Hooper's IslandMaryland's Chesapeake Bay. The principal community, of about 400 people, is known as Fishing Creek.
The community here has deep roots, running back to the mid-17th century, when Henry Hooper found it a nice place for a tobacco plantation. In the hundred years, Hooper Island converted from a tobacco community to a fishing economy, hauling crabs and especially oysters out of the once rich Bay. Today the community, like nearly all the proud Chesapeake watermen communities, is under threat from fish stocks depleted by pollution and from rising waters.
Hoopers Island is a good long drive from the nearest town, but it's a beautiful ride. Hoopers Island Rd (MD-355) is the one land route in. It's a simple route from Cambridge—just take MD-16 south, then turn left on MD-335. The bridges from island to island are beautiful!
Hooper's Island LighthouseThe lighthouse dating from 1901 is easy enough to find, since you can see it from just about anywhere on the island if you look to the west. It is one of the U.S.'s rare pneumatic caisson lighthouses.
Phillips Seafood FactoryNo longer in operation, the birthplace of the venerable Chesapeake seafood institution, which operates seafood restaurants throughout the Mid-Atlantic, offers tours during the summer.
phone: +1 410-330-1242address: 2833 Hoopers Island Rd, Church CreekHoopers Island Expeditions offers fishing charters & guide services for the local waters. The Washingtonian ranked Hoopers Island Expeditions as one of the top things to do on the Chesapeake Bay.
Sawyer Charters & ToursProvides fishing trips on the bay to catch striped bass & other species or take a scenic cruise, narrated tour of the area, or crab feast aboard the 50-ft Sawyer vessel, with USCG-licensed captains sharing the history and folklore of the region.
Eat and drink
phone: +1 410 397-3752address: 2560 Hoopers Island Rd, Fishing CreekGreat views over the water and as-fresh-as-it-gets seafood hauls are the reasons to come here. That and the fact that it's the only full-service restaurant on the island. Nothing about the place is fancy, but who needs a fancy restaurant when you could experience the local hospitality of the Chesapeake watermen! There is also a general store with food and gasoline, a post office, and a hardware store with very limited hours. There are also a number of active crab wholesale packing houses, and a marina.
Unless you have family here, you won't find a place to stay overnight on the islands, unless you rent one of the few homes available for a weekend or week's stay. The closest overnight off the island is about 25 minutes away near Taylor Wildlife Preserve just off Smithville Rd on the way to Cambridge: