Solomons Island is a charming Chesapeake harbor on the south western shores of Maryland’s Bay. For boaters, the well protected Patuxent River and Back Creek provided numerous anchorages, moorings, and marinas with plentiful transient docks.
Solomons Island is fun, friendly, with just the right amount of attractions, relaxed scenery, plus a dozen waterfront restaurants to amuse your palate for several days and nights, and a Tiki Bar!
Top things to Do in Solomons Island Maryland
Calvert Marine Museum is the highlight of Solomons, an impressive maritime exhibit, aquarium, and boat restoration facility. The centerpiece is the original Drum Point Lighthouse. This 1883 wood and cast iron lighthouse once guarded the entry to the harbor, its one of just four surviving Chesapeake screw pile headlights, there were once 42 in the Bay. This classic example of the iconic hexagonal screw pile head light was moved here and now you can climb the entire light, imagining life as a lighthouse keeper, up the narrow winding stairs to the top floor where the Fresnel Light shines in its glory.
Calvert’s live marine life exhibits include aquariums of sharks to seahorses, lionfish to laughable playful sea otters. Kids enjoy seeing real life starfish, snakes, frogs and turtles in their habitat, plus fossils and paleontology remains. The outdoor display of antique boats ranges from native American log canoes, to early oyster and crabbing boats, and the evolution of pleasure crafts, plus historic tour boats like the Tennison that provides scenic harbor cruises to this day. The historic perspective of the Chesapeake’s oyster and crab industry that boomed then went bust from over-harvesting a century ago is pivotal too.
Annmarie Sculpture Garden and Art Gallery is a fun, fascinating, vibrant collection of outdoor art and color amid peaceful and wooded paths. It rivals Seattle’s Chihuly Exhibit and Maine’s Coastal Botanical Gardens in Boothbay in its surprising but serene artistry.
Stroll the Riverwalk and Pavilion on Lord Baltimore Bay waterfront along the western shore of Solomons Island Road. This boardwalk offers tremendous views of the Governor James Johnson Bridge that spans over the Pawtuxent Bridge to St Mary’s. The Riverwalk has boat rental shops, ice cream parlors, and great selfie opportunities.
Watch the fighter pilots swoop over Pawtuxent Naval Air Station nearby where testing of over 200,000 air operations takes place at this NAVAIR headquarters. The US Navy’s latest and greatest military exercise can be seen with stealth jets and helicopters maneuvering – taking off and landing on five runways at Trapnell Field across the bay.
Get on a tour boat to cruise the Harbor aboard a Heritage Tour from the Riverwalk, or Half Shell from Charles Street, or the Tennison at Calvert Museum.
Lunch at the Lighthouse – this expansive restaurant has a water view indoor restaurant and big outdoor space – called the Dock Bar. Try their amazing burgers, crab specialties, you name it, plus local Crush cocktails. A fun friendly place. The Pier is another fun dockside spot for casual dining.
Taste at Solomon’s Island Winery the variety of Maryland wines on tap with a water view.
Enjoy happy hour at The Tiki Bar, or at The Lighthouse for cheap drinks, and cheerful times. The Tiki Bar really captures an island vibe with tropical colors, palm trees and an outdoorsy beach setting, often with live music.
Charles Street Brasserie is the best place on Solomons for tapas, especially Monday when it’s a deal. Delicious small plates of Med style crab, oysters, shrimp and delightful filets are served as perfect shareable bites with a water view. The interior atmosphere is chic French bistro, a gem in the heart of Solomons’ otherwise casual eateries.
Dock at Spring Cove Marina in Back Creek, well-protected and well serviced. Dock hands are at the ready at this clean, well-maintained marina with a nice mix of local seasonal boaters and transients. The Marina has a pleasant waterview pool and VW Bus shuttle, a cute little grocery and gift shop on premise and a poolside bar serving cocktails, beers, and burgers with sports on the screens. Spring Cove Marina is under new enthusiastic management, very accommodating and fun. The sunrise, sunset and moonrise are all extraordinary from this peaceful point
Solomons Victorian Inn is the place to stay for landlubbers looking for lodging, at the tip of the harbor, with views of Pawtuxent Harbor from every window and a classic homemade breakfast.
“A ship, like a human being, moves best when it has to keep its sails tight and attend its course.”