This being Chesapeake Bay Magazine's 40th Anniversary year, we're inclined to see things in a historical light. It was in September of 1990 that we first had the fabulous idea of asking you, our trusted and faithful readers, to name your favorite things about our beloved Chesapeake. Aside from the fact that we no longer refer to it as "Ye survey of our Faire Chesapeak Baye, wherein our Readers share Honeste & truthefull Opinions," surprisingly little has changed about the annual poll. Back then, as now, we asked you to name your favorite anchorages, ports of call, marinas, restaurants, crabhouses, boatyards, museums, waterfront festivals, etc. And back then, as now, you were happy to share that information with us--which is to say with your fellow readers. Of course one thing has changed quite significantly since the early days, and that is the method by which we invite you to fill out the survey. In the olden days we did it by good ol' U.S. Mail. Now we conduct the survey almost entirely online, by way of the magazine website. As a result we get nearly three times the response we typically got with the printed and mailed survey. And as the statisticians like to say, the more the merrier! Okay, maybe statisticians don't say that, but we do, and they should. Here, without further fuss or ado, we present the Best of the Bay 2011--accompanied, as has been our tradition for the last few years, by the winners of this year's Best of the Bay Photo Contest. Our heartiest huzzahs to both the survey honorees and the photo contest winners!

Where possible, we've listed the top 10 vote-getters in each category, in order of total votes. In cases where we felt the cutoff was unfairly arbitrary, we've listed more than 10. By contrast, in the few categories where the balloting did not reveal 10 clear winners, the lists are accordingly shorter.

Best Towns for Foodies
Annapolis, Md.
St. Michaels, Md.
Baltimore, Md.
Rock Hall, Md.
Smithfield, Va.
Solomons, Md.
Deale, Md.
Norfolk, Va.
Kent Island, Md.

Best Town for Families
Rock Hall, Md.
Annapolis, Md.
St. Michaels, Md.
Baltimore, Md.
Solomons, Md.
Smithfield, Va.
Oxford, Md.

Best Town for Nightlife
Annapolis, Md.
Baltimore, Md.
Rock Hall, Md.
Kent Narrows, Md.
Norfolk, Va.
St. Michaels, Md.
Solomons, Md.
Hampton, Va.

Best Town for Sightseeing
Annapolis, Md.
St. Michaels, Md.
Baltimore, Md.
Rock Hall, Md.
Norfolk, Va.
Washington, D.C.
Chestertown, Md.
Solomons, Md.

Best Mom & Pop Marina
Lankford Bay Marina (Langford Creek)
Smithfield Station Marina (Smithfield, Va.)
Rock Hall Landing Marina (Rock Hall, Md.)
Worton Creek Marina (Worton Creek)
North Point Marina (Rock Hall, Md.)
Spring Cove Marina (Rock Hall, Md.)
Gratitude Marina (Rock Hall, Md.)
Higgins Yacht Yard (St. Michaels, Md.)
Sailing Emporium (Rock Hall, Md.)
Swan Creek Marina (Rock Hall, Md.)

Best Resort Marina
Herrington Harbour South (Herring Bay)
Mears Marina (Annapolis, Md.)
Osprey Point Marina (Rock Hall, Md.)
Haven Harbour (Rock Hall, Md.)
Herrington Harbour North (Tracey's Landing, Md.)
Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Resort (Cambridge, Md.)
The Tides Marina (Irvington, Va.)
Smithfield Station (Smithfield, Va.)
Mears Point Marina (Kent Narrows)
Bay Creek Marina (Cape Charles, Va.)

Best Boatyard
Herrington Harbour North (Tracey's Landing, Md.)
Gratitude Marina (Rock Hall, Md.)
Haven Harbour (Rock Hall, Md.)
Bert Jabin Yacht Yard (Annapolis, Md.)
Tolchester Marina (Tolchester Beach, Md.)
Norton Yacht Sales (Deltaville, Va.)
Rock Hall Marine Railway (Rock Hall, Md.)
Zahniser's Yachting Center (Solomons, Md.)
Clarks Landing Marine Center (Shady Side, Md.)

