Though largely modern and commercial, Salisbury (pop. 30,343) has preserved part of its older townscape in a pedestrianized downtown shopping district and in the Newton Historic District, a collection of dainty Victorian-era houses along Elizabeth Street. The one place to stop is the Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art (909 S. Schumaker Dr., daily, $7), on the Salisbury University campus, which has a comprehensive collection of carved decoys and other hunting-related arts and crafts. Though this may not sound immediately enticing, the museum does explore varying aspects of the engagement between people and the “natural” world, and the items on display, ranging from Native American reed figures to highly collectible decoys, are all beautifully crafted.

Crossing the coastal wetlands and estuaries, US-50 races east from Salisbury, bypassing a few small towns like Willards and Whaleyville, which are best seen by following the Hwy-346 frontage road. The two routes run parallel, joining each other 30 miles east in the old-time beach resort of Ocean City.

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