Crisfield is just a small town, with a small town feel. You wont be "wowed" by its appearance but you will get a relaxed "Island Time" vibe. The town has its down season, which is Oct thru April. If your coming to Crisfield come in late spring to early fall. There are two very big festivals, Millard Tawes clam bake in June, and Hard Crab Derby on Labor Day in Sept. This is when Crisfield really comes alive. If you are looking for an upscale shopping and dining experience let me recommend St. Michaels.
Crisfield is for nature lovers, as well as people just looking to get away from the traffic and noise of city life. There are only a few things to do in Crisfield, but none of them are crowded, rushed, or expensive. Some suggestions are:
Taking a ferry ride/ cruise to Smith or Tangier Island for the day.
Renting your own boat at Crisfield Boat Rentals , or kayak at Crisfield Kayak and canoe, and exploring the natural marsh lands and beaches surrounding Janes Island State Park.
Camping at Janes Islands beautiful State Park.
Crab or fish off the huge city dock.
Visit the local museums to learn about the town.
Take a walk on the main street and pop into the few locally run shops.
Grab a bite to eat at the gourmet Watermans, or bar food at the outdoor tiki bar at Olde Crisfield Steakhouse.
Make sure you stop in and get some of MD state cake, Smith Island cake !!
Or if its our world famous crabs you seek I suggest Lintons, or Captain Tylers all you can eat crabs.
Go golfing at the nearby golf course.
Go over to the Crisfield airport for some ski diving if your looking for a rush.
On a nice hot day walk over to the Ice Cream Shoppe located by the city dock for a freshly made waffle cone .....
There are many more things to do .... they just wont include noise, traffic, no parking, and Starbucks. I visited Crisfield twice before I decided to move here. Its our little Mayberry.... and I love it.
If you want any other info or suggestions please feel free to message me. :)
Crisfield Boat Docking And Crab Derby
Every year the local fisherman get together for the Annual Boat Docking. They clean up their Dead Rise fishing boats and compete for recognition and cash by docking their boats in the fastest time.
Now this may sound like a big snooze but the reality is anything but. The Captains have a shotgun start dockside, run, jump into the boat and race away reminiscent of the Rodeo Bull Riders. They fly across the harbor then throwing the engines into reverse and caution to the wind they bear down between the pilings in front of the colorfully filled bleachers. . Their dock lines at the ready, now all they have to do is lasso the pilings while stopping a speeding boat with no brakes. Jumping to the dock they toss the final 4th line, as it circles the piling they trow their arms in the air. This time more akin to the calving competitions. The stopwatch marks the moment, the winners announced.
All this while enjoying some of the best Chesapeake Bay crab cakes know to humankind. If you want more than just this Waterman's Rodeo, perhaps the Crab Races, Crab Cooking Contest, Crab Picking contest, Parade, Skiff Races, Crafts, Carnival, Games, Swim Meet, Entertainment will interest you.
I strongly recommend this good family fun.
One of the displays at the Crisfield museum was a lot of very interesting embroideries called Woolies.
Woolies are embroideries made with wool thread on linen or cotton fabric. Usually long stitch was used. Silk, linen or cotton threads were used to highlight details. Occasionally mica, carved tortoise shell, whalebone or ebony were used to represent cannons or other ship's fittings.
Some of the woolies in this exhibit are:
HMS Narcissus Under Sail
Merchant Ship Maggie Mine
Passenger Vessel HMS Arawa
HMS Duke of Wellington
Brig Jesse Ellen
All 19th century sailors had to know how to sew in order to mend their clothes and sails, and they used their spare time to embroider these piece.
These embroideries are similar to crewel embroidery and may even be a type of crewel embroidery which is also embroidery with wool thread.
We weren't allowed to take photos in the museum, but the second picture was taken through the door from the lobby.
There are many events throughout the year that take place in Crisfield.
May 27, 2007 - Sunday
SOFT SHELL SPRING FAIR
12 noon - 5 pm at the City Dock, fresh local seafood, arts and crafts, Waterman's Hall of Fame Awards, Live entertainment. FREE Admission.
Bay Discovery Camp (usually in June) James Island State Park. Nature activities for kids 6-9 years 410-968-1565 costs $
June 22,23 and 24, 2007 – Fri., Sat., Sun. (tentative)
21st ANNUAL SCORCHY TAWES Pro-Am FISHING TOURNAMENT
Scorchy's Kickoff Party Friday the 22nd (7 pm) Daily & Tournament Long, Cash Prizes, Four Fish Categories, Nightly Entertainment, Block Party style at Side Street Restaurant each night.
July 4, 2007 - Wednesday
FIREWORKS - City Dock at 9:00 pm (approx. time)
July 18, 2007 - Wednesday
31st ANNUAL J. MILLARD TAWES CRAB AND CLAM BAKE
ALL YOU CAN EAT Steamed Crabs, Clams – (Steamed, Raw Bar & Fried,) Fresh Fried Fish, Onion Rings, French-Fries, Corn on the Cob, Watermelon, Pepsi, beer & water. Tickets should be purchased in advance! $35.00 – all-you-can-eat!
August 31st, September 1st, and 2nd, 2007 - Fri., Sat., & Sun.
