If you are in Ocean City this week, you may notice a couple of changes as you drive down Coastal Highway. The speed limit, normally 40 mph through North Ocean City, has been reduced to 30 mph, and Downtown, the speed limit has also been reduced. This is due to the expected, unauthorized H2Oi Pop-Up Rally. It is reasonable to expect heavier than usual traffic, noise and strict enforcement of vehicle laws during the week and weekend.
The Furnace Town Living Heritage Village in Snow Hill is one of my favorite spots for a day trip from Ocean City. The recreated 19th century town should be a mandatory stop for all history buffs, as this little piece of Eastern Shore history is a super engaging educational opportunity for adults and kids alike. While Furnace Town is about a 40 minute drive from OC, the mini-roadtrip will take you through Berlin and Maryland’s Blue Crab Scenic Byway.
If you plan on making the journey yourself (which you should!), I recommend you dedicate the day to exploring a little bit of historic Berlin, taking in the scenery around Pocomoke River and maybe enjoying a meal and a shopping trip in downtown Snow Hill. Furnace Town itself is enough to keep you busy for several hours, but if you want to make the most of the adventure, these pit stops are worth the extra time spent (plus, you’ll want to stop for nourishment at some point anyway).
I only came for a few hours of self-guided exploration, but visit on the right day and you can partake in a guided tour, a Chesapeake ghost walk or an archaeological dig, and the summer Americana Music Series provides a fun-filled afternoon with live bluegrass and Celtic music, barbecue and local brews. The village also offers classes for kids and adults on 19th century folk crafts like weaving, broom making and printing.
There’s so much history inside the little tucked-away village, and I received a thorough education during my Sunday day-trip from the historically-costumed villagers. I’ve captioned the photos below with a few tidbits of interest, but I can’t begin to describe the entirety of Furnace Town’s rich and intriguing history–for that, you’ll have to visit for yourself.
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