Home prices in the area have remained steady during the past year, averaging $130,000, some real estate agents said. Some Realtors believe property values will increase as the area continues to grow.

"They want to get in now, they want to get their foot in the door," says Mike Walsh, general manager at the Hyatt. He compares the opportunities in Cambridge to the ones that existed in nearby Kent Island and Easton a few years ago. "Now's the time to get in the Cambridge and Dorchester area."

90% occupancy rate

Walsh estimates that the 400-room resort has had an occupancy rate above 90 percent every weekend since the end of May. By taking advantage of Cambridge's restaurants, shops and waterfront recreational opportunities, the visitors are breathing new life into the long-overlooked community.

And they seem to like what they're seeing. Local tourism officials say they've seen an increase lately in visitors looking to retire, relocate or buy summer homes in the area.

The city's charm is a secret that many residents have known for a long time. Charles Kelly has lived in Cambridge his whole life. He and his wife Karen have raised three children in the area.

As far as Kelly is concerned, those outside of Cambridge are just now discovering what he's known all along.

"You couldn't make me move," he says. "I'll spend the rest of my days here."

Commuting time to downtown Baltimore: 90 minutes

Public schools: Cambridge-South Dorchester High School, Maces Lane Middle School, Choptank Elementary School, Sandy Hill Elementary. School Maple Elementary School

Shopping: Shops on Race Street and U.S. 50; Salisbury and Annapolis

ZIP code: 21613