June has come at last, the month of long days, warm nights, cruising, fishing, swimming, crab feasts and . . . well, you get the point—everything that's awesome about summer. And we just love contributing to that awesomeness with our annual Best of the Bay survey and Photo Contest! Because what would June be without our giving you the list of best marinas, restaurants, cruising destinations, fishing spots, Bay sights, boating professionals and dock bars? We hope you enjoy seeing the results of this year's survey as much as we do, and that they give you some new ideas for summer trips and cruises. And if the list of winners itself doesn't inspire you to plot your course to uncharted waters, we're sure that seeing the beautiful photos that accompany it will get your engines revved—both figuratively and literally—in your quest for summer fun.

To aid you in said quest for learning about new places we've made some changes to this year's survey. In many of our categories (those that traditionally get lots of votes), we asked respondents to give us two favorites: one for a northern Bay (Potomac River and north) and one for the southern Bay (south of the Potomac River). This will give us a much better representation from southern businesses and places that, while loved, aren't as well known to our readership in the north. So see what intrigues you, get lost in the photos and get to planning your summer. It's going to be awesome! 


And the Survey Says...

Where possible, Where possible, we’ve listed the top 5 vote-getters, in order of total votes, in categories that are divided into north and south. In cases where the category is for the whole Bay, we’ve listed up to 10.

ON THE MAP

Best Town for Foodies
Northern Bay
1. Annapolis, Md. 
2. Rock Hall, Md. 
3. St. Michaels, Md. 
4. Baltimore, Md. 
5. Solomons, Md. 

Southern Bay
1. Smithfield, Va. 
2. Hampton, Va. 
3. Norfolk, Va. 
4. Deltaville, Va. 
5. Onancock, Va. 

Best Town for History Buffs
Northern Bay
1. Annapolis, Md. 
2. St. Michaels, Md.  
3. Baltimore, Md.  
4. Chestertown, Md. 
5. Oxford, Md.   

Southern Bay
1. Yorktown, Va. 
2. Smithfield, Va. 
3. Norfolk, Va.
4. Hampton, Va. 
5. Jamestown, Va. 

Best Town for Families
Northern Bay
1. Rock Hall, Md. 
2. Annapolis, Md. 
3. St. Michaels, Md. 
4. Baltimore, Md. 
5. Solomons, Md. 

Southern Bay
1. Norfolk, Va. 
2. Deltaville, Va. 
3. Smithfield, Va. 
4. Hampton, Va. 
5. Cape Charles, Va.

Best Town to Bring Out-of-Town Guests
1. Annapolis, Md. 
2. St. Michaels, Md. 
3. Rock Hall, Md. 
4. Smithfield, Va. 
5. Baltimore, Md.  


HIGH-TECH

Best Boating App
1. Navionics 
2. NOAA apps
3. Marine Traffic 
3. Sea Tow 
4. Garmin Bluechart Mobile 

Essential Onboard Electronics
1. GPS 
2. Depthsounder 
3. Chartplotter 
4. VHF 
5. Smartphone 

Best Boating Website
1. Active Captain (activecaptain.com)
2. NOAA (noaa.gov)
3. BoatU.S. (boatus.com)
4. Chesapeake Bay Magazine (ChesapeakeBoating.net)
5. West Marine (westmarine.com)


ON THE DOCK

Best Mom & Pop Marina
Northern Bay
1. Rock Hall Landing Marina (Rock Hall, Md.)
2. Worton Creek Marina (Chestertown, Md.)
3. Lankford Bay Marina (Rock Hall, Md.) 
4. Dennis Point Marina and Campground (Drayden, Md.)
5. Gratitude Marina (Rock Hall, Md.)  

Southern Bay
1. Mobjack Bay Marina (North, Va.)
2. Deltaville Yachting Center, (Deltaville, Va.)
3. Deltaville Marina (Deltaville, Va.)
3. Norton Yacht Sales (Deltaville, Va.)
4. Yankee Point Marina (Lancaster, Va.)

Best Resort Marina
Northern Bay
1. Herrington Harbour South (Friendship, Md.) 
2. Osprey Point Marina (Rock Hall, Md.) 
3. Mears Great Oak Landing (Chestertown, Md.) 
4. Haven Harbour Marina (Rock Hall, Md.) 
5. Herrington Harbour North (Tracey’s Landing, Md.)
 
