Maryland's most royal sites

Ladew Topiary Gardens in Monkton was the onetime estate of Harvey S. Ladew II, a wealthy bon vivant who often hobnobbed with British royals, so it's a natural option for William and Kate to visit.
Ladew Topiary Gardens in Monkton was the onetime estate of Harvey S. Ladew II, a wealthy bon vivant who often hobnobbed with British royals, so it's a natural option for William and Kate to visit. (Handout photo)

When the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit the United States as part of their forthcoming North American tour, no doubt their host city of Los Angeles will provide plenty of pomp and circumstance.

Yet Marylanders could show Will and Kate a jolly good time, too, if given the royal nod. From pub crawling and shopping on Thames Street in Fells Point, to steeplechase races in Cockeysville, not to mention locales with royal pedigree — think Annapolis and Queen Anne's County — there's plenty here to remind them of Merry Old England. We even have castles.

So just in case the world's most famous newlyweds can squeeze in another stop during their 11-day itinerary, herewith are our suggestions for a royal tour of the former English colony of Maryland.

Cambridge, Dorchester County

Royal reason to visit: Located in the heart of Chesapeake Bay country, it offers natural beauty and tranquility that's perfect for newlyweds.

Royal resemblance: William and Kate were named Duke and Duchess of Cambridge during their nuptials in April.

Royal treat for William: He's biked across South Africa with brother Harry; here, he can bike through the sprawling Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, where he's sure to spot plenty of eagles. 2145 Key Wallace Drive, Cambridge. 410-228-2677. fws.gov/blackwater.

Royal treat for Kate: The Caviar Facial at Stillwater Spa, part of the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Golf Resort, Spa and Marina. 100 Heron Blvd. at Route 50. Cambridge. 410-901-1234. hyattregencychesapeakebay.com.

Royal slumber: At the Mill Street Inn B&B, a restored Victorian house with views of the Choptank River, the couple could snuggle in the "Cambridge Suite" and soak in a Jacuzzi. For breakfast, innkeepers Jennie and Skip set the dining table with china and silver and serve such gourmet fare as eggs Florentine with Alaskan smoked salmon. 114 Mill St., Cambridge. 410-901-9144. millstinn.com.

For more information: tourdorchester.org

Harford and Baltimore counties

Royal reason to visit: Ladew Topiary Gardens in Monkton was the estate of Harvey S. Ladew II, a wealthy bon vivant who often hobnobbed with British royals.

Royal resemblance: Gorgeous landscaped gardens on a royal scale. The on-site manor's regal Elizabethan Room boasts rare paneling purchased at a shop on London's Dover Street.

Royal treat for William: The Maryland Polo Club holds polo matches nearly every Friday and Sunday through September. Route 152 in Monkton (fields are behind Ladew Gardens). 410-557-6448. marylandpolo.com.

Royal treat for Kate: The fun-loving princess can party at Ladew's Groovin' in the Grass summer concert series. 3535 Jarrettsville Pike. Monkton. 410-557-9466. http://www.ladewgardens.com.

Royal slumber: The couple can zip down to Gramercy Mansion in Baltimore County. Accommodations include the Tudor Room (king-sized bed and antique English oak fireplace mantel) and the Camelot Room (sitting room, marble tub and private balcony). 1400 Greenspring Valley Road, Stevenson. 410-486-2405. gramercymansion.com.

For more information: harfordmd.com. enjoybaltimorecounty.com

Queen Anne's County

Royal reason to visit: With its charming small towns, scenic waterfront views and rich history, the county is named for Queen Anne of Britain, who reigned 1702-1714.

Royal resemblance: A statue honoring Queen Anne is located in Centreville, the county seat.

Royal treat for William: The avid sportsman can fish, ride horses and hike amid the 3,800 acres of Tuckahoe State Park. 13070 Crouse Mill Road, Queen Anne. 410-820-1668. http://www.dnr.state.md.us.

Royal treat for Kate: A former clothing buyer, she can shop for frocks and perhaps another fascinator hat at Queenstown Premium Outlets. Designer brands like Coach, Gucci, Kate Spade and Ralph Lauren can be scored at "commoner" prices. 441 Outlet Center Drive, Queenstown. 410-827-8699. premiumoutlets.com.

Royal slumber: The secluded Brittland Manor in Chestertown is situated on 530 riverside acres, with gardens and a pool. It sleeps 26, so Prince Harry, Pippa and other royal relatives could bunk, too. 800 High St., Chestertown. 410-810-7591. http://www.brittlandestates.com.

For more information, discoverqueenannes.com

St. Mary's County

Royal reason to visit: Leonard Calvert established St. Mary's City as the first settlement and new capital of the Maryland colony in 1634 — the fourth permanent settlement in British North America.

Royal resemblance: Costumed interpreters at the Godiah Spray Tobacco Plantation speak with an English accent, while offering visitors a peek into Colonial life. http://www.stmaryscity.org.

