'The Key West of the North’
Small Bass Island is known as “the Key West of the North,” said Leanne Italie in the Associated Press, a laid-back spot where boaters from around the region come to congregate. The island is one of about 20 on the Ohio side of Lake Erie, nine of which are under Canadian jurisdiction. Put-in-Bay, the main village, provides access to the other islands by ferry or small plane. Master Commandant Oliver Hazard Perry defeated a British flotilla in the harbor during the War of 1812, and afterward sent off his much-quoted dispatch: “We have met the enemy and they are ours.” Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial, a 352-foot-high Greek Doric column, now marks the lasting peace between the U.S. and Canada. A popular pastime is to hire a golf cart and tour the island’s limestone cliffs and caverns. The smaller Middle Bass Island, known as the “Island of Flowers,” is home to a wildlife area and the Lonz Winery, which opened during the Civil War.
Contact: Putinbay.com

Roaming in rural Maryland
A small bridge in Sykesville, Md., marks the scene of some of the fiercest fighting in the Civil War, said Cindy Loose in The Washington Post. Today the town itself “could be the set for a Civil War movie”—the business district is on the National Register of Historic Places. Located in Carroll Country, “this picturesque slice of Maryland” is also in the forefront in the national battle to preserve farmland from developers. Mile after mile of rolling hills are planted with wheat, hay, orchards, and vegetables. Red barns dot the landscape, standing alongside modest white frame houses. Baldwin Station, a restaurant that serves upscale Continental fare, sits on the banks of the Patapsco River in an 1883 building originally constructed as a train station. Antrim 1844, a country hotel regarded as one of the state’s most elegant, is housed in a former plantation manor in the nearby town of Westminster.
Contact: Carrollcountytourism.org