Best Marina for Small Boats
Herrington Harbour North (Tracey's Landing, Md.)
Smithfield Station (Smithfield, Va.)
Gratitude Marina (Rock Hall, Md.)
Herrington Harbour South (Herring Bay)
Mears Marina (Annapolis, Md.)
Haven Harbour (Rock Hall, Md.)

Best Marina for Natural Environment
Herrington Harbour South (Herring Bay)
Osprey Point Marina (Rock Hall, Md.)
Herrington Harbour North (Tracey's Landing, Md.)
Mears Marina (Annapolis, Md.)
Haven Harbour (Rock Hall, Md.)
Smithfield Station (Smithfield, Va.)
Lankford Bay Marina (Langford Creek)
Sailing Emporium (Rock Hall, Md.)
Spring Cove Marina (Solomons, Md.)

Best Tackle Shop
River Rock Outdoor Store (Rock Hall, Md.)
Tyler's Tackle Shop (North Beach, Md.)
Anglers (Annapolis, Md.)
JJ's Tackle (Deale, Md.)
Fish On Bait & Tackle (Deltaville, Va.)

Best Restaurant for Breakfast
Chick & Ruth's Delly (Annapolis, Md.)
Smithfield Station (Smithfield, Va.)
Pasta Plus (Rock Hall, Md.)
Muskrat Alley Cafe (Rock Hall, Md.)
Happy Harbor (Deale, Md.)
Buddy's Crabs & Ribs (Annapolis, Md.)
Ken's Back Porch Cafe (Annapolis, Md.)

Best Restaurant for Crabcakes
Waterman's Crab House (Rock Hall, Md.)
Osprey Point Restaurant (Rock Hall, Md.)
Harbor Shack (Rock Hall, Md.)
Smithfield Station (Smithfield, Va.)
Skipper's Pier (Deale, Md.)
The Narrows Restaurant (Kent Narrows)
Cantler's Riverside Inn (Annapolis, Md.)
Stoney's Seafood House (Solomons, Md.)
Annie's Paramount Steak House (Kent Narrows)

Best Restaurant for Steamed Crabs
Waterman's Crab House (Rock Hall, Md.)
Cantler's Riverside Inn (Annapolis, Md.)
Crab Claw (St. Michaels, Md.)
Skipper's Pier (Deale, Md.)
Harris Crab House (Kent Narrows, Md.)
J&J Seafood (Rock Hall, Md.)
Chester River Seafood (Rock Hall, Md.)
Kentmoor (Kent Island)
Thursday's Steak & Crab House (Galesville, Md.)

Best Restaurant for Maryland Crab Soup
Waterman's Crab House (Rock Hall, Md.)
Cantler's Riverside Inn (Annapolis, Md.)
Harbor Shack (Rock Hall, Md.)
Crab Claw (St. Michaels, Md.)
J&J Seafood (Rock Hall, Md.)

Best Restaurant for Cream of Crab Soup
Mango's Bar & Grill (Herring Bay)
Waterman's Crab House (Rock Hall, Md.)
The Narrows Restaurant (Kent Narrows)
Harbor Shack (Rock Hall, Md.)
Inn at Pirates Cove (Galesville, Md.)
J&J Seafood (Rock Hall, Md.)
Osprey Point Restaurant (Rock Hall, Md.)
Smithfield Station (Smithfield, Va.)
Thursday's Steak & Crab House (Galesville, Md.)

Best Restaurant for Burgers
Harbor Shack (Rock Hall, Md.)
Davis' Pub (Annapolis, Md.)
Smithfield Station (Smithfield, Va.)
Boatyard Bar & Grill (Annapolis, Md.)
Mango's Bar & Grill (Herring Bay)
Happy Harbor (Deale, Md.)

Best Restaurant for Oysters
Bay Wolf (Rock Hall, Md.)
Skipper's Pier (Deale, Md.)
Harbor Shack (Rock Hall, Md.)
Middleton's Tavern (Annapolis, Md.)
Waterman's Crab House (Rock Hall, Md.)
McGarvey's (Annapolis, Md.)

