Crab Place, 384 W. Main St., Crisfield, (877) 328-2722, www.crabplace.com Lump crab is rarely from the bay. You're a Marylander, why would you subject yourself to anything less than what you know is the best? Here, it's local.
Dolles, 500 S. Boardwalk, Ocean City, (800) 337-6001, www.dolles.com You can get just about anything you want, including a lifesize chocolate Santa, but dive into the saltwater taffy in every color and flavor you can think of. Then chew on it during your arduous drive home.
Dumser's Dairyland, 49th Street and Coastal Highway and 124th Street and Coastal Highway, (410) 524-1588, www.beach-net.com/dumsers Open since 1939, Dumser's is the best ice cream in Ocean City. Cool off on a bench and lick it up before it melts.
Fisher's Popcorn, 200 S. Boardwalk, Ocean City, (410) 289-5638, www.fisherspopcorn.com The wafting scents of fresh hot caramel corn can pleasantly overpower the smell of fresh tar and sunscreen. Our tip: bring ziploc bags with you and seal the contents of the white tubs to guard against humidity. Losing it all because of Maryland weather would be devastating.
Hershey's Chocolate World Visitor Center, 800 Park Blvd., Hershey, Pa., (717) 534-4900, www.hersheys.com Yeah, the amusement park is great, too, but the 'tour' of the facilities, the nostalgic advertisements, the retro Mr. Rogers-like video are reason to come. See if you don't sing about Hershey Chocolate Land for the next week.
Homestead Farm, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. daily, near Poolesville, (301) 977-3761, www.homestead-farm.net Bring a metal pail and pick your own summer berries. Plunk, plunk plunk, we hear the sounds of a strawberry pie.
Thrasher's French Fries, several locations on the Boardwalk in Ocean City, (410) 289-7232. You'd think all we do in OC is eat the way we list these epicurean delights. You'd be right, actually. There's a lot less sand in our car this way. Thrasher's are always hot, the line is always long, and it's always worth it.
Sundaes in the Park Sundays through August, Northside Park, 127th and Bay Street, Ocean City, (800) 626-2326, www.ococean.com, free. Listen to music, watch the sun set, and hang out near Assawoman Bay with make-your-own sundaes. It's like a sock hop, but with sand.
Taharka Bros. Original American Ice Cream Culture Grand Opening 2 p.m. June 1, Taharka Bros., 1405 Forge Ave., (410) 433-6800. Sylvan Beach changed names and they're celebrating a new location, too (next to the Mount Washington Whole Foods) with all-you-can-eat ice cream along with live music and prizes.
Ocean City Restaurant Week, June 1-8, Ocean City, (800) 626-2326, www.oceancityrestaurantweek.co.., $20-$30. Enjoy fine dining on the beach in three-course meals from OC's best chefs.
Safeway 16th Annual National Capital Barbeque Battle, June 21-22, Pennsylvania Avenue NW between 9th and 14th streets, www.bbqdc.com, $10, children $5. Sorry veggies, but sometimes the only sizzle we want to hear is the meat on the grill. The victor in this showdown goes home with $40,000 and major bragging rights. We're more than happy to oblige in helping the judges find the best cook--bring us the meat!
Seafood Festival, June 28, Tilghman Island, www.tilghmanislandmd.com Bushels and bushels of crabs from a professional cook. We don't know how that compares to your family recipe--maybe there's no difference at all--but it means it's good. If the kids aren't into crabs yet, there's hot dog and hamburgers, too. Let's hope so, because then there's more for us.
Baltimore Chefs and Wine Experience, noon-6 p.m. July 13, Tremont Grand, 225 N. Charles St., www.baltimorechefsandwine.org, $55, VIP $100. Right up a food and wine lover's alley, this 'Experience' features Ted Allen, food television personality and cookbook author.
Breakfast with Penguins, 8:30-10:30 a.m. July 19, Maryland Zoo, Druid Hill Park, (410) 539-5000, www.marylandzoo.org Enjoy breakfast with the early birds.
Havre de Grace Seafood Festival, Aug.9-10, 350 Commerce St., Havre de Grace, (410) 939-1525, www.hdgseafoodfestival.org Try 20 variations on somethin' pulled from the sea and test our theory that as long as it's made in Maryland, it's tasty.
812 Park Ave.
Baltimore, MD 21201