. . . taken a 'tiki-tacky' trip to Southern Maryland. It's been described as looking like "something Martha Stewart might dream up after a bad LSD trip at Trader Vic's," but the proprietress of Vera's White Sands doesn't seem to mind. She'll bid you welcome with a breathy greeting as you soak in the very prominent South Pacific ambiance of this private yacht club-turned-restaurant that's become a cultural landmark on the Patuxent River.

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Vera's White Sands Restaurant and Marina is at 1200 White Sands Dr. in Lusby, off Route 4 (look for the huge pink sign).

The restaurant is open for dinner from 4 to 9 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays, noon to 10 p.m. Saturdays and noon to 9 p.m. Sundays until Oct. 1. After that, it is open only on Fridays and Sundays until New Year's Eve. For reservations, call 410-586-1182.

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Know of a uniquely Washington area experience or a place you always take out-of-towners? Send a note to haventlived@washpost.com. For previous features, go to www.washingtonpost.com/haventlived.

Owner Vera Freeman's likeness is spread throughout the eclectic decor of the main dining room, including in this life-size painting.