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Review of Tilghman Island

Tilghman Island
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Attraction details
Owner description: Historic and picturesque island in Chesapeake Bay.
Reviewed November 7, 2010

In the 1950's ans 60's, my Grandparents qwned and ran a store in St.Michaels. I spent most holidays and school vacations with them. We would go over to Tilghman island for crab lunches all the time at the little place just over the bridge. It was with great trepidation I took a detour off a planned route to a wedding last month to visit the area I SO loved in my younger days........I am delighted to report that St.Michaels, Bozman,and Tilghman Island have changed very little in all these years and is still, in my opinion, one of the prettiest places in the USA.
As importantly,that "little" restaurant -altho bigger and who knows how many owners since--is still producing THE MOST PERFECT CRAB CAKES I have ever had. NOT DEEP FRiED and NOT FILLED with bread and "stuff" They are PURE heavenly yummy crab. ! We also had a bowl of crab bisque-thick as mashed potatoes and a meal itself so packed with crab.The oyster stew was perfect and with twice as many oysters for half the price as some I had had in ST.Michael's. The fried oysters were light and delicious. The darling waitress was wonderful and sorely tempted me with my favorite dessert....cocnut cake. But OH NO ! !this wasn.t just ANY cake! This was the "state cake of maryland'!!! 8 layers of cold, moist epicurious bliss in my mouth!! ..Don't miss THE BRIDGE ...I'll make the 5 1/2 hr trip back as soon as I can!

10  Thank bso630
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed September 10, 2010

This restaurant is flying under the radar probably because of the great restaurants in St. Michaels. I can't say enough. The atmosphere is lovely, the staff excellent and the food fresh and innovative. I had Bay Crab Bisque and Day Boat Scallops perfectly cooked with corn risotto and spinach. My wife had Oysters Rockefeller and Mussels with chorizo. The wine list is very good and reasonable. 4 Stars.

2  Thank andynap
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 8, 2009

We knew in advance when securing a rental property on Chicken Point Road, very close to the Tilghman Island Bridge, that we were opting for peace and serenity rather than tourist-heavy St. Michaels. In that regard, Tilghman did not disappoint. Late-night strolls, early sunrises, casual dining, and friendly locals made this a very comfortable place for a respite. We were especially pleased to be able to drive to St. Michaels in about 20 minutes yet return to Tilghman for quiet evenings. The travel weaknesses, though, are plenty on Tilghman.

First, even in perfect weather, there is not much to do -- restaurants and formal recreation opportunities are few. Cycling and fishing are the two exceptions. We did not take our bicycles, but we saw many people who did and who enjoyed the quiet roads and well-marked bicycle lanes. If cycling is your one and only travel priority, then Tilghman may be a great option for you. Fishing and boating, too, are very popular, with access to public boat ramps, and this appears to be the most abundant activity. There are oodles of places to fish from the shoreline, from a public pier, or from a boat.

However, despite the water-oriented ambiance of the island, we could find no public beach or observation areas where non-boaters could enjoy a view, recline in a beach chair, or rest their toes in the sand. We ventured down nearly every lane that led off the main road, only to be met by Private Property signs. At the end of our street there happened to be a vacant property for sale and only by trespassing were we able to get an unobstructed view of Harris Creek and its sunrises over the storm wall. This was a major negative for us, as one of the beach activities we have enjoyed in other Maryland locations like Annapolis is access to public areas where people can wade, recline in a beach chair to sun or read, or where dogs can take a swim on a hot day. Nearly all of Tilghman's shoreline is privately-owned; much of what we saw was included within posh, multi-million dollar estates which are out of the reach of most travelers. Unless you have tons of money to spend, there are NO options for lounging or playing at the shoreline itself.

Second, of the other activities advertised as "available" on Tilghman, there are significant short-comings. To kayak, for instance, Tilghman Island Marina advertises one-hour, two-hour, half-day, and whole-day rentals. Yet they could not accommodate our party of 3 people when we arrived around 11:00 a.m. Not only was parking extraordinarily scarce in the Marina area, but locals and tourists had "reserved" nearly all of the Marina's kayaks in advance. We were especially disappointed that the Marina gave the few remaining kayaks to people who had arrived after us, while we spent a few minutes asking questions to one of their deck-hands. We tried to work out a compromise where we would stay out less than an hour and be sure to return equipment in time for later "reservations," but they refused to budge. This was one of the activities we really wanted to do on Tilghman, so we were extremely disappointed that the Marina did not seem well-equipped, nor was it flexible in accommodating tourists who were ready to spend $$. (Our alternate activity, in fact, took us back to St. Michaels, and we spent our $$ there instead.) In actuality, we felt that the woman who turned us away was a little too happy to do so, and we did not get the impression that the Marina knows how to accommodate common travelers.

