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A Rest Stop Like No Other, Dorchester Visitors Center


Dorchester Visitor Center

Our first family memories in Cambridge started at the Dorchester Visitor Center.


Our friend Brent, from Visit Dorchester, recommended we visit the Dorchester Visitor Center. He mentioned this visitor center in the heart of the Chesapeake had a museum, beach, and promenade. It sounded like a perfect way to help my boys stretch their legs before we arrived at the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay. And it was.


We could have stayed at the Dorchester Visitor Center for a full day, had we planned better. ;-) My recommendation to you as you learn about the areas to explore at this unique visitor center is be prepared. Pack your lunch, swimsuits, towels, and sunscreen. You’ll be ready to take advantage of all the free activities the Dorchester Visitor Center has to offer.


Heart of the Chesapeake Visitors Center


About the Dorchester Visitor Center

The Dorchester Visitor Center is open 8:30 am to 5 pm daily. When we arrived we found a staff ready to help us plan our vacation in Cambridge, Maryland. Although most of our trip was planned, the center had maps and such for visiting tourists. And as we found out, the Visitor Center was a destination in and of itself with so much to see and explore.


The Visitors’ Center is also a designated Regional Information Center for the Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network, under the National Park Service. CBGN maps are available free at the Visitors’ Center. You can learn more about the Dorchester Visitor Center at their site


6 Areas for Kids to Play & Explore at the Dorchester Visitor Center in the Heart of the Chesapeake


Dorchester Visitor Center

He’s got his eyes on the outdoor areas of the Dorchester Visitor Center with these binoculars from the inside.


Two levels of exhibits about the Dorchester area and its history


Dorchester Visitor Center totem pole 1

Totem of Goodwill ~ The ceramic sculpture is by Duren County artist Otmar Alt, noted for his colorful, some would say whimsical, compositions. Symbolism is a frequent feature of Alt’s artwork. Celebrating the goodwill shared between the two counties, the sculpture has a number of symbols from both regions, including a crab for Maryland and a lion (in the vein of the cartoon character Snagelpuss) for Germany.


The Totem of Goodwill was eye catching and interesting.


Dorcester Visitor Center


Dorcester Visitor Center


Dorcester Visitor Center

He’s learning how to tie different kinds of knots that sailors and fishermen use.


Dorchester Visitor Center

Harriet Tubman was born to enslaved parents in Dorcester, Maryland.


Dorcester Visitor Center


Educational hands on exhibits and signage helped us learn about the history of the area’s land as well as Dorchester’s role in slavery.


Relaxing garden with native plants


Mile-long boardwalk to stretch your legs and your kids. It’s also a pet-friendly boardwalk.

As we walked the boardwalk, we came across several benches and large swings. The boys and I enjoyed taking moments to rest, swing, and enjoy the view before getting back to explore of course.


Dorchester Visitor Center Boardwalk 3


Dorchester Visitor Center


“Flying Goose” Monument Fountain


Dorchester Visitor Center boardwalk

You can see the “Flying Goose” monument fountain from several viewpoints or walk towards the path to see it upclose.


The Dorchester Visitor Center Beach area

This is a great little beach area for families. We saw many kids splashing in the water and playing in the sand with their parents. The beach requires no tags and parking is free. Just keep in mind there are no lifeguards on duty.


Dorchester Visitor Center Beach 1

He’s attempting to get this big rock out of the beach.


Sailwinds Park Playground

By far our favorite part of the Dorchester Visitor Center was the playground. There were THREE playground areas, one for children ages 2-5, another for children 5 – 12, and a lighthouse playground for all age groups. Some areas of the playground are wheelchair accessible.


Dorchester Visitor Center playground


Dorchester Visitor Center playground 1

There were so many unique climbing structures.


Dorchester Visitor Center playground lighthouse 1


Dorchester Visitor Center playground lighthouse 2

Climbing inside the lighthouse


On your next trip to Maryland, the Dorchester Visitor Center needs to be on your places to visit!


To view more Dorchester Visitor Center photos visit our Facebook Gallery. Here’s a short preview.


Click over to see the rest of our Family Travel to Cambridge, Maryland series or Visit Dorchester for help in planning your family vacation to Cambridge, Maryland.


Family travel to Cambridge Maryland


To arrange a feature on your location contact Jennifer Auer, Jersey Family Fun publisher.


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