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Category Archives: Solomons Island Attractions

Stay and Sail the Chesapeake Bay

June 25, 2018 by Robert English

We Have it all here on Solomons Island

Sunset Sail with Captain Carmel

Captain Carmel and Judith

Book a sailing lesson. Take a luxury yacht charter. Simply sip wine and relax while a captain takes you for a sunset sail. You could go kayaking, or jet-skiing if you’re feeling energetic. How about sport fishing? We’ve got that covered too!  Solomons Victorian Inn would love to entertain you on shore. Sail Solomons or Bunky’s Boat Charters will cater to your every sailing need on your Chesapeake Bay-cation.

Yacht Charters

If you’ve read our other blogs you’ll know we went with Chesapeake Bay Charters for a sunset sail. It was a wonderful experience. Having Captains Josh and Carmel take us for a sail was just up our street (creek). Literally. They picked us up right by our Inn! We took some wine and reveled in the beauty of watching the sun set over the Bay as the captains did all the work. They are happy to have you take over, if you’d like to take the helm.

Sailing Lessons

Sail Solomons training Yacht moored at Zahnisers boat yard

Sail Solomons training yacht

Sail Solomons office on jetty at Zhanersers boat yard

Sail Solomons School and Charters








If you need sailing lessons Sail Solomons has everything you need.  They have lessons for complete beginners right up to ASA certified. They have such a huge array of lessons, from one-day to multiple-day courses, it is easy to find the right one for you. We recently had guests who came all the way from Colorado to take an advanced course with them.

Yacht racing without a yacht!

If you are already a sailor, but have no yacht of your own, you might like to crew in one of the many yacht races that take place around Solomons Island. Southern Maryland Sailing Association  organizes many of these races and can hook you up with owners looking for crew members. Their most famous annual event is the Screwpile Lighthouse Challenge that takes place between July 21st and 23rd this year.

Stay and Sail the Chesapeake Bay

You will start your day with our delicious breakfast. We can even rustle you up a packed lunch if you need one. We will have cookies and soft drinks for you upon your return. A comfortable wrap-around porch awaits, so you can relax and reflect on what you learned (or experienced) during the day. There are many excellent restaurants within walking distance of Solomons Victorian Inn. Maybe you could meet up with your new-found sailing friends in the evening and compare notes!



Springtime flowers: a treat for the senses

February 7, 2018 by Robert English

our red camillia

our red camillia

We’re getting excited to see all the springtime flowers, especially the new bulbs we buried last fall. They are poking up their green leaf tips, tantalizing and mysterious, hiding what they have in store. We already have lots of irises waiting to rise, but I like all the different daffodils and narcissi, especially as they are fragrant and bright. So, I planted 100 of them, all over the garden.


The red camellia outside our backdoor has already started budding. What a magnificent shrub that is: evergreen and so prolific with its blooms that it grabs your attention like no other. Many of our guests think it must be a rose bush as its flowers are so pretty, and it has dark, glossy green foliage, but there are no thorns on a camellia and it doesn’t need pruning. If you buy one you should plant it where it doesn’t catch the morning sun – it needs time to wake up slowly.

In amongst the camellias we have these little bobbly pink and white flowers and I don’t know what they are. Can any of you tell me because I’d love to get some more?

mystery flowers

mystery flowers

springtime flowers on our magnolia

springtime flowers on our magnolia

Now I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the magnolia will be allowed to keep its blossoms a bit longer this year. Last year we had a wicked freeze and then strong winds that blew the springtime flowers straight off before I had time to blink. This photo is from the previous year, when it looked just like a big puffy cloud. When we lived in New York we had a wonderful dogwood tree that looked just like it, but with much daintier flowers and a more spreading habit.






Springtime flowers that hang from the sky

Wisteria greeting our guests as they walk down the path

wisteria greeting our guests as they walk down the path

And then there’s our wisteria, so fragrant and pretty during April and May that it’s worth all the pruning I have to do for the rest of the year. Wouldn’t it be lovely to just let it run wild! It is a haven for the birds who love to nest in it, which curtails my pruning activities somewhat. Our wisteria covers the pathway from the car park to the back door so everyone who comes to see us is treated to the fabulous perfume. Then, when they come in, they are treated to the wonderful aroma of my cookies! Check our availability and come and see/smell/taste for yourself!










Valentine’s Day.

January 26, 2018 by Robert English


Valentines Day. From Rome to Solomons Island

Valentine’s Day has clear links to early Romans, but it was the British and French who brought it over the Atlantic in its current tradition. If you are looking for a romantic getaway, why not spend Valentine’s Day at Solomons Victorian Inn. Its European connection makes it the perfect place to relax, soak in the water views and visit one of our excellent local restaurants. We are celebrating Valentine’s Day with a special high tea: English-style dainty sandwiches, scones with cream, and beautiful cakes. If you stay for two romantic nights during February and March you get 50% off the second night! We are also offering our guests a 2 for the price of 1 ticket to Anne Marie Gardens during this period. Check out their stunning indoor art gallery then take a romantic stroll through the grounds and enjoy the many art installations. It’s a magical experience that celebrates both art and nature.


