Whitehaven, Maryland

Go here: With spring here, many folks may feel like getting out and about. If you want a taste of quaint, quiet rural village life in a spectacular waterfront setting, visiting Whitehaven on the banks of the Wicomico River is a treat. The old two-room schoolhouse has been converted to a museum and community center, where you can learn about the history of the village, which has about 30 full-time residents. The population swells a bit on weekends and in summer, as several houses are maintained by out-of-towners. Visitors can also see plenty of waterfowl, including ducks, cormorants, ospreys, great blue herons, bald eagles, red-winged blackbirds and a profusion of other songbirds.

Stay here: The Whitehaven Hotel, 2685 Whitehaven Road, 877-809-8296. Originally built in 1810 as a road-house or private home, it was expanded and converted to a hotel around 1877, when this village was a bustling riverfront town, with a cannery, shipyards and several stores. It gradually deteriorated in the late 1980s, but was spared from the wrecking ball and restored several years ago. Now it's a seven-room bed & breakfast operated by innkeeper Cindy Curran, who makes guests feel right at home. The hotel is right on the river, where several times a day you can see tugs pushing barges loaded with fuel and other cargo up and down the river. Rates start at about $110 and well-behaved pets are welcomed.

Eat here: There aren't any stores in Whitehaven, but there are two restaurants nearby, the Red Roost in town (2670 Clara Road, Whitehaven) and Boonies, about 10 minutes' drive away in Tyaskin.

Don't miss: The free Whitehaven Ferry, one of the few left in Maryland, stays busy through the day, weather permitting. You can take the ferry across to Somerset and follow a scenic route through a landscape of farms and forests. Plenty of chicken houses to be seen there (and smelled here and there, as growers spread "litter" from the houses on their fields to fertilize new crops). Ferry hours vary by season. In summer, the ferry runs from 7 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Get here: About 125 miles from Baltimore, a three-hour drive. Stay on Route 50 Local (Business). Do not take the bypass. Just before you enter Salisbury, you will see Nanticoke Road (Route 349). Peddlers Village on your right. Turn right. Go about 6.5 miles to Whitehaven Road (Route 352). You will see signs for the Whitehaven Ferry and Scenic Route. Turn left on Whitehaven Road. Go about 8 miles. The road ends at the hotel.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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