GETTING THERE: St. Michaels, Md., is 80 miles from Washington. Take Route 50 east across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. Bear right at the Route 50/301 split and follow Route 50 to Easton. Turn right onto Route 322 and follow that for two miles. Turn right onto Route 33 (St. Michaels Road) and follow it for 10 miles into town.
APPRENTICE FOR A DAY: The program takes place year-round at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum (213 N. Talbot St., 410-745-2916, www.cbmm.org). It is offered most Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Cost is $25 per day (or $15 for museum members). A more formal apprentice schedule for building a 16-foot sailing skiff will run for 13 weeks starting Jan. 7. Check the Web site for the Journeyman Special: For $90 ($50 for members), you can apprentice for any four days during that 13-week period and choose the work you do. Preregistration is encouraged because the program is limited to six participants.
WHERE TO STAY: Few places could be cozier after a winter day in a boatyard than the Five Gables Inn & Spa (209 N. Talbot St., 877-466-0100, www.fivegables.com), around the corner from the museum. The inn has off-street parking (which is at a premium in town), a full-service spa, rooms with gas fireplaces, steam and sauna rooms, continental breakfast and to-die-for chocolate-chip cookies in the lobby. Weekend winter rates start at $200 per night. The Victoriana Inn (205 Cherry St., 888-316-1282, www.victorianainn.com) is on the harbor. Weekend winter rates start at $149, based on a two-night stay, and include a hot country breakfast.
WHERE TO EAT: Key Lime Cafe (207 N. Talbot St., 410-745-3158) serves breakfast, lunch and dinner in a charming home. The menu changes every Friday, and reservations are recommended (entrees from $14 to $25). Pick up your morning pastries and hot drinks at Blue Crab Coffee Co. (102 Fremont St., 410-745-4155), and do the same in the evening at Salty Dog Books & Music (402 S. Talbot St., 410-745-2974). Taste Gourmet Deli (105 N. Talbot St., 410-745-4100) is a bona-fide deli with all of the signature sandwiches you could want along with great clam chowder.
INFO: St. Michaels Business Association, 800-808-7622, www.stmichaelsmd.org.