Southern Bay
1. The Tides Marina (Irvington, Va.)
2. Smithfield Station Marina (Smithfield, Va.)
3. Kings Creek Marina (Cape Charles, Va.)
4. Bluewater Yachting Center (Hampton, Va.)
4. Kingsmill Resort Marina (Williamsburg, Va.)

Best Boatyard
Northern Bay
1. Herrington Harbour North (Tracey’s Landing, Md.) 
2. Zahniser’s Yachting Center (Solomons, Md.)
3. Gratitude Marina (Rock Hall, Md.)
4. Haven Harbour Marina (Rock Hall, Md.)
5. Port Annapolis Marina (Annapolis, Md.) 

Southern Bay
1. Deltaville Boatyard (Deltaville, Va.)
1. Norton Yacht Sales (Deltaville, Va.)  
2. Deltaville Yachting Center (Deltaville, Va.)
3. Bluewater Yachting Center (Hampton, Va.)
4. Mobjack Bay Marina (North, Va.)

Best Marina for Natural Environment
Northern Bay
1. Herrington Harbour South (Friendship, Md.) 
2. Herrington Harbour North (Tracey’s Landing, Md.) 
3. Osprey Point Marina (Rock Hall, Md.)
4. Zahniser’s Yachting Center (Solomons, Md.)
5. Port Annapolis Marina (Annapolis, Md.)
 
Southern Bay
1. Smithfield Station Marina (Smithfield, Va.)
2. Deltaville Yachting Center (Deltaville, Va.)
3. Norton Yacht Sales (Deltaville, Va.)
4. Mobjack Bay Marina (North, Va.)
4. Bluewater Yachting Center (Hampton, Va.)

Best Dockmaster
Northern Bay
1. Andy Upp, Chesapeake Inn (Chesapeake City, Md.)
2. Matt Pruett, Herrington Harbour South (Friendship, Md.)
3. Greta Sommers, Osprey Point Marina (Rock Hall, Md.)
4. Terry Walters, Zahniser’s Yachting Center (Solomons, Md.)
5. Hal Hopkins, Haven Harbour Marina (Rock Hall, Md.)

Southern Bay
1. Ed Peake, Deltaville Marina (Deltaville, Va.)
2. George Jackson, Chesapeake Boat Basin (Kilmarnock, Va.)
2. Smitty Dize, Cape Charles Town Harbor (Cape Charles, Va.)
2. Ron Pack, Smithfield Station Marina (Smithfield, Va.)
 
Best Fuel Dock
Northern Bay
1. Herrington Harbour South (Friendship, Md.)
2. Calvert Marina (Solomons Md.)
2. Gratitude Marina (Rock Hall, Md.)
3. Annapolis Landing Marina (Annapolis, Md.)
3. Piney Narrows Yacht Haven (Kent Narrows, Md.)

Southern Bay
1. Bluewater Yachting Center (Hampton, Va.)
2. Norview Marina (Deltaville, Va.)
3. Deltaville Yachting Center (Deltaville, Va.)
3. Fishing Bay Harbor Marina (Deltaville, Va.)
3. Norton Yacht Sales (Deltaville, Va.)
 

ON FIDO's LIST

Best Dog-Friendly Marina
1. Herrington Harbour North (Tracey’s Landing, Md.)
2. Herrington Harbour South (Friendship, Md.)
3. Osprey Point Marina (Rock Hall, Md.)
3. Port Annapolis Marina (Annapolis, Md.)
4. Dennis Point Marina (Drayden, Md.)
4. Mobjack Bay Marina (North, Va.)
4. Rock Hall Landing Marina (Rock Hall, Md.)
4. Deltaville Yachting Center (Deltaville, Va.)

Best Dog-Friendly Town
1. Annapolis, Md.
2. Rock Hall, Md.
3. St. Michaels, Md.
4. Solomons, Md.
5. Smithfield, Va.


ON THE LINE

Best Tackle Shop
Northern Bay
1. River Rock Outdoor Store (Rock Hall, Md.)
2. Tyler’s Tackle Shop (Chesapeake Beach, Md.)
3. Anglers (Annapolis, Md.)
4. The Tackle Box (Lexington Park, Md.)
5. All Tackle (Annapolis, Md.) 

