Best of the Bay

Celebrating the Good Things

by Meg Walburn Viviano

It’s been a tumultuous year. There has been no shortage of debate in 2020, and much of it has been over matters of life or death. There are no real winners in a pandemic. Now that the sun is finally setting on this unprecedented year, let’s take a break from the weighty issues facing our families. Let’s debate something more fun.

If you’re reading this magazine, my gut says you care about the Chesapeake Bay—that’s common ground on which we can all stand. But why are you drawn to it? What are the best parts about living, working, and playing in our unique region? That’s a question with a myriad of answers, and plenty of passion behind them.

In our annual Best of the Bay issue, we let you decide on long-running points of contention like, “What’s the best crab soup on the Chesapeake?” A true connoisseur would say there are three distinct categories of crab soup, and it would be imprudent to lump Maryland crab, cream of crab, and she-crab soups into just one category. So of course, we list all three. (If I were eligible to vote, I’d make my  argument for a certain Eastern Shore bowl of cream of crab, served with giant lumps of crabmeat and a tiny carafe of sherry
on the side.)

Other titles are even tougher to debate. “Most Charming Chesapeake Town…” Sheesh, aren’t they all? Because the Chesapeake region is large (11,684 miles of shoreline, to be exact), we felt it fair to recognize winners in both Maryland and Virginia for this year’s Boating, Living, and Food categories.

We hope that you’ll consider these Best of the Bay awards not just points of pride for the people, businesses, and locales named winners. We hope you’ll use the winners as a guide to inspire future adventures on and around the Bay. Who better than your fellow readers, who hail from all pockets of the Chesapeake, to introduce you to a new favorite?

We heartily congratulate all of this year’s winners; they reflect your strong opinions about the Bay’s many “best parts.” With 2020 finally ending, we feel the Best of the Bay is yet to come. ⚓️

Click here to see all the winners!