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“Go to Ruke's and do the Van Tour!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Smith Island

Smith Island
Ranked #2 of 8 things to do in Crisfield
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: An island in the Chesapeake where residents live much as their ancestors did hundreds of years ago.
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Go to Ruke's and do the Van Tour!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 25, 2013

Went to Smith Island for the day (Saturday) with family and wasn't expecting much. We left from Crisfield and got dropped off at Ewell (people staying over night got off at the other town). We started walking down the road, not really sure where to go, and somehow stumbled upon Ruke's and I'm so glad we did! It was like a trip back in time to enter this building (which we found out has been there for 100+ years). 2 ladies in their 70s manned the kitchen and all the food was cooked as you order. We had crabcakes and softshell crab sandwiches that were delicious and fresh - from crabs caught the day before! And of course we had Smith Island cake and it was a perfect ending to our already great meal. While we were waiting on our food, a guy in a Navy baseball hat asked us if we wanted a tour of the island. We had not rented a golf cart yet, as many people on here had suggested, so we decided to take this guy up on his offer - $20 for our entire family and he would give us a full tour of the island/town in a vehicle (AC and no bugs!), it sounded like a deal.... And it was! He gave a great tour and history lesson of the entire town and we met several locals on the drive that he knew personally and would stop and talk to. It was better than anything we could have done on our own and with limited time on the island until we had to catch our ferry, it was just perfect. If you're from the Delmarva area and are looking for something different to do on a Saturday, I highly suggest experiencing the life and culture of this island only miles from our crazy, busy, commercialized lives. And definitely stop at Ruke's and look for the guy in the Navy baseball cap!

Visited May 2013
Helpful?
13 Thank Travelingisfunn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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87 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Arlington,VA
Level Contributor
20 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“When you really want to get away from it all...”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 1, 2012

this is the place. Take a ferry to get there, walk or bike around the island, enjoy the water, talk to the locals. There's ittle entertainment so it's a place for those who can entertain themselves. Like stepping back in time....

Visited April 2012
Helpful?
5 Thank melstero
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Baltimore, Maryland, United States
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Quite Disappointed.”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 26, 2012

Just expected more for tourists than what we encountered. Everything was closed! All gift shops except for in the musuem (not much in there) , and the Bay Inn . The food there was not up to par.Rented a golf cart, 1/2 hr. $15.00 dollars, didn't even use the whole 1/2 hr..We were very disappointed in what we experienced. Sorry, but never again.

Visited September 2012
Helpful?
2 Thank Valerie S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mobile, Alabama
Level Contributor
28 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Sad”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 22, 2012

Unfortunately this is an island past its time. The brochures and web site look fabulous but the reality is not. I was on an organized tour with approx. 30 people on a sunny Saturday in September. When we reached the island the only things open were the Bayside Inn, the museum and the post office. Everything else was closed. Lots of houses for sale so maybe the island is in decline. Recommend skipping this trip. Sorry.

Helpful?
4 Thank 1970kat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Camp Hill, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
38 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Anniversary Lunches At Ruke's Seafood Deck”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 4, 2012

We took the ferry from Crisfield MD to Smith Island with friends and ate at Ruke's Seafood Deck. The restaurant reminds you of an old time general store, but has several tables and a counter. The soon to be owner, John D. was very personable and provided history of the island and restaurant while we ordered our lunch. We really did not know what to expect, but the food was exceptionally good and reminded us of good old fashioned home cooking. I would recommend not missing this stop if you travel to Smith Island. Also, John can provide a 30 minute tour of the island for a fee in his SUV which is really worth the time and money as you will become well educated on the history of the island.

Visited August 2012
Helpful?
5 Thank John B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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