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July Event – WILDLIFE AND WINERIES:  A CARAVAN THROUGH RURAL PRINCE GEORGES COUNTY


Wildlife, wineries, and rural aren't what you may normally associate with Prince Georges County, Maryland. But we're about to change that with our July 22 caravan tour through a portion of scenic rural southern Prince Georges County.
Our group will meet at the Safeway shopping center at the intersection of Route 301 (Crain Highway) and South Osborne Road, just south of Upper Marlboro, Maryland (only about 25 miles/30 minutes from DC). There are several fast food options available for those who would like to eat before our caravan begins; options include Subway, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, America's Best Wings, and Bojangles Chicken.
From there we will then caravan into farm and horse country as we meander our way to the beautiful Patuxent River Park at Jug Bay along the Patuxent River. This park and the contiguous Merkle Wildlife Sanctuary, include several thousand acres of land hugging the Prince Georges shore of the Patuxent River, full of hiking trails, nature and rural life centers, and is the site of the historic Columbia Air Center. For our brief introductory tour, we will visit the observation tower overlooking Jug Bay and the historic Billingsley Manor and Mount Calvert plantations, to take in the stunning views.

From the park, we will follow a pleasant, relaxing route along primarily rural roads to Romano Vineyard & Winery, the first of three (and soon to be four!) vineyard/wineries in southern Prince Georges County. The Romano Winery has been open for a few years now, so we can attest that they have some excellent wines!  Total driving mileage from our meet point at the Safeway, through the Patuxent Park, and to the Romano Winery, is about 20 miles.


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Following our visit to the Romano Winery, there are individual choices for group participants. First, for those whose appetite has been whetted by the Romano Winery, there is a very newly opened JaneMark Winery less than a mile away; although the tasting "room" is still a tent, early reviews have been excellent. For those who would prefer some more scenic driving through farm country, we will head back toward the Safeway, following a combination of back roads and the main (Croom) road, distance to the Safeway starting point about 14 miles. Finally, for those who need to get back to the hustle and bustle and traffic of the city, the direct route back to the starting point at the Safeway is about 10 miles.


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We have kept the tour relatively short to allow for individual options, and also in deference to those with non-air conditioned cars. Added Bonus: spot the several abandoned vintage cars along our route!


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So, come out in July and enjoy a scenic rural driving tour, and enjoy some local flavor!


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DATE:  July 22
WHERE:  Meet up point in Safeway parking lot, 7605 Crain Highway (Route 301 at South Osborne Road), Upper Marlboro MD 20772. Meet at the less busy end of the parking lot near Petco and Taco Bell.
TIME:  Meet by 11:30AM, earlier for those who would like an early lunch. Caravan will form at 11:45AM promptly!  We should arrive at the Romano Winery by about 1-1:15 depending on our time at the park.
RSVP:  Please RSVP to StraightEightsPresident@gmail.com by July 20, and indicate if you will be showing up early to grab a bite at one of the "fast feast" restaurants, and we'd also like to also have your cell phone number as well; RSVP is critical for this, so we know who is joining the caravan, and who to call if someone gets lost along the way. We don't want to leave without you!