The Chesapeake Bay Bridge, also known as the William Preston Lane Jr. Memorial Bridge, is an icon of the city. Brave the long drive across this magnificent engineering marvel, which measures over 4 miles (7 kilometers) in length and offers fantastic views of the bay for any lucky passengers who don’t have to concentrate on the road ahead.
Constructed from the late 1940s to early 1950s, the bridge was at the time of its opening in 1952 the longest over-water steel bridge in the world. It was considered to be an engineering masterpiece. Use the bridge to get from Maryland’s capital of Annapolis to Queen Anne’s County on the eastern shore.
Read about the bridge in the media as being “one of the world’s scariest,” because of its height, length, inclines, transparent railings and disconcerting views down to the water. The bridge is also frequently subject to bad weather, including wind, rain and storms, which can reduce visibility and thus make driving here even more challenging.
If you aren’t brave enough to drive yourself, hire someone to drive for you. Local companies offer the assistance of experienced drivers who will take the wheel while you enjoy views from the backseat. Hiring a driver will leave you free to marvel at the views out across the bay. Depending on what side of the car you sit on and in which direction the vehicle is going, you may also be able to see the second parallel span of the bridge out the backseat window.
The bridge is open only to vehicles and not to pedestrians. If you want to cross it on foot, time your visit to coincide with the Across the Bay 10K. This annual event invites participants to run, jog or walk along a route that encompasses the bridge and measures just over 6 miles (10 kilometers).
Note that the Chesapeake Bay Bridge has a one-way toll for drivers traveling eastbound. Cars traveling westbound are not required to pay. Purchase an E-ZPass to speed up the toll-paying process.