60th ANNUAL HARD CRAB DERBY & FAIR
Held at the Somers Cove Marina. Crab Races, Crab Cooking Contest, Crab Picking contest, Parade, Boat Races, Boat Docking Contest, Crafts, Carnival, Games, Swim Meet, Entertainment, Fresh Seafood, Beverages and MUCH MORE! ($4.00 admission at gate, kids $2.00)
October 19, 2007 - Friday 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm
CRISFIELD WATERMAN'S FESTIVAL
ALL YOU CAN EAT – Second Annual Crisfield Waterman's Festival will serve Oysters, Crabs, clams, chicken, salads, sides, beverages and more. 12:00 - 5:00 pm at the Somers Cove Marina. Tickets are $35.00 per person. Hosted by Crisfield Heritage Foundation. Call 410-968-2501.
Hosted by Crisfield Heritage Foundation, call 410-968-2501.
Christmas Tree Lighting and Caroling - Breakfast with Santa.
The escorted walking tour (which I have not taken) leaves from the J. Millard Tawes Museum M-Sa at 10:00 a.m. It goes by a working boatyard, makes a stop at Metompkin Seafood where crabs and oysters are processed, and visits the depot area where the boats leave daily for Smith and Tangier Islands. Afterwards, talk to Binky Dize at the crab shanty in back of the museum and see crabs shed. Binky's there most days from noon to 1 p.m.
Tours are $2.50 each. Children under 6 are free, and 6-12 are $1.00. Combination rates for the walking and trolley tours are available.
On this map it says:
"Look both ways before crossing the streets. Some of our citizens are more accustomed to driving boats than motor vehicles"
"Stay together and stand in the designated areas while in the packing houses. The owners are always looking for extra employees!!"
"Enjoy yourself and remember - DON'T BE CRABBY OR A WATERMAN "WILL GET YA!""
I have additional pictures of the Ward Brothers` House and Shop --Crisfield (Somerset) Listing:National Register which was part of the trolley tour.
It has been carefully restored at it's original location next to the salt marshes of Pocomoke Sound. The workshop illustrates the methods of the most important artists in the decoy carving and painting field. Lem and Steve became world famous for their expert decoy carving and painting.
While the Tawes Museum is somewhat underwhelming the trolley tour (and probably also the walking tour which I did not take) is worthwhile. Some pictures from the tour are in a Travelogue
It starts M-Sa at 1 pm and lasts about 90 minutes and includes the Ward Bros. workshop. For pictures of the workshop see my Travelogue.
Some historic places which may be included are:
Make Peace (aka Makepeace) 1.5 mi. SE of Crisfield on Johnson's Creek Rd., Crisfield Architecture Period of Significance: 1700-1749 Listing:National Register - one of the oldest houses in Crisfield.
Crisfield Armory-, Listing:National Register, Detail(s): The criteria of the site is 'Significance Of Less Than Fifty Years'. Feature(s): Architecture:Colonial Revival, Architecture:Late Victorian, Architecture:Queen Anne
Nelson Homestead--Crisfield (Somerset)
aka Elisha Riggin house, Listing:National Register
Tawes, Captain Leonard, House--Crisfield (Somerset) Feature(s): Architecture:Greek Revival , Architecture:Late Victorian , Listing:National Register
The tours are $2.50 each, children 6-12 are $1.00 each, children under 6 free. Combination tour rates are available.
Since my husband had been to Smith Island and was convinced that our boat couldn't go there, I considered taking the boat from Crisfield. I have since discovered that the channel has been dredged, and that there is a marina.
However if you don't have your own boat, you can enjoy a pleasant excursion to Smith Island, MD on one of several passenger ferries and cruises out of Crisfield (seasonal) 410.968.2500 or 800.782.3913.
Explore Smith Island by bike or golf cart and its picturesque marshes by canoe, kayak or charter boat. The Smith Island Center in Ewell hosts a visitors center and museum 410.425.3351 or 800.521.9189 and Martin's National Wildlife Refuge in Ewell offers a visitors Center & displays. 410.425.4971.
One possibility is:
The Capt. Tyler, 65 ft. long, licensed for 150 passengers, fully equipped, air conditioned, with restrooms and a top deck.
Coast Guard inspected and approved.
Departure from Somers Cove Marina
12:30 PM Daily
Beginning Memorial Weekend
May 24 - October 15
Bayside Inn cordially invites you for lunch
(Optional, not included with cruise)
$17.00 cruise plus
$14.25 family style meal
Other meal choices available
if requested in advance
Checks for payment of group tours must be written separately as follows:
Boat Tour, "Tyler's Cruises"
Restaurant, "Bayside Inn"
Smith Island's sister island in Virginia is Tangier. There are several ways to visit Tangier Island, but one of them is a boat from Crisfield.
During the winter time hunters come to Tangier via the Mail Boat "Courtney Thomas". She runs year round.
Mon - Sat 12:30pm
There is also the STEPHEN THOMAS CRUISE BOAT
Leaves Crisfield, Md. at 12:30 p.m., arrives at Tangier at 1:15 p.m., leaves Tangier to arrive at Crisfield, Md. at 4 o'clock p.m.
Wallace & Mindy Thomas also run the Tangier Island Cruises with GREAT GETAWAY II