North East, Maryland
North East, Maryland is more than just a location on the map. It's also a town with a lot to offer, including shops, restaurants, museums, and miles of scenic waterfront. But its location does play a large part in its economy. The town's name comes from the fact that it's located on the banks of the Northeast River, which branches off the Chesapeake Bay in the northeastern corner of Maryland. Today, the town's location is more important than ever. Situated almost halfway between Baltimore and Philadelphia, North East is quickly being discovered by commuters that want to take advantage of the easy access to I-95, which runs just to the north.
You'd hardly notice this when driving through the town of North East. With its historic buildings and quaint shops, it almost feels like a trip back in time. Its Main Street is a quiet retreat from the hustle and bustle that continues to grow all around it. And North East's rustic ambiance remains unspoiled. One example—on Main Street you'll find a vending machine selling live bait. North East's business district is on Main Street, which is easy to get to if you're coming off I-95. You'll find a large collection of antique stores, along with other gift shops, and restaurants. And be sure to check out the North East Community Park, which features the Gilbert Lighthouse Pavilion and the Upper Bay Museum.
Not only is North East a great stop for people traveling along I-95 but it is also a good place to visit for people touring the Upper Chesapeake region of Maryland. Other towns to visit include Havre de Grace, Chesapeake City, and Chestertown. North East is approximately 48 miles from Baltimore, Maryland, 60 miles from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and 86 miles from Washington, DC. From I-95 take exit 100 for Maryland Route 272. Head south on Route 272, which will turn into North East's Main Street.
We start our tour of North East, Maryland at the intersection of Cecil Avenue and Main Street. From here, we will continue south on Main Street, which is a one way street through the business district. Cecil Avenue heads east and west and is also Maryland Route 7, otherwise known as Philadelphia Road because it was once the main route to Philadelphia before Interstate 95 was built.
As we head south on Main Street, we come across different buildings, undergoing different levels of renovations. Main Street is also Maryland State Route 272 through this area and connects up to Interstate 95, which makes the town very easy to find.
These two beautiful brick buildings were vacant at the time I was visiting North East. At one time the building on the right housed a bank. After the bank left, the Town of North East considered moving their Town Hall into that location. Hopefully, something will move in there soon.
But across Main Street we do have some activity, including some shops open for business.
Heading south on Main Street we come to this ice cream place, which would explain the cows out front. I'm not as sure about the turtle and the pig, but it definitely explains the cows.
And a little further down is Woody's Crab House. Crabs are a local favorite in Maryland.
Next door is a bookstore and a coffeehouse. Two things that obviously go good together.
What a gorgeous looking house. It's also the home of a real estate firm, so you know they have good taste.
And just next door, this little candy store seems to match it perfectly. When researching nearby Chesapeake City, I remember reading that at one time businesses in the area could not be run inside of residences so small side-houses were built. I wonder if that is what this structure is here.
Down a little farther, I thought the front of this shop looked pretty interesting, especially with those round windows.
Next door is West Street Village. The building was once home to a department store but today houses several unique shops. It gets its name from the fact that it's at the intersection of Main Street and West Street.
This is a view of the inside of West Street Village.
Here is a view of the intersection of Main Street and West Street across the street from West Street Village. However, when West Street crosses over Main Street, it becomes Mill Lane.
This is a view of the southwest corner of that same intersection.
And on the southeast corner is this nautical-themed gift shop.
A little further south is the North East Town Hall.
And if we turn around and face south, we find some more gift shops, clothings shops, and since we are not far from the Town Hall, a sign for parking and for public restrooms.
Across Main Street are more stores, including this large antique shop.
And we head back again to the other side of Main Street to see some more gift shops.
Further down is a wine room and an accessories shop.
Across the street is another antique store. North East is known for its antiques.
As we continue heading south we come across some more shops, including this small building that appears to house a Christmas store.
Directly behind it is a much larger and more modern looking house that is also a store. It just happens to have a pretty big front yard.
It looks like we are getting close to the end of our tour but according to the sign if we keep heading south we'll find some more shops, so let's keep walking.
Here's a few more businesses now. A beauty salon and a tackle shop. There's even a vending machine selling bait out front.
The businesses are growing more sparse towards this southern end of town but there are still some beautiful well-maintained homes to see, including this one with the mansard roof.
This is an interesting house as well with gingerbread trim. Check out the deep extension towards the back.
Just across the street is North East United Methodist Church.
This is St. Mary Anne's Episcopal Church. The current building was constructed in 1928. The cemetery is one of the oldest in the State of Maryland with graves of Susquehannock Indians dating to the 1600s.
This house is now converted into a hair salon.
I believe this shop was pretty popular at one time but sadly was closed the last time I was in North East.
One last business before we turn around. It's a bar and grill with some out door seating. If we hop in our car and head down a little way we can visit North East Community Park and check out the Northeast River waterfront, the Gilbert Lighthouse Pavilion and the Upper Bay Museum.
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North East Chamber of Commerce
Check out these other nearby Main Streets!