Cecil County Tourism, 1 Seahawk Drive, suite 114, North East, (800) 232-4595.
North East Chamber of Commerce, 111 S. Main St., suite 210, North East, (410) 287-2658, www.northeastchamber.org.
Mount Harmon Plantation, Earleville, (410) 275-8819. This 200-acre estate and manor house has been restored to the period of 1760-1810. Tour the Tobacco Prize House (a "prize" is the large wooden screw used to compress tobacco leaves) and the formal boxwood and wisteria gardens. Nature trails lead to woods, fields, ponds, and creeks near the Sassafras River, not to mention protected wildlife--the plantation is a nature preserve.
Upper Bay Museum, North East Town Park, (410) 287-2675. Upper Chesapeake Bay watermen and women have long earned a living by hunting not just water creatures but land and air ones too. Who knew? The Upper Bay Museum preserves the heritage of both commercial and recreational hunters with an extensive collection of boating, fishing, and hunting artifacts native to the Upper Chesapeake. The early Susquehanna Flats working decoys alone are sure to interest someone in your family, or at least your extended family.
Cecil County Fair, 9 a.m.-10 p.m. July 20-28, Fair Hill Fairgrounds, Fair Hill, (410) 398-8544. Now here is a good old-fashioned country fair, with 4-H displays, family entertainment, heart-pounding rides, classic fair food, an agricultural showcase, and more.
Eagles Nest American Indian Celebration, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. June 2-3, Perry Point Veteran's Administration, Perryville, (410) 885-2800. This two-day celebration offers plenty of drumming and dancing, eating and browsing.
Jackson Marine Annual Boat Show and Flea Market, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Aug. 17-19, Jackson Marine Sales, Hances Point, North East, (410) 287-9400. Indulge your fantasies of owning a boat or really buy one at this three-day event full of new and used vessels plus boating paraphernalia. The flea market and refreshments are for the friends you drag along.
July Fourth Extravaganza, Meadow Park, Elkton, (410) 620-7964. Pony rides, a carnival, a car show, and fireworks. What more do you want on Independence Day, eh?
The following Cecil County bed and breakfasts offer waterfront views of the Upper Chesapeake Bay and the area's rivers:
Inn at the Canal, 104 Bohemia Ave., Chesapeake City, (410) 885-5995.
North Bay Bed and Breakfast, 9 Sunset Drive, North East, (410) 287-5948.
Schaefer's Canal House Cottages, 208 Bank St., Chesapeake City, (410) 885-2200.
Ship Watch Inn, 401 First St., Chesapeake City, (410) 885-5300.
SPORTS & RECREATION
Chesapeake Bay Golf Club, 1500 Chesapeake Club Drive, North East, (410) 287-0200. For your green needs.
Elk Neck State Park, 4395 Turkey Point Road, North East, (410) 287-5333. This park has more than 2,000 acres of varied topography with loop trails taking you through hardwood forests, across a human-made dike, and near freshwater ponds and marshes. The Blue Trail leads to the Turkey Point Lighthouse, which has been a beacon in many a storm since 1832. There's also camping, boating, and fishing; for a weekend away, rent one of the cabins.
Fair Hill Natural Resources Ranch and Area, routes 273 and 213, Fair Hill, (410) 398-1246. We bet you didn't know Fair Hill was a location for the film version of Toni Morrison's Beloved. It also happens to be many, many acres of wilderness with 40 miles of trails for biking, hiking, and horseback riding.
Chesapeake City Gift and Gourmet, 208 George St., Chesapeake City, (410) 885-2025. Formerly called Good Earth Natural Gifts, this store has expanded to include gourmet coffee drinks and a fudge bar. But don't worry--herbal soaps and handcrafted pottery still fill the shelves.
Day Basket Factory, 714 S. Main St., North East, (410) 287-6100, www.daybasketfactory.com. The Day Basket Factory has been weaving 100 percent white-oak baskets in the Day brothers' manner for more than a century now, so it should have fruit-, cracker-, bread-, berry-, mail-, and wastebasket making down pretty well.
Prime Outlets at Perryville, exit 93, Interstate 95, Perryville, (410) 378-9399. Bass, Beauty Express, Book Cellar, Bugle Boy, Casual Corner, Chesapeake Foodworks, Elisabeth, Etienne Aigner, Geoffery Beene, Jones New York, Leather Loft, L'eggs Hanes Bali Playtex, Mikasa, Nine West, Nike, OshKosh B'Gosh, Paper Factory, Perfumania, Peruvian Connection, Rocky Mountain Chocolate, Van Heusen.
812 Park Ave.
Baltimore, MD 21201