Getting there: Visitors to Maryland's Eastern Shore have three major airports to choose from: Reagan/National (nearest the capital), Dulles (on Washington's outskirts) and Baltimore/Washington. The lowest fares, beginning at $258 for restricted round-trip tickets from LAX, are on Southwest and America West airlines, but they are on connecting flights only. United and American have nonstop service to Dulles beginning at $374; United and US Airways have nonstops to Baltimore beginning at $343. There are no nonstops to Reagan/National; connecting service is offered by many major airlines, beginning at $338.
Where to stay: The area is full of charming, often historic bed-and-breakfast inns at moderate to high prices.
The Inn at Osprey Point, 20786 Rock Hall Ave., Rock Hall, MD 21661, (410) 639-2194, fax (410) 639-7716, http://www.ospreypoint.com, overlooks a marina and has a pool, bikes and TV but no in-room phones; rates are $105-$170 nightly per double room, including continental breakfast.
The Robert Morris Inn, 314 N. Morris St., Oxford, MD 21654, (888) 823-4012 or (410) 226-5111, fax (410) 226-5744, http://www.robertmorrisinn.com; rates $120-$280 per double.
Other good choices in the Chestertown/Rock Hall area:
Brampton, 25227 Chestertown Road, Chestertown, MD 21620, (866) 305-1860 or (410) 778-1860, fax (410) 778-1805, http://www.bramptoninn.com, an 1860 plantation house just southwest of town; doubles $125-$225 with breakfast.
The White Swan Tavern, 231 High St., Chestertown, MD 21620, (410) 778-2300, fax (410) 778-4543, http://www.chestertown.com/whiteswan, is in a tavern that dates from 1730; doubles $120-$200 with breakfast.
In the Oxford area:
Combsberry, 4837 Evergreen Road, Oxford, MD 21654, (410) 226-5353, fax (410) 228-1453, http://www.combsberry.com, an elegant Georgian mansion; doubles $250-$350 with breakfast.
Where to eat (prices are approximate for dinner for two without alcohol):
Waterman's Crab House, on Rock Hall Harbor at the end of Sharp Street; (410) 639-2261; $50.
Inn at Osprey Point (see above); $60-$80.
The Robert Morris Inn (see above); $75-$100.
The Crab Claw, Navy Point, St. Michaels; (410) 745-2900, http://www.thecrabclaw.com; $50-$60.
Pier Street Restaurant and Marina, 104 W. Pier St., Oxford; (410) 226-5171; $40.
For more information: Maryland Office of Tourism Development, 217 E. Redwood St., Baltimore, MD 21202; (800) 634-7386 or (410) 767- 3400, fax (410) 333-6643, http://www.mdisfun.org.