Tag Archives: Solomons Island

Make a Great Day of it with Ruddy Duck’s New Adventure Packages

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As much as I enjoy planning our excursions around DC and surrounding areas, sometimes it’s really nice to have the logistics coordinated for me. Especially when the day’s outing is devised by people who really know a locale and its best offerings, and have first-hand insight on how to make the most of it all.

This is what I appreciate most about Ruddy Duck Adventures, the Calvert County tour company that offers all-inclusive day trips around the Solomons, MD, area. They provide an itinerary that includes fun activities and great dining, plus all the instruction and gear needed; all guests have to do is drive. And they plan the adventures with local knowledge and ardent zeal for all the area has to offer, making the trips as authentic as they are enjoyable. We know this from experience, their Fossil & Shark Teeth Hunt easily a KFDC favorite last year.

Ruddy Duck Adventures has just expanded their selection of tours, introducing two new packages that combine several activities to make for fantastic day-long excursions. And a great thing about these new adventures, is that they can be family outings (depending on the ages of your children) or unique grown-up outings (think daytime date or moms’ day out). Even better, they are offering KidFriendly DC readers a special 10% discount on bookings for a limited time!

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The Paddle Package is perfect for those who like active recreation, especially on the water. Start with kayaking around Solomons Island. After working up an appetite, enjoy a tasty lunch at the cozy Ruddy Duck Brewery. From there, swing by the Solomons Island boardwalk for ice cream, shopping, and great views. That will give you some rest time before the next activity: stand-up paddle boarding! Finally, wind down the day with dinner, including amazing Potomac views, at the Ruddy Duck Seafood & Alehouse. No prior experience is necessary for any of the paddling, and all instruction and gear is included.
Cost: $129/person ($20/kids ages 5-11).

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The Gardens & Grapes Package lets you savor the area in a more relaxed and artsy way. Start by exploring the beauty of nature and art at Annmarie Sculpture Garden. Then, drive just down the road to Ruddy Duck Brewery & Grill for a yummy lunch. From there, head to award-winning Port of Leonardtown Winery for a delicious wine tasting. That segues right into the next activity, wine and cheese aboard a Chesapeake skiff for a relaxing human-powered boat tour. Top it all off with dinner, including amazing Potomac views, at the Ruddy Duck Seafood & Alehouse.
Cost: $109/person ($20/kids ages 3-11).

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The original Fossil & Shark Teeth Hunt is also available for $89/person ($20/kids ages 3 and up). When you consider all that is included with all of the packages — the activities, instruction & equipment, two meals, snacks, admission fees — you’re getting a pretty amazing deal, not to mention there is also the KFDC 10% discount. And you can consider it for a special occasion, as a friend of mine did when her family opted for (and loved!) the Fossil Hunt Package a couple of weeks ago to celebrate her birthday. Though anytime you go and share a unique and wonderful experience is going to be special.

For more about Ruddy Duck Adventures and to book your adventure, visit the website — and be sure to use the code KFDC at check out to get your 10% discount. You can also read about our experience on the Fossil & Shark Teeth Hunt.


Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Ruddy Duck Adventures, however, I only promote programs, services, and events that I genuinely believe in and think would appeal to KFDC readers.


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Filed under Art, Exhibit, Maryland, Nature, Outdoor, Sponsored Post, Weekend

The Ultimate Fossil Hunting Experience with Ruddy Duck Adventures

Some of our finds after the fossil hunt

Some of our finds after the fossil hunt



I think it’s been established by now that I like fossil hunting. I’ve blogged about it several times, and have posted about my shark tooth searching excursions on Facebook even more. And something I’ve learned from that: You guys are pretty into it, too. Not only do the posts get tons of interest, I’ve also had many readers tell me they’ve gone fossil hunting with their families on my recommendation and loved it. Which is why I know you’ll be interested to hear about one of our recent adventures, easily one of our favorites this year.

The beach is a year-round destination when you're fossil hunting

The beach is a year-round destination when you’re fossil hunting

A few weeks ago, on a lovely Sunday in November, we went on a fossil hunting tour with Ruddy Duck Adventures. This is fossil hunting and then some. The day-long outing in Calvert County includes a fossil hunting excursion with an extremely knowledgeable guide, plus hot chocolate on the beach; a visit to the fantastic Calvert Marine Museum, including lunch brought to you there; and dinner at one of their restaurants with a beer tasting for the adults.

A half-mile hike precedes the fossil hunt

A half-mile hike precedes the fossil hunt

Our adventure started at Flag Ponds Nature Park, where we met our guide, Russ, in the parking lot. From there we hiked the half-mile to the beach, during which he gave us the prehistoric background on the area, engaging the kids as they talked about what it was like millions of years ago. Once on the beach, he didn’t waste any time getting us started on our search for shark teeth and other fossilized remains of the Miocene Epoch.

They're onto something...

They’re onto something…

A tooth!

A tooth!

And this was one of the best parts of having a guide. Russ is a huge fossil hunting enthusiast and knows about much more than just the shark teeth and skate dental plates that we’d normally look for on our own. He showed us all kinds of interesting fossils and talked about the species they came from that once inhabited the area. He also brought along special gear for the kids to use, which made them feel like “real” fossil hunters, and had them find some of the fossils for themselves once he led them to a general area after spotting the piece.

A cluster of fossilized shells

A cluster of fossilized shells

Getting the lay of the land from an expert

Getting the lay of the land from an expert

He was also happy to answer all of my random questions about his fossil hunting methods and habits. I learned some new ways to look for fossils (you’ve got to go yourself if you want to find out!) and that some of these guys and gals are super hardcore hunters. I asked Russ when he’d last been out to search and he casually told me it was during the previous night from 11pm to 2am when the tide was low — and he wasn’t the only one there. Needless to say, we were getting the grand tour from someone who was passionate about his hobby, which in my book is the best way.

