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Leonardtown MD up to Annapolis

We're going to be in Leonardtown in a few weeks for the day and the thought was to start heading back north (we're from philly) in the afternoon and stop at a place along route 2/4 for shopping, lodging and CRABS, before getting to Annapolis (where we didn't want to stay...we've been there before). any help? Chesapeake Beach and North Beach have been recommended as nice little places to stop for the night. I hear that there is a good place called West Lawn Inn (but maybe a bit pricey - and we might be desperate for crabs)

thanks for the help

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  1. You know it's only about 90 minutes to get from Leonardtown to Annapolis, right? I'm just saying, it's not that far, and there isn't much in between. It's still very rural in nature, not a lot of "stuff" but a beautiful place to visit, none the less.

    That said, Stoney's Seafood in Prince Frederick (aka Kingfisher's in Solomon's Island) truly have one of the best crab cakes I've ever had. If you want straight up pick your own crabs, get them in St Mary's County at a place call Sandgates Inn off of Rt 235.

    For shopping or lodging, definitely consider Solomon's Island, but it's only about 20 minutes north of Leonardtown, so you won't get far. They have some great B&B's, cool little shops and great bars/restuarants.

    North Beach and Chesapeake Beach are both nice as well for shopping and eating, never stayed at any of the inns/hotels there so I can't comment on that.

    1. Solomons is probably the best place to spend the night if you want a little atmosphere. The Holiday Inn Solomons is a pretty nice property on the water. There are also some B&Bs and a Comfort Inn. The Marine museum on Solomons is worth a visit as is the Square in Leonardtown if you like little shops. From the Leonardtown side you could also visit the St. Clements Island museum. When you say crabs you don't specify crabs in the shell or crab cakes. Stoney's is famous for crab cakes but the only location I'd recommend is Broomes Island (the original and on the water 15 minutes from Solomons) but it's not a crab house. As far as I know they don't serve hardshells.
      You might find this webpage useful for finding a crabhouse: http://www.bluecrab.info/crabhouses.htm

      5 Replies
      1. re: shellymck

        When you say "crabs" you don't need to specify--it means hard crabs [g].

        1. re: cmkdvs

          Should add, I was just there last week and had my memory refreshed as to the innate gustatory superiority of the blue crab--but my brother-in-law steams his own so I can't give an up to date recommendation for a crab house.

          1. re: cmkdvs

            thanks so much everyone! CMKDVS gets the gift basket - i indeed was seeking hard crabs. So looks like we shld be heading to Solomons and bail on North Beach/Chesapeake? Riddle me this - if I bail on that whole region , ought we just go all the way up annapolis?? if I do that....does my world open up to the cutest (but not expnsive) hotel/B&B and better crab shacks? (two extra points if you gimme a dive bar nearby...on the water...)

            1. re: rumdrinks

              Mike's on the South River is pretty much a dive bar with crabs. Do I get double points? It is minutes south of Annapolis. Stay away from Buddies in downtown Annapolis. Gibson's lodging in downtown is a good place to stay. Not a B&B, not a hotel, an Inn with parking right near City Dock.

          2. re: cmkdvs

            This might not be the case for someone who's not from the area.

        2. We just visited that area. We stayed here: http://www.woodlawn-farm.com/

          We ate at 2 places - http://www.cdcafe.info/ and http://www.zahnisers.com/drydock.htm

          The B&B is sort of out of the way a bit. We enjoyed it though.

          We aren't true foodies (or chowhounds) but we enjoyed the food at both of the restaurants. The crabcakes were way better at the CD cafe.

          1 Reply
          1. re: LS2007

            I agree with LS2007 re the better places to eat. I am afraid that Stoney's has seen better days -- I used to love it, but now avoid it.

            Another place for good crabcakes is Tony's Riverside Inn in Benedict (across the Patuxent river, yes, just at the end of the bridge).

          2. Another vote for Mike's in Riva on the South River. Absolutely stay away from Buddy's, too - awful, awful place. If you drive home through Annapolis and across the Bay Bridge (Rt 50/301 up to 13 in Delaware - nicer drive than 95 and about the same amount of time) stop at Harris' Crab House on Kent Island (exit 42, I think - follow the signs). Crabs are great and the cream of crab soup is some of the best. Homemade Nutty Buddies for dessert (sugar cones with vanilla ice cream, half-dipped in chocolate, topped with chopped peanuts.

            1. rumdrinks,
              Tell us where you ended up and how it went.

