Updated: Aug 23, 2021
If you’re seeking water that sparkles like diamonds on a warm afternoon, boating, hiking, camping, fishing and of course lighthouses then you need to check out our next destination: Solomon’s Island and Maryland’s Southern Shore.
#SolomonsIslandMD is located in Calvert County and is on Maryland’s southern shore about an hour south of Annapolis. You’ll probably laugh at how we first found this place. It was about 1991 or 1992 and we were watching Unsolved Mysteries on a Friday night. Back then, the show wasn’t always about murders, sometimes they did UFO stuff and even paranormal stuff. The show that night was about Point Lookout, Maryland - the most haunted place in America. John and I grinned and said, that’s just down the road. We watched the entire episode and decided as soon as it was warm outside we would pack up the kids and go.
Point Lookout is about a half hour south of Solomons Island. It was originally known as Fort Lincoln, a Union fort on the southern tip of Maryland where the Potomac River flows into the Chesapeake Bay. Fort Lincoln was a prisoner of war camp where more than 52,000 confederate troops were housed and just about as many died. These poor souls were not used to the Northern winters and did not have proper clothing or housing for that matter and most died from exposure. It is said that many of them still roam the grounds of the State park. You can visit Fort Lincoln where an earth mound still exists. The barracks and officer’s quarters have been reconstructed. It’s pretty eerie to walk around this place as the sun is setting on the Potomac.
I’ll never forget this trip. We had just bought our first tent. We were planning to be campers so we bought a 4-person tent! Woo hoo! We had all the camping gear, new sleeping bags, pots and pans and some chips. Seriously - chips? We hardly took any food on this first camping experience, not sure why, probably because we had NO CLUE what we were doing. But we booked a campsite at Point Lookout State Park and we set out to find a ghost or two.
What a disaster! Trust me when I tell you that a 4-person tent does not fit four people. The boys who were 7 and 2 years old at the time slept in the tent, I slept in the car and John stayed up all night looking for civil war ghosts. He didn’t see any!
The next day, in our sleep deprived state, we took a ride to see what else there was to do. We drove to the far end of the state park past Fort Lincoln to where the lighthouse stands. The TV Show said this is the MOST haunted spot In the area. We were so excited when we got there only to find out that it was being used as a Naval listening post and visitors were not permitted past the fence. SIGH!
That has since changed, but it’s now under renovations so visitation is still limited. You can find out more about the Point Lookout Lighthouse by visiting the Maryland State Parks website at www.dnr.maryland.gov
With that little bit of disappointment behind us, we drove into Solomon’s Island and found another lighthouse. Suddenly I was super excited, two lighthouses in the same trip! We were amazed at the beauty of this place. The Chesapeake sparkled like tiny crystals, the sun was bright in the sky and there was pizza!
The town is small and many of the homes and businesses have a Victorian feel to their facade. If they aren’t Victorian they are sea faring. You can tell, that at one time, this community earned their living from the water.
Since that first fateful trip, we have gone back to the Solomon’s Island area many, many times. We found out there are actually three lighthouses in the area. The Lighthouse pictured at the top is Drum Point Lighthouse and is at the Calvert Marine Museum. To the East of Solomon’s Island, (Only about 20 minutes) you’ll find Cove Point Lighthouse.
Cove Point is open to visitors throughout the summer months and is also operated by the Calvert Marine Museum, the same folks who are taking very good care of the Drum Point Light. Cove Point is still an active light and guides ships through one of the narrowest parts of the Chesapeake Bay.
But here’s the coolest part about this lighthouse, you can rent the keepers house for your vacation plans!
It sleeps 16 so gather your family, or friends and book your stay.
One more place you have to visit while you’re in the area is the PAX River Naval Air Museum. #PAXRiverNavalAirMuseum sits right next to the main gate of the PAX River Naval Air Station. I seriously love this museum. They’ve grown so much since our first trip when they had a small gift shop and only one room of exhibits. Now the place is immense, but what hasn’t changed (thankfully) is the outdoor exhibit, in fact they’ve added some. There are airplanes, lots of airplanes, not just airplanes...Fighter Jets that you can walk around and marvel at. My boys fell in love with this place, as have my grandkids.
Something else that hasn’t changed about the place is they have flight simulators that the kids can get in and fly real life airplanes. They have so much to see and do at this museum that you‘ll need to set aside at least 2 - 3 hours to see it all. Check out all they have to offer at their website www.paxmuseum.com
Mostly what we found in this area were a lot of very nice, friendly people who are happy to welcome visitors to their area. I hope you find it as much fun as we did. Oh by the way, we don’t tent camp anymore, we have a 32 foot pull behind and I almost always take more food then we can eat. Just thought I’d clear that up. Enjoy #SolomonsIsland, #PAXRiver, #Covepointlighthouse and #PointLookout and when you visit, tell them The Fun Chasers sent you!