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Where can you find great seafood, enough history to fill several books, top-flight golf, first-class fishing and acres and acres of some of the most beautiful forest land on the East Coast? The answer can be found just eighteen miles south of Washington, DC, in Charles County, Maryland -- an area that has become a Mecca for heaters and anglers, and a magnet for history buffs and seafood-lovers alike.

Although one of the fastest-growing areas in the state, Charles County still retains a natural beauty that surprises most visitors expecting just another suburban bedroom community. Instead, they find 150 miles of spectacular shoreline and the third-most-forested county in Maryland. They find the historic settlement of Port Tobacco and some of the finest bass fishing around. In Charles County, visitors find a blend of new economic growth and old traditions unique in the capital metro area.

At Benedict and Cobb Island, two of Charles County's waterfront communities, boaters can tie up at local restaurants on the Patuxent River, Potomac and Wicomico rivers. A great meal of crabs, oysters and fresh fish caught right off Charles County shores is sure to please hungry sailors. You can also tie up for the night at local marinas.

For those who like a little history with their seafood, Benedict may be your kind of place. One of Maryland's first ports, Benedict began as a center of commerce and shipbuilding in 1683. During the War of 1812, one of the largest enemy forces ever to attack this country came ashore at Benedict and camped on the grounds of nearby Old Fields Chapel, completed in 1769 and still in use today Visitors to the church can still see the graves of two of those soldiers who returned to the chapel after capturing and burning the nation's Capitol. During the Civil War, Benedict also was the site of Camp Stanton, established here to recruit and train a black infantry to serve in the Union Army.

For land-lovers venturing to either Benedict or Cobb Island, the journey offers not only spectacular scenery hut an almost endless parade of farms, fresh produce stands, farmers' markets and nurseries, to let visitors take home some the best Charles County has to offer.

Come visit Charles County. Discover another world and share the best-kept secret this side of the Potomac. For more information, call 1-800-766-7386.

Information provided by the County Commissioners of Charles County

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