ROADTRIPPING IS THE BEST. It’s been around for a long time. Before the T-Model Ford, Chevy Corvette, the ‘Oregon Trail,’ and even before hippies started tricking out their air-cooled VW Vanagons, road trips have been an American favorite.  Countless movies, songs and books have been based on it. Look up Kerouac’s ‘On The Road.’ Arguably one of the most famous road trips in American History is when Sacagawea led those two other guys (what’s their names again?) across North America in search of a waterway to the Pacific. They failed, but the actual act of them roadtripping made them famous. If your reading this, chances are, your planning a trip to the Atlantic Ocean. In doing so, we would like to offer a few tips and suggestions before you hop in the car.

Tip #1: Look out the window (and if it’s nice out, open that window!). Cars are basically moving windows, they’ve got a three hundred and sixty degree panoramic view. That’s panoramic to the max! It’s ok to look around as you drive down the road. The Eastern Shore of Maryland is, for the most part, flat. But it’s home to some of the most beautiful countryside this side of the Mississippi. Old run down barns and farm houses are such a joy to look at and they can remind us how life used to be and to some degree, how it still is. There’s a lot of small towns with old brick buildings and narrow streets with old fire halls. Through these towns are small rivers and creeks that if followed could lead you right to the Atlantic Ocean, which is where you were going anyways… But in-between your home and the beaches of Ocean City are vast fields of greens and yellows and reds that if peered upon could show you deer and wild turkey and woodchucks scurrying across the ground. If riding on Rt. 50 make sure not to miss looking out over the Vienna Bridge. This is where the Nanticoke River runs along the Blackwater Refuge. It’s beautiful. There’s a very good chance to spot a Bald Eagle, Osprey or Great Blue Heron while heading over this bridge.

Tip #2, #3, #4 & #5: Bring snacks, a map & music. Do the speed limit. (Just stating the obvious & speed tickets are not cool.)

Tip #6: Break the ride up: Although Ocean City, and or, your home are the true destinations of the trip, the Eastern Shore has plenty of ‘quick hits’ to break the journey up. Salisbury, MD has a free Zoo within their city park. Monkey, bison, wolf, bear, panther, otter and alligator, to name a few, all live here, and it’s a great place to take a rest and stretch your legs. Another good spot to do that is the Sailwinds Park in Cambridge, MD. It’s right as you cross the Choptank River coming into town, you can swim in the river, play on the huge playground or swing on one of their relaxing ‘porch swings.’ Headed down Rt. 13? Trap Pond State Park and Killens Pond are wonderful places to stop. If your feeling adventurous, take a back road. There are a lot of back roads that run parallel to Rt. 50 and Rt. 13. These let you slow down and take it all in (refer to tip #3).

Tip #7: Embrace it. Sometimes things don’t go exactly as planned. Can we say ‘bumps in the road?’ Traffic gets thick, the kids get restless, your window gets stuck down when its raining or your transmission explodes on the way to taking your wife to a New Kids On The Block concert. Point is, stuff happens no matter what. If you take it in stride and let it roll off your back, the whole trip becomes more enjoyable. You’ll probably end up laughing about the mishaps later.

So there it is, your seven step plan for a more enjoyable road trip over the river and through the woods down to good ol’ Ocean City, Maryland. Drive safe and we’ll see you soon!

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