Welcome to Dorchester County, Maryland!

Updated March 23, 2021

Whether you live in Dorchester County, Maryland or you’re planning to visit, here are some tips to have a safe and fun time here in the Heart of the Chesapeake. The Dorchester Visitor Center is open to the public (daily from 8:30am to 5pm). You can also reach out to us at info@visitdorchester.org or 410-228-1000, or follow the latest on our I Love Dorchester County Facebook page or on our Instagram feed. Dorchester County has been re-opening, with our lodging, restaurants, shops, outfitters, and more taking special care to ensure the safety of their guests.

See the latest statistics on COVID-19 in Dorchester County from the Dorchester County Health Department.

If you need a mask, you’ll find a wide selection at Sunnyside Shop, Bay Country Shop, or Maiden Maryland, both in Cambridge, as well as other shops around the county.

Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Resort
lodging
dining & food

Most Dorchester County restaurants are offering indoor dining (with some restrictions to keep everyone safe) as well as outdoor dining and carry-out. We’ve put together a guide to those restaurants that we update frequently as hours, offerings, and more change. We’ve also included local food producers and farmers who are currently selling their products – fish, oysters, meat, produce, and more – directly to the public. See the DoCo Eats Guide, Pandemic Edition.

Maiden Maryland in Cambridge, MD
shops & galleries

Most of Dorchester County’s retail shops and art galleries are open for business. One shop, Thomas’s Fine Jewelry, is open only by appointment. See our list of indie shops and galleries, and then check with the merchant for specifics as the situation continues to evolve.

Harriet Tubman Mural by Michael Rosato in Cambridge, MD located on side of Harriet Tubman Museum building
harriet tubman

The Underground Railroad “conductor” who led more than 70 people from slavery to freedom was born here in Dorchester County. The Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitor Center is open to the public with limited  hours (10am-4pm, Thursday-Sunday) and advance reservations required (reserve here). The Harriet Tubman Museum & Educational Center is open Thursday–Saturday, 12-3pm; but it’s best to call first at 410-228-0401. Bucktown General Store remains temporarily closed. You can experience Harriet Tubman’s story and legacy through the road trip known as the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway. This self-guided driving tour includes more than 30 sites, many of them with outdoor markers or interpretive signs that share the story of that place. Highlights that you can see include the Harriet Tubman Memorial Garden (Site #2), Harriet Tubman Mural (exterior wall at Site #5, Tubman Museum), Stanley Institute (Site #6; open by appointment), and Webb Cabin (Site #27). For full descriptions and stories of all the sites, go to HarrietTubmanByway.org and check out the Tubman Byway Map & Guide (available as a PDF or hardcopy). Also be sure to download the Tubman Byway Audio Guide to deepen the experience.

Cabin Fever Play Centre, indoor playground in Cambridge, MD
fun for families

Cabin Fever Play Centre
Climbing, obstacle courses, slides, swings, and more for the kids! Plus a new arcade for all ages, as well as a cafe and Cabin Critter’s Workshop (like Build a Bear).  Lots of health/safety precautions in place. Masks are required for adults and employees. They are not mandatory for children. They ask no masks on children, who are running around. Children over 5 playing in the arcade must wear masks. Normal hours are Mon 9am-4pm, Wed-Thurs 9-8pm, Fri  9am-5pm, and Sat 9am-6:30pm.  (Closed Tues and Sun). Check their Facebook page or call for the latest; 410-228-2122. Advance reservations recommended at cabinfeverplaycentre.com. Details on their Facebook page.

Choptank Bowling Center
Open Tues-Thurs 10:30am-10pm, Fri-Sat 10:30am-10:30pm, and Sun 12-6pm. They have sanitizing procedures in place. Masks and social distancing required. The on-site Paul’s Pub is open with eat-in and carry-out service. See their Facebook page for more info.

  • Emily’s Produce: Goats and bunnies and chickens to visit, children’s play area. Plus lunch specials and ice cream from Scottish Highland Creamery. Find out more.
  • Cambridge Ghost Walks: Join in a guided walk along historic High Street, known as the most haunted street in Maryland! Learn the spooky and fascinating stories of lives lived and lost. Masks encouraged; social distancing required. See the schedule.
  • Parks: Dorchester County park playgrounds, pavilions, and picnic tables are open. Please continue to practice social distancing.
  • Also see Self-Guided Tours, below, for more family-friendly ideas.
Paddling in Dorchester County on Maryland's Eastern Shore
outdoor fun

These days, wide open spaces and serene nature experiences are sounding mighty inviting. And that’s just what Dorchester County has been offering for generations.

