Dorchester County was established in 1669, and from that time until today it has been known as a place with an abundance of fish and crustaceans, large forests and agricultural possibilities.
This is the largest county in Maryland (including its water area) containing 688 square miles and approximately 1,700 miles of shoreline. It is situated in the “heart” of the Eastern Shore with Talbot and Caroline counties to the north, Wicomico County and Delaware to the east, and the Chesapeake Bay to the west and south. The 122,000 acres of wetlands in the county make up 40 percent of the total wetlands in Maryland. These wetlands are an important part of the “life source” of the bay and have protected federal and state reserves for nature enthusiasts as well as gunning areas for the sportsmen.
Because of the large size of Dorchester County there is a diverse collection of unique communities: quaint fishing communities such as Hooper’s and Taylor’s islands to the south and west, with crab picking facilities and hunting lodges; small towns like Hurlock, East New Market and Vienna in the northern area, surrounded by agricultural grain farms, market crops, truck farms and poultry growing; and Cambridge, a city in the center of the county. It is the county seat and largest community.
Being a resident of Dorchester means always having something to do. IRONMAN Maryland takes place in September, with athletes from all over the world gathering in Cambridge to compete for a place that will send them to Hawaii in October for the big race. A major stop on the Atlantic flyway, Dorchester hosts over 250 species of birds and is home to Blackwater National Widelife Refuge, a paradise for people into birding, paddling, nature walks and cycling. The Chesapeake Bay is a one-of-a-kind body of water offering some of the best fishing and boating in the country.
As the county seat, Cambridge is the most populated area of the county. Its downtown area is going through a revitalization phase, and many new subdivisions are being built on the outskirts of town. There is also a new resort in Cambridge: the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay, including a golf club and community.
Travelers with everything from skipjacks to hydroplanes make it a point to stop in Cambridge, where, for the past 103 years, the city has hosted the Cambridge Classic, a boat race on the Choptank River. For the golfers in the family there are two 18 hole courses: River Marsh at the Hyatt resort and Clearview at Horn’s Point. Then we have the Cambridge-Dorchester airport, sited on 354 acres, with a 20-foot elevation.
In the historic district of Cambridge exists one of the largest collection of vintage Victorian homes of any community on the Delmarva Peninsula. This is a waterfront city with a busy harbor, lots of restaurants and interesting historic sites to visit. A growing artist district is making life that much more interesting.
Some popular destinations are the fishing bridge, Sailwinds Park, the Cambridge Yacht Club, and the Cambridge Municipal Yacht Basin. Try to time your visit to see the Power Boat Regatta, usually at the end of July.