Southern Bay
1. J&W Seafood (Deltaville, Va.)
2. Bishop Fishing Supply (Yorktown, Va.)
3. Fish On Bait & Tackle (Deltaville, Va.)
 
Best Fishing Charter
Northern Bay
1. Fish Fear Us; Captain Bob Ritchie (Rock Hall, Md.) 
2. Lucky Duck; Captain Joe Rupp (Friendship, Md.)
2. Bunky’s Charter Boats (Solomons, Md.)
3. Wound Tight; Captain Shawn Gibson (Friendship, Md.) 
3. Reel Relief; Captain Sonney Forest (Solomons, Md.)
 
Southern Bay
1. Tortuga; Captain Bubbie Crown (Deltaville, Va.)
2. Restin’ Easy; Captain Don Bannister (Deltaville, Va.) 

Best Fishing Spot
1. Chesapeake Bay Bridge 
2. The Cell 
3. Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel
4. Bloody Point Light 
4. Love Point 

Best Bay Catch
1. Rockfish
2. Crabs
3. Flounder


ON THE WATER

Best Cruising River for Scenery/Nature
1. Wye River 
2. Chester River
3. Sassafras River
4. Rappahannock River
5. Patuxent River
6. James River
7. St. Mary’s River
7. Potomac River

Best Cruising River for Shore Attractions
1. Severn River
2. Patapsco River
3. Miles River
4. Potomac River
5. Patuxent River
6. Rappahannock River
7. James River


ON THE MENU

Best Restaurant for Crabcakes
Northern Bay
1. The Kitchen at Rock Hall (Rock Hall, Md.)
2. Waterman’s Crab House (Rock Hall, Md.)
3. The Crab Claw (St. Michaels, Md.)
3. Osprey Point Restaurant (Rock Hall, Md.)
4. The Narrows Restaurant (Kent Narrows, Md.) 

Southern Bay
1. Smithfield Station Restaurant (Smithfield, Va.)
2. Surf Rider (Hampton Va.)
3. Merrior (Topping, Va.)

Best Restaurant for the Whole Family
Northern Bay
1. The Kitchen at Rock Hall (Rock Hall, Md.)
2. Harbor Shack (Rock Hall, Md.)
3. The Crab Claw (St. Michaels, Md.)
4. Waterman’s Crab House (Rock Hall Md.)
5. Cantler’s Riverside Inn (Annapolis, Md.)
5. Chesapeake Inn (Chesapeake City, Md.)
 
Southern Bay
1. Smithfield Station (Smithfield, Va.)
2. Surf Rider (Hampton, Va.)
3. Merroir (Topping, Va.)
3. Surf Rider (Poquoson, Va.)
 
Best Restaurant for Steamed Crabs
Northern Bay
1. Waterman’s Crab House (Rock Hall Md.) 
2. Cantler’s Riverside Inn (Annapolis, Md.)
3. The Crab Claw (St. Michaels, Md.)
4. Skipper’s Pier (Deale Md.)
5. Harris Crab House (Kent Narrows, Md.)
5. Mike’s Crab House (Riva, Md.)

Southern Bay
1. Bubba’s Seafood Restaurant (Virginia Beach, Va.)
2. Captain Chuck-a-Mucks (Rescue, Va.)
2. Crab Shack on the James River (Newport News, Va.)

Best Restaurant for a Romantic Dinner
Northern Bay
1. Osprey Point Inn (Rock Hall, Md.)
2. The Kitchen at Rock Hall (Rock Hall, Md.)
3. Dry Dock (Solomons, Md.)
4. Chart House (Annapolis, Md.)
5. Robert Morris Inn (Oxford, Md.) 

Southern Bay
1. Smithfield Station (Smithfield, Va.)
2. The Tides Inn (Irvington, Va.)
3. Merroir (Topping, Va.)
4. Tommy’s Seafood & Steaks (Reedville, Va.)


ON YOUR TO-DO LIST

Best Annual Waterfront Event
Northern Bay
1. Pirates & Wenches Fantasy Weekend (Rock Hall, Md.)
2. Annapolis Boat Shows (Annapolis, Md.)
3. Herrington Harbour South Fourth of July (Friendship, Md.)
4. Rock Hall Fourth of July (Rock Hall, Md.)
5. Blue Angels Demonstration (Annapolis, Md.)
5. Waterman’s Day (Rock Hall, Md.) 