Blackwater Refuge
Wildlife Drive is open (with a nominal fee at the entrance). Walking trails are open. The Blackwater Visitor Center is currently closed. Restroom facilities are limited to port-o-lets at the entrance to the Wildlife Drive and at the Woods Trail parking lot.

Boating
Dorchester is the only county on the Mid-Shore that does not require permits and fees to launch at our 25 public boat ramps.  Here’s a guide to boating during COVID-19. Or go for a different on-the-water experience with a crabfeast, lunch, dinner, murder mystery, or sightseeing cruise with Choptank Riverboats. See the schedule.

  • Paddling: Have your own kayak, canoe, or SUP (stand-up paddle board)? Here’s a map of soft launches and boat ramps. Also see our Dorchester Paddling Guide. Don’t have your own vessel? Blackwater Adventures offers rentals and guided tours. In season, Over Board Paddle & Fitness offers stand-up paddle boarding in the form of lessons, sunset SUP, and floating fitness.
  • Fishing: You can fish from land or your boat (with a proper fishing license), as long as you maintain physical distancing. Dorchester County has become popular for snakehead fishing. Learn more. Please respect the no parking signs.
  • Cycling: With quiet roads, amazing wildlife watching, and beautiful landscapes and waterscapes, Dorchester is popular with cyclists of all abilities. Check out our free Dorchester Cycling Guide.
  • Birding: Across the country, interest in birding has soared during the pandemic. Dorchester has long been a destination for beginner and expert birders alike. While we’re in the midst of updating our Dorchester Birding Guide, you can still view or download it online.
  • Golfing: River Marsh Golf Club is open at the Hyatt Chesapeake with  4, 9, or 18 holes. (The 4-Hole Loop is great for families!) Reserve your tee time.
  • Parks: Dorchester County park playgrounds, pavilions, and picnic tables are now open. Please continue to practice social distancing. See a list of Dorchester’s larger parks.
Fair Winds Cambridge
fitness
  • Dorchester County YMCA has indoor classes and more, all with safety guidelines. Details.
  • Heirloom Athletics has CrossFit and more. Details.
  • Fair Winds Cambridge has yoga, acupuncture and nutrition counseling, all with safety guidelines.  Reserve ahead.
  • Powerhouse Gym Fitness Center Cambridge is open with new policies and procedures. Details on their Facebook page.
  • Anahata Yoga is open. Must reserve ahead of time at anahatayogamd.com.
  • Over Board Paddle & Fitness offers floating fitness in season. More at overboardpaddleandfitness.com.
  • Cambridge Fitness Club is open with 24-hour access. Details.
events

Some of the major annual events for 2021 are happening; others have been rescheduled or canceled.  See below. For the latest on what’s coming up, see our events calendar.

Dorchester Mural Trail - Photo by Dave Harp
self-guided tours

Chesapeake Mural Trail
Grab the family and explore the Chesapeake Mural Trail by car, while listening to the free audio app. You can also take a look at or order our Mural Trail brochure.

Cambridge History
Explore Cambridge through two of our award-winning audio guides. While these were designed as walking tours, you can try them as driving tours; they’re also great for armchair travel. One tells some of the interesting history of downtown Cambridge; the other has locals sharing stories about the historic African-American Pine Street community. Download the apps.

Harriet Tubman 
Take the road trip known as the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway, which includes more than 30 sites in Dorchester and Caroline Counties. Don’t forget the free audio guide!

  • Historic Handsell: Stroll the grounds at historic Handsell near Vienna while listening to their audio guide; call 410-858-4173 to tune in for free. Details.
  • Spocott Windmill & Village: Get a taste of what life was like in the 1800s. You can stroll the grounds and learn the stories by reading the signs. The grounds are open dawn to dusk. Find out more.
  • Dorchester County Heritage: Explore the county’s historic and cultural treasures from home or by car by reading our new Dorchester Heritage Guide, featuring more than 20 sites. Or take a look at our three Heritage Trail Guides. Order the hard copy brochures or download them as PDFs: 1-Cambridge and the Neck District, 2-Waterfront Villages, and 3-Side Trips Off Route 50.
  • Harriet Tubman Byway: Explore the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway from your car or from your armchair, while listening to the free audio guide that brings the history to life. Also check out the Tubman Byway Map & Guide (available as a PDF or hardcopy).
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