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Sleepy, Artsy Easton Sits Along the Chesapeake Bay and Has a Well-Kept Historic Downtown, Art Galleries, Excellent Eateries and Fun Festivals
At the top of the Tred Avon River on the eastern banks of the Chesapeake Bay in eastern Maryland, artsy Easton (population 17,500) was founded by Quakers fleeing persecution in the late-1600s, giving this waterfront town a solid, soothing feeling.
The city has a mix of new gated communities, established modest neighborhoods with ranch ramblers and older, shaded, waterfront sections with large homes. The median home price is $430,000 reflecting a 1% decrease from just a year ago.
The cost of living is 3% above national average, and the median age is 42. Politics lean to the right, and 37% of residents hold at least a four year college degree. The crime rate meets the national average.
The quaint, leafy, walkable downtown, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is lined with well-kept Colonial, Federal and Victorian buildings that evoke an earlier time. Many now house specialty shops, good restaurants, fun bookstores and more than a dozen art galleries.
The First Friday Art Walk is the time when art galleries keep their doors open late and serve food and refreshments. There is also a gallery walk. The Talbot County Arts Council supports individuals, organizations, and lifelong learners. The Academy Art Museum is housed in a renovated 1820 schoolhouse and exhibits the best of local, regional and national artists.
The farmers' market operates on Saturdays from April through October, and a three hour food tour takes place on Friday afternoons. Tour participants venture into a variety of outstanding restaurants and learn what makes each one special.
Easton also has the oldest religious building still in use in the United States, as well as an African American settlement that dates from 1790. The courthouse was built in 1711, and the site uopn which the Tidewater Inn stands today has been home to a some sort of inn for more than 200 years. Historic walking tours happen the third Saturday of every month and discuss how Easton's eclectic architecture relates to its spiritual, civic and daily life.
The Talbot County Free Library is housed in an attractive red brick building and hosts art exhibits, art classes, technology classes, book discussions and more.
The Talbot County Fair, hosted in Easton, is always a fun event, as is the annual Waterfowl Festival, a celebration of art, food and wildlife conservation. The Arts Marketplace's Juried Art and Craft Exhibition happens every autumn. The annual Plein Air Competition and Arts Festival is a popualr outdoor painting festival. The Chesapeake Chamber Music Festival brings out nearly everyone, while the Avalon Theatre is a venue for the Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra.
Residents enjoy four golf courses and several nearby state parks. The Bay and its tributaries are perfect for sailing, canoeing, fishing and crabbing. The Bill Burton Fishing Pier and bright red Easton Point Marina are both open 24 hours a day.
A door to door van service for people age 60 or better is offered by the county. The cost to ride is $1.50, and advance reservations are required.
The University of Maryland Shore Medical Center at Easton is accredited by the Joint Commission and has 133 beds.
Summer temperatures are in the 80s and 90s, and winter temperatures are in the 40s, 50s and 60s. On average, the area receives 41 inches of rain and 11 inches of snow each year.
Maryland does not tax Social Security benefits or 401(k)s. It does, though, tax IRAs. Income from public pensions and private employee retirement plans is also taxed, but taxpayers age 65 and older can claim a $34,300 deduction, less Social Security.
Recommended as a Retirement Spot? Yes
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