Solomons Island nearly tops the list of the most “unspoiled” vacation spots in America, according to FishingBooker.com, a website for booking fishing charters.
Second only to Port St. Joe in Florida, Solomons Island is billed as being “untouched by the modern world” as it keeps its “small-town vibe” despite its proximity to Washington.
FishingBooker based its ranking of fishing destinations on a variety of factors to include user reviews and industry knowledge and research, but also took into account places that have kept their “spirit” through time and offer more “character” than the average tourist attractions.
“We first surveyed our 100-plus employees about which places they visited in the past few years that felt totally unspoiled but still kept their spirit through time,” FishingBooker spokesperson Allison Arthurs said. “We then narrowed the spots down to places that offer really good fishing, and that also provide visitors with other fun activities and things to see during their stay.”
Young said the town hosts four major events every year that draw on average of 7,500 to 10,000 people. They are the Taste of Solomons in the spring, a Fourth of July celebration, Harvest of Solomons in October and the Christmas Walk during the first week of December.
Sitting at the confluence of the Chesapeake Bay and the Patuxent River, the Solomons waterfront and its retail offerings have some bearing on the high reviews.
“We have both beautiful sunrises over the Bay and spectacular sunsets over the Patuxent,” said Ted Haynie, president of the Solomons Civic Association.
“It has all the amenities one would want such as a variety of shops, several great eateries, numerous social events, the world-class Calvert Marine Museum, and Anne Marie Gardens, and an active charter fishing fleet,” Haynie added.
Haynie said the area is very walkable and “dramatically picturesque” and recalls the book “Blue Mind” in which authors Wallace Nichols and Celine Cousteau describe the science of the effect of living on or near the water as calm, peace, unity, and a sense of general happiness and satisfaction.
“I think that sense of peace and happiness is palpable to those who both live here and visit Solomons Island,” Haynie said.
FishingBooker said the fishing around Solomons Island is “just as timeless as the town itself” and offers anglers a variety of species such as rockfish and bluefish in the Chesapeake Bay, and catfish, crabs, and largemouth bass on the Patuxent River.
“We have the largest charter boat fleet on the bay,” Calvert County Department of Economic Development Director Kelly Robertson-Slagle said, referring to North Beach and Chesapeake Beach as well. “Solomons is really a perfect location” for charter fishing.
Robertson-Slagle, who has purview over tourism for the county, said Solomons is logistically located in the “hot spot” for fishing and that the charter boat captains are really seasoned and take pride in what they do.
The economic director referred to the captains as “tourism ambassadors” for the county and said their goal is to host folks on their boats, allow them to have a good experience and be successful in catching fish, but they also take the opportunity to share the history of the area and the bay which garner interests in rebooking the charters.
“There is an authenticity in Solomons — the look, the feel,” county Business Development Manager Danita Boonchaisri said, listing off nearby attractions Annmarie Gardens, Calvert Marine Museum, Drum Point Lighthouse and restaurants. “All of that adds to ambiance down there.”