by Scott K. - Verified user on Mar 08, 2022
Slip and pool were great
by Captain V. on Sep 28, 2021
First time there this weekend. This will be our go-to weekend place now on. Fantastic place, We had so much fun. Only sorry it was the last weekend open for the season, which makes no sense as forecast is in the 70s the next few weeks.
Will be there opening day 2022.
by TAMARA S. - Verified user on Sep 27, 2021
Beautiful view of the bay from the beach bar. Band was great, will go back next season.
by William W. - Verified user on Sep 19, 2021
Very clean, very nice Marina! We love the small beach and amenities and convenience.
A good restaurant would be a plus!!!! We will def come back! Thank you!
by Danielle O. on Sep 07, 2021
Tolchester Marina has become like a second home to us! I've been coming here with my parents since I was a kid and now my husband and I go several times a month during the summer season. It's one of my favorite places around for many reasons. They have continued to invest in the property, there is always something new or improved each summer. Their staff come back year after year (I think that speaks volumes about a place) and they have become like family to us and could not be more accomodating. The Shanty Beach Bar always has great music, a fun atmosphere, good drinks and good simple food. If they ever list brisket on the menu, get it- it's awesome. The Channel Restaurant has an excellent breakfast. They are one of the more dog friendly marinas that we frequent and the beach area are great as well with the best sunset views on the bay. They have security on weekends and I think this is good, it keeps the atmosphere more family friendly. They also can do boat repairs. We broke a shaft coming in there one time, were taking on water and they got our boat out immediately. Their quick actions helped minimize the damage to our boat. We ended up having Tolchester do the repairs and they worked well with our insurance company and had us back in a week later. I could go on and on!
by Cheryl T. on Sep 01, 2021
Weve been boating here over a decade since the Shanty was literally just a bar. Every year the owners add additional ammenities, seating, decks, piers, etc. they have the best music line up and sunsets on the bay. Very friendly and accommodating and such a wonderful community of boaters make it our Go To on the bay. Love it here. Rain or shine we make our fun here!!
by Sandy P. on Aug 30, 2021
Absolutely love Tolchester Marina! We have been visiting for several years now, never disappointed! The marina is clean and the staff is friendly and attentive. The Shanty Bar is always a great time and the entertainment always fantastic. The restrooms, pool area, and piers are clean and neat. Tolchester is truly our home away from home! We feel as if we are visiting family each time we visit.
by Andre E. - Verified user on Aug 30, 2021
I had heard that marina had added floating docks but i was put on a very old dock near the covered areas. Dock is in bad need of repair and same for electrical. Damaged my shore power cable in one of the outlets. Restaurant is not inviting at all. Beach is the best part of the marina. Strange entrance but plenty water at all points. Best to review a layout prior to arrival.
by Christine M. - Verified user on Aug 27, 2021
The staff is great, Tolechester is always fun. My only suggestion is clean the power & water hooks ups. They were loaded with spiders and webs. It makes a huge difference for us keeping our boat clean. Other than that Tolechester has excellent customer service and will be an annual destination for us.
by Robert B. - Verified user on Aug 21, 2021
Great marina tucked away off the bay. This was one of the best kept marinas we have visited on the Chesapeake. Nice Tiki bar on the weekend we were there along with some great and very friendly staff. Superb floating docks with true 50 amp 230 volt power. Nice to have on a 90 degree day. My only negative is weak WiFi. We will definitely return.
by Carl k. - Verified user on Aug 17, 2021
Great as usual. Great location
by Brian P. - Verified user on Aug 16, 2021
First time I have stayed here. Visit often. Poor weather which isn’t anyone fault. Just wish there was a heads up since the bar closed suddenly. Great weather in the morning which made up for everything. Fuel pier crew is great and provided great assistance getting settled in.
by Bryant G. - Verified user on Aug 16, 2021
Great service excellent dock hands. Loved our stay. Sunset was incredible! Excellent Bartenders
by Susan P. - Verified user on Aug 15, 2021
Cigarette butts around the pool bar. No one checking the pool water ph, etc as it got so cloudy later in the early afternoon.
