Yes, I know there are still very few places you can travel to. I guess you can go somewhere but who knows what you’ll find, what’s open and how safe you’ll feel. So I determined the best thing to do now is to control all aspects of your trip beginning with driving your own car when and where you want.
So that’s what I did as I headed to Havre de Grace in Harford County to check out an area I heard so much about, the promenade. And I was not at all disappointed. The day of my trip the weather was glorious and many people were enjoying the walk. That’s what you want to do. Don’t just drive by it. Park and walk.
Let me give you a bit of history so you’ll at least think I did a little work in putting this together. The town was named after the French town Le Havre (Harbor of Grace). In May 1813 it was attacked by cannons by the British. Sadly, it was burned and plundered. Residents did what they could to defend it but the British force was too massive and experienced.
Early industries included oystering and harvesting. It was also at one time a primary town along the Underground Railroad. My goodness, even George Washington spent a night here in 1789 on his way to New York and his first Inauguration. Of course, where didn’t he sleep?
The town has come a long way. In 1987 the central business district was added to the National Register of Historic Places and in 1914 was named one of the best small towns by Smithsonian Magazine. One minor glitch, in September 2003 Hurricane Isabel destroyed the promenade and flooded many close by areas.
One of the main attractions along the promenade is the Concord Point Lighthouse Station. It was built in 1827, activated in 1920, and de-commissioned in 1975. It is the oldest Chesapeake Bay Lighthouse and second oldest in Maryland. Its walls are 3 feet thick and stand 36 feet. Its granite was sourced in Port Deposit (410-939-3213, concordpointlightouse.org).
Along your walk, you’ll pass the Decoy Museum (410-939-3739, open 7 days, decoymuseum.com), the Maritime Museum
(410-939-4800, Wedn-Sunday, hdgmaritimemuseum.org) and on the southern end of the promenade stop by the Promenade Grill.
I did and enjoyed my first root beer float of the season.
Other places close to the museums include Steppingstone Farm (410-939-2299, daily, steppingstonemuseum.org) and Susquehanna Museum at the Lock House (410-939-5780, Friday-Sunday thru October, thelockhousemuseum.org).
The current population is about 14,000, it’s 6.28 square miles and 64 miles from Baltimore. I do believe both Cal and Billy Ripken were born here. Also, and this seems a bit wild, David Hasselhoff was born here. Check that if you want.
To begin your visit stop by the Visitors Center, 450 Pennington Avenue (410-939-2100).
In short, Havre de Grace is an excellent destination for a day trip. Even for an overnight. Many B & B’s and restaurants in town.
Don’t think about it, just go.
Eddie Applefeld is a Baltimore native and a graduate of Towson University. He has been in the broadcasting profession for over 30 years. Currently he is the Promotions Director of WCBM radio. Before that, he was part of the Rouse & Company show on WQSR, host of a cable TV show called Dining Out and adjunct instructor at Towson.
His past accomplishments include being named a finalist in Baltimore Tourism’s Employee of the Year Program and winner of Toastmaster’s Speaker of the Year contest. He was also twice a heartthrob for the American Heart Association’s gala fund raiser.