What is there to do in Charles County, MD?
August 30, 2009 11:57 AM   Subscribe

What should I not miss in southern Maryland?

I unexpectedly got a job as a farm apprentice in Newburg, MD and am wondering what the hidden gems of the area are. I know Baltimore and DC pretty well already, so I'm hoping to find great restaurants and bars and such in the small towns in and around Charles County. I'd also love to find any good beaches or parks where I can take my dog and let him run around and camp at.
posted by youcancallmeal to Travel & Transportation around Maryland (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
You're fairly close to Calvert Cliffs. It's a good beach, and you can go fossil hunting.

You are also pretty close to Saint Mary's County- go to Saint Mary's City, Maryland's original capital. There is a lot of archaeological and historical interest there. Leonardtown, is in Saint Mary's too- it's kind of a quaint town, but there are some pretty cool bars and stuff there.
posted by spaltavian at 12:12 PM on August 30, 2009

Meant to link to this for fossil hunting.

Also, Annapolis is a little out of your way, but is fun!
posted by spaltavian at 12:19 PM on August 30, 2009

Seconding Calvert Cliffs for fossil-hunting. If it's still like it was in the 1980s, you can expect to find about 10 tiny/small fossil shark teeth in a couple of hours of sitting on the beach running handfuls of sand through your fingers. No tools required.

According to this, you can call the Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant to arrange a tour.
posted by Quietgal at 1:43 PM on August 30, 2009

You're pretty close to Captain's Billys Crab House in Pope's Creek. I used to go to Loredo's in White Plains all the time, but lately have been going to Mexico Restaurant at the Festival shopping center in Waldorf. For sweet tooth fixes, Wall's Bakery is a local favorite. Most people rave about their giant eclairs, but I'm a fan of their almond cookies.

As for beaches and parks, Colonial Beach is just across the river in VA, Point Lookout State Park is near St. Mary's City, and Solomon's Island has a nice river walk.

For other things to do, this calendar of events has a lot of listings.
posted by hoppytoad at 1:52 PM on August 30, 2009

There are some amazing thrift stores around Ft. Mead.

The cliffs and coast around Lusby are really cool. There used to be this crazy 50's style Tiki Bar around there called Vera's but I heard that it burned down.

The eastern shore is really nice if you don't mind a long drive. Hemingway's on Kent Island has probably the world's best tuna melt.

You could also try to take a trip to Tangier Island if you want a maritime amish/menonite type experience.
posted by mr.ersatz at 2:55 PM on August 30, 2009

There used to be this crazy 50's style Tiki Bar around there called Vera's but I heard that it burned down

That place was awesome! I thought it was rebuilt, but I might be wrong about that.
posted by spaltavian at 3:27 PM on August 30, 2009

If you're willing to run over to the Eastern Shore, Crisfield has the 62nd annual National Hard Crab Derby on Labor Day weekend.
posted by namewithoutwords at 5:13 PM on August 30, 2009

This is from my mother-in-law, a 60+ year resident of Charles County:

"Don't even mention the words 'dog park" in Newburg. They will think you want to park your dog. Newburg is rural, sparsely populated and quite a truck to buy a loaf of bread. Many people shop in Virginia, across the Nice Bridge. But for anything other than food or furniture you must head north to La Plata or Waldorf. There is a fancy-pants development called Swann Point with a golf course and country club and upcoming marina and hotel but it is a gated community. And alas, they too, must go to Virginia for a loaf of bread. On the bright side, there are several liquor stores there. And a biker bar, Ape Hangers, might be interesting for a Saturday night. There are many Civil War and American Revolution sites: George Washington's birthplace and Colonial Beach, Robert E Lee's mansion and West Moreland State Park for camping on the Potomac, all in Virginia. Of course, a visit to Mechanicsville will give you a chance to buy fresh products from the Amish Community that lives in Charles and St Mary's counties."
posted by brownbeards at 7:48 PM on August 30, 2009

There used to be a restaurant named St. Mary's Landing that served stuffed ham and crab cakes.

There used to be a place called Solomon's Pier that would be the Maryland/crab equivalent of a lobster roll place (lobster shack?).
posted by jgirl at 2:23 PM on September 2, 2009

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