Great bands! Shabby chic.
by Gene L. - Verified user on Aug 15, 2021
One of the best sunset views on the Chesepeake Bay. Always helpful and courteous Dock staff. Sand Bar is a plus even with this years limitations.
by Robert J. on Aug 13, 2021
We have been coming to Tolchester Marina for at least 6 years now. We have custody of our granddaughter, who will be 9 years old in September. She has always been with us, along with our golden retriever. Tolchester is our home away from home. Cathy and her entire staff are like family to us. From the minute we pull in, the dock master and crew are there to greet you with a friendly hello and help us tie up. The security staff is wonderful. There are rules in place for a reason. Follow the rules and you won't have a problem. The bar staff is phenomenal. With the large crowds on the weekends, you could not expect any better service. The views and sunsets on the bay are beautiful. We always enjoy ourselves when we visit, which is usually 2 to 3 times per month. I always say there is something for everyone, the pool, the beach, the tiki bar, the bands, Tolchester has it all!
by Doug F. - Verified user on Aug 12, 2021
First time at Tolhester Came by boat. The transient dock was very nice. Once here nothing else needed. Pool is awsone. The property is magnificent. Thank you Tolchester the stay was wonderful. We will be back. Doug and Chrissy.
by Mary O. - Verified user on Aug 11, 2021
Always wonderful! Leap of Faith will be back!
by Kathy B. - Verified user on Aug 09, 2021
We haven’t been here in a few years for various reasons and covid. We decided to take an over night boat trip with another couple on their boat. We all had mixed reactions to Tolchester. We feel they could do much better with the place as it’s a beautiful location. We all got several different frozen and mixed drinks to all be disappointed. We all got atleast one of the rum buckets and I have to say, with as much alcohol I watched them pour into it, I felt zero, nothing, no buzz or a thing from a bucket of alcohol and I’m not a huge drinker. The others in our group said the exact same thing which, this proves they are significantly watering down the alcohol! Also, two of the guys walked away with their drinks to go close up their boats because rain was coming in. When they tried to return, with their exact same drinks, they were stopped by “security” saying they cannot bring their drinks in. Yes, they have signs ALL OVER THE PLACE about not bringing in any outside alcohol, but it was the drinks they just bought and they were gone about 10 mins to close the boats! They did let them in but this is not the first time we’ve had it happen here in years past. They stop you if you are carrying a bottle of water in! It’s ridiculous! Also, if you get a day slip, don’t let them see you eating on your boat. Apparently, you are not allowed to eat snacks on your boat or drink your own drinks on your boat if in a day slip. More bs! Along with this, the bands did all cancel for the day because of rain due to come in. It did rain, but not all day so we were disappointed by this as they could have had other music playing a bit louder. Some other things…they don’t allow you to bring snacks to the beach area. They only allow you to buy their food. I have special diet restrictions so this was very annoying to me. But I survived by going back to the boat and into the cabin to eat. Still, very annoying!! There are also no sand chairs on the beach. We did have some and I saw others that brought their own, along with beach umbrellas, but it would be nice if they offered this…even if you had to pay. The pool was fine….although, very small. The food was ok…just mostly burgers, dogs, fries, chicken strips, bbq sandwiches and such. A few with us did eat and they said it was fine. Nothing elaborate or exciting. The bathrooms at the pool area were a bit disgusting. My husband went up to use it in the morning and to shower but said he turned around and walked away because they were so filthy. And he’s not that particular. The staff at Tolchester were just ok. The security or people that stop you about drinks etc, are rediculous! The bar staff were ok…well some were slow but others ok. The ones working the food stand were fine. The dock hand was actually really good, polite, and very helpful. We did notice there were a ton of open spaces/slips under the awning part of the marina. Which has me curious as to why they were not full with full time holders. Perhaps because the place has gone down hill?? It was noisy with someone on one of the piers blaring music ALL day and night but we were not that close (thankfully) but wanted to make note of this. Actually, at a distance, it was nice to listen to but I’m sure others on that pier may not have been too happy. They also had another party going on all day Saturday so it got very crowded that evening and lots of cars/golf carts running them to/from parking lot. We ended up leaving the bar area early and sitting on our boats to get away from the huge crowd. I just think Tolchester could have called in anyone, someone to come play music as this is what we love about this place…and I’m sure, someone would have grabbed the opportunity to play, even last minute, to make some money. But it seems they didn’t even make an effort when the other bands cancelled that day. Come on…couldn’t even get someone strumming a guitar and singing?? Anyway, overall, we were disappointed in the place and that may have been our last trip there until we see some changes or improvements.
