For a quick and great vacation just a short drive from Washington DC, Baltimore and Philadelphia-Berlin, Maryland is a cute little historic town with so much Christmas magic that you will simply fall in love with. Located just 9 miles west of summer Mecca is Ocean City, and voted to win “America’s Coolest Small Town” award by Budget Travel in 2014, Berlin has proven to be a travel destination worth visiting off the beaten track.
But what is the lottery? With 47 buildings on the National Historic Register, Berlin’s main street has not changed much over the past 100 years as most of its historic architecture and Victorian charm are still preserved. Strolling down Berlin’s main street gives you the feeling that you’ve just stepped back in time. This is exactly why we love her. A visit to Berlin is great any time of year, but during the Christmas season, the streets of Berlin come alive with magical lights and decorations that will get you in the holiday spirit. Be sure to check out city calendar To get a running list Eid events.
💡 Fun fact for travel: Berlin charm hasn’t escaped Hollywood and you may have seen it on the big screen. Berlin was chosen as the filming location for the hit 90s romantic comedy “Runaway Bride” starring Julia Roberts and Richard Gere and was also transformed into a town called “Treegap,” complete with dirt roads, horses, and vintage costumes for the 2001 movie Tuck Everlasting
What to do in Berlin, MD
Incredibly well-preserved, Berlin is filled with charming shops, boutiques, art galleries, and restaurants. The enchanted tea room on the main street Lunch, tea and pastries are served on fine china, while the highly acclaimed Bakery Sweets Café It is the home of Berlin’s official dessert: peach pie. For those who love books, check out greyhound Small new independent bookshop on Main Street. It carries internationally recognized books while staying true to its Maryland and East Shore roots to promote the talents of local authors.
If you prefer antiques, Berlin’s Main Street is considered the antique capital of the East Coast. You can easily spend hours searching for the perfect treasures to take home or give as gifts. History buffs should check it out Taylor House Museum For a look at all things historical in Berlin.
For a fun holiday experience, visit Berlin on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. until December 23 as free Christmas carts zip through the city from the corner of Bates and Main Street.
Travel type: Movie buffs can stop at the Berlin Visitor Center or the check-in area of the Atlantic Hotel to get a self-guided tour brochure of film locations located throughout the city.
Where to Stay in Berlin, MD
2 N. Main St., Berlin, Md.
Prices: $120 – $280
The stunning Hotel Atlantic is ideally located in the heart of Berlin, right on the main street. Built in 1895, the hotel retains much of the same character it had when it first opened over 120 years ago. The hotel itself has 18 charming Victorian rooms, beautifully decorated with period décor ranging from cozy to surprisingly spacious. Rooms come with full to king beds and many have antique clawfoot tubs. For modern conveniences, each guest room features a flat-screen TV as well as free Wi-Fi on site.
One suite is complete with a full kitchen, washer and dryer. If you prefer more private accommodations, The Gardner’s Cottage might be more of your speed.
The second floor of the hotel where we stayed has a lovely little salon ideal for reading and enjoying a fresh cup of Keurig coffee or tea served to guests at the serving table in the lobby. Each floor of the hotel guestroom is accessible by elevator.
💡 Type: Do you like Runaway Bride or are you a fan of romantic comedies? Book Room 20 where Richard Gere stayed while filming Runaway Bride. It is now aptly called “Richard Gere’s Room”.
But one of the best places in the hotel to sit back and relax is on the sprawling covered veranda that you don’t just need to enjoy in the warmer months. Grab a cup of hot chocolate, sit in one of The Atlantic’s rocking chairs and wrap one of the free electric blankets around to keep warm while you enjoy the Christmas tree outside and watch the world go by. You will never feel the cold winter air bleak again. When you feel hungry, you don’t have to go far. Inside the hotel, head to its own restaurant and bar called Th Atlantic Hotel Bistro Bar, which serves Maryland-style specialties.
In a hotel that has survived more than 120 years, it’s no surprise that The Atlantic has had its fair share of ghost stories and reports of paranormal phenomena most notably the story of a little ghost girl seen and heard in the second floor lobby over the years either bouncing a ball or riding her tricycle. It seems no one knows who she is. True or not, we found the hotel remarkably comfortable and didn’t have other mundane experiences to ourselves. There is always next time.
Where to eat in Berlin, MD
Atlantic Bistro Hotel Bar
2 N. Main St., Berlin, MD
Even if you’re not staying overnight, the Atlantic Hotel Bistro Bar is a great way to experience the hotel and its hospitality. How can I forget food? Open for lunch and dinner, Atlantic Hotel Bistro Bar is a full-service restaurant and bar serving classic American dishes with a nod to local Maryland cuisine. Don’t miss the perfectly prepared Caesar salad topped with crunchy and fresh fried oysters. For dessert, you can’t leave without trying a slice of the locally famous Lemon Lust that is truly luscious. A sweet, savory, creamy lemon filling piled over a pecan crust, topped with whipped cream and garnished with lemon and lime zest. It is pure paradise.
💡 Type: Take a seat in the enclosed glass room at the Atlantic Hotel Bistro Bar to take in the great view of Main Street.
Blacksmith Restaurant & Bar
104 Bates Street, Berlin, Maryland 21811
The first official meal in Berlin was at Blacksmith, a rustic-chic pub-style restaurant serving American style Farm-to-Table food along with a fine selection of local Eastern Shore beers and an impressive cocktail list. Their empanada with slow cooked beef and crab cakes were both fantastic. and supply stopper? Fried banana cheesecake. Fresh bananas and cheesecake filling are wrapped in a wonton-like dough and then thoroughly fried. As if that wasn’t decadent enough, it’s topped with caramel sauce, toasted coconut flakes, and a dash of whipped cream before serving. Worth every calorie. Stop by for their super happy hour.
Rayne’s Reef Soda Fountain & Grill
10 N Main St, Berlin, MD 21811
Just around the corner from The Atlantic, Rayne’s Reef Soda Fountain & Grill is the perfect old-fashioned soda shop. Come here for the burgers, stay for the burgers and come back for the burgers. Tender on the inside and perfectly charred on the outside, the burgers here steal the show. If you need a dessert, try one of the old-fashioned ice cream sundaes, malts, or sodas. Even if you’re not in the mood for a burger, you’ll have a hard time resisting the delicious aromas emanating from the grill as you walk by. we could not. Rayne’s Restaurant is also open for breakfast daily from 8am to 5pm.
12 Broad Street, Berlin, MD 21811
Right next door to the Atlantic Hotel is The Globe, a restaurant serving American cuisine in a renovated 100-year-old building that began as Berlin’s Old Globe Theatre. Serving lunch, dinner, and Sunday brunch, The Globe is a popular dining spot in town not just for dining. It also hosts its own book club, murder mystery dinners, and musical performances throughout the year. The night we visited, there was a Christmas show of Charlie Brown playing on the Globe’s big cinema screen to knock out some Christmas cheer. Don’t miss out on this out-of-this-world crab cream soup served in a glass and topped with a pile of lump crab. It is seriously divine. The Snickers Warm Bread Pudding was a decadent, sinful treat that warmed our bones before heading out in the cold. If you visit, be sure to check out the art gallery on the second floor that showcases local artists.
Where to park in Berlin, MD
The town of Berlin, Maryland offers free parking to all its visitors on Main Street and in 6 public parking lots located throughout the city. Click here for a map. Guests staying at the Atlantic Hotel can park behind the hotel building for free as well.