Unique Stays Around the Bay

From a historic Georgian-era farm to a tiny house made from a steamboat, here are seven sweet stays for a unique Baycation.

Nature Preserve

Black Walnut Point Inn, Tilghman Island, Md.

Take Black Walnut Point Drive all the way down to the end of Tilghman Island and you’ll come to a locked gate. Beyond that gate is one of the best secrets in the Bay: Black Walnut Point Inn. While the 56-acre sanctuary around it is owned by the State of Maryland and protected as the Naval Research Laboratory and Black Walnut Point Natural Resource Management Area, the tip of the island is reserved for the inn. The Choptank River flows to east and the Bay lies to the West, and while you can see land off in the distance—and the tilted Sharps Island Light three miles to the south—it’s too far away to matter. It feels like end of the earth, in the middle of the Chesapeake Bay.  

Photo: Susan Moynihan

Proprietors Bob Zuber and Tracy Staples-Wilson have run the inn for 14 years, and make delightful hosts. The main house, with sections that date to 1840 and 1860, has three bedrooms, two screened porches, a shared living room for socializing, and a kitchen where the couple makes breakfast for their guests, included every morning from March through November. Better yet are the three park-model cabins, each identical with knotty pine walls, a cozy studio-style living room and kitchenette, a separate bedroom with a king bed, and a screened porch facing the water. 

The grounds are lush with flower and vegetable gardens, fig trees, signature black walnut trees, and an eight-foot-deep swimming pool that becomes a focal point in the summer. Scattered around the point are benches and hammocks, positioned to take in the views—some east-facing for sunrise and others looking west for sunset.In the cabins, the beds all face east over the Choptank. I kept my curtains open so I could wake with the sunrise, get a glimpse of the early morning watermen doing their thing offshore, then roll over and go back to sleep—the perfect vacation indulgence. Rooms from $155/night; cabins from $250/night.