Talbot County Office of Tourism, Talbot County Visitors Center, 11 S. Harrison St., Easton, (410) 770-8000, www.tourtalbot.org.
Academy Art Museum, 106 South St., Easton, (410) 822-2787, www.art-academy.org. This picturesque museum housed in a 1820s schoolhouse focuses on 19th and 20th century works in painting, drawing, etching, and photography by European and American artists. The permanent collection includes works by Whistler, Robert Rauschenberg, and Marc Chagall as well as the vibrant paintings of Baltimore native Tom Miller.
Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, Mill Street, St. Michaels, (410) 745-2916, www.cbmm.org. If you're a landlubber who really wants to be a salty dog, head to the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum. This expansive museum includes a massive collection of traditional boats from the bay, a restored 1879 lighthouse, and a history of area fisherman and boat builders. If you find staring at things and reading their little description plaques a bit boring, don't worry, there are plenty of chances get hands-on with boat building, crabbing, and decoying making activities.
Historical Society of Talbot County, 25 S. Washington St., Easton, (410) 822-0773, www.hstc.org. The Historical Society of Talbot County offers you an opportunity to travel back in time. Three houses--two original and one a recreation--from the 17th to 19th centuries offer insight into what life was like for Easton's earlier inhabitants. You can also wander through the Federal period gardens and learn about Wenlock Christianson, a 17th century Quaker who was tortured and exiled from Massachusetts because he refused to take off his hat.
St. Mary's Square Museum, 409 St. Mary's Square, St. Michaels, (410) 745-9561. Learn about St. Michaels in the 1800s by checking out exhibits in a building that looks like an old fashioned toy top and has served just about every use in St. Michaels including saddlery shop, barber shop, magistrate's office, jail, and mortuary. That must have been one festive mortuary.
St. Michaels' Hidden Artisans Studio Co-op, Canton Alley and South Freemont streets, St. Michaels, (410) 745-4125. We're not convinced that this studio is really all that hidden what with them giving the address and all but we do appreciate the opportunity to watch artists at work. Especially if we get to stand behind them and say, "Have you considered adding a unicorn?"
Thomas Kinkade Signature Gallery, 101 N. Talbot St., St. Michaels, (410) 745-0253. Thomas Kinkade proves that being the "Painter of Light" is about as cool as being "Lord of the Dance" with his syrupy sweet paintings of an America where the sun is always shining, the flowers are always in bloom, and the cottages are always cozy. Get more of Kinkade's stuff than you can embroider pillows to match at this gallery.
Wye Grist Mill and Museum, 14296 Old Wye Mills Road, Wye Mills, (410) 827-6909. Built in 1682, the Wye Grist Mill is Maryland oldest continuously used commercial structure. So you can watch a real stone mill powered by a waterwheel grind grain and learn about how grinding technology has progressed in the last 300 years.
Antique and Classic Boat Festival, 11 a.m. June 18, 9 a.m. June 19-20, Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, Mill St., St. Michaels, (410) 745-2916, $10 each day. There are going to be lots of boats in St. Michaels today. Sure, there's always a lot of boats in St. Michaels but today there will be even more as this 17th annual festival gets under way. There will be old boats and really old boats and demonstrations on how to build old boats and probably little tiny replicas of old boats in bottles.
Crab Days, 8 a.m.-1 p.m. July 31-Aug. 1, Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, Mill St., St. Michaels, (410) 745-2916, $10 each day. According to the St. Michaels Business Association you can "try your hand at pulling up crab pots, chicken necking, and trotlining." The other crustacean-themed activities include crabbing demonstrations, children's activities, and best of all, eating some crabs, seem pretty safe.
Easton's Old Tyme Fourth of July, 4 p.m.-dusk July 4, VFW Grounds, 355 Glebe Road, Easton, (410) 822-0065. Nothing says fun like spelling time with a "y," except of course the phrase "alcohol free." Easton's Fourth of July festivities include food, music, games, carnival rides, and fireworks but absolutely no alcohol, so make sure you knock a few back before you go.
