Visit Historic Berlin, MD (Just Minutes From Ocean City)

Updated on January 19, 2020
Dolores Monet profile image

From popular tourist attractions to lesser-known areas, Dolores shares destinations in Maryland as well as regional day trips.

Old Shops in Berlin, Maryland
Old Shops in Berlin, Maryland | Source

Berlin, Maryland, is a small town, a National Register Historic District just minutes from Ocean City. Berlin offers visitors a quaint, historic commercial area featuring restaurants, a tea room, antique shops, boutiques, galleries, and the beautifully restored Atlantic Hotel.

Before 1800, the area once called Stevenson's Crossroads was located on a part of land granted to William Tomkins in 1677. An inn called the Burley Inn after a late 18th-century plantation called Burley Plantation gave the town its name. Incorporated in 1868, Berlin is pronounced with the accent on the first syllable. The name Berlin is a contraction of the two words Burley Inn.

The 1998 Paramount film Runaway Bride, starring Julia Roberts and Richard Gere was filmed in and around Berlin. The movie Tuck Everlasting (2002) starring Sissy Spacek, William Hurt, and Ben Kingsly, was shot there as well.

Berlin hosts many seasonal events including the July Bathtub Races, Art Strolls, Ghost Walks, and musical events like September's Fiddler's Convention. December offers a Christmas Parade and New Year's Eve Ball Drop and Celebration.

In 2014 the popular travel magazine Budget Travel named Berlin America's coolest small town.

The Atlantic Hotel in Berlin

The Atlantic Hotel at 2 Main Street was built in 1895. A wide front porch offers wooden rocking chairs and an opportunity to people watch and make new friends.

The beautifully restored interior offers a cozy atmosphere with authentic Victorian décor. Dine in the Drummer's Cafe named after the old-time traveling salesmen once called "drummers," who filled the hotel rooms a century ago. Check out the old photographs that line the halls and decorate the lobby.

The hotel has its quirks, as all old buildings should. Lights go off unexpectedly and doors close by themselves in what may be the work of ghosts. Some claim that a ghostly young child wanders the halls at night, while others claim the ghosts came with the newly purchased antique furniture during a restoration.

Accommodations include a gardener's cottage and suites. Each room is uniquely decorated.

Atlantic Hotel in Berlin, MD
Atlantic Hotel in Berlin, MD | Source

Rayne's Reef

Rayne's Reef opened up shop over 100 years ago. The quaint old soda fountain and luncheonette offers old-time ambiance at 10 Main Street. Popping into Rayne's is like a visit to yesteryear. Treat yourself to a root beer float, cherry cola, or one of their delicious milkshakes and suddenly realize that ice cream is good for you!

Serving breakfast and lunch as well as classic soda fountain fare, Ranye's is a must-stop after a stroll around town.

Rayne's Reef in Berlin, Maryland
Rayne's Reef in Berlin, Maryland | Source

Calvin B. Taylor Museum

The Calvin B Taylor Museum at 208 Main Street is a restored early 19th-century home that offers local historic artifacts and memorabilia in period settings. The charming historic rooms and seasonal events make the museum a great place to learn about the old Eastern Shore.

Berlin Maryland Historic Architecture

Berlin offers a mixed bag of Federal, Victorian, and early 20th-century architecture including shops, homes, and churches.

Saint Paul's Episcopal Church at 3 Church Street was built in 1825 and still holds services. Severely damaged in a 1904 storm, the church was rebuilt in a different style.

