Top Ten Destination Spots in Maryland
Is National Harbor somewhere you would like to visit?
10. National Harbor
Located on the waterfront of the Potomac River shores, National Harbor offers a variety of entertainment, history and events as well.
One of the popular attractions at National Harbor is the Woodrow Wilson Bridge. The Woodrow Wilson Bridge is a drawbridge which was opened to traffic in 1961.
This beautiful harbor is close enough to Washington DC where you will find The Washington Monument. Mount Vernon, the estate of George Washington, Is also not too far from National Harbor.
While visiting National Harbor you will find shops, hotels, a convention center and a farmers market. The Convention Center & Gaylord National Resort offer a light and fountain show.
There are numerous events hosted at National Harbor including, a food and wine festival, movies on the Potomac, summer concerts and more.
There are different modes of transportation, however; the water taxis are different and will give you a taste of something new. Don’t forget to take a cruise on the Potomac. They have dinner and lunch cruises which are to die for.
9. Strathmore Music Center
Bethesda ,Maryland is home to the Strathmore Music Center which was founded in 1981 as an arts center.
The Strathmore Music Center houses many art exhibits along with entertainment opportunities for the performing arts and concerts.
One of the focus’ of the Strathmore Music Center is education of the arts. Because of this, they offer classes in their education center and art camp for kids of different ages.
The scenery outside of this center houses the Sculpture Gardens to view and there are many areas to walk around and explore.
There are also places to eat. The Prelude Cafe’ offers breakfast, lunch and snacks.
Another place to grab a little something to eat or drink is the Tea Room, which usually serves on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
From weddings to parties and business events, the Strathmore Mansion is available for rent for any event and they even offer catering!
Annapolis is the capital of Maryland and is only twenty eight miles away from Washington DC, which is another area you will want to visit as well.
Annapolis sits on Chesapeake Bay where the Severn River empties into it along with three other rivers.
This quaint state capital is lined with shops, eateries, spas and recreation.
An interesting fact is that four signers of The Declaration of Independence came from Maryland and three of the four houses they lived in are still standing.
Maryland is home to more 18th century homes than any other U.S. State.
One of those houses is the Hammond Harwood House which was built in 1774 and is known for its great preservation and architecture. The Hammond Hardwood House is a National Historic Landmark as well.
Probably the most popular attraction in Annapolis is the Annapolis City Dock. The Annapolis City Dock is lined with shops and restaurants and has been part of Annapolis since the 1700’s.
It is a popular spot for avid boaters and also hosts several events including; The Holiday Parade of Lighted Boats, concerts, fireworks on the 4th of July and sailboat and powerboat shows which happen annually.
The Hammond Hardwood House
Youghiogheny River and Dam
7. Deep Creek Lake State Park
Located north of Oakland Maryland, The Deep Creek Lake State Park is a great place to catch fresh water fish and is also the perfect place to bring your boat.
Many avid boaters and fresh water fisherman choose Deep Creek Lake State Park to participate in the recreation desired.
The construction of the Deep Creek Lake Dam was completed in 1925 on the Youghiogheny River.
The Deep Creek Lake Discovery Center Is an environment center located in the park and a great place to stop into.
This is where you will find exhibits on local habitat, culture and history The Deep Creek Lake Discovery Center also offers educational programs for both children and adults.
While exploring the park you will find all kinds of trails, go cart racing, laser tag and mini golf.
There are also four golf courses, tennis and a chairlift ride which gives great views of Deep Creek Lake.
Deep Creek Lake
6. Eastern Shore
Eastern Shore covers nine counties and the establishments range from 1642-1867.
Ocean City is on Eastern Shore and is popular for its thirty block beach walk. The beach walk is lined with boutiques, carnival rides, bars and eateries where you can grab a Maryland crab cake. You will also see arcades and entertainment along the beach walk.
Ocean City hosts a number of events which include; laser light shows, movies under the stars, concerts on the beach and sundaes in the park.
Another great Eastern Shore attraction is Jane Island Park which offers water trails and beaches along with campgrounds, boat ramps and a marina. Pack a picnic and head over to the picnic areas located in Jane Island Park. This is a popular spot for bird watching and fishing. If you want to stay longer than a day, there are cabins available for rent.
St. Michael’s Smith Island is a historic Eastern Shore attraction. Located in Chesapeake Bay, St. Michaels is a city that dates back to the 1600’s and is a great place to take a cruise or sail around.
There are also marinas for all the avid boaters out there.
You don’t have to be a boater to enjoy this historic place; there are places to grab a bite to eat or something to drink as well as shops, spas and salons.
Ocean City Beach Walk
5. C&O Canal Historical Park
Measuring at over 184 miles long, C&O Canal Historical Park is between Washington DC and Cumberland Maryland. The construction of this canal started in 1828 and was completed in 1850.
The rocky cliffs, streams, wetlands and forest make it the perfect spot to grab your camera and start taking pictures.
The wildlife in the area range from birds to reptiles and even a rare black bear or bobcat. Bald Eagles are a common sighting at the C&O Historical Park as well.
