Sailboat on the Chesapeake Bay, Maryland (Donovan Reese/Photodisc/Getty)

Sailing on Chesapeake Bay, Maryland (Tim Tadder/Maryland Office of Tourism)

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What to do in Chesapeake Bay

Made up of approximately 30 cities and towns between Maryland and Virginia, the Chesapeake Bay has somewhat of a split personality that is literally bridged together by the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel, a 20-mile engineering wonder that connects the laidback Eastern Shore with the rapidly developing western shore. Visit the historic maritime cities of Annapolis and Baltimore, or relax in a local fishing village on Smith Island, famous for its10-layer cake and lack of cars. Ties to the water are strong along the bay, with lighthouse tours, sailing excursions, and eco-tours of the fresh, brackish, and saltwater habitats being high on the list of must-dos. Sampling the fruits of the bay is recommended as well; world famous blue crabs and oysters are found in abundance on Chesapeake-area menus.

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