We do not typically respond to reviews but we feel it necessary to address the slanderous comments made here.
In 25 years of operating the Shanty, we have never watered down liquor. That practice is not only unethical, but illegal. To suggest that your perceived level of intoxication proves that we water down liquor is defamatory and nothing short of libelous. As you say yourself, our bar is wide open to public view and our customers are able to watch their drinks being prepared. We do not underpour, and we certainly don’t water down our bottles. We won’t make a suggestion as to why you felt no effect from alcohol, but it is not a sentiment ever shared by other customers.
Bringing outside food or alcohol into a licensed establishment is against the law, hence all of our signs. We cannot allow customers to return with drinks, even purchased from us, because we cannot guarantee said drinks have not been altered while out of our sight. There are other establishments with this same rule in place. The same is true of bottles of water and other non-alcoholic beverages. Outside alcohol has been discretely smuggled in in seemingly innocuous bottles, and so we must be vigilant. It is not something we enjoy. Further, our day slips are complementary spaces for patrons of the Shanty. We do not allow eating and drinking in day spaces because they are meant to be “parking spaces” for the bar. We also do not allow people to eat and drink at their cars in the parking lot. Eating and drinking in a day slip can be equated to going to a restaurant and eating food you brought while sitting in your car.
The bands cancelled out of concern for their equipment. This was disappointing for us all but understandable based on the forecast and weather in the area. We did attempt to replace them but were unable to. It is unfair of you to base a negative review on a personal assumption about our efforts.
The private party did not go on all day; it started at 7:30PM. While reserved space for a party is not indicative of a typical day at the Shanty, large crowds are frequent.
We encourage customers who find issues with restrooms or other parts of the facility to bring their concerns to our attention. The bathhouses were found to be clean when staff left at midnight, and our custodial service cleaned them on Sunday morning.
It is apparent that your review was designed to damage our business and our reputation. We apologize that your experience was negative, but it is clear that Tolchester is not the place for you.
by Larry L. - Verified user on Aug 01, 2021
We had a nice stay at Tolchester marina for two nights; live bands both nights with a local favorite, Kanye Twitty, the second night. Floating docks all new within the last couple of years; dock hands are all very helpful; the only downside is that the Channel restaurant is not open for dinner do to an inability to find help; another unfortunate casualty of the pandemic;
by andy a. - Verified user on Jul 25, 2021
We love this place but with no restaurant on site open for non bar food it's a challenge to stay...sad the restaurant on the boat yard is not open or rarely open...and not for dinner.
by Jeffrey D. - Verified user on Jul 25, 2021
Reservation went well. Dock master and dock hands were great.
by Denise C. - Verified user on Jul 25, 2021
We were new to boating. Dock hand gave bare minimum guidance. Office help check in very minimal. Didn’t even tell me about the bathroom code. Food opportunities minimal, at best. Only greasy carnival food available. No consistent, regular hours for office nor restaurants. It felt like we were bothering the staff and they didn’t want to work.
by Donald S. - Verified user on Jul 19, 2021
Killer Drinks, long wait to get them, need more staff. Marvin the shuttle driver was GREAT with a really good sense of humor. Restaurant fixed a great service, but again lack of staff (1 Waitress), it took 20 minutes to get acknowledged. Fish Fry on Saturday was great. The Nantucket shed had lots of holes in it so when ir poured the boat got wet....not a biggie but hate drying it on Sunday morning. They also need to clean their finger docks, lots of bird crap all over. All things considered, I've been in worst Marinas. We had a good time!