Have you ever thought why we celebrate Valentine’s Day?

It seems that it all began with Saint Valentine from early Roman times. Emperor Claudius II had decreed his soldiers should remain single. Saint Valentine ignored this and secretly married young lovers. Unfortunately, he was executed for his romantic vision.

Later, Roman priests began a festival called Lupercalia to commemorate Valentine’s death. It was celebrated in the middle of February when the local women would put their names in a giant urn. Men would pick out a name and become paired for a year. Hard to imagine these mass blind dates ever leading to a good outcome, but some actually married as a result! The festival was eventually decreed un-Christian. It was not until the Middle ages in France and England that this day became associated with romantic love.

Skip forward to the Renaissance period and we see the beginning of secret Valentine greetings. The Europeans brought their custom, of giving secret cards and roses to the object of their affections, to the USA in the 1700’s.


From Rome to Solomons Island!

We would love our historic inn to be a part of your story on a very special day. You can book a room by clicking check availability or calling Judith on 410 326 4811


Solomons Watercolor Workshop

October 3, 2017 by Robert English

Plein Air 2017

Quick draw artists

After the recent success of this year’s Plein Air Festival, we are delighted that talented artist Mick McAndrews will be back on Solomons Island on 23rd to the 25th of October. He will be hosting a watercolor workshop for aspiring watercolor painters. The event is organized by Carmen’s Gallery, just a paint splat away from Solomons Victorian Inn. Mick will be staying with us for three nights of restful sleep followed by yummy breakfasts to prepare him for the days ahead.


Mick MicAndrews

Mick McAndrews at this years Plein Air event


Both Judith and I are huge fans of the arts and we support all the local events on the Island. If you are interested in next year’s Plein Air Festival or Anne Marie Gardens’ Artsfest then please book Solomons Victorian Inn early. We will likely be fully booked for both events. Our guests commented on how much they enjoyed walking and interacting with the artists as they painted outdoors at beautiful locations throughout the Island. The event is competitive and the artists come in from far and wide and are all of a very high standard. Their work is judged at an end-of-week event and awards given for the best works on display. Maybe next year you could join the juried painters in the “Paint the Town for a Cause” event and see how you compare!


Book Early!

Solomons Dragon Boat Festival

June 14, 2017 by Robert English

dragon boat 2Paddles up! It’s race day on August 18th and 19th. Come Stay with us at Solomons Victorian Inn and enjoy 2 exciting days of Dragon Boat racing. This year promises to be even bigger than last year’s festival when 4,000 people attended. If you are completely out of touch and have no clue about Dragon Boat racing, it is worth mentioning that it’s fast becoming one of the biggest water-based team sport events. Rich with iconography, a drummer pounds out the rhythm for 16 paddlers to go as fast as they can and a steer-person makes sure that the 40-foot boat heads in the right direction. Some of the teams get dressed up in all kinds of wacky attire and the spirit of good-humored competition comes alive! Lucky for us, the teams can practice for this event during the week leading up to the main event, so you might be tempted to take an extra day off work and watch the ‘rehearsals’. Then, on the Big Day (Saturday), there will be entertainment, vendors and more along the boardwalk, and many of our local restaurants joining in the fun with special ‘Dragon’ delicacies for your delectation! For more information about Solomons Dragon Boat Festival check out the event website.


Just as a reminder, Solomons Victorian Inn is situated a short walk from the event, so there is need to worry about parking on this busy weekend because we have free spaces for all our guests. Not to mention that free WiFi and free soft drinks and home baked cookies are also on offer. Book early because we will fill up very quickly on a busy weekend like this. What more do you need to come and spend some time with us in beautiful Solomons island, voted 15th happiest seaside town in the USA.

Foodie Paradise on Solomons Island, MD

June 6, 2017 by Robert English


If there is one thing that we are justly proud of, it would be the quality and variety of restaurants on Solomons Island, all within walking distance of Solomons Victorian Inn, which makes us the foodie paradise of Southern Maryland. Our Bed and Breakfast is located on the tip of Solomons Island, overlooking the Marina, with great views for all our guests. We are happy to be able to recommend so many excellent restaurants for evening and lunchtime dining (that’s if you still have an appetite after enjoying our delicious breakfast!) Many of our local restaurants also provide live music on weekends so eating out is a pleasurable audible, as well as edible, experience.

If you are a foodie looking for a relaxing weekend getaway by the water, then come and stay with us. Leave your car in our car park, settle in to one of our rooms overlooking the water, then take a stroll and check out all the restaurants in this gastronomic paradise.

