Drive time: 1 hour
Elk Forge Bed & Breakfast. Situated on five acres of woods, wildflowers and rose gardens, this graceful inn features 14 tastefully themed rooms and suites, many with whirlpools. $109-$239. 807 Elk Mills Road, Elkton; (410) 392-9007, elkforge.com.
Fair Hill Inn. Skip lunch and go for the six- or seven-course degustation dinner (wine flights additional) or four-course Sunday Garden Supper. Even if you go à la carte, start with the house-made salumi. Routes 273 and 213, Elkton; (410) 398-4187, fairhillinn.com.
Fair Hill Stables. Trail rides are $35 per hour; $65 for ponies and $125 for a romantic three-hour carriage ride with lunch. 64 Kennel Road, Elkton; (410) 620-3883, fairhillstables.com.
Plumpton Park Zoo. Meet Jimmie, the resident giraffe and mascot, along with other domestic and exotic furred, finned and feathered friends—many of them rescues. $10.95/adults, $6.95/kids. 1416 Telegraph Road, Rising Sun; (410) 658-6850, plumptonparkzoo.org.
Mount Harmon Plantation. Take a guided tour of this circa-1730 former tobacco plantation and manor house decorated with period antiques from America and the British isles. Then stroll the gardens and nature trails on your own. $10/adults, $5/kids. 600 Mount Harmon Road, Earleville; (410) 275-8819, mountharmon.org.
Day Basket Factory. Watch Karen and Dave Jackson craft unique white-oak future heirlooms at this institution, in operation since 1876. 714 S. Main St., North East; (410) 287-6100, daybasketfactory.com.
Kathy’s Corner Shop. Home of cool local crafts, including unique—and surprisingly affordable—stainless steel and bronze jewelry, hand-wrought by master blacksmith Alphonsus Moolenschot and his daughter. 100 S. Main St., North East; (410) 287-2333, kathyscornershop.com.
5&10 Antique Market. Leave plenty of time to wander its 8,000 square feet. 115 S. Main St., North East; (410) 287-8318.
Woody’s Crab House. A two-course seafood lunch can be had for $10.99. 29 S. Main St., North East; (410) 287-3541, woodyscrabhouse.com.
Kilby Cream Dairy Farm. The Chambourcin ice cream with dark cherries and chocolate bits is to die for. 129 Strohmaier Lane (off Hopewell Road), Rising Sun; (410) 658-8874, kilbycream.com.
Dove Valley Vineyard and Winery. Sample the luscious vignoles. 645 Harrington Road, Rising Sun; (410) 658-8388, dovevalleywine.com.