With a 65 degree, blue sky day and nothing pressing to do at home, I decided it was a good day to get out and explore. Perusing Google Maps and a few Day trips from DC articles that Google delivered, I decided on Solomons Island, MD as the day's destination. It's a pleasant (doesn't involve I-95) 90 minute drive from Fredericksburg, and it promised a very fresh seafood lunch as the reward.
There is 3 or 4 block boardwalk. with some shops and restaurants across the street. It's single lane, so crossing the street even when busy shouldn't a big deal. We got to the island about lunchtime, so we started with lunch at The Lighthouse. We both had the crab cake sandwiches, which were fabulous, and they came with fresh made crab spice flavored chips. (They were using a local mix - it wasn't Old Bay). After lunch we walked off the crab cake sandwiches for a bit, exploring the immediate area on foot. There really isn't a lot there. Solomons Island seems to be a place where you park your boat to grab lunch or dinner, or maybe sleep on your boat after dinner and drinks. There are only a couple of thousand residents, and not much in the way of hotels. Not that any of that is a bad thing. There is a hell of a nice view though.
Then we headed to the Calvert Marine Museum, which is less than a mile from the boardwalk. It's a really nicely done history / science museum focused on the geology of the area (it's very rich in fossils) and the history going back to Native American inhabitants. It didn't ignore the role slavery played in its history, which was nice to see. There is an actual lighthouse that used to sit out in the Chesapeake on the grounds, that was moved over when automation made it expendable as a working lighthouse.
After getting smarter, we headed back to the boardwalk for a snack, then out to the Ann Marie Sculpture Garden, which is a quick 5 minute drive from the boardwalk area. It's an artist workshop / space with a 1/4 mile trail through the woods that takes you past about 30 sculpture installations. I won't pretend to understand what makes some of the stuff "art" but it is a pleasant enough stroll in the woods, and at only $5 a person, not a bad deal at all.
We could have also hit the museum at the nearby Naval Air Station, but I think that was about the only major attraction we missed. It's a cute little town and we had a great day, but lacking a boat I can't think of any reason to go back. There is no beach there, everything revolves around the marina. I can imagine that in-season, the two lane road running through town gets pretty backed up and parking is sparse. 70% of the available parking was used today, and it is still off-season. It's probably way more crowded on a 90 degree summer day, but what would we do all day? Sitting riverside and tipping back a few would be fine, but I can do that in Fredericksburg!