Just on the other side of the street from our Inn is the Charles Street Brasserie, which has romantic views over the Back Creek, especially at sunset. They have an extensive tapas menu and entrees that include the best steaks we ever tasted. They have three outdoor dining areas, one on the second floor and two at yacht level, and a cosy dining room and cocktail bar.

The next restaurant you come to is the Lighthouse, a landmark in the town for many years and now a fully renovated dining room and sports bar with outdoor seating overlooking the Back Creek (and with great views of our Inn!) The Lighthouse is great for lunch as well as dinner and has many seafood options, including their “Angry Style” crabcakes, if you dare.

Hidden a little further along, behind Carmen’s Art Gallery and at the far end of their car park, is the aptly named Island Hideaway. This restaurant has seen a transformation in the past year or so under the new ownership of the Donaldson family who are dedicated to their craft. Mom Lori makes pasta fresh every day and they slow-roast their meats for the Shepherd’s Pie. Originally they decided not to have crabcakes on the menu but demand has made them change their minds! Their outdoor seating area is delightful, with relaxing chairs and tables where you can sip your cocktails overlooking the water.

Almost next to the ‘bridge’ that stopped Solomons Island from being an actual island, and next to the Lore Oyster House, is Stoney’s Kingfishers restaurant – the only place in town to serve soft-shell crabs or simply steamed crabs. As you can imagine, this is the place to go for local seafood. They also have a very peaceful outdoor dining area overlooking the water.

A little further out of town, but before you get to the Maritime Museum, there are two excellent restaurants. First is the CD Café (ask yourself why anyone would call themselves the seedy café!) However, it is far from seedy and will delight your tastebuds for sure. They have an extensive and innovative menu and make different desserts every day so you never know what to expect. The second is Zahniser’s Dry Dock, which is on the second floor of the Yacht Club – everyone gets a great view, indoors or out.
The walk back to the Inn from here, along the Boardwalk in the evening, will make you think that everything is right with the world. Maybe take a little nightcap on our wrap-around porch and watch the lights twinkling across the water before going to bed.

We keep full menus for all our local restaurants in a binder for our guests and we are very happy to offer our guidance as we ourselves often eat out locally. Not all restaurants take reservations but, for those that do, we can book for you in advance if you wish. We can also provide recommendations for those of you who would like to venture further afield and prefer to take a drive. We found a great one in Leonardtown last month and can’t wait to go back when our family come to visit!

How to solve your gift-giving problems

November 23, 2016 by Robert English


giftcertificate900Holiday shopping can be draining and time-consuming. Even at night, when the shops are closed, you are racking your brains for inspiration: “What would Grandma love that she doesn’t already have?”, “What can I get for Kate and Rob that they would both enjoy?”, “I’d love to get something special for Aunty Mary and Uncle John to perk them up a bit, but I can’t think of anything!”

Well, we don’t mean to be know-it-alls, but we do have the answers to gift-giving problems like those. Simply purchase a Gift Certificate to Solomons Victorian Inn! Give them the perfect relaxing getaway on the Chesapeake Bay, where they will be treated to superb accommodations, delicious breakfasts, and a very welcoming atmosphere. You can buy the Gift Certificates on our website on the home page or by phoning us direct, and pay any amount you want to spend. We will then mail the Gift Certificate and our brochure to you or the person you aim to delight. What could be easier? And the best part is that they will think you are so thoughtful and came up with the idea all by yourself!

Back Yard Boats

September 18, 2016 by Robert English


richardsneary1000We just love the annual Plein Air event and this year has proved to be the best of our short time running the Inn. Some very impressive artists have been painting our wonderful island getaway over the last 6 days and it is fun to be able to stroll around the Island and see each painter at work. They are often very happy to share a few moments, chatting about their work. We were delighted that two of the painters, Dennis Young and Eileen Eder chose our Inn as a worthy subject and you can see the results below. Particularly impressed that Eileen came back three nights in a row to complete her painting.

After nearly 2 years of running the Inn, we decided to reward ourselves by investing in a small, but beautiful, watercolor by Richard Sneary called ‘Backyard Boats’. We were delighted to meet Richard and it gave me an opportunity to take a picture of him with our mini masterpiece. It is not only the artist who benefits from a sale, as part of the proceeds go to local charities and helping to fund local events like the annual 4th of July fireworks.

We really appreciate all the work that Carmen Lee Nance Gambrill (Carmen’s Gallery) and her team do to host this wonderful event. If you are an art lover, remember to book your accommodation with us early for next year. Our Inn is perfectly placed to walk the Island of Solomons and we serve a delicious breakfast to kick off the day.

