Founded in 1666, and once the second most populous city in the state (while now having a population under 3,000!) Crisfield plays an outsized role in the Eastern Shore's sense of self. Its well-known moniker, the Seafood Capital of the World, seems a little dated, now that farm run off from the Chesapeake Watershed has devastated the regions seafood hauls, but it remains one of the principal centers of Chesapeake Waterman culture. While Crisfield is a lot less tourist-oriented than some of the charming small towns of the southern Eastern Shore—it's a gritty port town and a little rough around the edges, it's still a good visit for the authentic Chesapeake Bay culture (and is well combined with a day trip to Smith Island or Tangier), as well as some seafood dining, or the state's famous National Hard Crab Derby.
Take US-50 from D.C. area, going through Easton, Cambridge, and Salisbury. At the 50/13 split take 13 and proceed past Princess Anne. Bear right onto 413 (Crisfield). From Virginia, take US-13N until you reach MD-413S.
There are no commercial flights available, but you can always park your private plane at Crisfield Municipal Airport.
- J. Millard Tawes Historical Museum (At the waterfront in Somers Cove Marina), ☏ . Memorial Day-30 Oct: M-F 9AM-4:30PM, Sa-Su 10AM-3PM; 1 Nov-Memorial Day: M-F 9AM-4:30PM, Sa-Su closed. The museum is dedicated to the history of the local Watermen, early Maryland Colonial history, and, somewhat jarringly, decoy carving and painting! The very worthwhile Port of Crisfield Walking Tour takes off from here, which includes a tour of a working crab/oyster processing plant. $3/$1 children.
- [formerly dead link] Janes Island State Park, 26280 Alfred Lawson Dr, ☏ . This park is a real hidden gem, in no small part because you have to take a boat to get there. Miles of isolated beaches on a beautiful island on the Bay. Opportunities for kayaking/canoeing on multitudinous water trails, fishing, crabbing, and, of course, swimming!
- Gov. J. Millard Tawes Crab and Clam Bake. Every third Wednesday of July. It is what the name says, and it has been a delicious little festival for 30 years.
- National Hard Crab Derby, ☏ . Early September. Everything quirky and crabby, from shucking contests to parades to the ever consequential matter of choosing Maryland's little Miss and Mr Crustacean.
- Cove Restaurant, 718 Broadway, ☏ . A great mix of local seafood and Southern cuisine, where everything is home made and made to order. The all lump crab cakes (considered some of the best in the region) as well as the fried chicken are standouts. Don't skip the Smith Island ten-layer cake for dessert. $10-25.
- Waterman's Inn, 901 W Main St, ☏ . Lunch and dinner Th-Su year round, W-Su in July-Aug. Simple but attractive, very unpretentious, and very reasonably priced, this is a great option for seafood in Crisfield. Friendly staff and great seafood at small town prices is a winning combination. Reservations recommended. $15-30.
- My Fair Lady B&B, 38 West Main St, ☏ . My Fair Lady is pretty clearly the best accommodations in Crisfield, in a nice, well-maintained Victorian home furnished with antiques. Troella, the owner, will help you figure out your local plans, and cooks a mean breakfast! $140-380.