by Steve C. - Verified user on Jul 18, 2021
Great except huge storm which cancelled some live bands, but they can't control that.
by Jim W. - Verified user on Jul 18, 2021
Great marina. Great employees.
by Ray K. - Verified user on Jul 13, 2021
Staff was very friendly and helpful. The entertainment was outstanding. Thank you for a nice weekend.
by James M. - Verified user on Jul 12, 2021
We had a great time!
by Charles P. - Verified user on Jul 07, 2021
Dock staff helpful.
Wifi connection poor
ATT cell signal weak
Staff shortages preventing normal restaurant hours
More expensive slip fee than near by marinas.
by Martin K. - Verified user on Jun 28, 2021
Very nice place--friendly staff and good music.
by Terry K. - Verified user on Jun 20, 2021
Always a great time! Best sunset in MD!
by Stacy B. - Verified user on Jun 14, 2021
Disappointed the restaurant was not opened for dinner. There is no wifi connection and cellphone service is also nonexistent.
by Keith C. - Verified user on Jun 08, 2021
This is our first time at the marina. As part of the reservation process via Dockwa the staff ensured that we knew there were no food amenities available after 5p on Sunday (day of arrival) and until after our departure on Tuesday. This was good information and we planned accordingly.
Arrived on Sunday, June 6, 2021, at approximately 1pm and noticed that the entrance to the basin was very busy. Was unable to contact the marina via VHF but was able to receive a slip assignment via cell phone. A dockhand at the fuel dock was able to provide directions to the slip. While not all slips had easily identifiable numbers, a dockhand was able to point out the slip and provided assistance with initially securing the lines to the dock. During check-in, the dockhand provided our WiFi and bathhouse information. He also advised us to contact the office if we needed any assistance, including fuel Monday through Thursday.
Our slip was located within one of the covered sheds with fixed docks. The finger pier was full length and in good condition, even though we noticed several requiring attention. The floating docks are in very good condition.
It is evident that this is a destination marina for folks on the weekend looking for a nice beach and pool and many day boaters were departing shortly after the beach bar closed at 5pm.
The bathhouse, laundry and pool are available to transits. The bathhouse is clean and appears to have been remodeled recently. A downside in the men’s bathhouse is one shower stalled lacked a door (all three had curtains to minimize water on the floor outside of the shower) and one lacked water pressure and hot water (third shower was a charm).
Slips under the sheds provide nice protection from the sun. For nature views the floating docks (Santa Rosa) on the southern side of the basin provides potential views of eagles, osprey, ducks, buzzards, racoons and deer (all seen during our stay).
The free WiFi was good, but cellular connections can be spotty, even if booster is used. Recommend cell phones be configured by WiFi calling if offered by your carrier prior to arriving at the marina.
This is a good marina for transits heading up or down the bay. It is also a nice marina for folks wanting quiet during the week. Just remember, currently there is no one site food service Monday through Thursday, so pack accordingly.
Gave the marina four stars, but due to the men’s bathhouse would have been 3.5.
by Curtis T. - Verified user on Aug 30, 2020
Beautiful Marina with friendly and helpful staff. The beach and pool offered a awesome view of the Bay.
The only small criticism was that bath house was a little dated but clean.
We would definitely stay here again.
by Anonymous - Verified user on Aug 30, 2020
Personable staff with clean facilities. Will definitely be coming back!
by Stephany H. on Aug 24, 2020
Stayed overnight Aug 8th with family on another boat. Staff was very friendly and helpful. The music venue was good but looking for a little more crowd interaction. The food was actually pretty good from the Shanty considering it was bar food. The only minus I would say it is a very, very long walk to get to the pool, bar and beach from the marina. They do have valets to pick you up but seemed sparse. Would go again because overall it was a fantastic time.
