Cambridge, Maryland and the Hyatt Chesapeake Resort…
By Bob Tagert
Getting to Cambridge is pretty simple. Take the Beltway to Route 50 and head east. Within two hours you will cross the bridge that spans the Choptank River into Cambridge. The Choptank River is a major tributary of the Chesapeake Bay and the largest river on the Delmarva Peninsula. The river begins at Choptank Mills, Delaware and empties into the Chesapeake Bay. Its watershed area in Maryland is 1,004 square miles of which 224 square miles is open water.
The $155 million Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Golf Resort, Spa & Marina is situated on the east shore in Cambridge, Maryland. Completed in 2002, the resort is the only of its kind in the Mid-Atlantic U.S.
Settled by English colonists in 1684, Cambridge is one of the oldest colonial cities in Maryland. At the time of English colonization, the Algonquian-speaking Choptank Indians were already living along the river of the same name. During the colonial years, the English colonists developed farming on the Eastern Shore. The largest plantations were devoted first to tobacco, and then mixed farming. The town was a trading center for the area. In the late 19th century, Cambridge developed food-processing industries by canning oysters, tomatoes and sweet potatoes.
Cambridge was designated a Maryland “Main Street” community on July 1, 2003. Cambridge Main Street is a comprehensive downtown revitalization process created by the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development. It plans to strengthen the economic potential of select cities around the state. The initiative has led to enhancements of its heritage tourism attractions. Together with other cities on the Eastern Shore, Cambridge is attracting more tourists. It has revitalized its downtown business district, part of which was designated a historical district in 1990. Cambridge was the inspiration of the fictional town Patamoke in James Michener’s novel, Chesapeake.
For those coming by boat, the town has a municipal yacht basin with a maximum depth of 13 feet. The yacht basin is on the Chesapeake Bay side of the Route 50 Bridge allowing sailboats with a mast height of over 49 feet to find a safe harbor for the night. Maximum height over the water of the Route 50 Bridge is 50 feet.
The Hyatt Resort sits on 342 acres leaving plenty of room for their 18-hole golf course designed by Keith Foster, a 150- slip marina and a full service spa. There is a path that winds its way throughout the property making for a relaxed stroll or a bike ride. The path meanders over wooden bridges that span the wetlands below your feet. Here you are likely to see Blue Heron, Bald Eagles and a few of their resident deer. Other wildlife abounds in this natural wildlife rookery.
The hotel itself is spectacular. When you walk into the second floor lobby you are greeted by a wall size window that looks directly out on the pool and the Choptank River beyond. Below the lobby level is the bar, which continues with the outdoor view and houses two massive gas fireplaces. The lounge is very comfortable with tables and chairs and comfortable leather couches for kicking back. Around the corner is the spacious dining room, which also looks out on the courtyard.
The rooms are spacious and done in muted tones. Our large balcony opened up to the courtyard and the Choptank. From the resort you can see the cars traversing the Route 50 Bridge and at night the lights are almost mesmerizing. The resort is beginning the process of redecorating the guest rooms, so what we describe today will not be the same this summer. Good, now I have a reason to go back when the weather is warmer…maybe by boat.
Even though I love Old Town Alexandria, occasionally it is nice to “get out of town” and explore the region around us. The Eastern Shore is always a sure bet any time of year as a top- notch getaway. The natural beauty and serenity will melt away your worries. I hope that you have a chance to visit Cambridge and the fabulous Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Resort