Southern Bay
1. Urbanna Oyster Festival (Urbanna, Va.)
2. Hampton Bay Days (Hampton, Va.)
3. Harborfest (Norfolk, Va.)
3. Pagan River Raft Race, Olden Days (Smithfield, Va.)
4. Blackbeard Pirate Festival (Hampton, Va.)

Best Dockside Bar
Northern Bay
1. Harbor Shack (Rock Hall, Md.)
2. Red Eye’s Dock Bar (Kent Narrows, Md.)
3. Pusser’s (Annapolis, Md.)
4. Tiki Bar (Solomons, Md.)
5. Mango’s Bar & Grill (Friendship, Md.)
 
Southern Bay
1. Smithfield Station (Smithfield, Va.) 
2. Cocomo’s (Deltaville, Va.)
3. The Tides Inn (Irvington, Va.)
3. Chick’s Oyster Bar (Lynnhaven, Va.)

Best Maritime Museum
1. Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum (St. Michaels, Md.)
2. Calvert Marine Museum (Solomons, Md.)
3. Mariners’ Museum (Newport News, Va.)
4. Deltaville Maritime Museum (Deltaville, Va.)
5. Annapolis Maritime Museum (Annapolis, Md.)

Best Ice Cream Parlor
1. Durding’s Store (Rock Hall, Md.) 
2. Storm Bros. Ice Cream Factory (Annapolis, Md.)
2. Scottish Highland Creamery (Oxford Md.)
3. Smithfield Ice Cream Parlor (Smithfield, Va.)
4. Justine’s Ice Cream Parlour (St Michael’s, Md.)
4. Annapolis Ice Cream Company (Annapolis, Md.)
5. Cone Island of Solomons (Solomons, Md.)

Best Regatta
1. Southern Chesapeake Leukemia Cup Regatta (Deltaville, Va.)
2. Screwpile Regatta (Solomons, Md.)
3. Governor’s Cup (Annapolis to St. Mary’s City, Md.)
4. Hampton Cup Regatta (Hampton, Va.)
5. Hospice Turkey Shoot (Lancaster, Va.)

Best Fourth of July Celebration
1. Rock Hall, Md. 
2. Herrington Harbour South (Friendship, Md.)
3. Solomons, Md.
4. Annapolis, Md.
5. Baltimore, Md.
5. Deltaville, Va.


ON THE BAY

Best Bay Beach
1. Fairlee Creek 
2. Virginia Beach, Va.
3. Pirate’s Beach at Little Bay 
3. Sandy Point State Park 
3. Cape Charles Town Beach (Cape Charles, Va.)
4. Rock Hall Public Beach(Rock Hall, Md.)
4. Kiptopeke State Park 

Best Bay Lighthouse
1. Thomas Point 
2. New Point Comfort 
3. Bloody Point 
3. Sharps Island 
4. Turkey Point 
5. Wolf Trap 

Favorite Bay Island
1. Tangier Island, Va.
2. Tilghman Island, Md.
3. Kent Island, Md.
4. Smith Island, Md.
4. Wye Island, Md.



ON THE HARD

Best Canvas/Sail Work
Northern Bay
1. Canvas Connection (Tracey’s Landing, Md.)
2. Meade Breese (Rock Hall, Md.)
3. Quantum Sails (Solomons, Md.)
4. Rock Hall Canvas Works (Rock Hall, Md.)
5. Rayco Upholstery Shop (New Castle, Del.)

Southern Bay
1. Phase 2 Marine Canvas (Wake, Va.)
2. Ullman Sails/Latell Sailmakers (Deltaville, Va.)
3. Ship’s Tailor (Deltaville, Va.)
4. Deltaville Yachting Center (Deltaville, Va.)
4. Signature Canvas Makers (Hampton, Va.)

Best Electronics Work
Northern Bay
1. Marine Technical Services (Tracey’s Landing, Md.) 
2. Bristol Marine Technologies (Lusby, Md.)
3. Zahniser’s Yachting Center (Solomons, Md.)
4. Gratitude Yachting Center (Rock Hall, Md.)
5. Haven Harbour Marina (Rock Hall, Md.)
 
