Maryland and Delaware: Off the Beaten Path

8th edition (2007)

Maryland Delaware Off the Beaten Path front cover -- yummy steamed crabs


"Learn the secrets of the locals, as well as a lot of secrets even us locals don't know."--Where Baltimore magazine

The other tome you may want to examine, and I strongly suggest it, is Judy Colbert's "Maryland and Delaware: Off the Beaten Path" this is not a hiking book exactly, but it will help you ferret out the places to see, and presents plenty of hiking opportunities as well. Soon you'll be stuck in traffic, probably behind a chicken truck.

-- Rick Bolger


This guide to Maryland and Delaware reveals the unique and quirky attractions the states have to offer:  touch authentic fossils at the Deep Creek Lake Discovery Center in Maryland, take Ed Kane's Water Taxi around the Baltimore City Harbor, and tour the historical Delaware Toy and Miniature Museum.

Why stay on the main road, when you can go Off the Beaten Path®“For the traveler who enjoys the special, the unusual, and the unexpected.” The Traveler newsletter

Whatever you do when you travel, get off the Interstate. Who needs more bland rest stops and fast food? Get into the heart of things with Globe Pequot’s Off the Beaten Path series. Devoted to travelers with a taste for the unique, this easy-to-use guide will help you discover the hidden places in Maryland that most tourists miss-unsung, unspoiled, and out-of-the-way finds that liven up a week’s vacation, a day trip, or an afternoon.

If hot (and I don’t mean weather) tempts your taste buds, then a stop in St. Michaels isn’t complete until you’ve visited Flamingo Flats. Their motto is: ‘Where taste is paramount and life’s too short to eat boring food.’ Flamingo Flats has hot sauce and salsa specialties. If you have an asbestos tongue, step up to the tasting bar and go to town. The shop specialty is its own Cannonball sauce. It’s a sauce more for tasting than for destroying your intestinal lining.”

ISBN-10: 0762744189        $14.95       The Globe Pequot Press

ISBN-13: 978-0762744183

Have Computer, Will Travel


(Copyright 1994 @ The Baltimore Sun Company)

Travel is work and work is travel for Judy Colbert, the author of three books and 500 articles on journeys near and far.

The last time she visited a place without writing about it was in 1978, and that was on her daughter's high school trip to France.

"It feels like a waste -- not to be doing something" while traveling, said Ms. Colbert, 53.

The Crofton resident spends four months of the year on the road or in the air and has visited 45 states and 25 countries. In the last three weeks, she has been in 10 time zones, with trips to Israel and California.

Her niche in the travel publishing world is finding small and out-of-the-way places to visit. Next month, the second edition of her book "Maryland Off the Beaten Path" is to be published. Her first book, "Virginia Off the Beaten Path," which was published in 1985, is in its third edition.

Her current travel project is a book to be published late next year on 16 country towns in Maryland and Delaware. With 70,000 books in print, Ms. Colbert has found a market in travelers who take shorter, more frequent vacations.

Most of the 19 million tourists who visit annually live within 200 miles, stay an average 3.1 days and arrive by car, said Andrea Thomas, spokeswoman for the Division of Tourism and Promotion of the Maryland Department of Economic and Employment Development.

The author believes her books also are popular because people move so often that they lose a sense of where they belong. "These old towns give us history," said Ms. Colbert. "This helps us establish roots. . . . You're not going to the same mall."

Ms. Colbert finds such places by reading local newspapers, visiting local libraries and calling up the local tourist office. A rule of thumb is to avoid places on major interstates.

Often, she says, she just sees an interesting road and lets it take her someplace new. "It's pretty much an advance man work or a reporter's work," said Ms. Colbert. "You go to the local beauty salon, library, local pub, and you listen."

The Washington native got her start in travel writing as camping columnist for the Bowie Blade News in the late 1960s. Previously, she had been a regional editor for TV Guide, a theater reviewer for the Washington Star and a legislative aide to the Prince George's County Council.

Ms. Colbert became her own boss as a full-time free-lance writer in 1985, when she bought a home computer. Her articles on travel and other subjects have appeared in publications ranging from McCall's to the Washington Post. She was named Maryland Travel Writer of the Year in 1991.

Her books aren't meant to uncover all the sites off the beaten paths, but rather to give directions to a country store, a covered bridge or grist mill.

"The thing I really like is when people say `Gee, I've lived here all my life and I didn't know that,' " she said.