Solomons Island

The Rt. 2/4 bridge spans the Patuxent River and into Solomons Island, Md. (GLENN FAWCETT, Baltimore Sun / September 23, 2008)

If you're happy and you know it and your face really shows it, you must be a resident of Solomons Island in Calvert County.

Coastal Living magazine's special 15th anniversary issue ranks the southern Maryland waterfront village no. 15 on a list of "America's Happiest Seaside Towns."

The magazine points to the town's history of fishing and exploration, as well as its boardwalk, sculpture gardens and of course, its hospitality. It also notes that Solomons Victorian Inn is the place to stay.

Not being familiar with the island town, I did a quick web search to see if I could locate the happy spots. They weren't hard to find.

There's the Solomons Island Winery - that would definitely make me happy. There's also the Tiki Bar, with its signature Mai Tai. So happy.

There's a Yacht Club - one of the oldest on the bay, dating to 1937. I would be very happy if I could afford a yacht.

The Calvert Marine Museum offers exhibits, a marsh walk, Drum Point lighthouse and even a river cruise. That's happy stuff.

And the beautiful AnnMarie Sculpture Garden puts the arts in the happy party.

Solomons Island is in good company. Other happiest seaside towns include Kiawah Island, at no. 1; Jupiter, Fla., Sausalito, Calif., Laguna Beach, Calif., Chatham, Mass., and Lahaina, Hawaii.

The town hosts its annual PleinAir Festival, June 13-16, so would-be visitors don't have to wait long for a reason to come to happy town.