CAPE MAY, NEW JERSEY,
Imagine street after street of Victorian homes
lining the sea. In Cape May, New Jersey, about
180 miles north of Bethesda, the architectureis as much of an attraction as the wideexpanse of sandy beach. Put on your walkingshoes: Cape May is a great town for exploringby foot, with many of the larger inns andbed-and-breakfasts within walking distanceof the beach and the village square, wheremost shops and restaurants are located.
The Cape May Lighthouse, built in 1859, is
worth a climb to the top. Don’t miss dinner
at 410 Bank Street, which is located in a
19th-century carriage house. The food may
be the best in town.
HIT THE BEACH
Walk Ocean City’s boardwalk, which theTravel Channel has called America’s“Best Beach Boardwalk,” while nibblingon Thrasher’s famous french fries in theMaryland resort town. Shop the countless
From charming beach towns to mountain escapes,here are 15 ideas for day trips and vacations
BY BROOKE LEA FOSTER
watching in the waters off Bethany Beach,
named by Travel + Leisure magazine in 2012
as one of the “Best Secret Beaches onEarth.” The Maryland and Delaware shoretowns (Ocean City, Bethany Beach, Lewes,Rehoboth Beach and Fenwick Island) packstunning stretches of sand alongside family-friendly amusement—arcades, miniaturegolf courses, games (like Whac-A-Mole andFrog Bog) and kiddie rides. Have dinner atone of the many clam bars, fish housesand farm-to-table restaurants lining theshores here, or pack a picnic and head forAssateague Island National Seashore, whereyou might catch a glimpse of the wild horsesthat roam the beaches—all about a three-hour drive away.
EXPLORE THE EASTERN SHORE
Less than two hours away, bucolic, gentle
hills roll into the marshy waterways of the
Chesapeake Bay on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.
And in St. Michaels and Oxford, the region’smost picturesque towns, “Main Street” looksmore like a classic New England village thana bustling metropolis. St. Michaels, thelarger of the two, boasts boutique shoppingon handsome Talbot Street. Get out on thewater on one of the local cruise lines thattake visitors down the Miles River deep intoChesapeake country, or hop onto a bike andpedal the mostly flat Oxford Loop, whichtakes riders on a 26- or 33-mile ride from St.
Michaels to Easton and Oxford and back. (The
highlight: Enjoying views of the Tred Avon River
aboard the 10-minute Oxford-Bellevue Ferry.)
DIVE INTO DEEP CREEK LAKE
During the summer, water sports rule at DeepCreek, a 3,900-acre lake with 65 miles ofshoreline in Garrett County, about three hoursfrom Bethesda. Go play on a rented motorboat,kayak or Jet Ski. Anglers should cast a pole—it’s not hard to catch a sizable bass in a lakewhere smallmouth and largemouth bass,walleye and yellow perch are plentiful. In thewinter, Deep Creek Lake turns into a skier andsnowboarder’s paradise with cross-country andgreen circle to black diamond ski trails, as wellas opportunities for snowshoeing, tubing, icefishing and snowmobiling. You can even takethe family dogsledding.
HEAD WEST TO HARPERS
FERRY, WEST VIRGINIA
Harpers Ferry, a historic town with quiet P H O T OBYMICHAELVENTURA