Come early and stay late at June’s ABA Marketplace and experience Maryland during pre- and post-FAMs

Explore the Underground Railroad on Maryland’s Eastern Shore

Some of America’s most notable abolitionists have ties to Maryland’s Eastern Shore. It’s only logical the Underground Railroad would have a significant mark on the eastern side of the Chesapeake Bay. Your pre-FAM tour begins with a stop at the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitor Center in Church Creek. Through multimedia exhibits, her important life is on display.

In nearby Cambridge, the Bucktown General Store operates as a museum containing African-American artifacts connected to slavery. You will also visit the historic Linchester Mill in Caroline County, where grain was sold to George Washington’s troops. Check into the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay before departing for a short drive to Suicide Bridge Restaurant in Hurlock for dinner.

Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitor Center

Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitor Center

Another stop is the James Webb Cabin, which housed Webb, a free African-American farmer who built his home from nearby materials. Frederick Douglass Park on the Tuckahoe in Queen Anne spans more than 100 acres and features walking trails and scenic overlooks. A visit to the Eastern Shore is only complete with a stop in St. Michaels and the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum.

Begin another day with a walking tour of Easton’s Hill Community, one of the oldest free African-American communities in the U.S. You can also take a tour of charming Chestertown and enjoy lunch at 98 Cannon Riverfront Grille. Tour the Henry Highland School and discover Isaac Mason’s incredible story.

Southern Maryland: Where Time & Tide Meet

You’ll love the Southern Maryland stories, charm and hospitality as you travel back in time. What better way to begin your pre-FAM than a pleasant ride followed by lunch at the newly renovated Rod ‘N’ Reel Resort themed restaurant? While in Chesapeake Beach, you can visit the Chesapeake Beach Railway Museum with its updated exhibits and building enhancements. Next stop is the Calvert Marine Museum in Solomons. In addition to live Chesapeake Bay aquatic life, the museum shares how the prehistoric past, environment and maritime heritage tell the story of the area. For breakfast, don’t miss Linda’s Café in Lexington Park, a local favorite for more than 20 years. Next, head to Historic St. Mary’s City. On the site of Maryland’s first capital, this is Southern Maryland’s outdoor living history site with 17th century characters, exhibits, a print shop and inn.

Lunch can be had in a Lexington Park favorite, PAX River Ale House, a classic casual pub menu with 30 beers on tap. After enjoying a delicious meal, visit Patuxent River Naval Air Museum, the only naval museum dedicated to aviation research, development, testing and evaluation.

Then head to Leonardtown, where you can enjoy its small-town charm. There are shops of all kinds, including Shepherd’s Old Field Market, where 60 stores o’er unique home goods and special gifts. It’s just a short walk to The Front Porch for a dinner of Southern Coastal Cuisine in a historic house with a large porch. After dinner, you can relax and unwind at the newly renovated The Inn at Leonardtown.

Travel to historic Port Tobacco for stories of spies, revolutionaries and an arsonist in one of Maryland’s largest international seaports prior to the American Revolution. Just a few minutes away is the Thomas Stone National Historic Site, which honors one of four Maryland signers of the Declaration of Independence. The unusual mansion is typical of a Southern Maryland tobacco plantation along with its 19th century farm buildings.

Historic Sites & Savory Bites

Fascinating stories of history and fulfilling dining experiences combine to make this pre-FAM a favorite. First stop is the National Shrine of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in Emmitsburg. Tour the home of the first American-born saint. There are a variety of group tours available, including a Civil War Tour. Lunch is at nearby Carriage House Inn, serving classic American fare in a historic 1857 building complete with stone fireplace. It’s on to the Frederick Visitor Center, a perfect stop for groups with ample motorcoach and welcome bags. Following is a windshield tour of historic downtown Frederick followed by Mt. Olivet Cemetery, where there are a number of notable monuments. The next day, travel southeast to the site of the Battle of Monocacy, an American Civil War battle fought July 9, 1864.

National Museum of Civil War Medicine

National Museum of Civil War Medicine

Panoramic views of the rolling countryside and historic homes tell a story of local and national significance. The National Museum of Civil War Medicine is the next stop.

You’ll follow in the footsteps of soldiers and doctors from the harshest conditions to medical innovations that are still in use today. Before departing Frederick, lunch can be enjoyed at Brewer’s Alley, the county’s original brewpub. In North Bethesda, visit Mansion at Strathmore, a premier art institution in the mid-Atlantic. The historic mansion hosts more than two dozen exhibitions annually.

Washington, D.C. Days and National Harbor Nights

On this pre-FAM you’ll be exploring Washington’s newest options by day and unwinding and relaxing in Maryland each evening. After departing from your BWI hotel, you’ll make a stop in Clinton at the historic Surratt House Museum.

Learn the fate of this co-conspirator in the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. Arrive at the Smithsonian Museums in Washington, D.C. for a presentation in the Rasmuson Theater. Today’s lunch will present an opportunity to enjoy foods of the Western Hemisphere people at the Mitsitam Native Foods Café. Following will be a brief tour of the Smithsonian National Native American History Museum. Next, it’s the National Law Enforcement Museum, which resides three stories underground. Walk in the footsteps of law enforcement with high-tech interactive exhibits. You will also visit the new Planet Word Museum, a museum with a mission to inspire a love of words and language as language is essential to every aspect of our life and necessary on today’s complex issues. Check into Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center at National Harbor. Enjoy the view on The Capital Skywheel Champagne Ride.

Following breakfast at the Gaylord, you’ll again visit Washington, D.C., beginning at the amazing state-of-the-art Museum of the Bible. Biblical artifacts and objects tell the compelling history of the Bible. Lunch is on the way to your next stop, International Spy Museum. This new museum with its interactive exhibits and installations and first-person accounts puts you in the shoes of a spy.

The Capital Wheel Light Show

The Capital Wheel Light Show

In the morning, savor breakfast at Gaylord then take a ride to Fort Belvoir and the National Museum of the United States Army. The new museum celebrates 240 years of Army history with a comprehensive portrayal of all branches of the Army while honoring our nation’s soldiers. Another great stop is Artechouse, a museum featuring an innovative art experience at the intersection of creative artists and technology. Before departing for Baltimore, you can visit the National Museum of African-American History and Culture. The museum interprets American history through the eyes of the African-American experience.

From Beach to Bay: Taste of the Shore

There’s also a post-FAM, From Beach to Bay: Taste of the Shore. Crossing over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, you’ll discover an adventure from shore to shore. You’ll visit the Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center, the Salisbury Zoo and the Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art. It’s on to Assateague Island National Seashore with its migrating wild horses. You’ll be enjoying all the amenities of an Ocean City four-diamond resort hotel with views of the Ocean City Boardwalk and the Atlantic Ocean. In a land of rich agriculture and bountiful waters you’ll delve into the local food scene and sample the delicious cuisine.

Maryland is open for business. Start your planning at, or email Rich Gilbert at, or call 410-767-6288.

Register early for the FAM(s) of your choice at

by Dave Bodle