by JimDiMarco - Verified user on Aug 10, 2020
It was sooooooo nice we are going to make it our new home port
by Steve R. - Verified user on Aug 03, 2020
the staff was very nice and helpful. the facility was very clean
by Robert F. - Verified user on Jul 13, 2020
Stayed one night July 11, 2020. The entrance is narrow but deeper than reported on the charts. We saw at least 6 feet all the way through at mid-tide. Although the marina is immediately off the Bay, inside is calm thanks to the design of the breakwater. There are three sets of covered slips covering older but well-maintained fixed docks, which had no problem fitting our Mainship 400, which measures a little less than 20 feet from the waterline. There are also a lot of newer floating docks around the perimeter of the marina. The pool, beach and tiki bar with burgers, etc. are very nice. The staff are very active and nice. Bathroom facilities were adequate, but a bit dated. Overall, the facility appears to be in transition, with signs of recent improvements throughout with an apparent aim at providing a resort like experience. We will definitely return.
by Dennis r. - Verified user on Jul 06, 2020
The marina was vastly improved from past years. They need to water palm trees on jetty and rake the beach to remove flotsam
by Christy K. - Verified user on Jul 04, 2020
The Marina is one that I have frequented since I was a little girl with my parents, now as an adult with my own boat and family, it is nice to return and relive the memories and to find out that everyone is still as nice and kind as they were. Clean shower rooms and the undercover stay makes it great when it rains.
by John p. - Verified user on Jun 14, 2020
I was there with 11 other boats from the Herring Bay Yacht Club. It was a really happening place and everyone liked the floating docks and the mudslides at the Shanty Beach Bar. Amazing sunset views from the beach. Most importantly for my wife was the nerdy nice shower/restroom.
by Tim H. - Verified user on Jun 13, 2020
Excellent facilities and the staff were extremely helpful and very courteous.
by Mark P. - Verified user on Jun 08, 2020
The staff couldn't be more accommodating. Wonderful people, wonderful view, wonderful stay.
Thank you so much. We're glad you enjoyed your stay and hope you come back soon!
by Frank M. - Verified user on Jun 07, 2020
Great stay, friendly staff. Working hard to accommodate during covid.
by steve h. - Verified user on May 25, 2020
great place. The staff can not be nicer. One of the best places on the bay.
Thank you so much! Glad you enjoyed yourself and hope we see you again soon.
by James B. - Verified user on Sep 30, 2019
Fantastic marina. Helpful staff, beautiful grounds and landscaping, beach and view can not be matched.
by Shannon W. - Verified user on Aug 19, 2019
Tolchester is a fun marina with a great view from there shanty beach bar,pool to updated bathroom facilities. That being said what they are lacking is communication and minimal dockhands. This is the second time we have been there and have used Dockwa both times except this time I used the the special request box. My special request was a Port side, Aft in slip. So assuming that since we booked this well over 24 hours in advanced this would be no problem. Because I like to give my first mate ( wifey poo) as much time to prep our gear as possible, I called the marina about 10 minutes out to make sure there wasn’t a problem and that they had a spot with my special request available. They said you are good to go. So we set our gear to the side of the boat assuming that every thing is good. Negatory! Approached our slip assignment and someone was in the spot. My first mate had to run around the boat and rearrange our gear now for a starboard side aft in arraignment. So much for the special request, which I don’t think is that much of a special request! On a positive note, they do have new floating docks but if you Aft in..it will be like climbing a jungle gym to step off your boat. It is a floating finger dock with a long walking ramp half way down the finger with a grab rail you have to swing under. Not so graceful for some folks.
by Anonymous - Verified user on Aug 18, 2019
all in all good stay, great bands. Horrible internet service, this something that would need to be fixed for me to ever stay during the week, really no reason for it as other marinas wifi is great. Needed to Fuel up before I left for my home port, only got 65 gallons in and they ran out of gas????? on a Sunday??? Come on guys....
by Lisa B. - Verified user on Aug 12, 2019
This was our first time ever spending the night in a marina. The dock hands made it very easy to come in and get settled in our slip. The amenities were just as described. We had visited Tolchester for the day before so we knew we would love it and we did.
