Calvert County Department of Economic Development, Courthouse, Prince Frederick, (800) 331-9771, www.co.cal.md.us/cced.
Annmarie Garden on St. John, Solomons, (410) 326-4640, free. Commune with nature, appreciate contemporary sculpture, reflect on peace, and relieve yourself in the county's most artistic rest rooms when you visit this public garden and art gallery on St. John Creek.
Battle Creek Cypress Swamp Sanctuary, Prince Frederick, (410) 535-5327, free. In case you didn't know, this is the northernmost naturally occurring stand of bald cypress in America. Seriously. Allow the elevated boardwalk to take you through the pretty trees to the nature center's live animals and exhibits.
Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant, 1650 Calvert Cliffs Parkway, Lusby, (410) 495-4673, free. Here are two reasons to visit this nuclear-power plant: the visitors center with its hands-on exhibits and the lookout with a view of the nuclear beast that supplies much of Baltimore's electrical power. Here's one reason not to: Dick Cheney wants you to get good and comfy with nuclear power. Back on the plus side, on a clear day you can also see across the Chesapeake Bay to the Eastern Shore.
Calvert Cliffs State Park, Lusby, (301) 872-5688, $3. A 2-mile hike through this 1,460-acre wooded park gets you right to the beach for picnicking, fishing, grilling, and--the big attraction here--fossil hunting. The 15-million-year-old Calvert Cliffs are off-limits for landslide reasons, but you can roam the open beach for one of what must be bazillions of fossils.
Calvert Marine Museum, 14200 Solomons Island Road, Solomons, (410) 326-2042, $2-$5. The maritime histories of the Patuxent River and the Chesapeake Bay come flooding back to life with this museum's collection of traditional work boats, Calvert Cliffs fossils, paintings, and wood carvings. Outdoor exhibits include a re-created salt marsh and a river-otter habitat. You can also hop aboard the 100-year-old Wm. B. Tennison or visit the restored Drum Point Lighthouse.
Chesapeake Beach Railway Museum, 4155 Mears Ave., Chesapeake Beach, (410) 257-3892, free. In the early 1900s, weekend crowds rode the Chesapeake Beach Railway to the Monte Carlo-style Chesapeake Beach resort and amusement park. See proof of the place's heyday in the photos and artifacts housed in the railway's only remaining station house.
Christ Episcopal Church, 3100 Broomes Island Road, Port Republic, (410) 586-0565, (410) 586-0482, free. What began as a log house of worship in 1672 was rebuilt with brick in 1772 and still stands today. Next to the church is a preserved one-room schoolhouse that is more than 100 years old.
Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum, 10515 Mackall Road, St. Leonard, (410) 586-8500, free. Stay outside and enjoy the 544-acre park's trails, picnic areas, and a covered pavilion, or go indoors for the 12,000 Years in the Chesapeake exhibit or the farm display.
American Revolution on the Bay: Living History Weekend, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. June 9-10, Calvert Marine Museum, 14200 Solomons Island Road, Solomons, (410) 326-2042. Calling all Revolutionary War buffs: Don't miss your chance to see this encampment presented by the Living History Portrayers. 1776 never looked so good.
Calvert County Farm Tour and Produce Sale, 1-5 p.m. July 15, various locations. If the word "farmland" makes you think of the Midwest, you need to see more of your own state. Southern Maryland farms turn out produce, herbs, and baked and canned goods fresher than the freshest at Fresh Fields, and this weekend you can tour working farms down there, watch agricultural demonstrations, poke farm animals, take a hay ride, and listen to the strains of country music.
1812 Tavern Night, 7-10 p.m. June 23, Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum Pavilion, St. Leonard, (410) 586-8500. Hours of 19th-century fun without the animal dung and body odor. Revel in the music, food, and drink that made taverns the center of American towns in the 1800s.
