Spanning 200 miles and slicing through the middle of Maryland, the Chesapeake Bay plays a pivotal role to the Old Line State and the ships that pass through it. Visitors to the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum get an interactive education in the history of life along its shores, from Native Americans to 17th-century traders to contemporary diesel-engine vessels.
Size: 18 acres, which includes 35 buildings (10 open to the public) and 85 boats
Eye Catcher: the Hooper Strait Lighthouse, built in 1897, saved from demolishment in 1965, and transported to its current location on Navy Point a year later
Living History: At the boatyard, watch working shipwrights and their apprentices building and restoring real vessels.
Don't Miss: the other interactive entertainments du jour?perhaps a talk from a skipjack captain, crab picker, or decoy carver, depending on the day
Special Programs: Lighthouse Overnight Adventures for kids; boater-safety classes; summer camps
Parking: Sure, you can arrive by car. But if you've got a boat, simply pull up to the docks. Parking is free.
Committing their enterprise to eco-friendly tourism, the women at SegZone Tours guide visitors through the historic streets of Annapolis, along the city waterways of Dover, and around the track at Dover International Speedway—all aboard segways. For groups or private parties, tour leaders can also focus excursions on local gardens, architecture, and wildlife in areas often unreachable by car or paraglider. They also guide themed seasonal tours, such as rides along haunted-house routes or past holiday-light displays. With an eye toward safety, staff members always provide thorough instruction on riding before tours or rentals, though they often give customers license to race or argue over whose segway would look better with flames painted on the side. When not leading guided excursions for customers or school groups, the team organizes corporate team-building events as well as indoor obstacle courses for recreation.
In 1963, Maryland Federation of Art (MFA) and the Circle Gallery were established to develop professional exhibition opportunities for the local art community. The MFA primarily supports emerging and underrepresented artists with member-only art shows and small exhibitions at Circle Gallery, its home since 1968. To showcase artwork from across the country, MFA sponsors national exhibitions at Circle Gallery, furnishing innovative new works for the local population to explore. Educational opportunities also engage local artists and art enthusiasts with programs specifically aimed at underserved populations including youth and adults with learning disabilities.
The glistening waters of Schumaker Pond welcome visitors to The Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art, named after Stephen and Lemuel Ward, two carvers who transformed the art of decoy crafting. The collection of wood-carved birds served not only as hunting tools, but later, as artistic objects that illustrated the beauty of wildfowl from around the world.
Size: 12,000 square feet of exhibition space with more than 2,000 objects in its permanent collection
Eye Catcher: The sounds of ducks echo in The Decoy in Time Gallery a reconstructed wetland that features decoys and hunting gear, illustrating the decoy's history starting with its use by Native American tribes
Permanent Mainstay: As their day job was cutting hair, The Ward Brothers Workshop is a reproduction of their barbershop studio and displays their original carvings
Don't Miss: For decades, the museum foundation has hosted a decoy carving championship, gathering artists from the world over. The World Championship Gallery features many of the winning decoys and includes carvings of eagles, owls, and swans, among others.
Past Exhibits: Not only hunters use decoys; conservationists do as well, to try to attract birds to safe areas. Birds of a Feather: Conservation Decoys displayed many of these decoys.
Special Programs: On the grounds around the museum, patrons can see wildlife in its natural habitat at the Ward Museum Living Classroom and during a walk through the nature trails.
From the Press:
"Some [objects] are workmanlike, displayed so the visitor can see how the wood was carved. Others, like an arctic tern and gyrfalcon carved out of walnut and encased in its own glass cube, are spectacular works of art." ? Bay Journal
"Like decoy carving itself . . . the Ward Museum has grown to be a significant purveyor of the artistic, natural, and cultural legacy of this art form." ? NEA Arts Magazine
The Biggs Museum of American Art showcases late founder Sewell C. Biggs's impressive collection that focuses on the evolution of American and especially Mid-Atlantic art from the 18th century up to the present. Steal some time inside the museum's 18 intimate galleries and peruse the permanent collection’s early American furniture, regional silver, and sculptures needled by the famously opposable-thumbed Hiram Powers. Although admission is free, the Biggs Museum fills a bustling calendar with programs such as art classes and kids’ activities that members can enjoy at a discount, along with events such as the annual member appreciation breakfast. With a rotating cast of exhibitions, current offerings include the Award Winners XI exhibition running through October 23, 2011, which displays works by the Individual Artist fellows of the Delaware Division of the Arts. The upcoming Delaware By Hand: Masters Competition exhibition, on display from November 4, 2011 to February 19, 2012, features contemporary work chosen by a panel of judges and presented in tandem with an array of public programs, art sales, and grassroots movements to line public spaces with paint-spewing fire hydrants.
Touring Washington D.C. can get tiring very quickly, whether because of trying to cover its expansive acreage on foot or in a bus crowded with an exorbitant amount of passengers. ELD Touring Enterprises opts for a less weary mode of transportation, as guides chauffeur groups of six people around the city in minivans and SUVs. This makes each tour private or semi-private, giving sightseers more intimate access to the destinations they're exploring. Longer daytime tours hit many of the major destinations, including Arlington Cemetery and the White House, while evening tours are reserved for those landmarks that are dramatically lit at night, such as the Lincoln Memorial or Teddy Roosevelt's hot tub. Groups can also opt for themed tours, such as an African-American history tour, or work with ELD guides to come up with a custom route.