Why a Sugar Water Manor Farm Stay on the Eastern Shore of Maryland Works for Kids

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Sunset at Sugar Water Manor. Photo credit: Terri Marshall

Slow down and take a step back in time with a farm stay at Sugar Water Manor. Located on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, you’ll meet the farm animals: curious goats, busy chickens, quacking ducks, crowing roosters and adorable dogs. Add that to all the fun activities available on the Eastern Shore of Maryland and you’ll have an unforgettable getaway with the kids or grandkids.

Discover Sugar Water Manor

Previously known as the historic Clifton estate, Sugar Water Manor encompasses 68 acres along the Chesapeake Bay on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, about a 2/1/2 hour drive from Baltimore. With roots dating back to the 17th-century, history surrounds you along with rows and rows of corn. At the property’s edge, the Manokin River enhances the beauty of Sugar Water Manor.

Not your ordinary bed and breakfast, Sugar Water Manor takes hospitality to a new level. Owners, David and Dana Zucker welcome you to their beautiful property in Westover, Maryland as if you’re part of the family.

Read More: Great Stays near Deep Creek Lake State Park in Maryland.

Meet the Locals at the Farm

Fun on the farm!
Making furry friends on the farm. Photo credit: Terri Marshall

Every legit farm stay begins with an introduction to the locals. At Sugar Water Manor that includes nine goats. Penelope, Annabelle, Oscar, Willie, Otis, Chester, Magnolia, Willow and Jack eagerly welcomed us into the barn. Then it was off to meet the chickens, ducks and roosters–except for one bad boy who was in time-out. We were also introduced to the fresh eggs delivered courtesy of the chickens and ducks. Barn dogs Bo and Zoe keep an eye on everything at the barn. You’ll also likely meet the beautiful cats who stop by to visit from time to time. When you stay at Sugar Water Manor, you and the kids are welcome to help with the animals as much or as little as you like.

Also on this beautiful property, gardens render fresh veggies. And the bees are busy making honey in their hives.

Enjoying a farm stay at Sugar Water Manor
Meeting the chickens! Photo credit: Terri Marshall

Sugar Water Manor Accommodations

Cozy living room at The Homestead at Sugar Water Manor
Our cozy living room at the Homestead. Photo: Terri Marshall

Lodge houses on property include The Farmhouse with gorgeous views of the river, the Homestead where sunset views reigns and the Loft above the apiary.

A 3-bedroom 1.5 bath home, The Farmhouse sleeps up to six guests. A big cozy family room, dining room, full kitchen and half-bath make up the downstairs layout. On the second floor, three spacious bedrooms and a bathroom outfitted with a rain head shower complete the accommodations. Thoughtful touches throughout accent the simple farmhouse style.

We made ourselves at home in the Homestead. This 2-bedroom lodge house sleeps flour comfortably. One of my favorite features on both lodges was the screened porch. Ideal for relaxing and catching a glimpse of the gorgeous sunsets over the Manokin River. The screened porch is also where you’ll find a delightful basket of breakfast treats each morning. We loved everything. But the French toast with maple syrup and fresh fruit was a BIG hit with my grandkids….and me. YUM!

If you’re leaving the kids at home and making this a couple’s getaway, the Loft enhances romance with a king room and spa bath. Located above the apiary, the Loft also benefits from the charm of the farm and surrounding bucolic landscapes.

Breakfast at Sugar Water Manor in Maryland's Eastern Shore
Breakfast at Sugar Water Manor Photo credit: Terri Marshall

Things to Do at Sugar Water Manor

Kayaks for paddling on the Manokin River
Kayaks available for use at Sugar Water Manor Photo credit: Terri Marshall

From lending a helping hand as a farmer for the day to collecting your own fresh eggs each morning, there’s plenty to keep the kids entertained. Paddle into the sunset in complimentary kayaks or on paddleboards. The Manokin River is tidal making so  it’s shallow enough during low tide to wade out into the river. Evenings are spent relaxing around the fire pit making s’mores with the kids. There is WiFi but no TVs. Enjoy being unplugged. You’ll find plenty of board games for some old-fashioned fun. Sugar Water Manor is home to the first pool in Somerset County, so the kids were literally swimming in history.

When you’re ready to venture beyond the farm, the Eastern Shore of Maryland bestows plenty of intriguing options for daytrips.

Swimming in Maryland's oldest pool
Swimming with new friends in Somerset County’s oldest pool. Photo credit: Terri Marshall

Exploring the Eastern Shore of Maryland

If you’re familiar with the bustle of Baltimore, the laidback charm of Maryland’s eastern shore will come as a pleasant surprise. As you cross the Chesapeake Bay Bridge from Annapolis to the Eastern Shore of Maryland time slows down a bit. Situated in the Delmarva Peninsula, which also includes Delaware and portions of Virginia, the Eastern Shore of Maryland boasts miles of pastoral landscapes, centuries-old historic sites and waters rich with oysters, crabs and rock fish. It’s a highlight of any Mid-Atlantic road trip.

Harriet Tubman National Historical Park

Learn more about the Underground Railroad at the Harriet Tubman National Historical Park. Managed by the National Park Service, this new national historical park preserves the same landscapes that Tubman used to carry herself and others away from slavery.

Small Towns and Ocean City

Small town charm abounds in communities like Easton, known for its historic downtown, culinary scene and art galleries. Visit the 18-acre interactive Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels. Experience Maryland’s favorite beach town in Ocean City and spend the day playing in the waves of the Atlantic Ocean or meandering down the boardwalk.

