Travel Destinations

2018 Destination Guide: Mid-Atlantic

Elnicki Wade

The Hamptons, N.Y.

The Hamptons is a unique amalgamation of seaside hamlets and villages, surrounded by white sand beaches with dramatic dunes. Old World charm peacefully coexists with upscale glitz, producing some of most expensive ZIP codes in America. Land that once grew potatoes now yields grapes for vineyards such as Martha Clara, Duck Walk and Channing Daughters Wine. Its golf courses are first-rate and local restaurants draw some of the world's top chefs.

Eating: There's an abundance of fine eateries, including Bistro Ete, Tutto Il Giorno and Nick & Toni's. Easy-going vibe is found at Almond, Vine Street Café, Citta Nuova, Canal Café and Bostwick's Chowder House.

Docking: On Three Mile Harbor, Halsey's Marina offers space for yachts up to 75 feet and clubhouse access along this quiet, picturesque marina basin. Neighboring Gardiner's Marina can accommodate yachts up to 105 feet.

Sag Harbor, N.Y.

Sag Harbor has morphed from a 19th century whaling port to a lively destination. Quaint cottages and Victorian manors line the streets next to boutiques, galleries and many of the region's best restaurants. The cool waters that surround pristine beaches create an ideal climate for growing crisp, briny oysters. As the hub of dining and nightlife, you'll find a plethora of going out options, from trendy nightclubs and intimate lounges to cigar bars and lazy-day dock bars.

Eating: High-end restaurant recommendations: The American Hotel, Dopo la Spiaggia and Page at 63 Main. Casual spots where locals like to eat include Il Capuccino, Dockside Bar & Grill, Corner Bar, Dock House Restaurant & Fish Market, Wolffer Kitchen & Winery, and The Golden Pear Cafe.

Docking: Near the historic village center, Sag Harbor Yacht Club provides berths for vessels up to 200 feet and fuel.

New York, N.Y.

In 2011, New York launched a 10-year plan to revitalize the city's 520 miles of shoreline. New waterfront developments are bringing the beach back to this urban island where skyscrapers loom in the background. Pier 25 Park on the Hudson River infuses the Lower West Side with outdoor fun including mini-golf, volleyball, skate park and landscaped green areas. Governor's Island, a former military base, has been converted into an historic site and recreation area with bike paths, ballfields, outdoor concerts, sculptures and a grove of red hammocks for relaxing. You'll find lots of new boutiques, bars and great places to eat near the water without cruising into Midtown's sea of humanity.

Eating: Upscale choices: Del Posto, Morimoto, Buddakan, The Park and Old Homestead Steakhouse. Casual digs: Chelsea Ristorante Italiano and White Horse Tavern.

Docking: Located on the Hudson River, vessels up to 350 feet can tie up at MarineMax at Chelsea Piers. Access New York's ultimate playground including Chelsea Piers Fitness, offering everything from an indoor pool and track to ice rink and soccer fields.

Atlantic City, N.J.

The four-mile long boardwalk is America's first seaside promenade and the lifeline to entertainment in this high rollers' heaven, where you come across everything from saltwater taffy to blackjack tables. The Playground offers high-end shopping, from Burberry to Louis Vuitton and a water show of dancing fountains. The revitalized Marina District is a beacon of nightlife centered on resorts such as Harrah's Resort Atlantic City, The Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa and the luxurious boutique Water Club Hotel. Nearby are iconic attractions including the Monopoly Monument (a giant version of the board game) and Lucy the Elephant (a 65-ton building erected in 1881 in the shape of an elephant).

Eating: Restaurant recommendations are Vic & Anthony's Steakhouse, Chart House, The Deck Bayfront Bar & Restaurant, Lillie's Asian Cuisine, Grotto Ristorante, Dock's Oyster House, Izakaya and Atlantic City Bar & Grill.

Docking: Senator Frank S. Farley State Marina at Golden Nugget Atlantic City Resort has dockage for vessels up to 300 feet, as well as 630 floating slips and ValvTect fuel.

Baltimore, Md.

Museums, thriving arts districts, lively neighborhoods and rich maritime history blend together to create Charm City. Harbor East Marina and Baltimore Inner Harbor Marina are set in prime locations within walking distance of Little Italy, Inner Harbor and Fells Point (a spirited historic district packed with 18th-century buildings, cobblestone streets, hopping restaurants and waterfront bars). While docked, make sure to visit Harbor East, an emerging bayside area with fine dining and ritzy hotels. Savor crab cakes dusted with Old Bay Seasoning at Phillips Seafood or pick steamed Maryland Crabs at Bo Brooks Restaurant.

Eating: Upscale eateries: Charleston Restaurant, Rec Pier Chop House at the Pendry, Ouzo Bay Greek Kouzina, Chingiale Restaurant and La Scala. Casual cuisine: Little Havana, Roy's Hawaiian Fusion, Thames Street Oyster House and Ryleigh's Oyster in Federal Hill. Grab a brew with the locals at Cat's Eye Pub.

Docking: Baltimore's Inner Harbor is home to revamped Harbor East Marina with proximity to the city's finest retailers. Yachts up to 200 feet can be accommodated. Baltimore Inner Harbor Marina offers fuel and dockage for vessels up to 350 feet. With floating docks and a health club, Baltimore Lighthouse Point Marina offers fuel and dockage for vessels up to 350 feet. Tidewater Yacht Service, located in the growing Port Covington area of Baltimore, is a full service boat repair and service center with dockage for yachts up to 200 feet (18-foot dock depth).

Annapolis, Md.