Best Restaurant for the View
Waterman's Crab House (Rock Hall, Md.)
Smithfield Station (Smithfield, Va.)
Crab Claw (St. Michaels, Md.)
Harbor Shack (Rock Hall, Md.)
Chart House (Annapolis, Md.)
Osprey Point Restaurant (Rock Hall, Md.)
Pusser's (Annapolis, Md.)
Severn Inn (Annapolis, Md.)
Skipper's Pier (Deale, Md.)
Kitty Knight House (Georgetown, Md.)

Best Waterfront Event
Pirates & Wenches Fantasy Weekend (Rock Hall, Md.)
Annapolis Boat Shows (Annapolis, Md.)
Waterman's Day (Rock Hall, Md.)
Harborfest (Norfolk, Va.)
Blue Angels, U. S. Naval Academy (Annapolis, Md.)
Downrigging Days (Chestertown, Md.)
Urbanna Oyster Festival (Urbanna, Va.)

Best Maritime Museum
Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum (St. Michaels, Md.)
Calvert Marine Museum (Solomons, Md.)
Mariners' Museum (Newport News, Va.)
Nauticus (Norfolk, Va.)
Waterman's Museum (Rock Hall, Md.)

Best Dockside Bar
Harbor Shack (Rock Hall, Md.)
Red Eye's Dock Bar (Kent Narrows)
Pusser's (Annapolis, Md.)
Skippers Pier (Deale, Md.)
Mango's Bar & Grill (Herring Bay)
Waterman's Crab House (Rock Hall, Md.)
IBX Bar and Grille (Smithfield, Va.)
Jellyfish Joel's (Mears Great Oak Landing)

Best Regatta
Annapoils Race Week (Annapolis, Md.)
Governor's Cup (Annapolis to St. Mary's City)
Log Canoe Races (various locations)
Screwpile Regatta (Solomons, Md.)
Hospice Cup Regattas (various locations)
Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race (Annapolis to Norfolk)

Best Fourth of July Celebration
Rock Hall, Md.
Herrington Harbour South (Herring Bay)
Annapolis, Md.
Baltimore, Md.
Norfolk, Va.
Smithfield Station (Smithfield, Va.)
Washington, D.C.
Yorktown, Va.

Best Weather Website
NOAA/National Weather Service (www.weather.gov)
Weather Underground (www.weatherunderground.com)
Weather Channel (weather.com)
Belcak Weather Station (www.bwsrh.com)
Accuweather (www.accuweather.com)
Weather Bug (www.weatherbug.com)

Best Canvas Work
Meade Breese (Rock Hall, Md.)
Canvas Connection (Tracys Landing, Md.)
North Sails (Annapolis, Md.)
Captain Canvas (Churchton, Md.)
Signature Canvas Makers (Hampton, Va.)
Ron's Canvas, Haven Harbour Marina (Rock Hall, Md.)
Ship's Tailor (Deltaville, Va.)

Best Electronics Work
Marine Technical Services (Tracys Landing, Md.)
Haven Harbour Marina (Rock Hall, Md.)
Gratitude Marina (Rock Hall, Md.)
Mid-Shore Electronics (Cambridge, Md.)
Martek-KI (Kent Island)
Engineered Marine Systems (Annapolis, Md.)
Marine Electronics of Hartfield (Hartfield, Va.)
Trident Marine Electronics (Hampton, Va.)

Best Engine Work
Cook's Marine Services (Tracys Landing, Md.)
Haven Harbour Marina (Rock Hall, Md.)
Gratitude Marina (Rock Hall, Md.)
Seven Seas Yacht Services (Kent Narrows)
Bay Shore Marine (Annapolis, Md.)
McCauley's Boatworks (Tracys Landing, Md.)
Tolchester Marina (Chestertown, Md.)
Central Marine (Tracys Landing, Md.)
Vosbury Marine (Annapolis, Md.)

Best Anchorage with Kids
Rhode River
Fairlee Creek
Swan Creek
Still Pond
La Trappe Creek
Annapolis Harbor
Dobbins Island

Best Cruising River
Chester
Sassafras
Choptank
Severn
Wye
Pagan
Potomac

Best Anchorage for a Quiet Night on the Hook
Swan Creek
Still Pond
Dun Cove
Shaw Bay
Wye River
Lankford Creek


PHOTO CONTEST WINNERS