Boat rides are available. These boats are run by interpreters portraying characters of the era to guide you on your tour.
Stop by one of the five the visitor centers in Maryland.
Probably the most popular sites to see are Great Falls & Rapids and Paw Paw Tunnel. There are old boats and canal locks along the canal and there are trails that you can explore as well.
Billy Goat Trail is a strenuous but worth it trail, that offers great views of the area and leads to an abandoned gold mine. There are other trails that are an easier hike for those who want to take it easy.
There are no facilities so packing a lunch is the best bet. There are also campgrounds if you want to stay the night.
Paw Paw Tunnel
4. Six Flags America
Located in Upper Marlboro, Six Flags America started as a wild life center. It was founded by Ross Perot in 1973 and used as an animal park.
Later, it was sold to Jim Fowler who turned it into a theme park.
The theme park became a Six Flags in 1992. Six Flags America is broken up into sections.
Some of these themed sections are; Gotham City, Old Boston and Hurricane Harbor which is a water park.
There are many more themed sections of the park to see. Some of the rides include roller coasters and a Ferris wheel.
One of the popular roller coasters is called, Superman Ride of Steel and the newest coaster, Apocalypse.
You will find rides for not only kids but adults as well.
Carnival food and booths, along with some shops to browse through are all available at Six Flags America.
You will also have the option to watch some live entertainment given at this theme park along with a number of different events.
Superman: Ride of Steel
The Baltimore Washington Monument
Founded in 1729, Baltimore sits at Chesapeake Bay and along the Patapsco River.
Baltimore is home to Fort McHenry which is a star shaped fort and played roles in both the Civil War and the War of 1812. The Battle of Baltimore was here as well and was the inspiration for Francis Scott Key’s, “The Star Spangled Banner.
Fort McHenry was also active during World War 2 being used as a coast guard base. Fort McHenry is on the National Register of Historic Places and is accessible by water taxi. The Civil War Military Museum is a great place to see and located at Fort McHenry.
Some other Baltimore attractions include The Clyburn Arboretum which is a park in Baltimore lined with trees and is full of flowers and gardens as well. There are also anything from golf clubs to historical buildings.
The Edgar Allen Poe Museum which was the former home of Edgar Allen Poe in the 1830’s and today it is a National Historic Landmark.
It is a museum however; due to lack in funds it is not open to the public. Ironically when this home was restored, they found bones under the floor boards which ended up being bones from an animal.
Built in 1829, The Baltimore Washington Monument is located in Baltimore as well and is the first monument honoring George Washington and a popular point of interest in Baltimore.
The USS Constellation is a historical navy vessel that was used in the Civil War and was launched in 1854.
You can find this in Baltimore as well and it is now used as a museum on the water.
Baltimore is also home to Cross Street Market. If you want to find fresh produce, meat and even gorgeous flowers, this is the place for you.
Whether you are interested in history, recreational sporting, botanical gardens or travel in general, Baltimore is where you will find anything that peaks your interest.
The USS Constellation
Are you interested in Botanical Gardens?
2. Brookside Gardens
Located in Wheaton Maryland, Brookside Gardens was opened in 1969 and is home to a variety of different types of gardens.
The Rose Garden is full of roses including the American Rose which is one of my favorites! There are over 100 different species of roses in this garden and the garden also has beautiful reflecting pools. The Trial Garden is located on a hill overlooking other gardens in the area and is habitat to over 10,000 spring flowers which bloom varying between summer, spring and fall.
The Woodland Walk offers spectacular views of the forest and is home to more than 124 species of plant. The Gude Garden which is a traditional Japanese Garden is home to a Japanese Teahouse surrounded by ponds and hills along with flowers. Brookside Gardens also has some conservatories which offer seasonal exhibits and special exhibits.
There are several other types of gardens in these beautiful gardens. The Butterfly house is called, Wings of a Butterfly and attracts many visitors.
The last attraction is The Garden of Lights which are lit up every year from November to February and is a fun experience to give you the holiday spirit.
Ripley's Believe it or not Museum
The Babe Ruth Birthplace and Museum
1. Baltimore Inner Harbor
Baltimore Harbor is a Historic Seaport consisting of three streets; President Street, Lombard Street and Green Street as well as Key Highway and dates back to the 1600’s.
You will be able to see the birthplace of Babe Ruth who was born in 1895.
Baltimore Harbor is one of America’s oldest harbors and home to Federal Hill Park.
Federal Hill Park is a lookout that was used in the War of 1812 and The Civil War.
This overlook gives spectacular views of the cityscape.
Cruises and boat tours are available which include dinner cruises and pirate excursions.
Don’t forget to drop by the Ripley’s Believe it or Not Museum while visiting the Inner Harbor.
Here you will find over five hundred oddities from Ripley’s Believe it or Not.
Also available at the Ripleys Believe it or Not museum is a 4-D Movie, a mirror maze and seven galleries.
Of course, I could throw this section into number two with Baltimore, but it definitely deserves a spot of its own due to its popularity and gorgeous views.