National Geographic is giving international attention to something many of us in the Bay region already knew: Maryland’s Eastern Shore is an amazing place.
Nat Geo’s list of 25 Amazing Journeys for 2022 spans the globe, highlighting destinations like Chimanimani, Mozambique (for its rich diversity of species), Lycia, Turkey (for its nomadic culture), and yes—the Eastern Shore, here on the Chesapeake.
Nat Geo named the Eastern Shore as one of the Best Places for Families on its list, for the opportunity offered here to “be transported by history”. The 133-year-old magazine chose to highlight the history of the Underground Railroad that “flows through the waterways, wetlands, swamps, and tidal marshes of Dorchester County.”
The list notes that Harriet Tubman’s heroic story of helping to rescue more than 70 enslaved family and friends is told at the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitor Center, one of the more than 30 stops along the 125-mile Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway.
The magazine spoke to Alex Green, co-owner of Harriet Tubman Tours, about the best way to experience the Eastern Shore’s Underground Railroad history with kids. Green suggests a kayaking adventure in Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, where Tubman trapped muskrats as a child and worked alongside her father, Ben Ross, a timber inspector who taught her how to navigate the marshlands on foot.
“We talk to kids about how the confidence and lessons Harriet learned inside the terrible institution of slavery drove her to accomplish incredible things,” Green tells Nat Geo. “Harriet never gave up and she never stopped learning. That’s a lesson they can take home.”
National Geographic Expeditions even offers a six-day cruise of the Chesapeake on its National Geographic Sea Lion (learn more here.)
Other destinations that made the list of best adventures for families? Granada, Spain, the Danube River, and Bonaire. Not bad company for the Eastern Shore.
-Meg Walburn Viviano