Founded in 1694, Oxford is one of Maryland's oldest towns and sits near the mouth of the Tred Avon River on the Chesapeake Bay. During the American Revolution, Oxford was one of the most prominent international shipping centers in the country and thrived from the affluent tobacco plantations that surrounded it. Today, Oxford is a tranquil waterfront spot with a historic charm that makes it popular with boaters looking to escape the hustle and bustle of most port cities.Visitors can stroll down Oxford's brick sidewalks, picnic in the park overlooking the river, or bike along the town's wide, quiet streets and get the scoop from the locals on what is happening in town. Don't miss a ride on the landmark Oxford- Bellevue Ferry, which links Oxford with the town of Bellevue and crosses the three-quarters-of-a-mile-wide river (bring your bicycle to be able to toodle through Bellevue). It's one of the nation's oldest privately operated ferry services, in business since 1836.
Travel back in time and explore the town's rich heritage at the Oxford Museum, home to a collection of artifacts that date back to the 17th century. Exhibits display everything from vintage photographs and clothing to antique boat building and watermen's tools. History buffs will not be disappointed by a visit to Oxford's Custom House, located next to the ferry terminal. The colonial replica of the original custom house is open weekends from April through late autumn. Theatergoers can enjoy plays and musicals at the Oxford Community Center, where the Tred Avon Players, a nonprofit theatre group, performs throughout the year (this summer, catch the play The Fox on the Fairway).Boaters will enjoy the Annual Nautical Festival and Flea Market (held Aug. 31 this year). The fun-filled celebration features live entertainment, lectures, food stalls, and a variety of vendors selling arts and crafts, new and used marine parts, fishing gear, dock accessories, and all manner of nautically themed goods.
Mears Yacht Haven is located within walking distance of Oxford's main attractions, the marina can accommodate vessels up to 150 ft. while having a yacht-club setting with swimming pool, bike and car rentals, laundry, picnic areas, party patio and fuel dock.Brewer Oxford Boat Yard & Marina is one of the last remaining true boat yards (started in 1866), which can take on almost any project from building boats and major retrofits to carpentry, electronics, rigging, welding and more.
Stop by the well-stocked Oxford Market (203 S. Morris St., 410-226-0015) to load up on groceries.
For a memorable meal in a historic setting, visit the Robert Morris Inn (314 N. Morris St., 410-226-5111). Chef Mark Salter sources regional ingredients from nearby farms and the Chesapeake Bay.For a casual outdoor dining experience and great sunsets visit Pier Street Marina Restaurant (104 W. Pier St., 410-226-5171), famous for their local steamed crabs and seafood.