oxfordThe picture-perfect town of Oxford is one of the nation’s closest links to Eighteenth century England. Founded in 1683, it was the Shore’s first and only port-of-entry, a bustling village where at any given time up to seven ocean-going ships could be found unloading merchandise from abroad and loading locally-harvest tobacco, lumber and wheat. A few of the town’s most famous early citizens include Robert Morris, Jr., known as the financier of the American Revolution, and Colonel Tench Tilghman, aide-de-camp to George Washington and the man who carried the message of Cornwallis’s surrender to the Continental Congress. Today, Oxford is primarily a residential town and yachting haven, with grand historic homes hemmed by picket fences and tree-lined streets. Our advice: park your car and forget about it. The best way to see Oxford is by foot or bike. However, you choose to travel, be sure to take passage aboard the Oxford-Bellevue Ferry, take a moment to catch your breath at the waterfront Oxford Park and its new living shoreline, and explore the 300-year old Robert Morris Inn where James Michener outlined his epic, Chesapeake. The Oxford Museum and Custom House archive the town’s rich past and the Oxford Community Center’s stage is home to the seasonal performances of the Tred Avon Players. Whatever your preference – waterfront dining or rooms filled with rich history, Oxford’s chefs offer menus that will please every palate.

Oxford’s most unique Bistro is a favorite of the locals. Spectacular paintings from local artists complement the casual décor. The finest seafood, beef and veal are creatively prepared. Serving Lunch, Dinner, Sunday Brunch. Closed Mondays. www.latitude38.org

(Seasonal) Casual waterfront dining and deck bar located on Town Creek. Serving Maryland steamed crabs in season. Open at 11:00 a.m. Serving lunch and dinner. Closed Wednesday.

Slate flag floors, old red brick walls, timber beams & panelling, roaring fires in the winter and outdoor dining and drinks in the summer. A great space for casual dining, breakfast, lunch and dinner. Reservations are generally not required, however it is advisable to book ahead for weekends in season. A firm favorite with locals, boaters and visitors. www.robertmorrisinn.com

A European Bistro, at the Oxford Inn offers a casually elegant dining experience. The cuisine of Chef Lisa MacDougal is prepared with the freshest ingredients. www.oxfordinn.net