A really really cool small town: Berlin, Maryland

Berlin, Maryland

Every now and then you discover a place that you know you should have known about long ago.  Berlin is one of those places.  It was near enough to where I used to live but that was many years ago.  It was near Ocean City, Maryland too.  Regardless, I had honestly never heard of it until we drove up from Virginia Beach headed to Assateague.  It is a cool small town near both Ocean City and Assateague.  This region is known as Worcester County – Eastern Shore of Maryland – DelMarVa and possibly a few others but the regional tourist information can be found here.

Entering the tunnel portion of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel.
Entering the tunnel portion of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel.

We traveled here up US 13 and US 113 from Virginia Beach.  This is a beautiful stretch of road and of course crossing the Chesapeake is great – the Chesapeake Bay Bridge/Tunnel is really quite a marvel still and there’s a nice pull-off area on the north side to really sit back and look at it and the beaches.  Really nice to do.

One the bridge portion of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel with beautiful views.
One the bridge portion of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel with beautiful views.

So without any particular place to go we took our time going north and eventually happened upon Berlin as a place to stop.  We passed by Snow Hill which I am annoyed I didn’t notice earlier as I have a cousin there I discovered and we both enjoy genealogy but next visit.  This is an area of the country right on the coast and is yet still not terribly populated and retains its charm.  Sure, I remember passing a WalMart or two which I found sad but there is lovely countryside to see and more than one roadside produce stand to stop at – which we of course did.

At the scenic overlook you get a great view of the beach and the bridge.
At the scenic overlook you get a great view of the beach and the bridge.

The farm fresh produce and stands along this stretch are well worth a stop or a visit if you’re anywhere nearby some weekend.  I never realized this was here when I lived in DC.  But it is definitely a nice trip for a weekend or even a day away.  So back to Berlin.   Since it is so close to Assateague and to Ocean City, Maryland, it benefits from tourists coming and going from here.

Banner at the town hall proclaiming Berlin the Coolest Small Town in America.
Banner at the town hall proclaiming Berlin the Coolest Small Town in America.

It is a very small town – under 5,000 residents – but is absolutely charming and hip at the same time.  It is billed as America’s coolest small town.  It is cool that’s for sure.  There’s plenty of parking as the town is small and the side streets that tend to be residential have parking on them if you can’t find a spot directly in the town center.  We had a motorhome and parked in a side street without any problem and the town was busy.

There is a very small welcome center with information on the town and the area and we popped in.  We mostly rode our bicycles around the town seeing what there was in the town.  Restaurants, cafes, cool little shops, a bakery, well just loads of things that can occupy your time for a great day out with yourself or friends and family.

The porch of the Atlantic Hotel is a great place to relax after lunch at the Drummer Cafe.
The porch of the Atlantic Hotel is a great place to relax after lunch at the Drummer Cafe.

We stopped at the Atlantic Hotel for lunch and sat on the porch.  The Maryland Crab Soup was delicious and just enough for me.  The food coming out of the kitchen did look incredible though.  It is Drummer’s Cafe that is located inside the hotel and the service and food is definitely something to recommend.   There is a special organic and vegetarian selection too for anyone that requires that.  And a sit down on the front porch of the hotel is great too – excellent people watching!

The town’s commercial district is about six total blocks in size including the side streets.  It is more of a compact town center than a linear one if that makes any sense.  It was nice to ride bikes around and go behind the town and see the houses – though it is a bit hilly.

There are plenty of charming cafes in the town of Berlin.
There are plenty of charming cafes in the town of Berlin.

There is public transport on the 431 or 451 bus in the area stopping at Pitts Street in Berlin according to Google maps, though when you go to the local transport authority’s website and search for how to go from Berlin to Ocean City it thinks you are trying to leave from Germany.  And I couldn’t find the schedules for these routes but eventually did find a map that showed the route existed albeit a someone circuitous route.  It seems all routes go through Salisbury so I will add that to my list of towns I must visit.

A gorgeous bakery is well worth your stopping in anytime in Berlin, Maryland.
A gorgeous bakery is well worth your stopping in anytime in Berlin, Maryland.

Back to Berlin, there are carriage rides and it is the type of town you could just stroll around for a good several hours and then have drinks or lunch.  So plan on a half day to really enjoy it.  You could easily spend the weekend though and I would imagine it is beautiful in the winter and fall though that may be an image in my mind more than anything.

The approach to the main shopping area in Berlin.
The approach to the main shopping area in Berlin.

The point is it is a great town worth discovering and its proximity to the popular Ocean City and Assateague make it quite accessible so don’t pass it over when going to or from those destinations.  Berlin is a destination in its own right.

 

An historic theater in downtown Berlin, Maryland.
An historic theater in downtown Berlin, Maryland.

 

RV Road Trip Note:

This is part of the series of blog posts on a fourteen day road trip from St. Petersburg, Florida to the Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania with stops along the way north and south with no real planned itinerary.  We did this trip in our 30 foot class A motorhome in late July/early August with two bicycles strapped to the back.  Berlin was a stop on the way to Assateauge.

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5 thoughts on “A really really cool small town: Berlin, Maryland

  1. I love visiting Berlin Maryland. This is also where Runaway Bride was filmed. Some of the old Victorian homes that surround the city are also pretty interesting

  2. Love that you two explored this little town in depth on your bikes. The theatre looks like it’s being used as a municipal art gallery and craft beer pub. Did you go inside?

  3. I love that you two explored the little town in depth on bikes. The theatre looks like it’s being used as a municipal gallery / craft beer pub. Did you venture in?

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