Sharkfest, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. July 21, Calvert Marine Museum, 14200 Solomons Island Road, Solomons, (410) 326-2042. Take the kids for this day of activities about sharks. Then rent Jaws on the way home for yourself.
Solomons Fourth of July Celebration, Solomons waterfront, (410) 326-1950, (888) 580-3856. Just once, leave the Inner Harbor ritual miles away and watch the fireworks reflected on different waters.
Bowen's Inn, 14630 Solomons Island Road South, Solomons, (410) 326-9880/6790. This hotel, bar, restaurant, and dock promises the best crab cakes in town. But don't they all?
Breezy Point Beach and Campground, Chesapeake Beach, (410) 535-0259. On a summer day, you'll hope this campground delivers on the promise of its name.
Breezy Point Cabins, 5230 Breezy Point Road, Chesapeake Beach, (410) 535-4356, (301) 855-9894. The six rental beach cottages here offer bay views and beach access.
You want a Southern Maryland B&B? Try one of these:
Adina's Guest House, 14236 S. Solomons Island Road, Solomons, (410) 326-4895.
By-the-Bay Bed and Breakfast, 14374 Calvert St., Solomons, (410) 326-3428.
Tidewater Treasures Bed and Breakfast, 7315 Bayside Road, Chesapeake Beach, (410) 257-0785. Show up either with or without children, but definitely without smokes.
SPORTS & RECREATION
Bunky's Charter Boats, 14448 Solomons Island Road South, Solomons, (410) 326-3241. Fish, crab, or just cruise the Patuxent River on one of Bunky's 16-foot Carolina skiffs available for hourly or day-long rentals.
Chesapeake Beach Water Park, 4079 Gordon Stinnett Ave., Chesapeake Beach, (410) 257-1404, (301) 855-3803, $4.50-$13.50. Spend the day testing the thrill levels of all eight water slides, playing water volleyball, wrestling with a large floating alligator, or just lounging on the beach.
Island Creek Outfitters, 9250 Broomes Island Road, Broomes Island, (410) 286-0950. Located at the mouth of Island Creek on the lower Patuxent River, ICO can sell or rent you fishing, kayaking, and paddle-sport equipment, then tell you how to use it.
Rod-N-Reel Charter Captains, Chesapeake Beach, (800) 233-2080. The Captains have more than 25 charter boats that will take you angling for blues, drum, flounder, rock, and trout.
Twin Shields Golf Club, 2425 Roarty Road, Dunkirk, (301) 855-8228, (410) 257-7800. Challenge your skills on this 18-hole, par-70 course that also offers a pro shop, driving range, and, yes, a snack bar.
A-1 Antiques and Collectibles, 3736 Chesapeake Beach Road, Chesapeake Beach, (301) 855-4500. A-1 boasts 20 rooms full of old bedroom, dining-room, and living-room sets. Hey, U.S. coin collectors: Prepare to spend time in the currency department.
Barb's Attic, Lazy Moon Book and Antiques Center, Solomons Island, (410) 326-3720. There is no place like an attic to find a relic, rarity, curio, trinket, or out-of-print book.
Bowens Garage Antiques Center, Huntingtown, (410) 257-3105. There is no place like a garage to find old junk. Bowens houses several shops, including Timeless Treasures and Old Fashioned Ways.
Calvert County Farmers Market, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturdays-Sundays July-September, Prince Frederick, (410) 535-4583. This open-air market has a distinguishing feature: Next-door is a restaurant, in case shopping for fresh produce leaves you too pooped to prepare it.
Memorial Day Outdoor Antiques Market, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. May 26, Southern Maryland Antiques Center, Huntingtown, (410) 257-1677, (301) 855-6865. Browse the kind of treasures you wish were still in your grandmother's attic.
Nice and Fleazy Antiques Center, North Beach, (410) 257-3044, (301) 855-5066. With enough antiques stores in the world to choke the proverbial horse, you may as well go to one with a cool name.
812 Park Ave.
Baltimore, MD 21201