Sleepy little Tilghman Island


Crossing over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and driving up the Eastern Shore is like being transported to a different world. The bustle of the beltway gives way to meandering roads that if you travel down far enough give way to an island off the beaten path. An island full of older homes, heavy on the pristine landscapes and light on the crowds.

SONY DSCTo get to this island you first come across the cut little village of St. Michael’s. You’ll want to keep this village in mind for dining out and some shopping. From St. Michael’s you continue on a two-lane road to reach a drawbridge over the Knapps Narrows. On the other side is Tilghman Island.

SONY DSCThe island is only 2.8 square miles, 0.1 of which is water. It’s named Tilghman after the Tilghman  family that owned it for more than a century beginning in 1752.

We pulled up to the Tilghman Island Inn on a pouring rain February morning. The 20 room inn sits right on the water with each room having either a separate patio or deck.

It might seem a bit rundown if you’re use to the Hyatt but it was quaint and cozy and met our needs for exploring.

SONY DSCWandering around the island, it’s not hard to image that the island’s lifeblood was fishing. Some of it still is. Oysters were the most profitable business for most of the 1900s followed by tourism with the wealthily in Baltimore in Washington coming to the island to escape the summer heat.

Maybe it’s still bustling in the summer. At least probably more so than it is in February, but my guess is that even you visit in the middle of August you’ll be met with quiet as well.

After all only about a 784 people live on the island.


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