by Catherine P. - Verified user on Jul 23, 2019
Fun location with a wide beach, pool, beach bar and good bands! The covered slips were in good condition and easy to dock and undock. The staff was friendly and helpful. The only improvements would be giving the showers a good scrubbing/bleaching and additional WiFi access points at the covered slips since cell service is limited.
by Scott K. - Verified user on Jul 08, 2019
Tolchester is a great destination. We love the floating dock, the service and the Tiki Bar. The only issue was having to pay extra for a 50 amp splitter instead of using my own 30 amp power cable. It seems a little hinky.
by Dallas L. - Verified user on Jul 06, 2019
The staff and everyone are great
by Michael M. - Verified user on Jul 05, 2019
A magical place!
But to be real, the rest rooms are clean and OK, the restaurant has quirky hours and generally isn't open on week days, and it is in the middle of no where so forget about walking anywhere for shopping or eating.
BUT it is the word's most protected basin in case of storms and has a beautiful beach - rare on Chesapeake as well as a pool net to beach with nice bar whidh also has a quirky schedule.
Outstanding birdwatching with an eagle's nest near on of the docks and lots of osprey and great blue herons. Even some ducks..
Friendly helpful local staff.
by Butch R. - Verified user on Jun 25, 2019
A great Place to come for the Weekend. People help with docking boat and Pool was good and Bar Drinks and Food.
by Lars K. - Verified user on Jun 23, 2019
Great marina and outstanding party with the best live music. Free wifi, but poor speed
by Kelly I. - Verified user on Jun 23, 2019
We like this place!! Nice floating docks (for a boat our size 33 ft), nice pool and bar with live music. The on-site restaurants is handy and the golf cart shuttle is a lifesaver! Shower facilities are good. And dock-staff are super nice!!
- Dockwa allows you to request a single 30 power hookup, but the marina only has 50 amp connections and will rent you an adapter. That isn’t right. Either make the adapter free or disclose this issue on the Dockwa site.
- VERY weak cell coverage. Free WiFi works for internet (sometimes) but good luck texting or making a phone call.
- Small children allowed in the bar at all hours. Not cool (for them or us).
All said, we will be back! I recommend you book when Kanye Twitty is playing at The Shanty Beach Bar - fun band!!
by Anonymous on May 28, 2019
The worst customer service ever. Memorial day weekend they tried to put us next to a barge. Then one person told us to dock at the fuel pier because there were no boats there and then they changed their minds.
by Malgorzata S. on Aug 04, 2018
Great place for fun entertainment. Love the beach and new deck .
Thank you for the review, we are happy you had a good time! We hope to see you soon!
by Susan C. on Jul 07, 2014
My wife daughter and I were caught in the hurricane this past weekend. Our boat name is "Knotnormal". We were originally only scheduled to be there for one night. We ended up there for three nights. We want to thank you for being able to accommodate us and being so friendly. We specifically want to thank all of your regular slip holders on Catalina pier. They welcomed us and made us feel right at home. They are all great people and will be friends for a long time to come. Could you please thank all of them for us. We are looking forward to visiting again.
-Chris, Debbie and Melissa Sanford.
by lisa b. on Jul 01, 2014
GREAT PLACE TO GETAWAY IF LIKE PEACE AND QUIET, FRIENDLY STAFF AND CUSTOMERS, TIKI BARS, LIVE MUSIC, MUDSLIDES AND CRAB CAKES! OUTDOOR POOL FOR KIDS WERE GREAT AND SHOWERS IN BATHROOMS TO WASH OFF. NOTE THAT THE POPULATION WERE MAINLY AN OLDER GENERATION AND COUNTRY FOLKS FROM LOCAL AREAS.
by tom m. on Aug 31, 2010
nice place for kids,spent over night,nice pool very freindly laid back,didnt spent any time at tiki bar,food was very good, country cooking.homemade salads great,but do not wait till rush hour to eat,it gets backed up.slip holders very nice and helpful.will be back.
tom, bonnie dundee