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Ship Watch Inn
www.weloveourlife.com. This is our page dedicated to our experiences while staying at
the Ship Watch Inn in Chesapeake City, Maryland.
It was the first hot tub we can recall that offered "seat jets," lots of tiny holes that pushed the water up through the bench seat that encircled the tub. It was a beautiful weekend day and there were plenty of pleasure craft on the canal, but some fascinating large ships as well. We found the fact that we could check in at 2 p.m. particularly appealing, as it gave us almost a full day to experience the town (check-out is at 11 a.m.). We recommend the Ship Watch Inn as an enjoyable, affordable, experience.
The inn has bowls of snacks available in the entrance. Breakfast was served in a room overlooking the canal on the first floor. The cook/server was cheerful and accommodating. We dined on fresh fruit, bacon, and pancakes. Not being coffee drinkers, our hostess smilingly provided us with Cokes and glasses of ice. The orange juice was some of the best we have tasted - fresh-squeezed yet chilled.
This is a B&B and did not contain a bar. Guests were welcome to store beverages in the kitchen's refrigerator. We brought champagne to sip in the whirlpool.
We met three different people: one who greeted us and checked us in, the breakfast hostess/server/cook, and the owner, who showed up at breakfast and happily told the guests they would be giving the balconies a fresh coat of paint that day (the inn was empty that evening - a rare occurrence). All those we encountered were friendly and helpful.
Chesapeake City is a little gem of a town we discovered when we made a stop for lunch returning from a trip to the Eastern Shore several years ago. We thought at the time it would be a perfect place to spend a night or two and vowed to return. We finally got the chance. Chesapeake City sits right on the Chesapeake & Delaware Canal and has historically been somewhat the center of canal life.
It is home to the C&D Canal Museum. Its location makes it an easy drive from Philadelphia, Baltimore, Annapolis, southern New Jersey, and points south (southern Delaware). There are many quaint shops containing antiques and canal and nautical memorabilia. There are boat tours available. The best part is that everything is within walking distance, and there is always the magnificent sight of the canal to behold. Although not the "Deep South," Maryland is south of the Mason-Dixon Line, and we found residents to be friendly, laid-back, and even speaking with a slight drawl. While there are many bustling cities within 60-90 minutes, our suggestion is to leave the city behind, and spend a day or two in this dreamy little town, relaxing and watching the ships sail by. The town is in the shadow of a bridge that is breathtakingly high over the canal (to allow for the passage of very large ships). We held our breath several times wondering if the ships were going to fit under the bridge (they all did). There was a wonderful historical book about Chesapeake City in our room that contained hundreds of old pictures, and we learned that local residents felt that their town underwent a downturn when a previous bridge was destroyed by a large ship in 1942. The new bridge bypassed the town. From a visitor's perspective, that very fact probably allowed the preservation of this special little hamlet.
Chesapeake Inn Restaurant & Marina - 605 Second Street, Chesapeake City, MD 410-885-2040
Bayard House - 11 Bohemia Avenue, Chesapeake City, MD 410-885-5040 or 877-582-4049
The Bayard House's emphasis on service is apparent as there are servers constantly filling up water glasses, pouring wine, etc., but they are never in the way. There was a nice balanced wine list, and we chose a 1999 Sonoma Cutrer Chardonnay. Keith had a caesar salad and ate all of it - even the croutons (which he usually gives to Lori). Lori ordered the warm brie in puff pastry with almonds (very tasty). For his entree, Keith had the boneless chicken breast stuffedwith roasted garlic pancetta and Boursin cheese, which included Yukon gold potatoes and spinach. The cheese offset the garlic nicely. Lori had the seafood imperial, which included shrimp, lobster, and carbmeat, along with a bit of Maryland spice (Old Bay). We split some tiramisu for dessert, and Keith had some Remy Martin VSOP and Lori ordered Frangelica. It was a most enjoyable experience, and we highly recommend this restaurant.
This is a small, quiet town, but gets more busy in the summer due to the boating activity on the canal. The Chesapeake Inn has entertainment (including bands) several nights a week.
We lucked out and had two beautiful days. Chesapeake City is in the mid-Atlantic region which means it gets all four seasons, but less snow than points 25 miles to the north (such as Philadelphia). Summers can get extremely hot and humid and we recommend making sure you have plenty of sun protection (reflection from the water), and air-conditioned accommodations are a must.
Arrive as early as possible to get a good parking spot. Although you can walk almost anywhere in town, the good spots go quickly. If you really want a good table at the restaurant of your choice - especially on a weekend - make a reservation. If you have a good vantage point over the canal, take binoculars - the ship traffic is fascinating. Take the time to breathe and relax - this is a charming town and can truly take you away - if you let it.