Boating in Kent Island, Maryland
The Gateway to the Eastern Shore
Kent Island often referred to as the Gateway to the Eastern Shore is the largest island in the Chesapeake Bay. Historically, Kent Island is also important as the site of the earliest permanent English Settlement in the state of Maryland. William Claiborne established the Island of Kent as a settlement in 1631, although he originally claimed the island for Virginia (it wasn’t until 1980 that Kent Island was officially recognized with the distinction of being the oldest permanent English settlement taking the title away from St. Mary’s City, established in 1634).
Today, Kent Island is a hub of traffic between the Eastern Shore of Maryland and Annapolis. It also consists of several boating centers including Kent Narrows on the far eastern part of the Island and Stevensville very near the Bay Bridge. The Bay Bridge, completed in 1952 connects Kent Island with Sandy Point State Park and stretches 4 and a half-miles over the Chesapeake Bay. The bridge handles 95,000 vehicles per day during the peak summer travel season. It was expanded in 1973 to meet the increased demand for travel. Kent Island, with its many places to dock, variety of restaurants, dock bars, parks, and produce markets, is sure to be an entertaining stop on your journey through the Chesapeake Bay.
Things to Do:
Visit the Kent Island Farmer’s market to see the only year round producer-only farmer’s market on the eastern shore of Maryland. Fresh local produce including raw milk cheese, local wheat artisan bread, salmon, Ahi tuna, and free range chicken and eggs, are just a few of the items produced from farmers and fisherman in the region. The market is open every Thursday at Christ Church in Stevensville on Romancoke road not too far from the Bay Bridge Marina.
The 270- acre Terrapin Beach Nature Park is located on Kent Island just north of the Bay Bridge Marina in Stevensville. Wildlife observation and walking trails are the main attractions for this park, giving the observer an up-close look to the many birds that call the Chesapeake home. There are also plenty of trails open for hiking and biking.
If you are interested in hiring a boat for charter fishing/crabbing there are plenty to choose from. A popular charter options is the Breezin’ Thru (410-643-3791 www.breezinthrucharters.com/Welcome.html) which has been running charters on the Chesapeake since 1949. They are located at Kentmorr Marina, approximately 5-6 miles south of the Bay Bridge.
Places to Eat:
If you’re looking for a peaceful dinner with a wonderful view of the Chesapeake Bay, look no further than Hemingway’s (410-604-0999, www.hemingwaysbaybridge.com/index.php) located at Bay Bridge Marina in Stevensville. Providing a wide variety of seafood and traditional entrées, Hemingway’s is committed to the Turf as much as the Surf, with a menu that includes ribs, pork chops, flounder, crab cakes, and rockfish among other options. If you time your meal right and grab seating on the outdoor patio filled with lounge chairs, you can check out the gorgeous view and sunset over the Bay.
Silver Swan Bayside (443-249-0400, www.silverswanbayside.com/), located at Queen Anne Marina, is venue used for Weddings and special events. What better way to tie the knot than with a spectacular view of the Chesapeake? The Bay’s waters provide the perfect maritime backdrop for any special occasion. Special gatherings, corporate events, bridal showers, or holiday party’s are just of few of the events Silver Swan Bayside can help you throw. If you are looking to throw a special party or wedding and need the perfect maritime venue, check out Silver Swan Bayside.
The Narrows Restaurant (410-827-8113, thenarrowsrestaurant.com/) located in Kent Narrows serves a variety of seafood, offers award winning crab soup and crab cakes, each item winning Best in its respective category from What’s Up Eastern Shore Magazine. If the romantic mood strikes and you need the perfect dining setting, not to worry as The Narrows also won Best Romantic Restaurant from the same magazine.
Harris Crab House (410-827-9500, harriscrabhouse.com) is a great option for seafood including steamed crabs. They offer an all you can eat crab feast every weekday from 9am to 11pm.
Bridges Restaurant (410-827-0282, bridgesrestaurant.net) has a dock and dine option for boaters where you can sip cocktails on their veranda overlooking the water.
If the louder nightlife is more to your taste, check out the Red Eyed Dock Bar (410-827-3937, www.redeyedockbar.com), located at Mears Point Marina in Kent Narrows. Music, dance, and even bikini contests are scheduled weekly, providing a party like atmosphere deep into the night, making Red Eye an appropriate title for this hot spot. Fridays and Saturdays have music going until 12 Midnight and a happy hour on Friday’s Ladies Night that begins at 11 and goes until close. A menu featuring finger food and hearty entrée’s including iconic Maryland crab cakes - Red Eye Dock Bar is for the boater who likes excitement peppered on their food.