Southern Bay
1. Norton Yacht Sales (Deltaville, Va.)
2. Deltaville Yachting Center (Deltaville, Va.)
3. Deltaville Boatyard (Deltaville, Va.) 
3. Marine Electronics (Hartfield, Va.)

Best Engine Work
Northern Bay
1. Cook’s Marine Service (Tracey’s Landing, Md.)
2. Gratitude Yachting Center (Rock Hall, Md.)
3. Zahniser’s Yachting Center (Solomons, Md.)
4. Haven Harbour Marina (Rock Hall, Md.)
5. Tolchester Marina (Chestertown, Md.)
 
Southern Bay
1. Norton Yacht Sales (Deltaville, Va.)
2. Deltaville Yachting Center (Deltaville, Va.)
3. Deltaville Boatyard (Deltaville, Va.)
4. Mobjack Bay Marina (North, Va.)
5. Full Throttle Marine Service (Portsmouth, Va.)


PHOTO CONTEST WINNERS



1st Place - Boats 
“Buyboats at the Bulkhead”
David Cantera of Kennedyville, Md., captured the buyboats Nellie Crockett and Muriel Eileen tied up together at the visitor's center on the Dismal Swamp Canal.





2nd Place - Boats
“Edna and Jim”
Chris Chadbourne of Arlington, Va., snapped this shot of the bugeye Edna Lockwood and buyboat Mr. Jim  at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels, Md., last summer.





3rd Place - Boats
“With Pride”
John O. Molter of Wilmington, Del.,  was lucky enough to sail by the Pride of Baltimore II under full sail near Love Point.





Honorable Mention - Boats
“A Pleasant Evening”
Francis McBride of Emmitsburg, Md., took this idyllic evening photo of men fishing on the Miles River.





1st Place - Wildlife
“Spring Chatter”
Ed Charest of Ellicott City, Md., captured this pair of barn swallows chattering away in the early morning while on his boat at Whitehall Marina in Annapolis.





2nd Place - Wildlife
“Hang on, Help's Coming”
Jay Friedman of Easton, Md.,  took this comical but strangely beautiful photo of two diamondback terrapins hanging onto a power line at a marina in Oxford, Md.





3rd Place - Wildlife
“Mine”
Dan Ernst of Alexandria, Va., caught these herons fighting for territory along the Potomac in Old Town Alexandria.





Honorable Mention - Wildlife
“White Egret”
Dan Ellis of Piney Point, Md., was greeted by a white egret on his pier on Piney Point Creek.





Honorable Mention - Wildlife
“Snow Geese Chaos”
Jay Friedman captures a second prize in this contest with this shot of show geese taking flight en masse from farmer's field in Queen Anne's County, Md.





1st Place - People
“Sandy Father's Day”
Melisa Cherry of St. Leonard, Md., captured this sandy scene of a boy exploring the beach at Flag Harbor, Md., last Father's Day.





2nd Place - People
“Skiff Sailin' ”
David Cantera gets another nod for this shot of his son Benjamin and daughter Annaliesse aboard Leapin Lena and River Doll. These boats, which the kids built, can be seen traveling the Bay as deck cargo on the buyboat Muriel Eileen.





3rd Place - People
“Rush Hour”
While making his way through Knapps Narrows,  Francis McBride caught this gentleman in mid-cast. 





Honorable Mention - People
“Look, a Clam!”
David Cantera again captured his son in action on the Bay—this time raking clams on the Poquoson Flats with a traditional clam rake.





1st Place - Places
“Bayford Sunset”
Katie M. Shuty of Slippery Rock, Pa., took this photo of the Bayford Oyster Company, bathed in evening light, last summer on Nassawadox Creek on Virginia's Eastern Shore.





2nd Place - Places
“A Light for the Blind”
Chris Chadbourne gets another prize for this photo of a duck blind in the early morning mist along Langford Creek, off the Chester River.





3rd Place - Places
“Storm Front”
Brandon Fahl of Essex, Md., took this stunning shot of a passing storm on the Middle River.





Honorable Mention - Places
“Into the Mist”
Terry Malarkey of Onancock, Va., found this tranquil scene Chesconessex Creek on Virginia's Eastern Shore.


[6.13 issue]