In the small town of Chesapeake City, the C&D Canal Museum displays the history and operation of the canal connecting the Chesapeake and Delaware bays.

Assateague Island National Seashore

Assateague Island National Seashore's Wild Horses
Wild Horses on Assateague Island National Seashore. Photo credit: National Park Service

Take a daytrip to the Assateague Island National Seashore in search of the wild horses. Take a hike on miles of hiking trails. Biking, swimming, fishing and horseback riding keep outdoor enthusiasts busy. Or, go crabbing and catch Maryland’s iconic blue crabs.

Seafood Restaurants and Smith Island Cake

Seafood restaurant-rich Crisfield serves as the gateway to Smith Island. This intriguing unincorporated community is best known for the Smith Island Cake—Maryland’s state dessert. Don’t miss the opportunity to indulge in this 9-layer chocolate-frosted yellow cake delight.

A Day on Deal Island

Fishing with Captain Art on Maryland's Eastern Shore
Fishing with Captain Art. Photo credit: Terri Marshall

Accessible via a bridge from the mainland, Deal Island is an authentic waterman’s community. We met up with one of the watermen, Captain Art Benton for an afternoon of fishing. To the delight of the kids, fish were biting regularly. Captain Art also shared stories of Deal Island, the skipjack boats unique to the Chesapeake Bay and life as a waterman.

Other highlights of the island included a walk on Deal Island Beach in search of sea glass. Beaches on the island hold artifacts from the past including Native American pottery. We didn’t find any sea glass, but we did find a horseshoe crab that fascinated all of us.

There aren’t a lot of eateries on this tiny island, but you’ll experience local flavor at its best at Arby’s Dockside Bar & Grill. Part restaurant, part general store and bait and tackle shop, it’s a down-to-earth local treasure.

Nearby, the Deal Island Wildlife Management Area protects 13,565 acres of tidal marsh and wetlands. Ducks, geese, swans and bald eagles are among the waterfowl that call this area home. Hiking and biking around the marsh impoundment or kayaking within it brings you closer to the waterfowl. Don’t forget to bring insect repellant!

Solomon's Lump Lighthouse
Solomon’s Lump Lighthouse. Photo credit: Terri Marshall

Getting There:

Sugar Water Manor visit on Maryland's Eastern Shore in the Chevy Tahoe High Country
Loading up the Chevy Tahoe High Country. Photo credit: Terri Marshall

We left behind New York City’s concrete jungle and headed south. Driving 4 hours and 30 minutes transported us to the tranquil farm-laden landscape of Maryland’s eastern shore. The grandkids didn’t mind the drive at all. I assume that’s partially because we were riding in luxe comfort in the 2021 Chevy Tahoe High Country.

Admittedly, I don’t love driving a big vehicle along New York’s crowded midtown streets. But as soon as we crossed the George Washington Bridge and made our way onto the New Jersey Turnpike, this big, beautiful baby won my heart.

Stylish and easy to handle, the Chevy Tahoe High Country improves any drive—especially with the grandkids. Both Katherine and Marshall settled in immediately with plenty of technology and space. No “get off my side” comments required.

After a few days in the Chevy Tahoe High Country, Marshall was recommending this as a new vehicle choice to his mom and dad.

What You Need to Know about the Chevy Tahoe High Country

Creature Comforts:

Leather seats, dual climate control and a panoramic sunroof that lets the sun shine in. As a vertically challenged Grandmom, I especially liked the power-retractable side steps—no climbing required!

Cool Interior Features:

A power-sliding center console slides back up to 10 inches exposing a hidden storage compartment providing flexibility in organizing the interior for the drive.

Passenger Seating:

The 2021 redesign added 40% more legroom for 3rd-row passengers in an already spacious interior. The second-row seats move and fold forward providing easy access to the third row.

Cargo Space:

At 122.9 cubic feet we had more than enough room for our luggage, the gifts I bestowed on the grandkids and whatever else we wanted to pick up along the way.

Technology:

Driving to Sugar Water Manor in the Chevy Tahoe High Country
An acceptable detour request! Photo credit: Katherine Farris

A 4G LT WiFi HotSpot pairs up to 7 devices. Wireless charging for phones, standard Apple Car Play and Android Auto and plentiful USB ports and outlets keep everyone happily entertained. But the most fun feature: the rear-seat media system. With two 12.6 diagonal LED touch screens, rear-seat passengers have the capability to share information with the driver. For example, with access to the navigation app on their screens, the grandkids in the rear seat could Google nearby places and send a request to me complete with directions. Marshall loved this feature sending me regular requests for stops at Target, Game Stop and Chick-fil-A. When he finally sent a request for Starbucks, I accepted.

Safety Enhancements:

There’s no cargo more precious than grandkids. Equipped with the full spectrum of safety features, I never had to worry. The heads-up display was especially helpful while I balanced driving and conversations with the kids. And I’m always a fan of plenty of cameras. The Chevy Tahoe High Country has nine.

Gas Mileage:

The Chevy Tahoe High Country averages up to 21 in the city and 28 on the highway.

Price:

Chevy Tahoe High Sierra letting the sun shine in on a road trip to Maryland's Eastern Shore
Let the sun shine in! Photo credit: Katherine Farris

The Chevy Tahoe High Country starts at around $79,000. Equipped with the packages in ours the price runs closer to $85,000. Pricey? Yes. But you could probably live in this beauty!

No matter how you get there, a Sugar Water Manor farmstay coupled with time exploring the Eastern Shore of Maryland makes an ideal getaway with the kids or grandkids!

 


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