- Places to Explore
- Travel Tips
- Fodor's Choice
Fodor's Virginia and Maryland
Historic St. Mary's City
Historic St. Mary's City Review
When you visit the 800-plus acres here, with a liberal arts college serving at the cultural center, don't expect Colonial Williamsburg. St. Mary's is an ongoing archaeological dig and a work in progress. In 1934, in commemoration of the 300th anniversary of Maryland, the colony's imposing State House, originally built in 1676, was reconstructed. In the early 1970s a vast archaeological-reconstruction program began in earnest, a project that has revealed nearly 200 individual sites. In 2009 St. Mary's marked its 375th anniversary of the founding of Maryland. A living history museum of sorts, the historic town includes several notable reconstructions and reproductions of buildings. The State House of 1676, like its larger and grander counterpart in Williamsburg, has an upper and a lower chamber for the Council and General Assembly. This 1934 reproduction is based on court documents from the period; the original was dismantled in 1829, with many of the bricks used for Trinity Church nearby. The square-rigged ship Maryland Dove, docked behind the State House, represents the smaller of the two vessels that conveyed the original settlers from England. The Godiah Spray Tobacco Plantation depicts life on a 17th-century tobacco farm in the Maryland wilderness, with interpreters portraying the Spray family—the real family lived about 20 mi away—and its indentured servants, enlisting visitors in such household chores as cooking and gardening or in working the tobacco field. The buildings, including the main dwelling house and outbuildings, were built with period tools and techniques.
Other sites to see in town are the town center, the location of the first Catholic church in the English Colonies, a "victualing" and lodging house, and the Woodland Indian Hamlet. Historic interpreters in costume—some in character—add realism to the experience. Admission is about a third of the price for kids.
- 80 Degrees: Fodor's Helps You Find Your Best Beach Vacation Spots
- Fodor's Go List 2014: Where we are going in 2014
- World Cup Fever: Start planning your trip to Brazil!
- Fodor's 100 Hotel Awards: Check out the winners of 2013
- Weekend Getaways: Fodor's Recommends the Best Weekend Escapes in the US
- Great American Vacation: Find Your Next U.S. Trip with Fodor's
This report augments the relatively limited body of work available to travelers wanting to combine a play at the Weinberg Theater and a visit to Frederick, Md, staying at a cheesy motel (Country Inn and Read more
General outline of the trip that DW and I took Dec. Read more
I have to attend a wedding in Detroit (in August!) and will stop in Washington for four nights on the way. I'll travel to/from the Washington area by train. On the way back I will probably fly into BWI Read more
· News & Features
Navigate the chaotic street food scene of Ho Chi Minh City like a pro with our quick guide to no-fuss... Read more
Come for the beautiful architecture and stay for the vibrant local culture.... Read more
A look at ultra-luxurious airline accomodations and a fascinating visual breakdown of literary storytelling are... Read more