Hollywood, California, Lexington Park, Patuxent River Naval Air Station, Great Mills
History to high-tech. Historic sites along the Patuxent River give way to concentrated growth approaching the Patuxent River Naval Air Station with hotels, restaurants and retailers.
In a nutshell
On the east side of the St. Mary’s Peninsula along the Patuxent River you’ll find the Grande Dame of 18th-century Maryland, Sotterley Plantation, as well as Greenwell State Park and several water-side seafood restaurants. National brand hotels and restaurants are clustered along Route 235, and as you approach Lexington Park and the Patuxent River Naval Air Station you’ll find a “technology corridor” of aerospace companies. The Patuxent River Naval Air Museum is located just outside NAS Pax River. The Monument to African-American Contributions and the Three Notch Community Theater are nearby. Lexington Park proper is a classic “outside the main gate” convergence of retail, restaurants and realtors.
A bit of history
As colonists moved out from Maryland’s first settlement at St. Mary’s City, they established large tobacco plantations such as Sotterley along the area’s rivers which served as the highways of the time. Later, many of the landings where tobacco had been loaded on ships bound for England became stops for steamboats which carried goods to Baltimore. In 1940, attracted by its deep water harbor and its proximity to Washington, D.C., government officials consolidated World War II naval aircraft testing at Cedar Point. In the space of two years they constructed the Patuxent River Naval Air Station and changed the face of St. Mary’s County. The area outside of the base’s gate known as Jarboesville, was renamed Lexington Park after the carrier USS Lexington. In 1948, the US Navy test pilot school was established on the base where many of the nation’s early astronauts got their start.