PRINCE FREDERICK, Md. - Calvert County may be the smallest county in Maryland, but when it comes to interesting and fun things to do, the little County packs a wallop. With 213 square miles surrounded by the Chesapeake Bay and Patuxent River, the obvious choice for recreation is water-focused. Power boating, charter fishing, swimming, water skiing, crabbing, sailing and beach lounging are a few of the ways that Calvert Countys tourists and residents spend their time. But there is so much more.
Nature Lovers will delight in all there is to do. Battle Creek Cypress Swamp in Prince Frederick is home to the northernmost stand of bald cypress trees in North America. Kings Landing Park in Huntingtown offers a wide range of outdoor activities from fishing, canoeing and kayaking to hiking and picnicking. Flag Ponds Nature Park and Calvert Cliffs State Park in Lusby are home to two public beaches on the Chesapeake Bay where visitors frequently find ancient fossils deposited from the nearby Calvert Cliffs. (For park information, visit http://www.calvertparks.org.) Outdoor enthusiasts can also hike more than 15 miles of trails at the American Chestnut Land Trust (www.acltweb.org) where the only remaining pristine creek exists on the western shore of the Bay.
History buffs can get their fill of folklore at several local museums. Visit the only maritime museum with two lighthouses at the Calvert Marine Museum (http://www.calvertmarinemuseum.com). For a glimpse into days gone by along the Bay, take in the Bayside History Museum (410-495-8386) and the Chesapeake Beach Railway Museum (http://www.cbrm.org) in the twin beaches area of North Beach and Chesapeake Beach.
Seafood lovers can satisfy their palates at over 20 seafood restaurants in the County - each with their own unique and mouth-watering specialties. After a wonderful dinner, enjoy a romantic getaway at a waterfront hotel or one of seven B&Bs. The County also boasts numerous antiques shops, art galleries, wineries, boutiques and jewelry stores where eclectic and one-of-a-kind gifts and souvenirs can be just enough to make the visit worthwhile (http://www.ecalvert.com/guide/guide.htm).
Theres also little dispute that Calvert Countys festivals are legendary. In August, jousters from around Maryland compete in the 140th Calvert County Jousting Tournament (http://www.christchurchcalvert.org/Jousting_Tournament.htm), celebrating Marylands official state sport. Bayfest (http://www.ci.north-beach.md.us) draws Bay revelers from all around to North Beach, the Cradle of Invasion (http://www.cradleofinvasion.org/) in Solomons chronicles the role that Southern Maryland played in World War II and the American Indian Heritage Day (http://www.jefpat.org/) at Jefferson Patterson Park & Museum allows visitors to experience regional life the way it was over 500 years ago.
In September, Artsfest (http://www.annmariegarden.org/Artsfest.htm) offers a weekend of art, music, food and wine at Annmarie Garden in Solomons, the Maryland Lighthouse Challenge (http://www.cheslights.org/challenge.htm) comes to the Calvert Marine Museum during a statewide celebration of lighthouses and the Bays watermen compete in docking and anchor throw contests in the annual Watermens Festival (410-326-3929 ) in Solomons. The War of 1912 Reenactment (http://www.jefpat.org/) at Jefferson Patterson Park & Museum attracts crowds from the entire mid-Atlantic region to watch battle reenactments and demonstrations from life in the early 1800s around St. Leonard Creek. For more information on these and other Calvert County festivals and events, visit online at http://www.ecalvert.com/tourism.htm.