St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Berlin, Maryland
St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Berlin, Maryland | Source

Art Galleries and Craft Shops

A fine selection of galleries featuring hand made crafts and fine arts grace Berlin's main drag. Every second Friday of the month, Berlin offers an Art Stroll featuring live music. Walk the lovely streets and check out some galleries. Here is a partial list:

  • The Globe at 12 Broad Street is a restaurant in an old theater that offers national and regional music in a setting decorated with the work of local artists.
  • JJ Fish Studio and Fine Crafts Gallery at 14 Main Street is a great place to check out contemporary crafts including pottery, jewelry, glass, wood, and textile arts.
  • Bungalow Love is a tiny shop at 12 William Street offering an eclectic mix of home décor and gifts, fair trade items, and vintage ware including mirrors framed with salvaged wood from the Ocean City Boardwalk.
  • Baked Dessert Cafe & Gallery located at 4C Bay Street is home to beautifully crafted desserts, fine wine, and fine art. Yummy desserts and fine art—what a fabulous combination!
  • Henry Fine Arts LLC at 4C Bay Street features the work of Patrick L Henry, a renowned regional artist whose work depicts seascapes, wetlands, historic, and iconic scenes of the Eastern Shore.
  • Urban Nectar at 10019 Old Ocean City Blvd. is an interesting mix of food, entertainment, events, and local art. Offering classes in various arts and crafts, this shop also hosts a farmers' market.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Even the Banks are Quaint in Berlin, MDOld Store Front in Berlin, MDBeautiful Old Cottage
Even the Banks are Quaint in Berlin, MD
Even the Banks are Quaint in Berlin, MD | Source
Old Store Front in Berlin, MD
Old Store Front in Berlin, MD | Source
Beautiful Old Cottage
Beautiful Old Cottage | Source

Take a Ride Around Berlin Maryland

Berlin is just south of Route 50 as you can see on the map

© 2013 Dolores Monet


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    • Dolores Monet profile imageAUTHOR

      Dolores Monet 

      4 years ago from East Coast, United States

      Edwin France Jr. - Your father was such a unique individual! I remember being young and wandering around in his store and was especially impressed with his knowledge of all the old magic acts. He seemed to have a story for everything. It's people like your dad who make a town special, who define it and give it character. Sadly, the kinds of shops your father owned are in decline.

      I have an old hat rack that my mother bought me as a Christmas gift from Uncle Ned's. It's still in use in my home. I often hang things from it and think of your father with a smile, grateful for the memory of that wonderful shop.

      I remember how he would sometimes close half the store, turning the lights out in that section. One time my sister and her friend were wandering around in the dark and your dad decided to close the whole store, not realizing they were still there. He closed up and my sister and her friend were locked inside to wait for his return. We often laugh over that one. They just don't make them like that anymore. Thank your for commenting, Edwin!

    • profile image

      Edwin France Jr. 

      4 years ago

      Thank you one and all for all of the nice memories of my Father Uncle Ned. It has warmed my heart to see such honor and respect by many. He passed away in 1992 from heart failure. He loved meeting new customers and socializing with tourist. His favorite saying was, "You are now entering the lowest prices in town"!

    • Dolores Monet profile imageAUTHOR

      Dolores Monet 

      5 years ago from East Coast, United States

      Stan Vaughn - I used to love Uncle Ned's Bargain Basement and still have a brass hat rack we bought there. He used to be a magician way back in the day. Uncle Ned would occasionally turn off the lights and close half of the store. Once, he closed the whole store in the middle of the day and locked my sister and one of her friends inside. He was a real character! Thank you for sharing your memories!

    • profile image

      Stan Vaughn 

      5 years ago

      In the '60s my family would vacation in OC Maryland. I would have been between 8 and 17 yrs old back then. We stayed in west Ocean City at Fran's Cabins(gone) or the Villa Nova(still there). First activity after unpacking the car was going to the grocery store, A&P I think,, just off rt 50 on the way into Berlin. Visited the town many times back then. Ned's is the one memory of the town that has remained after all these years. I think it was called Uncle Ned's Bargain Fair. What a place. Bought a .22 caliber blank gun there; which I still have. as well as 45 rpm records of current hits back then. "Wild Thing" by The Troggs in 1966 is one that I recall buying there.

      As for Frontier Town, I loved it as a kid and I have taken some of my grandkids there recently and they loved it too. Hope to go back soon wth some more of my grandkids. It hasn't changed much over the years.


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