- We also have 360-degree videos of Bucktown General Store, Stanley Institute, Meredith House, and Handsell Historic Site.