Royal treat for William: Having studied art history and geography at St. Andrews University, where he met his future wife, the prince can explore St. John's Site Museum, filled with 17th-century archaeological displays and artifacts. Campus of St. Mary's College of Maryland, 18952 E. Fisher Road, St. Mary's City. 240-895-4990. http://www.stmaryscity.org.

Royal treat for Kate: In case the royal wedding registry didn't provide everything, she can peruse the upscale home furnishings and antiques at Traditions of Loveville. 28420 Point Lookout Road, Loveville. 301-475-8280. traditionsofloveville.com.

Royal slumber: The Executive Inn & Suites Park Avenue offers premium accommodations, complete with Italian marble bathrooms. 41655 Park Ave. Leonardtown. http://www.execinnparkave.com or 301-475-3000.

For more information: http://www.visitstmarysmd.com


Royal reason to visit: Gov. John Seymour incorporated Annapolis, "Anne's City," on Nov. 22, 1708, on behalf of King James II's daughter, the future Queen of England. The charter is the only one issued under the royal seal in Maryland.

Royal resemblance: Colonial Annapolis was patterned after England during that era. The quaint brick-lined streets of the Historic District and the Baroque street plan (a hub and spoke design), might remind the royals of home.

Royal treat for William: Given his background with the Royal military, the prince might appreciate a tour of the U.S. Naval Academy.

Royal treat for Kate: An avid sailor who's crewed, she may enjoy a 74-foot schooner ride in America's "Sailing Capital."

Royal slumber: The Historic Inns of Annapolis includes the restored, elegantly appointed Maryland Inn, which houses the Treaty of Paris Restaurant. The name is derived from the document that marked the official end of the Revolutionary War. 58 State Circle, Annapolis. 410-263-2641. historicinnsofannapolis.com. Before turning in, the couple can have high tea or a pint at Reynolds Tavern, a restaurant, pub and B&B that's been open intermittently since 1746. 7 Church Circle, Annapolis. 410-295-9555. reynoldstavern.org.

For more information, visitannapolis.org

Westminster, Carroll County

Royal reason to visit: Rolling farmland, beautiful stone churches.

Royal resemblance: William and Kate were married at Westminster Abbey.

Royal treat for William: Watching the players of the West Carroll Marauders Rugby teams (the women were sixth in the nation in 2010).

Royal treat for Kate: Tea and Croquet event July 31 at the Carroll County Farm Museum. 500 S. Center St., Westminster. 410-386-3880. http://www.carrollcountyfarmmuseum.org.

Royal slumber: The Antrim 1844 Country House Hotel, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is in nearby Taneytown. The elegant mansion features 40 posh rooms and suites, and the Ice House has an English cottage feel. 30 Trevanion Road, Taneytown. 410-756-6812. antrim1844.com.

For more information, carrollcountytourism.org

Royal-esque stops in and around Baltimore

•The royals have Windsor Castle, and Marylanders have The Cloisters castle in Lutherville. With its medieval architecture, gardens and hilltop location, it's so impressive that Hollywood royalty Will Smith and Baltimore-born Jada Pinkett-Smith got hitched here in 1998. 10440 Falls Road. 410-821-7448.www.cloisterscastle.com.

•Hotel Monaco, Baltimore. The name conjures the principality of Monaco, whose own Prince Albert was among the guests at Will and Kate's nuptials. The Hotel Monaco has a "Majestic Suite" with 12-foot ceilings, 8-foot windows, a king-sized bed, 900-square-foot parlor, formal dining room, and a Fuji whirlpool in the bathroom. At the hotel's adjoining restaurant, B&O American Brasserie, the royals can sample gourmet fare and sip the award-winning Queen Bee cocktail, made with Belvedere Vodka, St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur, yuzu and honey water. 2 N. Charles St. 443-692-6170. http://www.monaco-baltimore.com.

•Curious about Wallis Simpson, the Baltimore socialite for whom Edward VIII abdicated the throne? The Maryland Historical Society's collection has gowns, documents and photos. Meanwhile, the Duchess of Windsor Museum, at 206 E. Biddle St. (near her onetime home), also explores Simpson's extraordinary life and times. 201 W. Monument St. Baltimore. 410-685-3750. mdhs.org.

•Sip high tea at the Intercontinental's Harbor Court hotel at the Inner Harbor, where scones, finger sandwiches and such selections as English breakfast tea are served in royal style. 550 Light St., 410-234-0550. harborcourt.com.

•Kate's worn a glittering tiara, but she might also like to check out the jewelry collection at the Walters Art Museum. One special treat: the gold and diamond-enameled Gatchina Palace Faberge egg, created in 1901 for Nicholas II of Russia. 600 N. Charles St. 410-547-9000. thewalters.org.

For more information: http://www.baltimore.org; visitmaryland.org

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