The Serenity of Smith Island

Where the sky meets the Bay lies a marshy archipelago whose understated beauty is best explored by paddle.

Where the sky meets the Bay lies a marshy archipelago whose understated beauty is best explored by paddle

Looking for a peaceful escape where you can unplug and disconnect from the world? Smith Island is calling. Most people visit for a day, but overnighting is even sweeter. Plan ahead by booking a room at an inn or Airbnb that comes with kayaks or canoes. Then download the map of Smith Island kayak routes, and pack your favorite food and beverages. (You can find crab cakes and Smith Island cake on island, but grocery shopping is limited and alcohol is strictly BYO.)

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Jump on a (prebooked) ferry ride from Crisfield, Md., and 45 minutes later you’ll be transported—along with dozens of visitors, locals, and Amazon packages—to the docks of Ewell. Golf carts are available to take you and your gear down the winding gravel roads to your weekend retreat. Then grab the kayaks and go! 

First stop from Ewell: Goat Island and beautiful beaches. Later, find your way down to Tylerton and paddle around to Rhodes Point. Don’t be surprised that the meandering creeks (known as “guts”) can be deceivingly shallow, even for kayaks. But follow the map’s dotted routes and you will stay afloat, surrounded by swaying marsh grasses, graceful waterfowl, and that rare and breathtaking silence that exists in so few places these days. 

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