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An Across-the-Bay Getaway

The CBM team recently spent a relaxing afternoon at Kentmorr on Kent Island. Photo by Krista Pfunder.

Kent Island isn’t just for passing through

By Meg Walburn Viviano

“See What You’re Missing,” reads the banner on the Queen Anne’s County tourism video—a montage of crab picking, fishing, and kayaking on the expanse of water in and around Kent Island.

Truth be told, many of us in Chesapeake Country probably are missing out on Kent Island. The Bay’s largest island falls victim to being “on the way to” someplace like the Atlantic coastal beaches, rather than being our destination.

Why not spend a weekend on KI? In this special Weekends on the Water edition of CBM Bay Weekly, we aim to show you the ways that oft-overlooked Kent Island and the Narrows can make a fabulous close-to-home escape.

Maybe Kent Island doesn’t sound like your scene. “It’s all party spots and dock bars!” you might assume.

Not true: there are miles of bike trails, including a stretch of boardwalk built right over the wetlands. There is an environmental center complete with kayak rentals. There is a public swimming beach with a dog beach, too. Goodness knows there are plenty of fishing opportunities.

And yes—there are dock bars with live music and great boat-watching along the Narrows. But there are also some standout choices for fine dining and classic family spots.

Maybe Kent Island doesn’t feel far enough. “Six miles from Annapolis doesn’t count as a getaway!” you might protest.

I’d argue that because of the expansive estuary you must cross to reach Kent Island, it inherently does feel like a getaway—there’s a whole Bay between you and back home. On a recent trip I took to the island with my husband and kids, the drive across the Bay Bridge was all part of the adventure. “How tall is the bridge? How deep down into the bottom does it go? How did they build it?” were all questions posed by my engineering-minded 5-year-old.

Best of all, Bay Bridge traffic backups tend to wane this time of year. These golden late summer-early fall weekends are less hot and humid and there are fewer beach-going vehicles to battle than in peak season. You can avoid vehicle traffic altogether, of course, traveling by boat.

Our joint CBM Bay Weekly family was lucky enough to board a powerboat and ride across the Bay in late August—a last hurrah of summer. It was about an hour’s trip from Annapolis to tie up at Kentmorr Restaurant & Crab House—and it took even less time than that for our media team to relax from the week’s deadlines, enjoy a grapefruit crush (or an orange crush, or a lemonade crush…), and wade into the warm water of the Bay. One unnamed member of our executive team even jumped in fully clothed.

Whether a boat or a car is your preferred mode of transportation, we’ve got the information you need to inspire a weekend of fun just across the Bay. At just 4.3 miles from shore to shore, Kent Island is a sure shot for a post-Labor Day getaway.