Dorchester County offers a variety of living environments. Southern and western Dorchester communities such as Hooper’s Island and Taylor’s Island are waterfront areas of quaint fishing communities, crab picking houses, estates and hunting lodges. From the waters surrounding these areas are harvested the oysters, crabs and other seafood for delicacies such as steamed hard crabs, oyster stew and fritters, soft-shell crabs and crab cakes. In northern and eastern Dorchester are the towns of East New Market, Hurlock and Vienna. These are largely the agricultural areas where grains, market crops, truck crops, and chickens are raised. The entire town of East New Market is a designated National Historic District. Many structures in the town date to the 18th and 19th century. Vienna, another historic town in Dorchester County, is located on the Nanticoke River. Vienna was the custom’s district of the region and the original 1768 Customs House still stands. Hurlock is the agricultural center of the county.
In the middle of these two regions is Cambridge, the county seat and largest municipality in Dorchester. A booming seafood-packing town in the early 19th century, Cambridge sits on the majestic Choptank River. The most urbanized area in the county, Cambridge remains the industrial, retailing, governmental, and one of the social hubs of the county.