A little bit of history: When most people think of lighthouses, they think of lonely towers isolated by water and rocks.
Not so with Piney Point, on the Potomac River. It was once a popular resort area for wealthy Washingtonians, including President Theodore Roosevelt, who would ride down on his yacht to go fishing. With amazing views of the water and sandy beaches, it remains a popular spot for vacationers.
The lighthouse was in use from 1836 until 1964, and in 2002 it opened to the public as part of the museum. The museum's historic park interprets the history of St. Mary's County with exhibits about Dory boats, World War II torpedoes and a separate building dedicated to a Potomac River Maritime exhibit.
Interesting fact: There is a sunken U-1105 offshore, marked by a buoy. One of the rooms in the museum is dedicated to the German submarine, which the United States claimed after World War II.
Make a day of it: Hop on a water taxi at the St. Clement's Island Museum to visit Maryland's first colonial landing spot.
-- Amy Orndorff (June 22, 2012)