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A Chesapeake Bay Christmas:
Celebration of Christmas Surrounding Washington DC

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October 24, 2005

Reprinted from Christmasdaddy.com - Sponsored by the Chesapeake Bay Market

The Chesapeake Bay, known for its crabs and seafood is home to a region of colonial history.  With that history comes the charm of a "Christmas of Old" as historical areas from Chestertown in the northern part of the bay to Annapolis and St. Michael's in the middle bay down to Williamsburg in the south. Donít forget Washington DC and even more significantly, Alexandria Virginia just to the south.  Any one of these areas makes for some wonderful day-trips or weekend Christmas adventures for the entire family.

St. Michaels, located on the Eastern Shore close to the Bay on the Miles River will take you back in time.  This colonial era town is the home of one of two of Maryland's great Maritime museums, The Chesapeake Bay Maritime museum.  Christmas in St. Michaels is an annual holiday celebration held the second weekend in December. A black tie benefit gala kicks off the weekend festivities that include a festive parade, Breakfast with Santa, Santa's Wonderland for the children and tours of local historic homes and buildings allowing visitors to savor the history of this charming town.  Visit http://www.christmasinstmichaels.org for more details on the events.

Head north from St, Michael's to Chestertown Maryland, a 300-year-old waterside town located on the northern part of the Eastern Shore is replete with numerous colonial style bed and breakfasts.  It is the home of Washington College, as well as the schooner Sultana - a replica of the original vessel from the 18th century, built at the shipyard in the center of town, and plies the waters of the Chesapeake. This town has numerous events including Christmas Bazaars, theater group shows as well as their famous Christmas home tour.  More information can be found at www.Chestertown.com

Another, more famous colonial town, Annapolis, the capitol of Maryland is home to the Naval Academy, and one of the best lighted Christmas boat parades you will see.  The cobblestone streets leading from the waterfront to the center of town to the statehouse has many shops restaurants and Bed and Breakfasts. Along with the lighted boat parade, you can take in a Christmas walking tour.  Glowing lanterns light your way as you stroll around Marylandís historic State Capital, all trimmed in holiday greenery.  Walk along the streets of Annapolis, past colonial mansions, Victorian townhouses and quaint shops. Visit www.annapolis-tours.com for details on tours.  Details of Annapolis can be found at Poor Richard's Web Almanack - Travel articles on Annapolis.

Wind your way out of Annapolis down Route 2 for a few miles, then make a right onto Route 214 - go about 4 miles and you will find the famous Homestead Gardens on your left.  A Homestead Gardens visit is a real holiday treat.  Not only do they have one of the largest selections of holiday plants and trees, but one of the largest displays of Department 54 villages to be seen.  Don't forget to see the large model trains in the atrium.

Head further south to Solomons Maryland, Home to the second great Chesapeake Bay museum, The Calvert Marine Museum.  This beautiful Western Shore town, which is about an hour from both Annapolis and Washington, livens up for the holidays.  The culmination of the season events occurs with the 3-day Solomons Christmas Walk festival, with event all around Solomons Island and the Museum, it is definitely a place to see.  Numerous waterside bed and breakfasts, restaurants, and hotels all make your stay a memorable event.  Details can be found at www.SolomonsChristmasWalk.com.

Across the Potomac you will want to explore Washington D.C., Alexandria, and, of course, Mount Vernon.  Washington has numerous events to include the pageantry surrounding the Christmas tree lightings for both the White house and Capitol.

Kick off your holiday season the first weekend of December (every year) with a visit to Alexandria, Virginia, just south of Washington for the Scottish Christmas Walk.  On the first Saturday in December, the sight of colorful tartans representing Scottish clans, light-footed country dancers, and the mournful wail of bagpipes transforms Old Town Alexandria.

The Scottish Christmas Walk has grown from a small and informal parade to an entire weekend filled with events and festivities for all ages. The parade was begun in 1969 by the Alexandria Community Y (now known as the Campagna Center) to kick off the holiday season with a celebration honoring the city's Scottish founders, its rich heritage, and unique quality of life. Head south a few miles and see how our First President would have celebrated Christmas at Mount Vernon.

Still want more colonial Christmas events?  Go a few more hours south on your Chesapeake Bay tour to Williamsburg, Virginia.  If you are excited about Christmas from the Colonial Chesapeake towns mentioned above the Williamsburg for Christmas will put you over the edge.  From dining with Dickens and Thomas Jefferson to the entire historic district decorated from Wren Hall to the House of Burgesses, the programs, shopping, decorations, and events will make you feel that this is the way Christmas should always be. More details of Williamsburg Christmas events can be found at the Colonial Williamsburg Christmas website.

No matter where you are from, the historic Chesapeake region of Maryland, Virginia, and Washington D.C. has a Christmas for everyone.

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