St. Michaels, Maryland

Sometimes it’s nice to get away for a weekend to someplace that’s a short drive away just for a change of scenery and to recharge or get inspired.  I find that there are times when I get overwhelmed on the weekend with the amount of stuff I need to accomplish and am constantly visually reminded of when I am at home.  This March, I took a mini break to historical St. Michaels, Maryland to stay at the town’s premiere accommodation, The Inn at Perry Cabin.

Still from the movie Wedding Crashers (2005)

If you have seen the movie Wedding Crashers with Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson, then you may recognize the Inn at Perry Cabin as the location of the large wedding where Owen’s character first meets Rachel McAdam’s character at the gift table.  The original inn was built in 1816 on one of the earliest land grants from the British to the colonies, and the home was named Perry’s Cabin as it was built to resemble the ship cabin of Commodore Oliver Perry on the U.S.S. Niagara.  The original inn is now the North Wing, to the right of the restaurant in the photo below, with the cupola.

I got a good deal on the rate for my stay through Bloomspot, but the available dates were limited to off-season times.  With the warm winter we were having, I thought for sure that D.C. would have an early spring.  I tried to book as late as I could before leaving on my big trip in April, but luck just was not with me.  The leaves were still hiding out in their buds and the grass still a dull winter green.  Also the weather was not cooperative, giving me beautiful blue skies and sun to make the white buildings pop for only a few hours and grey skies or snow the rest of the time.  
Where is spring?

While the Inn at Perry Cabin is decorated very tastefully with gorgeous 4 inch plantation shutters (I’m a sucker for plantation shutters) and light colors against dark woods, it is obvious that you are staying in an older building.  The walls are thin and the floors creek.  The food from the Sherwood’s Landing restaurant was supposed to be top notch, but I would not agree based on my experience.  Perhaps it was because I did not order some of the local dishes.  I also opted to not get any services from the spa because the prices were outrageous for the location.

Unfortunately, had I come to visit in-season, I would have been able to take advantage of a lot of the outdoor activities that are quintessentially Maryland Eastern Shore – bike rides, sailing, fishing, crabbing, oystering on a skipjack, boat making, etc. Perhaps that would have given me a different overall impression of the location.  Regardless, the weekend stay served its purpose for relaxation and rejuvenation 

Within walking distance of the Inn at Perry Cabin, the town of St. Michaels reminds me of a small Cape Cod-like town with the main street dominated by shops that target tourists and small family restaurants.  You can also visit the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, if so inclined, to visit the local lighthouse.

St. Michaels was founded in the late 1700s and is most notable for evading the British during the War of 1812 (though technically it happened in 1813).  The town was known by the British for their shipyards and a militia battery, and as a defense measure against the approaching British fleet coming up the Chesapeake, the townspeople hung lanterns in trees outside of town while observing a blackout in the town itself.  A British landing party was able to destroy the battery, but the town and shipyards were spared because of the clever strategy.  St. Michaels was known, from that point on, as “the town that fooled the British.”  You’ll see that on the welcome sign as you approach the main downtown area.  While in the area, don’t miss visiting the neighboring town of Easton with its historical architecture, shopping, antiquing, and restaurants.

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