The Calvert Marine Museum in Solomons Island, Maryland, is home to one of the premier collections of southern Chesapeake Bay history. Not only is the museum readily accessible to visitors from the water, but much of the publicly viewable content is almost like a family photo album for the nearby residents. Indeed, one may overhear other visitors comment about specific items having been donated by a grandfather or uncle, along with an anecdote that’s not included in the text of the exhibit.
Included in the collection are locally built small craft and watermen’s boats, the original Drum Point lighthouse, an extensive paleontology program, a detailed Chesapeake maritime history collection, the nearby Lore Oyster House, the still operational Cove Point lighthouse (8 miles up the road), and their secret weapon — a large outdoor exhibit of river otters, which draws large numbers of appreciative fans of all ages. Of all the museums on and about the Chesapeake Bay, this is one of the most kid friendly available with lots of special exhibits, displays and critters for the younger set. Temporary exhibits also rotate through and the present one contains one of the last remaining cannons from the Chesapeake Oyster Wars of the 1880s, which is on loan through September 30, 2012.
The museum is open daily from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM (they are closed on New Years Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day); the admission cost is a very reasonable $7 for adults, $2 for children 5-12 and free for kids under 5. Parking is ample, with a huge overflow lot for special event days, and there is a wide variety of eating opportunities nearby.