Last fall, when we went on a fossil hunting excursion with Ruddy Duck Adventures, one of the stops on our all-day outing was the Calvert Marine Museum in Solomons, MD. It was perfect for that tour, and a trip there would also make a great outing on its own.
The museum tells the unique story of Chesapeake Bay’s prehistoric past, natural environment, and maritime heritage through an array of fascinating exhibits that are engaging for all ages. They range from small items in display cases to large installations, with areas to tour both indoors and out. Some are compelling just to look at, others welcome interaction.
Inside, there are areas dedicated to different eras in the Bay’s history. You can view fossils and artifacts in display cases, see different kinds of boats that cruise the waters, and learn how people and businesses have thrived in the area over time. A Discovery Room lets guests get hands on with different activities, including a sand box “beach” where you can go on a little shark tooth hunt, turtles to touch, and a little lighthouse to climb.
Outside, you can walk through a small craft building to see different kinds of boats of the Chesapeake. The Drum Point Lighthouse is really neat to tour, made to look just as it did during its days in operation. You can watch otters at play, and stroll along the Marsh Walk, where you could see wildlife and vegetation and learn how the marsh helps the Bay.
Along with the exhibits, the museum also hosts special events and programs, many of them especially for kids. You can see what’s coming up on the website.
The Calvert Marine Museum is located in Solomons, MD, about an hour’s drive from DC (get directions). It’s open daily 10am – 5pm. Admission is $9/adult, $7/senior, $4/ages 5-12, free for ages 4 and under.