In the streets of Easton, Maryland, leaves are unfolding and residents and local businesses are warming up for spring, a spectacular season in this 301-year-old historical town. Boaters, bikers, fishermen, hikers, hunters and avid outdoor diners alike are anticipating warmer weather and the explosion of activities in Easton that come along with it.
The Bay Bridge Boat Show April 28 through May 1 on Kent Island kicks off Maryland’s boating season, featuring every kind of vessel from kayaks to yachts. This year, the Maryland Saltwater Sportfisherman Association will provide a fishing tournament weigh station and AllTackle will hold casting challenges and “guess the fish’s weight” competitions. For a full list of events and show information, visit USboat.com.
To get your own taste of the open waters, you can rent boating equipment and gear at stores such as T.I. Marina Rentals LLC, which typically open their doors in April. If you’d rather sit back and let others do the sailing for you, the Selina II, which will take to the water April 23 at St. Michaels Marina, offers relaxing sailboat rides for up to six passengers.
April 29 through May 1 marks the annual WineFest at St. Michaels, 15 minutes outside of Easton. This outdoor streetscape event celebrates local food and wine and supports six local charities. The festivities will include wine dinners, wine tastings, and chef demonstrations among many other events. For more information visit WineFestAtStMichaels.com.
Also just outside of Easton, the town of Oxford will be holding its 17th annual Oxford Day Celebration on April 30. The festival will feature a parade beginning at 11 a.m., a dog show, live bag pipers and other music, a Civil War reenactment, and five and ten kilometer runs. The day will also celebrate the 327th anniversary of the Oxford Bellevue Ferry, the nation’s oldest privately owned ferry service.
While you’re in Easton, explore Easton Market Square with its numerous shops and cafés. On April 17, Easton’s Farmers Market will reopen for the summer season, setting up its tents and rolling out its fresh, locally grown produce. The Market will be open Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Harrison Street. The Amish Country Farmers Market is also a wonderful place to find fresh produce and handcrafted items. This indoor market is open year-round on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.
Like Easton’s markets, its galleries and museums are also not to be missed. Begin at the Historical Society of Talbot County, where you can pick up a walking tour map of the area and enjoy the Society’s museum, historic houses, and surrounding award-winning gardens.
The Academy Art Museum features national, regional, and local traveling and residential exhibits. It also hosts concerts, performances, and workshops. Through April 10, the museum will be featuring a private collection of European paintings titled “Old Master Paintings: Narratives for Inspiration.” Visit AcademyArtMuseum.org for details on events and exhibitions.
Just outside of Easton, the Oxford Museum’s 2,500 artifacts chronicle the cultural history of its historic hometown. The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels is also a wonderful place to visit, celebrating the history of the Chesapeake Bay’s culture, boats, and seafood. Its fleet of floating historic watercraft is also the largest in existence. In the warmer months, tickets to ride aboard the Skipjack H.M. Krentz can be purchased here.
If you find yourself in Easton on April Fools’ Day, take some time to visit the area’s fabulous art galleries because April 1 also happens to be a First Friday featuring a Gallery Walk. From 5 to 9 p.m., shops and galleries will be open late and many galleries will be offering discussions and refreshments.
The newly refurbished South Street Art Gallery in Easton features a steady rotation of new artwork by gallery artists in a casually elegant historic Victorian home. Nearby on Dover Street, Gallery 26 will be featuring the work of photographer Robert Cavelli in his first-ever East Coast showing through March 30. April 1 through May 31, Troika Gallery will be holding its Spring Group Show featuring most of the 35 artists exclusively represented by the gallery, which is also a work studio.
If living art is more your style, get tickets to a performance at the Avalon Theater which provides a huge variety of entertainment from comedians to symphonies. The theater also showcases The Met: Live in HD, which streams operas and plays taking place live from the Metropolitan Opera. The play is projected in HD onto a movie theater-sized screen at the Avalon Theater, which is the only viewing location in the area. On April 30, the theatre will show the live production of Verdi’s Il Trovatore.
The NightCat café rests comfortably on the border between good food, good drink, and good entertainment. This small, intimate setting offers a nightly soundtrack of up-and-coming artists over the clink of glasses. On April 7 the club will present the indie sounds of Erin McKeown who has been featured on shows like “The L Word” and “Gilmore Girls” as well as in People Magazine. NightCat will break up its routine on April 16 when it hosts Raymond the Amish Comic.
March 20 through 27 is restaurant week in Easton, celebrating the fine dining that is to be found in the area. Many gourmet restaurants in the area will be offering two-course lunch menus for $20.11 and three-course dinner menus for $30.11.
Out of the Fire Café and Wine Bar offers delicious Mediterranean-inspired cuisine, and a large part of its menu is cooked in the stone hearth that is the center of its open-air kitchen. Scossa Restaurant and Lounge serves its patrons authentic northern Italian dishes created by Chef Giancarlo Tondin, who began his career in the famous Harry’s Bar restaurant in Venice. During the WineFest at St. Michaels, Tondin will demonstrate how to make one of his signature dishes.
Warming weather is also an excellent reason to check out the many alfresco dining options in Easton. One wonderful option is Mason’s, where you can dine in the courtyard of what was once a grand family home. Chef Daniel Pochron serves up rich French cuisine for lunch and dinner. For desert, buy a box of Mason’s signature chocolates or get a pick-me-up in their luxurious coffee bar.
Bed & Breakfasts
The Bartlett Pear is both a renowned restaurant and a beautiful place to spend a few nights. The 220-year-old home is owned by Jordan and Alice Lloyd, who met at Mason’s restaurant. The gourmet menu was created by Jordan Lloyd himself, who is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and has 15 years of experience in restaurant management. Lloyd will also demonstrate one of his recipes at the WineFest, showing attendants how to make his tomato and ricotta salad.
Another B&B that’s bound to please is the Inn at 202 Dover, which was recently named one of the top 11 romantic restaurants in America by Destination Travel Magazine. Earlier this year, the bed and breakfast was also voted to be one of the top 10 romantic inns in America by Historic Inns of America. With such a ringing endorsement, a night at this elegant and stately home is sure to be the cherry on top of any stay in Easton.