Tag Archives: Patuxent REsearch Refuge National Wildlife Visitor Center

Pontoon Boating on the Patuxent


I’m not one to require an over-the-top observance of Mother’s Day, but I do like to celebrate it with a nice mix of family time and “me” time. Usually, we do a fun Bloody Mary brunch, then I head out for a little pampering with one of my momma cohorts. This year, however, we decided to go a little bigger and planned a pontoon boat excursion on the Patuxent River with friends (and a movie later on for the “me time” part). And with the gorgeous spring day we had that second Sunday of May, it turned out to be an ideal way spend the special day.



We reserved the boat in advance from Solomons Boat Rental at Solomons Island, a peaceful fishing village just over an hour’s drive from DC where the Patuxent meets the Chesapeake Bay. The eight-person, 24-foot pontoon was perfect for our crew (there were actually 9 of us, but with small kids the fit was fine). You can rent it for one, two, four, or eight hours. We originally opted for two, but ended up tacking on extra when we realized that wouldn’t be enough to enjoy the beautiful day.



We packed a couple of coolers for a picnic lunch aboard the boat (Bloody Mary fixings included to keep the tradition going :). The kids were required to wear life preservers the entire time, and there were some for adults on board as well.



The folks at Solomons Boat Rental provided a map, and we headed toward the nearby Thomas Johnson Bridge and out on the river. We cruised along for awhile, enjoying the cool breeze and water spraying up on the boat. The scenery, consisting of both natural areas and pretty riverside houses, was lovely. As we got to more narrow waterways, we dropped anchor for some swimming, eating, and relaxing. Being on the water elicits such a great carefree feeling.




After a good couple of hours on the river, we headed back to the boat house. It’s located right next to a small strip of sand, so the kids played on the beach and swam for a bit before taking a short walk to get ice cream cones.



We headed home after that, though you can make a longer day of it and have a meal on Solomons Island. Several restaurants are right on the water, many serving crabs and shellfish, waterside kind of food. You can see a list of them here. And for more information about renting pontoon boats (or motor boats) from Solomons Boat Rental, visit their website.

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Filed under All ages, DC, Maryland, Outdoor, Seasonal, Spring, Summer, Weekdays, Weekend

Harvest Some Honey this Weekend

Here’s another festival to add to the list of fall celebrations, and this one offers something unique .  The Patuxent Research Refuge is hosting the Maryland Honey Harvest Festival tomorrow, September 18, from 10am – 4pm.  According to the website, guests can “discover the busy world of bees and other pollinators while enjoying arts and crafts, honey tastings, candle making demonstrations, Refuge habitat tram tours and much more!”

The event will be held at the Refuge’s National Wildlife Visitor Center located off of Powder Mill Road between the Baltimore-Washington Parkway and MD Rt. 197.  More information about the Refuge is available on the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service website.

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Filed under All ages, Educational, Festival, Free, Maryland, Park, Weekend