If you need more encouragement to come and stay with us don’t forget that Solomons Island has been voted one of America’s 15 “Happiest Seaside Towns”.

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Artists Inspired. Solomons Island

September 15, 2015 by Robert English

SPAF-Internet-Logo-300x292 Artists Inspired. ArtsFest 2015

TOSlogo_2015_4-297x300If you love art of all kinds you really have to visit Solomons Island this fall.

There are three exciting events taking place.

The must-see Solomons Plein Air Festival takes place September 15th to 20th. Experience live open-air painting at its best. Watch masterpieces created before your very eyes, by some of the most noted artists inspired by Solomons Island, this gem on the Chesapeake. It’s a competition and the work is judged. If you see something that inspires you – make an offer. Previous festival artwork will be for sale at various locations on the Island. We proudly have 4 pieces on display by artist Gregg Johannesen in our breakfast porch at the Inn. Ring the front door bell, step in and check out the art and our historic inn. For more information about this event visit: Solomons Plein Air Festival

The wonderful Anne Marie Sculpture garden & Arts Center is hosting Artsfest 2015 on September 19th and 20th. This event has 165 artist booths covering all kinds of art disciplines, more than 25 stage performers, a food/beverage area and Kids Activities in the Discovery Tent. There is an entrance fee of $6 (free for children under 11). For more information visit: Artsfest 2015

Don’t forget, on October 17th there is a very different kind of artistic inspiration on display. This is the kind you can eat! A Harvest of Solomons presents a chance to sample the cuisine of our excellent local restaurants and enjoy the fall on the Chesapeake Bay. Yummy! To find out more about this event visit: A Harvest of Solomons

All three events are walking distance from Solomons Victorian Inn in Solomons Maryland. If you are interested in staying at our historic inn and gardens with spectacular water views then Check Availability, for a choice of 7 charming and comfortable rooms, all with independently controlled A/C and heating. Freshly cooked breakfasts, afternoon cookies and helpful innkeepers to share more ideas on some of the wonderful things to see and do on your visit.

A magical voyage with Chesapeake Bay Charters

August 1, 2015 by Robert English

sailing_sunsetjudith-&-carmalettasailing_captain-joshJudith and I enjoyed a really special and magical 2 hour sunset voyage last week. Our new friends, Captains Josh and Carmeletta Muckley of Chesapeake Bay Charters picked us up from a slip, steps in front of Solomons Victorian Inn. The weather was warm, but not too humid and it got even better as we motored away from the harbor into the fresh breeze of the bay. The engine was turned off and we were treated to a very efficient display of raising the sails. The natural sound of the wind catching on the fabric and easy motion of the yacht as we sliced through the water has a dreamy quality that was only enhanced with a bottle of beer. We headed over toward the Patuxent Naval Base where a Yacht race was in progress, then changed direction toward Governor Johnson Bridge and a wonderful sunset. It really doesn’t get much better than this! Another beer and some great conversation fueled our journey back toward Solomons Island and a diversion up the Back Creek before turning around again and getting a real treat as the wind picked up and we experienced the thrill of tacking back and forth by the light of the moon to get us back to the Inn. Josh and Carmeletta are wonderful company and they went out of their way to make the trip as magical as it could be for us.

Check out Chesapeake bay charters at or ring 443 963 9463. Located at Beacon Marina, Dock D, Slip 17, 255 Lore Road, Solomons, MD 20688

Meet Fred the Octopus at Solomons Maritime Museum

January 22, 2015 by Robert English

OctopusThe #1 attraction in Solomons, as ranked by TripAdvisor reviewers, is the Calvert Marine Museum, also referred to as Solomons Maritime Museum. We love Solomons Maritime Museum and the latest addition to the Aquarium of an Octopus gave us another reason to make a visit. He, or is it she, is the new star of the show and on February 10th a name will be picked out by the Octopus. Get on down to the Museum and drop your name into the ballet box!

Personally I think he should be called Fred. I was unfortunate that Fred did not emerge from his Octopus cave while I was there, but James and Christine (son and daughter-in-law) timed their arrival to perfection and managed to take a video of the action and were most impressed. He might need to up-his-game though and show off his moves a bit more often because he faces some serious competition from the Sea Otter, Sting Rays and Lionfish. Mostly Fred does a fine job of maintaining a cool camouflaged persona. His big eye is the give-away and he didn’t fool me. Did you know an Octopus is intelligent and has a beak. I thought only birds had beaks but I’m thinking that he will be smart and use it to pick out his new name: Fred.

For more information and hours visit:

The Solomons Maritime Museum is just 5 minutes from Solomons Victorian Inn in Solomons, Maryland. The Inn welcomes visitors to inviting guest rooms, full country breakfasts and helpful innkeepers who can share more ideas on the wonderful sights of Solomons Island. Check Availability, and join us for a visit to this special Maryland getaway.