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By the Bay

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With summer a wastin’, a north-south journey along Route 213 to savor the sights and bites of Maryland’s Eastern Shore is long overdue. First stop: Woody’s Crab House (29 S. Main St., North East; 410-287-3541, woodyscrabhouse.com). Messy types can dive into a platter of Uncle Bud’s baby-back ribs and a pitcher of Woody’s own Honey Brown Lager. But if you want the real deal, it’s hard-shell crabs all the way. The same goes for Waterman’s Crab House (21055 Sharp St., Rock Hall; 410-639-2261, watermanscrabhouse.com), where diehard crustacean junkies swear by the steamed crabs and Dorothy Boots’ secret-recipe crab cakes.

The next power trio along 213 is the Chesapeake Inn (605 Second St., Chesapeake City; 410-885-2040, chesapeakeinn.com), Bayard House (11 Bohemia Ave., Chesapeake City; 877-582-4049, bayardhouse.com) and the Tap Room (201 Bohemia Ave., Chesapeake City, 410-885-2344). The Chesapeake Inn’s outdoor tiki bar is the epitome of an all-day party venue. Just don’t expect to bury your face in a pile of steamed crabs; this trend-conscious kitchen has other things on its mind. Lunch of champions at the Bayard House consists of a spicy Bloody Mary, a cup of sweet Maryland she-crab soup, a plate of plump, crunchy soft-shells, and a cocktail at the 200-plus-year-old Hole in the Wall bar for dessert. The Tap Room serves up Old Bay-or garlic-steamed crabs and plenty of old-school, budget-conscious seafood platters.

Back on 213, a southwest twist will take you toward Kent Narrows and Fisherman’s Crab Deck (pictured) (3116 Main St., Grasonville; 410-827-6666, crabdeck.com), home of spectacular sunsets, spicy crabs, hearty clambakes in a pot, and whimsical ice cream drinks like the Dirty Banana. The Granary (100 George St., Georgetown; 410-275-1603, granary.biz) boasts an impressive view of the Georgetown Harbor. Crab bisque and memorable sunsets are the house specialties.

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