Kent Island Named Maryland’s Top Tourist Attraction You’ve Never Heard Of
The Business Insider put together a list of the top attractions in each state that you have most likely never heard of. The list included places like Oak Alley Plantation in Louisiana, the Tupelo Buffalo Park and Zoo in Mississippi, and the NASCAR Hall of Fame in North Carolina. Kent Island was the recipient of the title for the top tourist attraction in Maryland you have never heard of. However, Kent Island is so much more than an attraction. If you have never made time to check it out you need to add it to your list. Here are some of the reasons why Kent Island is a must see destination in Maryland.
A Little About Kent Island Maryland
Kent Island Maryland was the third English settlement in the county way back in 1631. Preceded only by Plymouth and Jamestown. The island is located at the base of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. There are actually three separate towns on the island: Centreville, Grasonville, and Stevensville. The island is loaded with hotels and restaurants and other attractions for visitors to check out.
Stevensville Historic District
The Stevensville Historic District is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In 1850 the town was developed when the property from two farms were joined together. Just over 25 years later it had expanded to around 30 structures. The town continued to see growth due to the steamboat industry that connected the eastern and western shores of Chesapeake Bay.
When the railroad showed up in the early 1900’s the town continued to expand with the addition of schools, a blacksmith, sawmill, and four doctors. However, Stevensville was negatively impacted when the passenger rail travel ended in the late 30’s and then throughout the Great Depression. In 1952 when the Chesapeake Bay Bridge opened the town was able to preserve its historic charm.
When visiting Stevensville Historic District today there are many preserved buildings that you can checkout to see a piece of Maryland history including:
- Old Stevensville Post Office – At the end of Love Point Road is the old post office. It was built in the late nineteenth century and is now used as the gift shop for the Kent Island Heritage Society.
- Historic Christ Church – Built in 1880 this church structure is the location of what was once the longest running Christian congregation in the state.
- Cray House– Built in the early 1800s this house was recently restored back to its glory days. The house predates the existence of the town and is listed on its own on the National Register of Historical Places.
The Kent Narrows
To the east of Kent Island is a small channel that separates the island from the peninsula. A small town known as Kent Narrows is located on the waterfront with Chester River on one side and Eastern Bay on the other. This is a popular location for visit throughout the year. Kent Narrows has a little something for everyone:
- Charter Boat Fishing
- Incredible seafood restaurants
- Walking trails
- Antique Shopping
When visiting the narrows stop in to Chesapeake Exploration Center. You can view interpretive displays about the Bay and it houses the Visitors Center. Take a moment to look through the brochures to see what activities grab your attention.
Kent Island Restaurants
Waterfront dining is at it’s best on Kent Island.
- The Narrows Restaurant – If you want to enjoy award winning crab cakes with a stunning waterfront view make reservations or drop in to The Narrows Restaurant. You can take in beautiful water views from everywhere in the restaurant.
- Stevensville Crab Shack- If crab is what you are after swing into Stevensville Crab Shack where their motto is “Steaming Hot! Jumpin’ From the Pot!”. You know you have arrived when you spot the giant crab out front.
- Bridges on Kent Narrows – Enjoy a great meal waterfront at Bridges on Kent Narrows. You can dine indoor or out while sitting right at the water’s edge.
- Kentmorr Restaurant – This restaurant has been serving some of the areas best seafood for over fifty years. They even have a beach area that you can enjoy.
While seafood is the popular item in the area, there are other options for those that are not fans.
- La Piazza Pizza & Italian Restaurant – Stop in this pizzeria for the best pizza on the east coast along with excellent submarine sandwiches, burgers, and hand-cut French fries.
- Red Eye’s Dock Bar – You can sit waterfront enjoying the view of the boats while you dine on options of burgers, salads, sandwiches, and they have some fish options as well.
The Chesapeake Bay
Residents describe Chesapeake Bay as the heart and soul of Maryland. It stretches 200 miles from the Atlantic Ocean to the Susquehanna headwaters in the north. The waters present Kent Island with an endless amount of activities to participate in. Locals and visitors can take a charter boat out fishing, rent kayaks and paddleboards, and swim at the local parks. Lighthouse fanatics can check out the Bloody Point Bar Lighthouse, and bird lovers will be in their glory with all the varieties that the waters bring in to the area. From water sports and beautiful water views, the Chesapeake Bay offers something for everyone visiting Kent Island.
Why It’s the Top Attraction You Have Never Heard Of!
Kent Island offers nature lovers, water lovers, and history lovers a piece of paradise. It is a popular destination that draws in many people. However, many people began to pass right over Kent Island once the bridge was built in the 50’s in a rush from one side of the bay to the other. The bridge doesn’t change the fact that Kent Island is a destination that shouldn’t be passed by. Locals and tourist alike find pleasure in the activities on the island. Maryland residents that have never been there need to see for themselves why Kent Island is Maryland’s top attraction that most people have never heard of. Then help get the word out so others can enjoy it as much as you do.
Check out my list of the Top 11 Most Romantic Restaurants in Annapolis Maryland
Ever tried Chesapeake Bay Scallops? You should see them on more menu’s soon!