Oxford Fine Arts Fair, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. May 29-30, Oxford Community Center, 200 Oxford Road, Oxford, (410) 226-0096, free. Nearly 50 artists from all along the East Coast will be displaying their art at this annual event, and it's juried so it shouldn't all be generic landscape crap. While you're looking over the art you can also sample the fair's traditional strawberry shortcake.
Strawberry Festival, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. June 5, St. Luke's United Methodist Church 304 S. Talbot St., St. Michaels, (410) 745-2534. This festival offers the usual craftsy hoakum and kids activities with lots and lots of strawberries to make the whole thing go down easier.
Summer Seafood Festival, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. June 19, Kronsberg Park, Rte. 33, Tilghman Island, (410) 886-2677. As the name suggests, there will be plenty of good seafood eating at this event, especially if you like steamed crabs. You can also compete in crab-related contests like trot-line baiting and crab picking. You can watch hard crabs race, or mosey, or kind of fidget to the finish line, and find out who will be crowned Miss Tilgham and Little Miss Tilghman. All followed by firemen on parade.
Tuckahoe Steam and Gas Show, July 8-11, five miles north of Easton between mileposts 57 and 58 on Route 50, (410) 822-9868. You might think there wouldn't be much to see at a steam and gas show, but you'd be wrong. There will be antique steam engines, gas engines, blacksmiths, and a horse pull.
Tuckahoe Truck and Tractor Pull, 7 p.m. July 16, 410) 822-9868. Hell, if you liked the Tuckahoe Steam and Gas Show, you'll love the Tuckahoe Truck and Tractor Pull. Big farm equipment pulling stuff all over the place, or whatever they actually do at a tractor pull. Maybe it will be like that scene in Footloose when Ren and Chuck chicken-race tractors to win Ariel's heart, while the soundtrack is all "I Need a Hero." Probably not though. Dang.
SPORTS AND RECREATION
Cardboard Boat Races, registration begins at 9 a.m., races begin at 11 a.m. June 12, Strand, Oxford, (410) 819-0036, www.somd.org, $25 to enter, free to watch. Make a cardboard boat of your own or watch people race down the river in fully biodegradable boats made out of cardboard, string, and water based glue. There are awards for the funniest and the fastest. 100 percent of the proceeds go to Special Olympics Maryland.
Country Comfort Farm, 23720 St. Michaels Road, St. Michaels, (410) 745-3160. 70 acres of horseback riding trails for women who have never gotten past their I ™ Horses stage and men who just want to make sure they wouldn't embarrass themselves if a jousting situation arose.
Oxford Bellevue Ferry, Morris Street and The Strand, Oxford, (410) 745-9023, www.oxfordferry.com. Started in 1683, the Oxford Bellevue Ferry is believed to be the oldest private ferry in America, though they did get disrupted for some 50 years following the American Revolution.
Attic Artifacts, 305-7 East Dover St., Easton, (410)770-8828. If you're considering becoming a cat lady, you might want to stop by Attic Artifacts before you make your final decision. This consignment store and art gallery has furniture, paintings, clothes, toys, and cats, lots and lots of cats. Owner Lorrie Walpole rescues abandoned cats and then finds them good homes, kinda like a kitty is the free gift with purchase.
Bosley Apparel, 609 S. Talbot St., No. 2, St. Michaels, (410) 745-6249. Don't you just hate it when you're going horseback riding but simply don't have a thing to wear? Then canter over to Bosley Apparel and get suited up in full riding habit.
Gigi's Lingerie Boutique, 15b N. Harrison St., Easton, (410) 820-5270. If your panties get in a twist during your Talbot County adventures, head to Gigi's where you can get fancy lingerie to replace the grandma panties you're wearing right now.
St. Michaels Candy and Gifts, 216 S. Talbot St., St Michaels, (410) 745-6060, www.candisdandy.com. This store is probably just like every other gift shop in a quaint little town but they have chocolate crabs so we're willing to give them the benefit of the doubt.
812 Park Ave.
Baltimore, MD 21201