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“Smith Island isn't for everyone, but it's still pretty cool”

Ranked #2 of 9 things to do in Crisfield
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: An island in the Chesapeake where residents live much as their ancestors did hundreds of years ago.
Baltimore, Maryland
Level Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Smith Island isn't for everyone, but it's still pretty cool”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 October 2013 via mobile

Growing up in Maryland, I'd always wanted to visit this remote island in the middle of the Chesapeake Bay. With the advent of global warming, this place likely will vanish in time because nothing is more than about 3 feet above the water line. There is regular, if expensive, boat service out to the island from Cristfield ($25/round trip). It is a place out of time, surrounded by lush marshes, making it one of the top places in the world for harvesting soft shell crabs. Everyone on the island is somehow related to crab fishing or harvesting oysters. For tourists, there isn't a lot to do here in the 2.5 hours between boats, but it is an interesting throwback to a simpler life based on the water. A walk from Ewell to Rhodes Point takes you past marshes, many homes in disrepair, fighting off the ravages of the tides and weather. That said, it is eerily quiet, with herons and white ibis fishing in the marshes. We ate at the only place in town, Rukes, and had excellent crab cakes and soft shell crab sandwiches. Having spent many years on islands along the Maine coast, this was an excellent compliment to the hardiness of the Mainers, both eeking out a living from the sea. This place isn't for everyone, but is pretty cool nonetheless.

Visited October 2013
13 Thank Kevin A
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
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
12 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Worth the trip! Buy a cake!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 October 2013

Great scenery, nice venue. You MUST eat at the family-style restuarant--super food! Nice Museum! Friendly people. Must ssee the Smith Isle Cake Factory & buy a unique 12 layer cake!

Visited September 2013
6 Thank Roger M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bowie, Maryland
Level Contributor
16 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Nice Visit”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 September 2013

Started our trip from Crisfield on one of the Jason charter's. The boat ride over was very charming with a very nice captain and the grocery delivery! We arrived on the island about 40 minutes later. Not a whole lot to do here. We enjoyed the museum ($3) which was very informative. Had a nice lunch in Rukes across the street from the museum. Met John, who gave us a lot of town history. We walked the neighborhoods in Ewell. We came to the Smith Island Bakery and wanted to buy a cake, but the lady advised us to wait and buy it in Crisfield @ The Cove where they ship the cakes. That way we wouldn't have to carry it around with us. My advise is to buy the cake on the island if you can. The Cove wasn't open and we were told they don't sell cakes there. Overall, we enjoyed our day. My recommendation is not to take kids. They would be bored 10 minutes after arriving.

Visited September 2013
6 Thank Joyce C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wichita, Kansas, United States
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Smith Island Tours”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 August 2013

Took a wonderful and interesting van tour driven by John, who was a great source of historical and present-day island info. Had delicious crab cakes at Ruke's. Time well spent!!!

Visited August 2013
10 Thank 14KDS29
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Long Neck, Delaware, United States
Level Contributor
236 reviews
61 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 114 helpful votes
“A Good Day Trip!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 August 2013

There are many boats that make the trip to Smith Island from Crisfield. They all leave at 12:30 pm to arrive on the island in time for lunch. We chose to buy our tickets from Capt Tylers Motel. They are easy to find and the boat leaves from the Somers Cove Marina. (free parking). We left on the "Chelsea" which had inside and outside seating. It is a lovely hours ride to the island and you get to see watermen, ospreys & egrets on the way. The boat docks in Ewell at the Bayside Inn. This restaurant is owned by the boat operator. We ate at Rukes (see separate review). You have about 2 1/2 hours on the island and that is probably enough. You can walk to the Smith Island Baking Company and go the local museum. Whichever restaurant you choose be sure to have a piece of the Smith Island Cake. It is not to be missed!

Visited August 2013
9 Thank Linda K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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