Since first opening their grounds in 1980, Adkins Arboretum’s 400-acre garden and preserve have sheltered plants native to the mid-Atlantic coastal plain. More than 600 species of them, in fact, encompassing everything from water hemlocks and flowering dogwoods to skunk cabbages. These trees, shrubs, and grasses—not to mention picturesque streams and meadows—line five miles of paths, along which visitors can walk, bike, or even ski. If five miles sounds daunting to youngsters, they can instead explore Paw Paw Playground, an assemblage of wigwams, balance beams, and other toys crafted from natural materials by a local Eagle Scout. Besides its extensive gardens, Adkins Arboretum also plays host to numerous year-round programs, including lectures, art exhibitions, and two plant sales each year.
Irish Traditions owner Margaret Barry McLemore and her staff specialize in imported Irish and Scottish goods, but they don’t just sell physical wares–they also give customers guidance on how to inject Celtic tradition into celebrations ranging from weddings to first communions. Inside two boutique stores in Easton and Annapolis, staff members help visitors navigate shelves stocked with Irish-made cable-knit sweaters, scarves, cardigans, and jackets. Elsewhere in the shop, they keep a full stock of finery including wedding candles embellished with Celtic trinity and claddagh symbols, Galway crystalware and Belleek china, Celtic books and music, and Irish jewelry inspired by folk myths.
When formal occasions beckon, staff members can tailor full Highland traditional wear, fashioning custom kilts and tartan scarves, ties, and sashes bearing the marks of Scotland’s ancient clans or each of the 32 Irish counties. Irish Traditions also helps visitors get in touch with their ancestry, partnering with CIE Tours for several annual trips to cities and villages across the Emerald Isle.
With mattresses and sets coming directly to Affordable Bedding from factory warehouses, the business turns eschews retail prices and sends them home with customers for the list price. Its inventory includes pillow-top, plush-top, and foam varieties in twin, full, queen, and king sizes.
At Sweetpea Spa & Gifts, staff members analyze clients' skin types and gauge their degrees of muscle woe so they can design services that best suit visitors' needs. Botanically based medical-grade products rain down on kissers during the custom facial's exfoliation treatment, which scrubs away dead skin cells and velcro earrings. The facial cleanse then reduces fine lines and hydrates skin to create polished complexions. During the massage, Swedish-style strokes team with deep-tissue techniques to assuage muscle tension. Gliding effleurage strokes stimulate circulation and prepare muscles for deeper pressure designed to overthrow tyrannical muscle knots. The massage loosens up muscles to help to prevent injury and forestall muscular discomfort caused by playing an accordion with one's shoulder blades. The spa's adjoining gift shop collects products that can be used to summon tranquility during luxurious moments alone.