Rick's Road Trip: Chesapeake City is a historic hamlet with a picturesque backdrop

"The canal is our biggest attraction. Ships come through this little tiny town with Victorian homes," explained Susan Russell.
CHESAPEAKE CITY, Maryland (WPVI) -- It's spring break season and Action News wants to spotlight places you may not have necessarily thought about as quick getaways.

And that's where Chesapeake City, Maryland comes in. The Cecil County town is an hour from Philadelphia and a couple of hours from the Delaware beaches. It's a historic hamlet with a picturesque backdrop.

And the town boasts some pretty good food and fun to boot.

"We're like a hidden gem. We have great lodging for people to spend the night. We have great bed and breakfasts right on the water," said Gianmarco Martuscelli, the owner of Chesapeake Inn Restaurant & Marina.

Chesapeake City, a historic village on the banks of the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal, has become a favorite spot for those seeking a weekend getaway or a vacation retreat.

Everywhere you look and everywhere you walk, you can't help but be enticed by the quiet quaint landscapes and picturesque scenery along the waterfront.

"The canal is our biggest attraction. Ships come through this little tiny town with Victorian homes," explained Susan Russell, who is a business owner in Chesapeake City.

You'll often find Russell at the Mercantile at Back Creek or My Jewelry Place, both on Bohemia Avenue.

The town has many historic homes, shops, galleries, and a wonderful museum, not to mention outdoor restaurants where you could bask in the sunshine while having lunch.

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Hotel and rental bookings are already up, and restaurants and shops are desperately trying to hire more people for the summer crush.

Just an hour outside of Philadelphia, Chesapeake City is the only town in Maryland situated on the working commercial canal.

Inside the C&D Canal Museum, extensive history is on display, dating back to the village's founding in 1839.

"The idea was to save 300 miles. Here's Philadelphia, here's Baltimore. And by making this little shortcut called the C&D Canal, you save a lot of time, even today," said Wayne Marston, who works for the Army Corps of Engineers.

As early as the 17th century, settlers saw the possibility of connecting the Chesapeake Bay with the Delaware River.

And now hundreds of years later the architecture and Victorian charm remain intact.

"Chesapeake City has started to thrive again," said Marston.

"If you're not going to the beaches of Delaware like Rehoboth and Dewey, this is the next best place to go. You're on the water, getting that summer vibe. It's a great summer spot," Martuscelli added.
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