By Maegan White
Elm Staff Writer
At points, historic Chestertown can feel a little too small for Washington College students. Regardless, students still flock into downtown on the weekends and during the school week to their favorite Chestertown sights.
Chestertown has a wide variety of coffee places, stores, outdoor spaces, and festivals. Whether someone wants a scoop of homemade ice cream, an artisan style coffee, or a sandwich, Play It Again Sam – affectionately called Sam’s by students – Evergrain Bread Company, and Stam’s Luncheonette are popular go-to places for students.
Sophomore Claire Garretson said that Evergrain is her favorite destination in town to try out new items.
“I love all of their iced lattes and try a new pastry every time,” Garretson said. “Their shop is so cozy and has a perfect café vibe in town. I’d totally suggest stopping by.”
Some students like to spend their time wandering around different stores in Chestertown like Twigs and Teacups or the Bookplate.
Others take advantage of the beautiful outdoors in Chestertown. The waterfront campus, Wilmer Park, and the Rails-to-Trails pathway are a great way for students to spend time outside walking and admiring the beautiful Chester River.
Senior Dasha Shirokova said that her favorite pastime in Chestertown was exercising outdoors.
“I love running and going on walks at the trail behind campus,” Shirokova said. “It is so peaceful in the morning, and it is a nice way to relax and get some exercise in a more quiet place with nature around you. There are also people from town going on walks and runs with their dogs and it gives that sense of community greeting and meeting other people at the trail.”
The most popular go-to place for students is the weekly Chestertown Farmers Market. Every Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon, two blocks of High Street are lined with different vendors selling fresh produce, baked bread, flowers, art, and more.
Senior Kate Ruppert said that the Farmers Market allows her to further interact with the residents of Chestertown.
“It’s a great way to connect with the community and see all the small businesses in Chestertown,” Ruppert said.
Senior Caroline Becker spent her summer in Chestertown for her internship and spent time exploring and finding hidden gems.
“I really love all of the somewhat hidden sitting areas there are in town, it’s fun to find them and have a small quiet corner of chestertown all to yourself,” Becker said.
She said that she recommends that everyone find their favorite hidden spot in town.
In addition to all the student favorite restaurants and shops, Chestertown has a lot to offer with different weekend festivals and parades.
The Sultana Education Foundation’s Downrigging Weekend Festival is from Friday, Oct. 28 to Sunday, Oct. 30. The annual Chestertown Halloween Parade is also on Saturday, Oct. 29 and the annual Dickens of a Christmas Festival is from Friday, Dec. 2 to Sunday, Dec. 4.
Every first Friday of the month, the town celebrates First Fridays where businesses stay open late, set up tables outside their shops, and offer discounts on their items.
This is a great way for students to spend time wandering through Chestertown after a week of school.
WC Student Government Association Secretary of Service and Community Relations sophomore Stephen Hook works on building community between the student body and the town.
“Although I and many students often feel disconnected from the town and all that it has to offer, we are so lucky to have our campus woven into the community of Chestertown,” Hook said. “To maximize our college experience, I believe we should all be taking advantage of all that Chestertown has to offer and think of ways we can make it feel more like home.”
He said that he encouraged students to get out into town and make connections.
“My biggest advice to students is to not be afraid to introduce yourself to town members,” Hook said. “Through my own experience, I’ve felt so welcomed and cared for by the town and have been able to create a home away from home. I hope all students get this opportunity.”
Photo courtesy of Elm Archive.
Photo Caption: Chestertown’s High Street hosts various events and festivals throughout the year.