Once a waterman’s enclave, St. Michaels has transformed into an upscale tourist destination, but the town hasn’t lost its quaint flavor. Spas, a brewery and a winery have joined an evolving array of restaurants and inns in historic homes and on the water.
Located on the Miles River (once known as the St. Michaels River), the town is named for the Archangel St. Michael after the Christ Episcopal Church of St. Michael the Archangel parish, founded in the area about 1677. A British factor (a word once used instead of “agent”) named James Braddock purchased and subdivided a land grant in 1778 that developed into the town just after the Revolutionary War. The port town, an early shipbuilding center where the swift Baltimore Clippers were built, went on to be a packing house center for seafood and tomatoes (a fine Eastern Shore staple come summer), as well as home to many a waterman. Log canoes, once American Indian transport and now working boats, are famously raced here.
Today St. Michaels is a top destination on the Bay for everyone from boaters to road trippers. If there are any four-legged members of your crew, be sure to take them for some shore leave in St. Michaels. This may be the most pet-friendly town on the East Coast; almost all shops here have water bowls out and many restaurants not only have pet-friendly outdoor seating but have special pet menu items too!
The Waterway Guide Team has gained extensive boating knowledge over the years, and now we are sharing all of the tips, skills and tools we’ve picked up along the way!