Salisbury, a mid-sized port city in Maryland, straddles the southern border of Delaware and located on the bank of the Wicomico River, which flows westward to the Chesapeake Bay. During the Civil War, the budding town was set on fire twice, and played a role in helping Union troops find Confederate sympathizers. Currently, Salisbury maintains a historic district, a handful of significant mansions and chapels and the medium-sized, public Salisbury University.
For a low-key destination, Salisbury has plenty of attractions. Animal lovers should absolutely visit the Salisbury Zoological Park in the main city park for a glimpse of Andean bears, red wolves, rescued owls and ocelots. There’s also the quaint Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art next to Shumaker Pond, full of carved tributes to feathered creatures. Families with young children might enjoy Coco’s Funhouse, an indoor collection of inflatable play structures that includes a snack bar and a parent’s lounge.
Salisbury sits right in the middle of its section of southeastern Maryland, making it a great starting point for countless day trips. Head directly east to the sandy shores of Ocean City, where tourists like to parasail, take a boat out onto the bay or enjoy cocktails on the boardwalk. Take a picturesque drive to Layton’s Chance Vineyard & Winery outside Vienna for an affordable tasting and a tour of the 14-acre, family-run vineyard. If you desire an experience on the Chesapeake Bay, drive south to the end of Highway 413 to reach Crisfield, a wonderful destination for boating, eating crab and Smith Island cake and canoeing water trails at Janes Island State Park. Don’t miss visiting the islands of Chincoteague and Assateague, just over an hour away.
It’s not difficult to find a rental in Salisbury that won’t break the bank; plenty of reclaimed lofts in historic buildings dot the main parkway and boulevard. Better yet, it’s possible to rent out an entire colonial house in town. If you’re staying in the downtown area, expect to have all kinds of options for coffee, food, boutique stores and art galleries.
Shore Transit provides bus service for the counties of Somerset, Wicomico, and Worcester. However, given Salisbury’s relatively remote location from the larger nearby cities of Washington, D.C. and Richmond, Virginia, it is a good idea to rent a car in either of these metropolitan areas for easy access to the beautiful Eastern Shore of Maryland.
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