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Catalina400mkII 02-16-2012 12:55 PM

planning a trip to St Michaels
My family and I are planning our vacation for the summer, and we decided on St Michaels as our destination. We have been to the town before by land, but this will be our first trip by sea. I was curious on some feedback about Harbour Inn Marina and St Michaels Marina. How are the restaurants, atmosphere, amenities, etc?

any general info about the area, things to look for, etc. is also appreciated

deniseO30 02-16-2012 01:35 PM

In a word? NICE! We sailed in from the Miles and only motored the little way into SM's harbor. Small but well protected. The Museum of course is the largest draw. You may want to check and see if there are some activities planned that coincide with your visit, otherwise it could be boring for the kids. (if you have kids) The dinghy dock is a short walk to the local Acme market. The big local seafood restaurant is "family" dining type place. When we were there I did not know they don't take Credit cards until I tried to use one. (it may have changed) The whole town is very expensive AND marina's are murder on the pocket book. We anchored right across from the museum and really enjoyed the stay. UNTIL we pulled the anchor which took 2 of us bouncing and puling to break it free. HARD MUD!

ps; the burgers at Carpenter street Tavern were the best I've ever had.
our trip was 2 years ago.

Catalina400mkII 02-16-2012 01:54 PM

no kids, well I guess me, but I'll be 23 by that time so I don't think I count anymore

Donna_F 02-16-2012 01:56 PM

We stayed at St. Michaels Harbour Inn Marina last summer. The employees were very friendly; however the restaurant (we had breakfast) was disappointing. Service was extremely slow and the food was only OK. If you have a slip you get 25% off the restaurant bill (excluding alcohol). We ate dinner across the way at St. Michaels Crab House (at that marina) and that was fun. Food was good.

The major entertainment while eating lunch at the tavern was a minor fender bender out front that brought out almost the entire fire department.

4arch 02-16-2012 02:04 PM

The Harbor Inn Marina and the St. Michaels Marina are pretty comparable in facilities. Both have small pools, on site restaurants, clean bathrooms, etc. They're both walkable to the town and museum, though the St. Michaels marina has a slight edge in proximity. The Harbor Inn could probably be considered more family friendly due to not having two outdoor bars right near the docks. Cheap dockage is available at the Maritime Museum with a membership, but there's no pool.

If you're not in that part of the Bay often, you should definitely visit the Wye and drop the hook in Dividing or Granary Creeks. From there you can dinghy to Wye Island, most of which is a state park. Shaw Bay in the Wye and Leeds and Hunting Creeks in the Miles are also great, relatively unspoiled anchorages.

Catalina400mkII 02-16-2012 02:15 PM

4arch thanks for that heads up, we were looking for somewhere to sail to during the day and visit

CaptainForce 02-16-2012 02:26 PM

It might not suit your plans, but consider the Choptank River route up to San Domingo Creek where you can anchor and dinghy to the park with easy walking about Saint Michaels. Take care and joy, Aythya crew

PalmettoSailor 02-16-2012 03:54 PM


Originally Posted by CaptainForce (Post 832275)
It might not suit your plans, but consider the Choptank River route up to San Domingo Creek where you can anchor and dinghy to the park with easy walking about Saint Michaels. Take care and joy, Aythya crew

I heartily endorse this idea. St Mikes is a great place to visit by boat and I've stayed at both of the marina's you mention. Both are very nice and have nice restaurants on site. I prefer St Michaels Marina to Harbor Inn and Marina, but both are stupid expensive in my book. I may be a parsimonius sailor, but I hate paying almost $100/night for the pleasure of sleeping on my own boat.

San Domigo Creek is a wonderful anchorage providing full access to all the attractions of St Mikes at the cost of a short ride from the anchorage to the dingy dock and a 2 or 3 block walk to town. Its about the same distance you'd walk from the marina's for comparison sake.

Carpenter St Saloon or Ava's if you want pizza are great lunch stops and the places at the marina's or the Crab Claw are good for Dinner.

I haven't yet tried it but the Inn at Perry Cabin is on our list to and is supposed to be outstanding.

mltroy 02-17-2012 10:36 AM

I'll put in a plug for staying at the Museum
(with the caveat that I haven't done it for a couple of years) You have to be a member at the contributing level and anymore you need reservations. They have showers and electric and after they close down at night the grounds are still open to you. It's lovely and peaceful and very accessible to the town. There is a page on their website with information for boaters.
Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum

Catalina400mkII 02-17-2012 07:47 PM

thanks for all the information everyone, this has been a big help

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