Back in the 1600s, this Eastern shore town shipped tobacco—it was perfectly situated for the trade, at the confluence of two rivers and the Chesapeake Bay. In more recent times, Oxford has been synonymous with something more savory: the bay's prized oysters and crabs. Bigwigs in Washington and Baltimore use this town as a weekend getaway, taking jaunts over to Bellevue on a ferry that dates to 1683 and plying the bay with their fishing gear, sailboats, and yachts. The biggest catches, however, are Oxford's handsome old houses. The Houses
Colonial, Victorian-era, and Greek Revival homes are numerous here; the most sought after of them sit on the Strand, a waterfront avenue with sunset views over the water and Friday night sailboat races. The Prices
An inland Victorian-style home in need of a little love starts at around $400,000, but waterfront properties go for between $700,000 and $2 million.Why Buy Now?
Weekenders and retirees have been scooping up property here, and as wealthy baby boomers continue to retire, prices will no doubt go up. New codes prohibit the tearing down of older homes, which may or may not improve property values but in any case will stop a McMansion from dwarfing your pint-size Colonial.
Among the best for:Luxury Houses