Smith Island, Md.
Smith Island is Maryland’s only inhabited offshore island in the Chesapeake Bay, but it’s actually composed of several islands. In the last 50 years, the island has lost more than 3,000 acres of wetlands due to erosion, and restoration efforts are under way to restore the island and prevent further erosion. An active fishing community that boasts some of the nation’s best crab cakes, the island is also the birthplace of the Smith Island Cake, which was declared Maryland’s state dessert in 2008. The famous dish features six-15 thin layers of cake filled with frosting — but locals say it’s the cooked chocolate icing that really makes the dessert unique.