Little more than an 1 1/2 -hour drive from Baltimore, St. Michaels offers a quiet escape with wonderful shopping, antiquing and gourmet dining. Lovingly restored homes, charming inns and museums as well as the beautiful Miles River and St. Michaels harbor all add to this town's appeal.
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Here are some of our favorite shops. (In the late fall and winter, some shops and restaurants are closed during the beginning of the week, so call ahead).
1. Wood That Works, 400 S. Talbot St., 410-745-0650. The life-size carved wooden figures that greet you as you approach this store give you a good idea of what to expect inside. Owner Blair Schneider travels the country working directly with craftspeople and has pulled together a delightful selection of handcrafted wooden treasures.
Don't miss: The oak- and hickory-tree rockers out front and the sign that says, "Sitting is believing."
2. Keepers-Orvis, 300 S. Talbot St., 410-745-6388. Look for men's and women's classic clothing with an emphasis on outdoor living. This shop also carries fly-fishing equipment and clothing by Orvis, the Vermont-based outfitter, as well as an impressive collection of antique and new decoys.
Don't miss: One of the Eastern Shore's best collections of sports art.
3. Canton Row Antiques, 216-C S. Talbot St., 410-745-2440. One of the few true antiques shops in town, this little gem has a wide range of merchandise from many dealers, including prints, jewelry, crystal, porcelain, silver, linens, decoys and other fine collectibles.
Don't miss: The collection of original magazine advertisements and book covers.
4. Calico Gallery, 212 S. Talbot St., 410-745-5370. This is an interesting combination of an art gallery and toy store featuring a large selection of bay area prints, limited editions and some originals on the first floor and a second floor filled to the rafters with wonderful toys and framed prints for children.
Don't miss: The great selection of greeting cards and stationery.
5. Coco & Company, 209 S. Talbot St., 410-745-3400. An exquisite collection of vintage and new furnishings for the house and garden with a decidedly French-country look. The straw-hat lamps are just one example of the many imaginative items that abound in this store.
Don't miss: The porcelain teacup nightlights made by breaking the cup and saucer in half and inserting the nightlight.
6. The Mind's Eye Craft Collection, 201 S. Talbot St., 410-745-2023. A gallery full of unusual crafts and clothing and representing over 200 contemporary American artisans.
Don't miss: The solar wind chimes. They're sure to bring a sense of harmony to any home.
7. Chesapeake Trading Co., 102 S. Talbot St., 410-745-9797. From men's and women's apparel by some of the biggest names in clothing to jewelry, hats, shoes, home accessories, books, music and even its own coffee bar, this beautiful and classy shop has something for everyone.
Don't miss: The separate shop in the rear specializing in home furnishings and table accessories.
8. Audrey Julian & Co., 104 N. Talbot St., 410-745-5266. A unique mix of new and vintage furniture, accessories and seasonal items for the home displayed in beautiful vignettes.