Scanning the sand at low tide

Scanning the sand at low tide

A shark tooth to fill the gap?

A shark tooth to fill the gap?

After a good while on the beach with a nice stash of fossils, we headed back to the parking lot where we had snacks and hot chocolate (on my suggestion, Ruddy Duck now brings that down to the beach). We parted with Russ there, but not before he gifted us with Megalodon teeth a friend of his found in North Carolina and provided the itinerary for the rest of our day.

The Megalodon replica is one of many cool highlights at the Calvert Marine Museum

The Megalodon replica is one of many cool highlights at the Calvert Marine Museum

A display to compare our finds!

A display to compare our finds!

The next stop was the Calvert Marine Museum, which was a perfect continuation of the adventure. You can explore how the Prehistoric past, natural environment, and maritime heritage come together to tell a unique story of the Chesapeake Bay. Fascinating exhibits, including display cases full of fossils and artifacts, live fish and other creatures, and large installations are engaging for all ages. We toured an old lighthouse, watched otters play and pet a terrapin, checked out dug out boats, and learned more about the Chesapeake waters on the Marsh Walk. And the kids brought in their findings from our fossil hunt to compare with some on display there.

Getting a close look

Getting a close look

A peek into the lighthouse bedroom

A peek into the lighthouse bedroom

Dugout canoes and other old maritime craft

Dugout canoes and other old maritime craft

Our lunch was delivered to us at the Museum, so we took time out of our self-guided tour to eat outside by the water and enjoy the nice day. We’d made menu selections in advance, so everything was ready and we didn’t have to worry about finding a lunch spot, which let us relax and enjoy our outing more.

Setting up for lunch by the water

Setting up for lunch by the water

A diamondback terrapin encounter (Go, Terps!)

A diamondback terrapin encounter (Go, Terps!)

We spent more time at the museum, then explored the area for a little while before dinner to work up an appetite. We finally headed to Ruddy Duck Brewery & Grill, a cozy restaurant right up the road, where our table was reserved and we selected dishes from a special menu for guests on the fossil tour. It was a good meal that included a beer tasting and plenty of yummy fare for all of us.

Brewed on the premises!

Brewed on the premises!

We finally headed home that evening feeling quite satisfied — and not just from the food, but from a day full of fun, enriching adventures and wonderful, quality time together. Thanks, Ruddy Duck Adventures, for helping make it happen!

A Megalodon tooth parting gift -- and this wasn't even the biggest of the bunch!

A Megalodon tooth parting gift — and this wasn’t even the biggest of the bunch!



Ruddy Duck Adventures in located in Solomons, MD, and they offer tours all year round, starting at $89/adult ($20/child) for the Island Tour Winter Special. When you consider all that you get — the fossil hunt with an expert guide, snacks, admission to the park and museum, lunch and dinner for everyone — it’s more than worth it. You could even make it a special gift for an adventure-loving kid or adult (it’s in the KFDC Gift Guide!) or just a unique outing for the family. Either way, you’re in for a treat.


Disclosure: I received a complimentary tour from Ruddy Duck Adventures, however, all views expressed here are entirely my own (because I really loved it!), and I only promote activities, programs, and products that I truly believe in and/or think would appeal to KFDC readers.


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Filed under All ages, Educational, Exhibit, Fall, Maryland, Museums, Nature, Ongoing, Outdoor, Park, Spring, Summer, Weekend, Winter

Ruddy Duck Adventures Makes Shark Teeth & Fossil Hunting an Amazing Family Experience

A shark tooth find on one of our summer adventures

A shark tooth find on one of our summer adventures



It seems I’m not the only one who gets excited about shark teeth and fossil hunting along Maryland shorelines. When I posted about the pursuit over the summer (here, too), there was a such an enthusiastic response. Some of you had already been and shared bits and tips about your experiences. And even more sent messages to let me know they went on my recommendation and loved it.

So, when Ruddy Duck Adventures in Solomons, MD, introduced me to their Shark Teeth & Fossil Hunting Adventure Packages, I knew it was something I had to share with the KFDC masses. Their adventures sound amazing — these are fossil hunting excursions enhanced.

They day starts on the Chesapeake shores to search for shark teeth and other millions-of-years-old fossils, an expert on hand to help with the hunt and hot cocoa to keep folks comfortable during the cool seasons. The fun continues at the Calvert Marine Museum, where guests can compare their findings with ancient fossils and giant shark teeth. A gourmet lunch is included, as are dinner and a chance to sample local craft beer later.

A megalodon tooth at the Calvert Marine Museum

A megalodon tooth at the Calvert Marine Museum

Don't worry about lunch (or dinner) - it's included!

Don’t worry about lunch (or dinner) – it’s included!

I love that the package is offered through fall and winter for those who enjoy outdoor adventures year-round. (There’s no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing.)

Package rates start at $89/adult, and $20/child. This includes a lot — admission to all activities and equipment, lunch, dinner, snacks, bottled water, beer tasting or first wine/beer for adults, and a guide. And it all makes for an amazing adventure for the whole family.

More information about Ruddy Duck Adventures is available on their website.


Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Ruddy Duck Adventures, however, I only promote programs, activities, and products that I truly believe in and/or think would appeal to KFDC readers.


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Filed under All ages, Animals, Eats, Educational, Exhibit, Maryland, Museums, Nature, Outdoor, Sponsored Post, Weekend