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The Chesapeake Bay Experience: Turn your wedding into a weekend getaway for your guests

May 05, 2016 10:57AM ● Published by Arden Haley

By Tina Byland

Looking for things to recommend to your wedding guests to do while they are visiting our area for your wedding? Lucky for you, the Chesapeake Bay region is chock-full of activities to keep everyone from your little nieces and nephews to your college roommates happy.

For your guests traveling into town for the weekend, it’s nice to provide them with a menu of options to keep them busy in their spare time. Even local guests will appreciate a list, as it is likely they may be happy to play “tourist” in their own city, too. You’ll want to make sure you share options for everyone so be mindful of budget-friendly travelers, those who may not be traveling with their own transportation, and any guests with handicaps.

Some couples go a step further than providing a menu of ideas to their guests and plan several outings to keep their guests busy and entertained throughout the extent of their stay. This is a great option for some because it takes the guesswork out of planning a trip itinerary for your friends and families. It also is an excellent way for you to show off favorite parts of your hometown while also giving your guests an opportunity to mix, meet, and mingle other than at their assigned tables during your reception. Do keep in mind, however, that it is considerate to host these events and not expect your guests to pay for their experiences themselves. This also requires extra legwork on your part, as you will need to figure out the logistics for each part of your itinerary. Don’t forget to book any place that needs advanced notice to accommodate a large group, work out transportation, and give your guests plenty of downtime (especially in the hours leading up to your wedding ceremony).

Whether you leave your guests with a list of must-see spots in their welcome bags for when they check into the hotel or you plan a weekend-long schedule of activities, we’ve taken the guesswork out of what you should recommend your guests do. Below you’ll find recommendations for everyone on your guest list.

 

Learn

Maryland’s great history offers something educational (yet still fun) for your guests to do. The birthplace of “The Star Spangled Banner,” Fort McHenry will be a must when spending some time around Baltimore. A little further south, invite your guests to take the Historic Annapolis walking tour where they’ll stumble upon everything from the Maryland State House to some of the most striking homes historic Annapolis has to offer. On the other side of the Bay Bridge, an entire day can be spent looking at waterfowl and seeking out bald eagles at the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge where they can get lost in over 25,000 acres of beautiful wetlands.

 

Eat

Guests need no more excuse than a few hours of shopping in downtown Annapolis to walk across the Eastport Bridge and have a meal near or on Restaurant Row (Severn Avenue). Restaurant Row boasts some of Annapolis’s finest dining experiences and a taste for every palate. Over on the Eastern Shore, your guests will find a wonderful array of dining options for when they are strolling the streets of downtown Easton and Cambridge, or, perhaps, looking for a place to crack into some crustaceans.

 

Play

Up for some cheering and friendly competition? Check team schedules to see if there will be any home games the weekend of your wedding. A Navy game is a perfect outing for your guests staying in downtown Annapolis, as they will be within walking distance of the stadium. Outside of Annapolis, invite your friends and family to cheer on a Baltimore or Washington team (whichever your affiliation, we won’t make you pick a side). Out on the Eastern Shore, a game of beach volleyball in Ocean City may be the perfect way to spend quality time together with your friends and family. Meanwhile, those who choose not to play can enjoy a stroll on the boardwalk, making this a great option for all of your guests.

 

Explore

A unique quality of the Chesapeake Bay region is, in fact, the Bay itself. Exploring the shoreline at Calvert Cliffs or at Ego Alley in Annapolis gives your guests a fantastic taste of the local area. However, inviting your guests to try out their sea legs may just make you the most loved couple they’ve ever known. Whether it’s crabbing, oyster tonging, fishing with an experienced waterman, sailing on a historic skipjack under the Bay Bridge, or kayaking your way through Annapolis, your menu of events will be incomplete without a chance for your guests to experience the Bay firsthand.

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Can’t get enough of Maryland tourist ideas for your guests? We’re sharing even more ideas on Pinterest. Find That’s So Maryland along with the rest of our planning pin boards at pinterest.com/whatsupweddings.

Planning Chesapeake Bay Spring/Summer 2016 The Chesapeake Bay Experience Getaway guests