We were also disappointed that despite advertising trails for hiking, Tilghman prohibits pets in the most desirable areas, including Black Walnut Nature Preserve, where not only do they prohibit pets, but there are signs all along the coastal access road prohibiting "stopping or standing." The Bed and Breakfast Inn also does not allow pets. Pets are also prohibited in many areas of the nearby Pickering Creek Audubon Center. The low tolerance for pets seems to have infected some of the locals, too; one resident on our rental street chided us as we walked our two small dogs because the dogs sniffed his mail post that was right next to the road! In an area where there are few fenced yards, no public shoreline for dog swimming, no dog parks, and heavily-restricted trails, it's as if Tilghman has hung a "pets not welcome" sign. It's virtually impossible to exercise your dog here or do anything other than provide it with a stroll down the street. This is not good news to travelers who do not want their pets to catch cabin fever by being cooped up in a rental house!

One tricky part of staying on Tilghman is arranging for food. Luckily, we stopped for some basic groceries in Easton on our way toward the island. But once on Tilghman, there are extremely few dining options, and what is there is heavily tilted toward seafood, or toward cheap, unhealthy fare.

The one bright spot of our stay, however, came from our evening meal at the Bay One Hundred Restaurant located at the Tilghman Island Bridge, which, despite looking more like a cheap imitation of a tropical bar, served a mouth-watering filet mignon with a special chutney, had Smith Island cakes among its dessert selections, and crafted one of the best pina coladas I've had in a long time. And the sunset is priceless, if you can actually get the staff to position the umbrellas so they're not blocking your view. If your stop in Tilghman is brief, be sure to grab your meal here.

In the end, though, we didn't do anything on Tilghman except eat, sleep, and walk the dogs around the block. Most of our time was spent in St. Michaels.

15  Thank BaltTravelR1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 26, 2009

I decided to take a long ride. You have to stop by this place called Bridge Restaurant. OMG!! I had the best crab cake and the waitress(NORMA) was so nice. She was just great and genuinely nice. The food was great and it beautiful!!

1  Thank phythomp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 1, 2006

Some folks come here from St. Michaels and turn around and leave.
I liked this place so much I bought a vacation home here.
Right before the drawbridge is Knapps Narrows Marina
which has rooms on the waterside that beat any Maui sunset. There is a pool and just across the Narrows is a place to rent kayaks, sailboats, motorboats, jetskis and bicycles. There are 3 restaurants in this location, The Bridge, Bay Hundred, and Tilghman Island Inn ( also a great sunset place) Sit dockside on any of these and have some crabs or whatever.
The Tilghman Island Inn has upperscale rooms, a pool,
a great dockside bar and restaurant. They create their own entertainment. Go see.
There are several bed and breakfasts on the island, check the internet for rates. They range from very good to great. There are even a few rental homes, stop by Tilghman Island Real Estate ( I did and bought a house).

The Fairbanks tackle shop and gas station (the only one) is the local gossip stop. See the men sitting out front talking about the days catch or....get your fishing license here and the latest news.

Rent a bike and see the old watermans houses. Generations of families are still here. Take the main road all the way out to Black Walnut Point where there is a great fishing pier and a place to pull out your easel and paint. Go past the gate and you will come to an Inn that is on the tip of the peninsula.
Go down Fairbanks road and see a village that is pretty much the same as it was 100 years ago. There is a pier but very limited parking. Speed limit here is 5 MPH. Be careful at the turns in the road.

One of our favorite cafes is reopening after the owners took a vacation and rest. It's called
So Neat Cafe, open for breakfast and lunch. It really is so neat. The owners are former show riders and the place is worth a visit to see the interior.
There is a gift shop also. Stop in Crawfords Nautical which is in the Bank building for a huge selection of water oriented books and a complete history of the area.
The owners were former high powered execs and retired to Tilghman and opened this bookshop. The oldest establishment on Tilghman is Harrisons which has a gift shop with clothing ( Tilghman island is Tshirt ,baseball, cap and shorts ) and of course famous
Restaurant. The food is family style. Heaps of artery clogging good old fashioned food. Reasonable.
Some wild entertainment goes on here on holidays.You can arrange fishing here.

There are several festivals on Tilghman to support our local fire and rescue department. Local food and Gospel singers like you've never heard.

Park and walk around Dogwood harbour and see the fishing boats and some original skipjacks. Radie Murphy still takes tourists out on his skipjack and has some incredible stories.

Tilghman is bicycle heaven and that's about all the traffic you will meet.

All establishments are locally owned and the owners lend their character to their business( and some are real characters!!)
There are a few places that I've missed. See if you can find Mama's.
Come visit , say hello to everyone you meet because they will say hello to you,,, drive very slowly because we walk all over the island and we are not in a hurry.

53  Thank Delilahs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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