Deal Island, Maryland

Deal Island, Maryland

Visiting Deal Island

A true waterman’s town, Deal Island seems like a place time time forgot.  The 3 mile long  island is located in Maryland’s Somerset County on Tangier Sound. There are three communities here – Deal Island, Chance, and Wenona. 


The island is accessible via a bridge from the mainland.  To get to Deal Island, take Maryland Route 363 off Route 13 at Princess Anne and head west for about 15 miles.

The Skipjack Heritage Museum in Chance is a relatively new addition to the Deal Island landscape that’s dedicated to preserving and honoring the area’s past. In addition to working to preserve and celebrate the Chesapeake Bay Skipjack, the organization aims to document and preserve the history of the area.

Once you cross Deal Island bridge, you’ll get to Deal Island Harbor, where you may see watermen unloading the day’s catch.  There’s also a small beach here, adjacent to the boat ramp.

Skipjack Races

Each Labor Day weekend for the over 60 years, this island community has hosted the annual Deal Island Skipjack races.  In addition to the skipjack races, this two day festival includes a crab skiff race, fishing contest, swimming contest, boat docking contest, a parade, amusement rides, arts and crafts booths, and food.  The festival takes place at Deal Island Harbor.  Bring a lawn chair and watch the race from the beach.  The race takes place a ways off shore, so bring to binoculars to see the action.  You can also launch kayaks from the sandy beach and paddle out for a closer view of the race.

The small harbor in Wenona is the home to several of the last remaining skipjacks on the Chesapeake Bay.  These sailing ships still dredge for oysters in the winter.  At the turn of the century, over 1,000 skipjacks worked the water.  Now, only about 15 remain.

Deal Island Wildlife Management Area

The Deal Island Wildlife Management Area is located on the mainland on the way out to Deal Island.  This wildlife management area attracts many waterfowl, including so unusual varieties of ducks.

Deal Island Resources