The Chesapeake Bay is the largest estuary in the United States, with over 3,600 species of plants and animals. Although it is home to many creatures, the Bay’s signature crustacean is the blue crab – the pride and joy of the Chesapeake coastline. Its scientific name is Callinectes sapidus, which means “savory, beautiful swimmer,” but it’s often just referred to as the Chesapeake blue crab. The people of the Bay love these delicious crabs, which is made obvious by the tens of millions of pounds we catch and consume each year. The blue crab is a famous staple of summer cuisine on the Eastern Shore. However, blue crabs are much more than just a delectable dish here. Crab feasts are a social event, where we celebrate community, get a little messy, share some laughs, and eat some good food, all of which you can do right here at Great Oak Manor. So, take part in this Chesapeake Bay tradition this summer during your stay at our magnificent country bed and breakfast.
Many native Marylanders grew up going crabbing and continue to do so with their own children. It is a rich and unique part of Maryland’s culture. Not only does crabbing give you the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful Chesapeake Bay waters, its wildlife, and the stunning nature, but it is also rewarding when you get to savor the crabs’ sweetness at the end of the day. Although it might seem intimidating, we are here to help you make the most of your crabbing adventures. Crabbing for recreation is free and can be done in many locations nearby. So, find a bucket, grab a net, and dip in the Bay for a true Maryland experience!
If you want to avoid the dirty work, don’t worry because there are tons of local restaurants with this Maryland delicacy on the menu. But if you stay with us at Great Oak Manor, you won’t even have to leave our property to savor these delicious crabs. We host crab feasts, right in our backyard in the gazebo! We will provide everything: the food, the tools, the sauce, the drinks, and the classic Old Bay seasoning. (Old Bay seasoning, a McCormick product, was actually created to be paired with Chesapeake blue crabs and is still produced here in Maryland.)
Nothing encapsulates a Maryland summer quite like a table outside covered with crabs and surrounded by good company. People come from all over the country to partake in this Eastern Shore tradition. Arguably the most important first step before devouring this dish is swallowing your pride and putting on a bib. No matter how well-mannered you are, eating crabs is no elegant pursuit, especially for first-timers. During our feasts, we will show you the best way to take apart the crab to find the sweet meat, until you will become a blue crab expert and lover, too.
Summer is the perfect time to visit because crabs harvested in the summer are often the most flavorful. So, whether you want to join in the hunt or just savor this tasty treat, Great Oak Manor is here to provide you with the most authentic and delicious Chesapeake Bay experience.