              1. E-A-G-L-E-S. Just was at Stoneys at Broomes Island. They do serve crabs. I had crab cakes. The crabs looked big but not spiced enough for me. My thought is for hardshells, the closer to B-more the better. The cakes I thought were very good, up there with Edgewater Restaurant and G&M. Also really nice atmosphere. We were sitting on a floating dock and it was about 75 degrees. Service a little slow because kitchen is a little far from deck. If you are here on a weekend Yellowfin has a very nice Brunch for about $24. It is on the water in Annapolis but is only inside I believe and overlooks a marina on the South River. They have good smoked salmon, beef fillet, eggs benedict, unlimited champagne, coffee and OJ. There are other things but those were my main interests. Mikes is on the same river but one bridge down. That one is sit outside (mostly) and they also serve crabs (closer to B-more, remember). I always get the softshell crab sandwich on a kaiser with lettuce, tomato and tartar. When Mikes comes up in conversation I find that other people key in on the softshells also. Cantlers is also highly thought of and is on the Severn I think. You ever been to the Knife & Fork Inn in Atlantic City (pre-casino days) ? That was the best restaurant I have eaten in.

                4 Replies
                1. re: bang4dabuck

                  I WILL report back with the results no matter where we end up.

                  Bang - where is this floating dock restaurant? I got lost in your post (not sure if it was Stoneys - ro G&M or Edgewater).

                  Mike's sounds good...and tempting...

                  1. re: rumdrinks

                    Floating dock = Stoney's BROOMES ISLAND not Solomons. I still say Mike's has good softshell sandwich and nice to sit out on river. Yellowfins brunch buffet for $24, I have been once. Maybe I'm easy to please. Good quality smoked salmon,beef tenderloin, bottomless champagne (Friexenet) and to top it off overlooking South River.The only service I really need is keep bringing the bubbly. I also forgot about Seasides crabcakes, they are good too.

                  2. re: bang4dabuck

                    I really MUST disagree with you on two issues. Yellowfin is TERRIBLE. The views and decore, are fantastic, the food and service is unbelievably bad. Avoid at all costs. Mike's is ok, but I wouldn't recommend to anyone who's driving through looking for something good.

                    G&M rocks. Someone else mentioned Harris', which I totally agree with, as well as Cantler's, but if you don't have a GPS unit, don't even try to find Cantler's.

                    I also must echo the sentiments about Buddy's downtown Annapolis. The only reason they stay open is because of tourists who don't know any better.

                    1. re: naptownlady

                      If you've already been to Annapolis, I would suggest heading over to Kent Narrows on the Eastern Shore. I'm from Annapolis and the locals usually head over the bridge to get crabs. Go to the Narrows, sit at the bar and eat cream of crab soup, then head to Harris' for crabs. There are a couple hotels there too - I think a Holiday Inn and Comfort Inn.

                  3. RESULTS:
                    thanks for the all the help. here are the results:
                    drive to Annapolis from Philly: fine. nothing eventful, Bay bridge traffic going North/East was murder but we were going in the opp direction

                    Mike's : glad we got there at Noon! it filled up quickly. Service was so friendly, crabs (large or medium, we went for large) were meaty and delicious. We sat for about 2 +hrs picking them, looking at the ducklings near the dock, and some carp, i think.. Clams casino - too much breading but clams were whole and a bit too much garlic. Nice big piece of bacon. Frozen drinks , eh, not so good. Amstel light - coooold - perfect with the crabs. Tiki bar, not really a Tiki but nice enough.

                    Courtyard Marriott. friendly, but small rooms.

                    Annapolis: we walked around and around, window shopped and stopped into Pusser's for a painkiller. Very delicious, very friendly staff and friendly locals and tourists alike.

                    Water taxi to Eastport where we fell in total love with the Boatyard. Getting there at 6 on a Saturday helped us secure a spot at the bar where we enjoyed smoked mahi-mahi (capers, red onion, sourdough bread) and it was delightful as were the rum and cokes. we didn't have much of an appetite for their glorious menu and its worth a trip back!

                    thanks all for the recommendations; we did have every intention in fact to make it back to Annapolis after the Boatyard to go to Yin yankee for dinner.....but alas, we were waylayed by rum!

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: rumdrinks

                      Glad your tip was so good! Through Chowhound I believe you have found some of the gems Annapolitans have known about for years. Most tourists get stuck with Buddy's and the t-shirt shops and think they have seen Annapolis!