Written by Susan Elnicki Wade
July 2015

When was the last time just the two of you got away? Not a family vacation or business trip where others dictated your agenda, but an escape that sparked your heart or rekindled that honeymoon feeling all over again.

The Bay hosts an array of unique destinations and offers any type of experience your heart desires. Featuring treasures on land and sea, these six Chesapeake destinations will renew your hearts and rejuvenate your souls.

In Lavish Charm

From the moment you arrive at the Inn at Perry Cabin, you will marvel at its beauty and idyllic location on the Miles River. The original manor house was built in 1816 by Purser Samuel Hambleton, a War of 1812 veteran and aide-de-camp to Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry. The design resembles Perry’s cabin on the flagship USS Niagara and is accented with graceful archways and meandering gardens. Cupid gladly draws back his bow in the 80 spacious guest rooms.

Fine dining takes place in the awardwinning Stars Restaurant, as well as the Morning Tea Room and Purser’s Pub. Amenities include a swimming pool, fitness center, golf course, sailing trips,  kayaking, fishing and crabbing and the famous Linden Spa, where pampering is second to none. The Inn is an easy stroll away from the lovely town of St. Michaels, the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, and main street lined with taverns, restaurants and shops.

  • Inn at Perry Cabin by Belmond (308 Watkins Lane St. Michaels, MD 21663)

Love Boats on the Canal

If resorts don’t tickle your fancy, thena quaint B&B might do the trick. In Chesapeake City, Ship Watch Inn isready to steal your heart with cozy Old World accommodations. It was built in the 1920s as a private residence and renovated in 1996, but upgrades retained a Victorian ambience with plush oriental rugs and furniture crafted in the 1800s. Every room has an outdoor deck facing the water.

Ship Watch is affiliated with the Chesapeake Inn, which offers fine dining, a nautical-themed pub and a lively tiki bar. Afternoon walks around the charming town reveal other excellent restaurants, antique shops, galleries, jewelry stores and artists’ studios.

What takes this destination up a notch is the town’s main attraction — the Chesapeake & Delaware Canal. This architectural wonder is 14 miles long, 450 feet wide and 35 feet deep. Opened in 1829, the canal connects the Chesapeake Bay with the Delaware River and other Atlantic trade routes, and it reduces a boat’s journey between Baltimore and Philadelphia by 300 miles.

  • Ship Watch Inn (401 1st St. Chesapeake City, MD 21915)

Southern Comfort & Seaside Luxury

The Commonwealth wasn’t fooling around when it came up with the slogan, “Virginia is for Lovers.” The state is laced with romantic destinations along its Chesapeake coastline. Heralded as one of the Bay’s premier resorts, Tides Inn is a lovebird’s waterfront paradise. This luxury retreat is tucked away on its own peninsula, surrounded by the Chesapeake Bay and Potomac and Rappahannock rivers. Gorgeous rooms with spectacular views, outstanding restaurants, a soothing spa, an 18-hole golf course, two swimming pools, a well-run marina and a litany of pleasant amenities will make you reluctant to check out.

Also enhancing the Tides Inn experience is its location and the cornucopia of regional activities available to adventurous guests. Staff can arrange fishing trips or day excursions to Tangier and Smith Islands or send you with a corkscrew in hand on the Chesapeake Wine Trail of vineyards on Virginia’s Northern Neck.

  • Tides Inn (480 King Carter Dr. Irvington, VA 22480)

It’s OK When Girls Get their Way

Some retreats have better back stories than others, and Kitty Knight House has quite a tale to tell. When British battle ships came barreling up the Chesapeake Bay during the War of 1812, they plundered and burned towns along the Eastern Shore to squelch local insurrection. But they hadn’t expected resistance from a young lady named Kitty Knight, who rushed to this brick house when she heard English troops were about to set it on fire. She knew an elderly woman inside was too sick to flee, so Kitty stomped out the flames. The Brits raised their torches a second time, but Kitty made such a compelling case that the officer spared the dwelling and a church nearby. Kitty Knight House carries the heroine’s name as a tribute to her courage in saving part of Georgetown.

Perched on a hill overlooking the Sassafras River, Kitty Knight House blends girl-power folklore with a stunning view of the harbor and an intimate getaway experience. Romance is in the air amid the serene 19th century décor. The 11 lovely guest rooms encourage snuggling in antique four-poster beds under plush goose down comforters. The restaurant combines upscale casual dining with traditional Eastern Shore cuisine that showcases local crab, oysters and rockfish. Unwind over cocktails at the exposed brick lounge or outdoor deck and get ready for sunsets that will get your hearts thumping.

  • Kitty Knight House (14028 Augustine Herman Hwy. Georgetown, MD 21930)

Moonstruck on the Eastern Shore 

Sometimes it only takes a jaunt across the Bay Bridge to put a hectic week behind you. Fortunately, just a few minutes away from the bridge awaits Kent Manor Inn, the embodiment of the region’s penchant for seclusion in a astoral setting.

The gorgeous Victorian building (circa 1820) instantly makes you feel like you’re away from it all in a special place with the one you adore. The original structure is considered a masterpiece of 19th century craftsmanship, and its authentic English décor is captivating. The 24 luxurious rooms have working fireplaces that can heat up a weekend getaway. You can explore 220 acres of woods and farmland or watch the moon rise on a starry night above Thompson Creek. Gardens on the estate are spectacular.

When you work up an appetite, the upscale restaurant offers tantalizing treats and seasonal delicacies. The cozy bar makes an ideal spot for whispering over a fireside nightcap. If you’re in the mood for something less formal and sedate, Kent Island is close by with lively bars, restaurants and a panoramic Bay view.

  • Kent Manor Inn (500 Kent Manor Dr. Stevensville, MD 21666)

Sweet Surrender on the Waterfront

If you take care of the red roses and chocolate, Osprey Point will set the stage for a memorable escape at one of the most stunning havens on the Chesapeake Bay. Located on Swan Creek, this divine manor retreat offers three types of lodging to fit any mood. The main inn styles seven rooms in colonial Eastern Shore décor, and a restored farmhouse accommodates groups of getaway couples with six private rooms and a shared kitchen. A short walk away, the Annex on the Bay at the Gratitude Marina provides contemporary rooms with balconies overlooking the gentle waves. The casual, fine dining restaurant is known for its seasonal menu, fresh ingredients and a delightful Sunday brunch.

You can lounge together at the swimming pool, waterfront grounds, and picnic area or enjoy more active amenities such as bikes, kayaks, sailboats and charter fishing trips. And a visit to Osprey Point would not be complete without sauntering around the sweet town of Rock Hall to explore its beach, eateries, shops, museum, antique stores and boutiques.

  • Osprey Point (20786 Rock Hall Ave. Rock Hall, MD 21661)