Things to Do

Looking to Escape the Cicada Invasion? Try One of These Nearby Towns.

The buzziest destinations for avoiding the bugs.

Photograph by JMPhoto64 via iStock.

Pestilence follows pandemic this year as the 17-year cicadas dubbed Brood X emerge in May. Although one could embrace the return of the bugs that allegedly taste like shrimp, you wouldn’t be blamed for wanting to hightail it away from the flying insects.

Spots in Southern Maryland and parts of the Eastern Shore south of Kent County should be havens from the rude brood, according to a map tracking cicadas in the Mid-Atlantic region.

“It’s going to be super intense, especially in DC as well as most of Maryland. [In] areas of the Eastern Shore, it’s going to be mostly clear.says Floyd Shockley, the collections manager for the Department of Entomology at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. “We know places that they prefer not to be.”

While we can’t guarantee a fully cicada-free vacation, check out these five towns for a probable break from the buzz:

Tilghman Island. Photograph by Flickr user <a href='"">Chesapeake Bay Program</a>.
Tilghman Island. Photograph by Flickr user Chesapeake Bay Program.


The growing shore town is a good base camp for visits to Maryland’s Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, located about ten miles away.


Sure, Kanye West visited last year. But the sleepy port town still retains its low-key charm and water views—check them out at Doc’s Sunset Grille or grab a cone at Highland Creamery.

Smith Island

Maryland’s state dessert, the ten-layered Smith Island cake, gets its name from this remote destination in the Chesapeake Bay, accessible only by ferry. The area is very kayak-friendly.

St. Michaels

The historic town is filled with stylish boutiques, waterfront restaurants, and attractions like the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, which is partially open.

Tilghman Island

More remote than St. Michaels, this three-mile island is accessible from the mainland via a drawbridge. If you’re looking for an overnight stay or a nice waterfront meal, the new hotel Wylder Tilghman Island and adjoining Tickler’s Crab Shack is a good bet.

Daniella Byck
Lifestyle Editor

Daniella Byck joined Washingtonian in 2022. She was previously with Outside Magazine and lives in Northeast DC.