This is Concierge Confidential, a series in which we learn about a city’s best-kept secrets from people who specialize in exactly that: long-serving concierges from the best hotels in town.
Less than two hours from Washington, D.C., is the Tidewater Inn, which began its life on this spot in Easton, Maryland, back in the 1700s, with the current iteration opening in 1949. It’s been a classic ever since — and a terrific jumping-off point for wandering around the Eastern Shore’s beautiful landscapes for a long weekend or more.
Lauren Catterton, the inn’s general manager, de facto concierge and longtime area resident, offers up her advice for having a grand old time in Maryland’s natural wonderland.
InsideHook: Where do singles hang out?
Lauren Catterton: In the summer, most singles like to hang out at waterfront dock bars in Oxford or Saint Michaels. Capsize in Oxford and Foxy’s Harbor Grille in Saint Michaels are known for good nightlife and live music. You can even dock your boat at Capsize.
How about a restaurant where only locals go?
Where can I get a cup of coffee near the hotel and go for a good walk?
Eastern Shore locals love Rise Up Coffee Roasters. Rise Up Coffee Roasters is a very popular coffee shop with locations throughout the Eastern Shore and most of Maryland.
Late-night spot where I can get into a bit of trouble (but not too much trouble)?
Carpenter Street Saloon in St. Michaels has live music, a game room with pool tables and video games and a fun vibe.
Best cheap eats in the area?
4 Sisters Kabab and Curry Food Truck, with wonderful Pakistani and Indian dishes.
Where can I go for the best dessert?
Bonheur in Easton, for small-batch, homemade ice cream and pies that change every season, like Lemon Meringue in the summer months.
Best place for a sunset cocktail?
Doc’s Sunset Grille in Oxford on the Tred Avon River. Have the crab cakes as well as a cocktail or two.
Where to go if I want to see politicians making deals?
The Tidewater Inn, for real!
Where should I go in the area for a day spent outside?
Where’s a good spot to snap an Instagram-worthy photo?
The Bullitt House, located in downtown Easton, is a beautiful historic house, originally constructed in 1801.
Best neighborhood/area to take a four-hour stroll if I want to get acquainted with a more “authentic” side of the area?
We highly recommend taking a stroll through downtown Easton on a Saturday. Start at the Farmers Market, then walk downtown for lunch and shopping. Take a horse-and-carriage ride through the historic neighborhoods, then finish with a glass of champagne at The Stewart, a sophisticated whiskey and champagne bar.
What’s the easiest way to get around the area, in terms of transportation?
Walking is the easiest way to get around downtown Easton. You’ll need a car to visit other parts of the Eastern Shore like Oxford, St. Michaels or Cambridge.
What’s a cool architectural site that’s not mobbed with tourists?
The Frederick Douglass statue on the Talbot County Courthouse lawn in Easton, where he made an important speech in 1878. The statue was erected in 2011.
What’s the best thing you can only get in your area?
Snapping turtle soup at Hunters’ Tavern in the Tidewater Inn. And crab cakes, of course.
What’s something I can say or do to endear myself to locals?
“I can pick my own crabs.”
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