|The view from our balcony at the Blue Heron Bed and Breakfast Inn.
Solomons Island is a quaint island in southern Maryland, in Calvert County. Although once called Bourne’s Island in the 1600s and then Somervell’s Island in the mid-1700s, in the 1800s, island became known as Solomons Island when Baltmore businessman Isaac Solomon established a cannery there, just after the Civil War ended. His home still stands on the island.
|The inn’s four rooms are all well-appointed and recently updated.
Known for its marinas, Solomons Island is a great weekend get-away — there are a number of fun things to do in the area, such as visiting the Calvert Marine Museum, going kayaking in the local waters, exploring the Annmarie Sculpture Garden, fossil hunting at nearby Calvert Cliffs, visiting St Mary’s City, or going hiking in one of the nearby parks and forests. The Blue Heron Bed & Breakfast Inn is a laid back inn, befitting its restful location overlooking the quiet waters of Back Creek.
|Back Creek greeted us in hues of purple and pink during the sun rise.
Almost all of its rooms overlook Back Creek, and the inn’s balconies offer a peaceful place to retreat to contemplate the day, enjoying a coffee and a snack before heading out before dinner. Or bring home your own wine to enjoy sipping while the sun sets… I have to admit, I loved the balcony, and my only regret is that our time at the inn was too short to enjoy it as long as I would have wished.
Whether you’re seeking to get away for one night or several, bed and breakfast inns offer a great way to get to know an area. Most often owned and run by local residents, these are the folks who can steer you to best the area offers — and the hospitality offered by B&Bs can’t be beat.
|An elegant and tasty breakfast, served on the lower balcony, helped us start our day right!
There are several restaurants on the island to chose from, within walking distance of the inn.
|Smith Island cake, Maryland’s state dessert, was our choice for dessert
at the Lighthouse Restaurant and Dock Bar..
Plan your weekend stay at the Blue Heron B&B by adding these to your day trip itinerary!
Calvert Marine Museum
Learn about maritime history on the Chesapeake Bay, the area’s paleontology (and there’s quite a bit of that!), life working on the water in the Chesapeake Bay, and local estuarine life of the Patuxent River and the Bay at the Calvert Marine Museum.
A high point of the museum are its several aquatic exhibits, including an outdoor habitat for the North American river otter, and indoor aquarium exhibits for the sting ray, skates, the non-native lionfish, and numerous other species native to the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries.
Be sure to visit the historic Drum Point Lighthouse, located on the grounds of the Calvert Marine Museum.
Hiking and Fossil Hunting at Calvert Cliffs
One of my favorite places in Calvert County, in which Solomons is located, is Calvert Cliffs. It can be really fun to go fossil hunting – Calvert Cliffs State Park is unique among hiking opportunities in the region for its up-close views of the Calvert Cliffs from below, fossil hunting opportunities, and hiker-only access to the Chesapeake shoreline along a mile of sandy beach.
The main feature of the park is the huge Miocene cliffs that dominate the waterfront. The cliffs and the shores below contain more than 600 species of fossils from the Miocene epoch, more than ten million years ago. These cliffs rise over the Bay over 100 feet and are slowly eroding at the rate of almost 3 feet per year, ensuring a constant supply of “new” fossils to discover. They were created over 10 million years ago when the Chesapeake Bay and most of southern Maryland were still a shallow sea. As the waters receded, the sea floor became exposed and what was to become fossils gathered at this point. The cliffs are the most extensive assemblage of Miocene fossils in the eastern U.S.
Annmarie Sculpture Garden
Annmarie Sculpture Gardens is unusual because of its display of art and sculpture outside, a blend of splendid nature and art, and that is the core of its mission: to connect people to both art and nature. The sculpture garden, through its partnership with the Hirshorn Museum of Art and the National Gallery of Art, borrowed 25 sculptures, which are now on display throughout its grounds.
In addition to the sculpture, the walking paths were created and the allies, or hallways, were cleared. The lovely allies allow visitors to look across Annmarie and have created areas for the installation of sculpture.
This is a great place for kids (of all ages) as there is whimsical sculpture and art on display as well. When we were there, fairy houses dotted the forest floor, another touch that’s sure to appeal to the 10 and below crowd.
A Visit to St Mary’s City
St Mary’s City is spread across 800 acres along St. Mary’s River, a brackish tributary to the Potomac River, near its mouth on the Chesapeake Bay, and about 30 minutes from Solomons Island. The site is an important archaeological site marking the former colonial town that was Maryland’s first colonial settlement of the European invasion.
|Although many structures have been recreated, and several are in progress,
many “ghost structures” mark the spots where the originals stood.
Now, St. Mary’s City is a large, state-run historic area, reconstruction of the original colonial settlement, living history museum complex, and most summer weekends you will encounter re-enactors. You need walking shoes to visit, because you’ll want to go exploring — and you can easily spend a few hours there! There’s an approximately mile-long trail from the visitors center through the historic St. Mary’s City site.
Getting there: The Blue Heron Bed and Breakfast is located at 14614 Solomons Island Rd
Solomons, MD 20688