Annapolis is steeped in rich Colonial and maritime heritage that attracts hoards of history buffs who get to relish its graceful charm. A trail of unique boutiques and eateries lead from the governor's mansion down the hill to the City Dock where boats of all shapes and sizes bob in the water. Across Spa Creek Bridge is Eastport, a charming seaside community that once prospered from the ship-building industry. Today its narrow streets are lined with vintage houses and local watering holes.

Eating: Fine dining: Harry Browne's, Osteria 177 and O'Leary's Restaurant. Local seafood and casual fare: Boatyard Bar & Grill, Middleton Tavern, McGarvey's Saloon & Oyster Bar, and The Point. For steamed crabs, visit Jimmy Cantler's. Toss back a few with local sailors at Davis' Pub.

Docking: Annapolis Yacht Basin accommodates yachts up to 240 feet and includes three deep-water face docks and five high-speed fuel pumps. Also, Horn Point Harbor on Back Creek in Eastport is an ideal stop with easy access to the Chesapeake Bay.

St. Michaels, Md.

St. Michaels is one of the loveliest local harbors thanks to Victorian homes, historic churches and sites, and specialty shops. The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum presents regional history through interactive exhibits. Quench your thirst with Lyon Distilling Co.'s small-batch rum and whiskey or Eastern Shore Brewery's craft beer. The Inn at Perry Cabin offers an elegant retreat with a spa that will gently rub away your worries.

Eating: Upscale restaurants include Limoncello, Bistro St. Michaels and Stars at the Inn at Perry Cabin. Relaxed waterfront atmosphere: Harbourside Grill and Lighthouse Oyster Bar & Grill. For crabs, go to St. Michaels Crab & Steak House; for fresh oysters, visit Awful Arthur's Seafood Co. Toast a memorable waterfront sunset with cocktails at Foxy's Harbor Grille.

Docking: St. Michaels Marina hosts two main piers totaling more than 300 feet to accommodate large yachts. The marina recently rolled out its Yacht Butler service to provide a wide range of personalized services to visitors.

Washington, DC

For decades, DC has been committed to sprucing up its waterfront. National Harbor was the first new venture with 100+ shops, restaurants and hotels. Next for restoration was the Navy Yard, which has packed the streets between the Nationals' baseball stadium and U.S. Navy Museum with restaurants, bars, a brewery and winery, and a pedestrian trail along the Anacostia River. At The Wharf, development for Phase 1 is complete along the Potomac River, retaining the beloved Maine Avenue Fish Market but adding hip music venues, pubs, restaurants, boutiques, an indie bookstore and more all in walking distance to Smithsonian museums and monuments.

Eating: At The Wharf, fine dining favorites are Del Mar de Fabio Trabocchi and Requin; casual fare includes Hank's Oyster Bar and Kirwan's Irish Pub. Navy Yard upscale eateries include Whaley's and Osteria Morini; relaxed food is served at Salt Line and Blue Jacket Arsenal Brewery. National Harbor high-end cuisine: Fish by José Andrés and Bond 45; casual meals: Walrus & Oyster Ale House.

Docking: The Wharf Gangplank Marina offers floating docks and piers to host vessels up 125 feet. The Yards Marina offers alongside dockage up to 120 feet and concrete floating docks. National Harbor Marina has space for yachts up to 200 feet, along with floating docks and fuel.


The High Line, New York, N.Y.

This magnificent example of urban landscape architecture takes you above the streets of Manhattan's West Side on an old elevated freight rail line through a public park filled with thousands of gorgeous flowers, trees and sculptures, while offering unforgettable views of the Hudson River.

Tribeca Film Festival, New York, N.Y.

Co-founded by Robert De Niro, the week-long event holds screenings, lectures and interviews with the movie industry's A-list and newcomers to showcase the latest documentaries, features and short films (April 18-29, 2018).

Shinnecock Hills Golf Club, Southampton, N.Y.

As the oldest incorporated golf club and one of the five founding members of the United States Golf Association, Shinnecock makes the most of the region's natural topography. The private golf club is hosting the U.S. Open Championships this year.

National Aquarium, Baltimore, M.D.

This outstanding marine life sanctuary holds 20,000 different animals from bullfrogs, clownfish and seahorses to crocodiles, stingrays and sharks. Special exhibits of coral reefs, rainforests, jellyfish invasions, extreme Australian wildlife and daily life of dolphins are interactive and engaging.

2018 Major League Baseball All-Star Game, Washington, D.C.

Bringing the top talent from the American and National League, the 2018 Major League Baseball All-Star Game is set to take place at Nationals Park this summer (July 17, 2018).

The Great Chesapeake Balloon & Wine Festival, Easton, M.D.

For three days on Maryland's Eastern Shore you can watch a flotilla of hot air balloons soar up into the sky. Located in the town of Cordova at the Triple Creek Winery, you can sip a chardonnay, listen to bands and take a tethered balloon ride (Aug. 3-5, 2018).

Antique & Classic Boat Festival, St. Michaels, M.D.

Hosted by Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, the Chesapeake Bay's finest classic boats, national and maritime treasures and entertainment combine to exhibit at this waterfront festival (June 15-17, 2018).

District Winery, Washington, D.C.

At this newcomer to the Navy Yards, you can take a tour through the metal tanks and wooden casks to observe the process from vine to bottle with grapes grown across the nation. Pick your favorite of its seven wines.

Arena Stage, Washington, D.C.

In 1950, Arena Stage put on its first show in an old movie house and later moved to the gymnasium of the former Heurich Brewery. Today its home is across the street from The Wharf in a renovated performing arts complex. DC's local cultural treasure is a pioneer in regional theater and continues to produce plays by American writers.

D.C. Jazz Festival, Washington, D.C.

This festival presents the jazz world's most acclaimed artists to emerging talent from around the country and DC metro area. The schedule is filled with 125 performances and 40 venues (June 8-17, 2018).

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