Day Trippin’: What to Do, See, and Eat in Easton!
This year has been a good one for the ShoreBread team, particularly because we were able to enjoy so many fantastic outings and adventures across Delmarva. Each month, we made an effort to spend a day in one of our local town’s to learn a little bit more, see something new, and of course, dig in on some delicious eats. Crisfield, Lewes, Bethany Beach, Oxford…we took it all in and loved every moment of it. To cap off our 2015 adventures, we decided to opt for a day trip to Easton. The charming town maintains a perfect balance of small town appeal but with just a hint of metropolitan flair. The brick facades, the tree lined streets, the enticing bed and breakfasts, the unique shops…we couldn’t get enough. There’s history, aesthetic appeal, and economic viability, all rolled up in one. With a little help from the friendly folks at Discover Easton, we were able to discover new aspects of a town that has long been a favorite of ours. Take a look…
A Brief History
For those of you who aren’t intimately familiar with Easton, the town of 16,500+ individuals is located in Talbot County, just a short drive from Cambridge, St. Michaels, and Oxford. History runs deep in the picturesque Eastern Shore town; in fact, the first courthouse for Talbot County was built in 1711 in Easton, helping to shape it into a town centered on trade and government. The town was originally named Talbot Court House and later Talbot Town, before settling on Easton. Of course a town rich in history is studded with historic sites, including Bishop’s House Bed and Breakfast, Spring Hill Cemetery, Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, Talbot County Courthouse, The Bullitt House, Academy Art Museum, the Historic Avalon Theatre, and the Third Haven Meeting House.
Dining Done Right
One of our favorite parts about day tripping to a new town is the chance to discover new restaurants. Eating our way from one small town to the next is no easy feat, but you won’t hear us complaining about it! Julie Phillips Corson, Executive Director of the Easton Business Alliance, gave us a rundown of some of the best dining destinations in Downtown Easton, starting with the recently opened Bartlett Pear Inn Bakery and Market. Located across the street from its namesake, the Bakery and Market features an eclectic mix of goodies, including coffee, tea, homemade granola, pastries, produce and breads. Of course the Bartlett Pear Inn itself is home to a highly acclaimed restaurant and bar, with its inventive menu and local flavors bringing visitors from all over to enjoy.
We decided on Brassiere Brightwell for lunch, after Corson described the restaurant – “it’s an open air kitchen and it’s just a really fun environment that isn’t necessarily your typical dining environment.” Corson was right; the interior was reminiscent of a Brooklyn eatery. The menu has a clear influence from French cuisine, which led us straight to the cheese selection and the salmon salad sandwich paired with two impressively strong cups of coffee. A return trip for dinner and their live entertainment is in the very near future.
While we had our fill of coffee with our breakfast and lunch stops, we would be remiss if we didn’t give a (albeit brief) shout-out to Rise Up Coffee Roasters. The independent, small-batch coffee roaster and retailer has skyrocketed since openings its first location in Easton in 2012, and has had a major impact on the small business movement on the Eastern Shore.
For a more comprehensive bite, there are also the Eating Easton Food Tours. The three-hour walking tour includes a bite and sip at a minimum of four Easton restaurants, a visit to a distinctive culinary shop, and behind the scenes access to Easton’s food scene.
Of course what draws many people to Downtown Easton is the chance to browse the shops and antique stores that the town’s downtown shopping district is comprised of. Chef & Shower, Sailor, Vintage Books and Fine Art, The Green Phoenix, Crackerjacks Toys & Children’s Books, and Dragonfly are just a few of the stores we stumbled upon during our stroll.
Area Events and Attractions
Easton is home to a number of major events throughout the year, one of the most prominent being the annual Waterfowl Festival, which is held each yearh in November and spans a three-day period. Other major draws for locals and visitors alike are the Great Chesapeake Balloon Festival, the Juneteenth Celebration, Plein Air Easton, and the Month Alexander Jazz Festival. Currently, the holidays are well underway in the town – we suggest taking advantage of the holiday carriage rides through town! Hosted by The Tidewater Inn, rides are free and held on Saturdays in December from 3pm until 5pm.
For the history buff, the Art Academy Museum is a must-see. The renovated 1820s schoolhouse is home to five galleries, art and dance studios, conference rooms, a library, and an atrium. Not far from the Art Academy Museum you’ll discover the Historic Avalon Theatre, which was built in 1921 as a movie and vaudeville house. Today, the Avalon Theatre is host to a wide array of events, performances, and educational programs. Finally, pay a visit to the Historical Society of Talbot County. The 19th-century building includes a three-gallery exhibit of the town and the county’s history. You’ll also find self-guided walking tour maps of Downtown Easton here.
Interested in planning your own trip? Get started now and Discover Easton!
Photos by Gina Whaley