North East: A Small Town With Great Charm (and Seafood)

We discovered – quite by accident – North East, MD (pop. 3678) during a recent trip north from Florida. Located on the banks of the Northeast River (which branches off from the Chesapeake Bay), this quaint, sleepy little town has a scenic waterfront, many historic buildings, museums and parks.

The weather was great so we decided to meander along Main Street where we enjoyed the beautiful old restored buildings that now house unique shops, antique stores, local restaurants and Rorie’s favorite…a candy store. Not a chain store in sight!

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At the southern end of Main Street is the Day Basket Factory. Local craftsman still hand weave white oak baskets just like they have for over 130 years. Using local lumber, it takes 3-4 days to complete the process for each basket. Really a labor of love!

After our window-shopping walk we wandered into Woody’s Crab House (http://www.woodyscrabhouse.com), a bustling casual restaurant with a huge front porch and lots of tables for outdoor dining. What a find this place was. Woody’s specializes in Chesapeake Bay crabs and, since I love seafood and Bart loves really great “no filler added” crab cakes, we were in heaven. Brown paper covers the tables and peanut shells cover the floor and there is just a great neighborhood vibe to the restaurant.

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Our waitress Dena was a terrific server – a happy and energetic woman who provided great service. And, lucky for us, we happened to be there on a night when the owner – whose name just happens to be, yup, Woody – was in the restaurant. We had a nice chat with him and learned how he turned a closed up broken down bar into a local hotspot. This place does local seafood right and don’t even get us started on the hush puppies. Pure bliss.

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So if you’re in the area, hungry or just looking for a place to take a break and sightsee, be sure to visit North East (and Woodys). It’s another great little off-the-beaten-path town we’re proud to shine a light on.

20 thoughts on “North East: A Small Town With Great Charm (and Seafood)

  1. WOW!!! So great to SEE YOU TWO BACK!!! That is all I have to say!!! Sounds like a great town and one we will have to visit!!!! I know you are coming north for something not pleasant………….but you are making it something great, and your Dad would be proud!!! Love, Bonnie XXX

    • Trust me if you ever come to North East you will love it. That’s where I am from. It is quite the little treasure.

  2. With the time difference to Germany your wonderful roadtrip stories sit waiting for me to be enjoyed with my morning coffee before anyone else is up. What a fun way to start the day! I love reading about your travels and only realized how much I missed them now that they are back! Keep it up – right there travelling with you in my thoughts!

  3. Thanks for a colorful review of the fun places I love to visit. Please include an address for those of us who rely on GPS navigation

    Rorie’s Dad

  4. Hey this is Woody..Thanks for stopping bye and what a great conversation as well as a great blog. Will be there most of the summer and hope to meet and greet new cxustomers.

  5. We love the crab cakes at Woody’s! We’ve been going there for years and have never been disappointed or had a bad meal. Hopefully you also got to the 5&10 store which is a shopper’s paradise for antiques and nostalgia.

  6. HI, this is Dena, your server at Woody’s. Thanks for coming in. I had a super fun time waiting on you two. Hope to see you back.

  7. I grew up in North East but now live in Washington, D.C. everytime I bring someone “back home” I have to take them to Woody’s. Did you try their carrot cake?? One slice is enough for the entire table!!

  8. I grew up in this little town, and I still live here. As great as it is to see an outsider’s perspective, I have to say it’s gotten a bit out of hand. On the weekends it is damn near impossible to go from one end of town to the other if you live towards the isles (having to pass through main street). Too many massive boats and RVs come rolling through the street and all of the little shops and especially Woody’s are so hard to get into, not to mention over the top prices. It’s a bit sad for locals to want to go out to dinner on main street but can’t because it has become so expensive, and there is nowhere to park. I miss the “sleep, quaint, and quiet” part of this little town. It’s completely over packed. I’m not trying to complain at all, I guess I’m just wishful thinking. Regardless of the frustration, it really is great to see so many who love our little town. I guess the secret is out!

  9. There is so much more to the town that you hadn’t mentioned. At the end of town right before the basket factory on the right is the Town Park located at the water where there have been weddings and lots of other events. The park is so beautiful on the water, a view that is breathtaking. Also at the park where there are piers for many boats is a Restaurant called the Nauty Goose which has bands playing on the outside deck during the spring/summer and you can sit by the water’s edge and enjoy the good tunes. Poker runs with the large speed boats and just normal boaters docking to eat and enjoy their time at the Naughty Goose.

    Just thought that it was only fair to mention some of the other unigue happenings in the town.

  10. Love this town lived in North East MD most its my home and a great one I must say . May God Bless you please come again soon .

  11. Grew up in North East. I haven’t been back in a long time. Your post makes me crave the nostalgia! Woody’s rocks!

  12. I am so proud to call North East home. I am the 4th generation to grow up there. I love bringing outsiders into town to see all it has to offer. Yes we have Woody’s but there are a lot more wonderful places to visit. I hope everyone can visit one time or another. We really have something for everyone… Shopping, eating, state parks, history, water and much more!

  13. I grew up in Cecil County & lived in North East for 23 years before moving to Towson, will be coming home to North East the end of August & am looking forward to being home again.

  14. Wonderful small town we discovered12 years ago when we started boating on the Chesapeake bay. Also not to be missed is Steak & Main, a fabulous restaurant with an awesome sushi bar!
    Drive inland about 90 minutes into PA (on rt 272 then rt 501) to spend some time in Lititz… one of the ‘coolest small towns in America’.

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