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Southern MD Day Trip: The Patuxent Wine Trail
Tired of the same dull, urban landscape? Replace it—at least for a day. Follow the Patuxent Wine Trail and enjoy a leisurely tour of Southern Maryland’s wine country.
The Patuxent Wine Trail not only offers visitors a chance to sample local wines, but it also provides lovely views of the Patuxent River as well as the Chesapeake Bay.
For those traveling from the north, Fridays Creek Winery, which is about 45 minutes from the heart of DC, is the first of seven stops on the wine trail.
BEFORE YOU HIT THE PATUXENT WINE TRAIL ...
- Research special events and winery hours of operation by clicking the links to the winery websites below.
- If you intend to spend the day tasting wines, elect one of your party's members as the designated driver--and have a fun, safe time on the Patuxent Wine Trail!
First Stop? Fridays Creek Winery!
Chart your course to the first stop on the Patuxent Wine Trail.
Fridays Creek Winery
Located in Owings, Maryland, Fridays Creek is housed in a converted barn that abuts a large vineyard just off MD-4 South. The winery features a large, charming tasting area with wine displays, cloth-covered tables and a long tasting bar with stools. An adjoining room allows visitors to view the wine-making process.
Running Hare Vineyard
Next on the trail is Running Hare Vineyard in Prince Frederick, approximately 25 minutes away from Fridays Creek. Running Hare's new Tuscan-style events center is a wonderful addition to the rural landscape, which is lovely enough for picnics—or even weddings at the vineyard’s rustic pergola.
A Fun Detour!
Take a break from the wine tour for a relaxing walk through Annmarie Garden, located just south of Cove Point off Route 4. Annmarie's garden paths are wide and smooth enough for walkers as well as wheelchairs. The garden also has an indoor art gallery that includes a gift shop and an eatery. Admission: $3.
Perigeaux Vineyards and Winery
Perigeaux Vineyards and Winery in St. Leonard is a short 10-minute drive from Running Hare. Visitors must follow a winding graveled road past grapevines to reach the stately yellow brick restored home that houses the winery’s tasting rooms.
Cove Point Winery
From Perigeaux it’s another short 10-minute drive to the next winery on the Patuxent Wine Trail, Cove Point Winery in Lusby. Although the tasting area is a small bar in a small building, Cove Point’s wines are delicious, and the staff is both knowledgeable and friendly.
Solomon's Island Winery
Solomon’s Island Winery, also located in Lusby, lies less than 4 miles south of Cove Point off MD-4 S. The pleasures of Solomon’s Island, one of Southern Maryland’s prime beauty spots, are nearby--waterfront dining, unique boutiques, the Calvert Marine Museum, boating opportunities, bed and breakfasts and beautiful, uninterrupted views of the Patuxent River and the Chesapeake Bay.
Need a Break?
If wineries begin to pall, take a break! Visit Old Downtown Leonardtown. It definitely has small-town charm: a pretty town square surrounded by a variety of charming shops and eating establishments, including a cooking store, an art gallery, a used bookstore and a French restaurant--all within easy walking distance of each other and a beautiful new waterfront park.
Port of Leonardtown Winery
For those who are in the mood for more wine, the next stop on the Patuxent Wine Trail is the Port of Leonardtown Winery, which is about 20 minutes from Solomon’s Island.
Port of Leonardtown Winery offers wine tastings, winery tours and picnics. It also has a gift shop, and it’s not far from charming downtown Leonardtown, a great place for a "break" from the trail.
SLACK Winery in Ridge is the southernmost vineyard on the Patuxent Wine Trail, and it's certainly worth the trip! Producing wines that pair well with seafood, SLACK specializes in vintages that taste just right with oysters, blue crabs, soft shell clams, rockfish and other traditional Southern Maryland fare. Visitors can participate in wine tastings, winery tours and more. SLACK also has a gift shop as well as facilities large enough to host events, such as wedding receptions. Groups are welcome. (Be sure to ask about SLACKS's private labels!)
ST. MARY'S CITY--ANOTHER FUN DETOUR!
Historic St. Mary's City sits just 10 minutes from SLACK Winery off MD-5. A reconstruction of the original 17th century colony (and Maryland's first capital), St. Mary's City offers visitors a rare glimpse into the customs and habits of colonial life.
Historic St. Mary's City is less crowded and less commercial than Williamsburg--and just as intriguing.