Most visitors to Maryland’s Eastern Shore consider summer the best time of year to visit. They’re attracted by the lure of beaches in Ocean City, Assateauge or in Delaware at Dewey and Rehoboth Beaches. In past years, Ocean City has become almost as popular as North Carolina’s Outer Banks region for summer tourism.
However, by October, most of the “summer people” have returned to nearby big cities like Baltimore, DC or Philadelphia, gone until next May or June. Those visitors may have no idea just how busy it gets on the Eastern Shore and Southern Delaware during this post-summer period.
Delaware hosts its annual “Apple Scrapple” fest which features apple dumplings, and yes – everyone’s favorite unidentifiable pork-byproduct, scrapple, which you can fry, bake, flambé or whatever. The fest has a lot to offer in terms of family fun the first part of October.
Salisbury has its own alcoholic fun which draws a lot of people to Pemberton Park on the outskirts of town about the same time. Visitors can enjoy back-to-back drink fests. First is the “Good Beer Fest” which features are craft beers and more high-profile products like Delaware’s Dogfish Head beers. Pemberton Park also has “Wine Fest” after that which features the finest from Maryland’s burgeoning vineyards. This fest is notorious for bad weather, but that never seems to deter visitors from flocking to it. Perhaps a mulled wine does wonders in usually wet, cold weather that seems to regularly accompany the Wine Fest.
Toward the end of the month, visitors also flock back to Delaware’s Rehoboth Beach for something called the “Sea witch Festival” which is mainly an event for the kids. The highlight? A very long parade through the downtown to the beach featuring lots of floats and more than anything – tons of candy for everyone who decided to show up. It goes on regardless of the weather, but visitors would be advised to prepare for cold or heat, rain or shine. Sea witch has been known to be both freezing and burning, mostly because it takes place before Halloween.
Many of the bars and attractions in Ocean City, Maryland will be closed down for the season, but you’ll also find a lot of parking spaces and you won’t have to wait in line for food if you choose to visit during the post-season. Another great attraction is Assateauge National Seashore just south of Ocean City, and if you’re feeling adventurous, you might even travel forty minutes south of that to Chincoteague, Virginia, also located on the Delmarva (Delaware, Maryland, Virginia) Peninsula during the off season for fun.