What do umbrellas, Babe Ruth and the Ouija Board all have in common? if you said they all got their start in Maryland, you’d be correct!
Maryland is one of those states that represent America well. With a diverse population, varying landscape and so many things to do, Maryland is a great place to kick off a summer vacation and take a tour of all that it has to offer.
From its great cities such as Baltimore and Annapolis, to its captivating landmarks such as Fort McHenry and Ocean City Boardwalk, there’s enough to explore in this state that it will take you a few vacations to get it all done.
So, let’s take a whirlwind tour of this state and find some of the things that make this state worthy of a fantastic adventure!
Read on for a list of the most interesting and beautiful places to visit in Maryland.
It’s a seaport, the site of a famous American battle and one of the best places to explore in Maryland. Baltimore has roots that run deep in America’s story and its beauty and amusements will have you seeking excuses to stay.
Start at a game at Oriole Park and experience the essence of what this city is about. There’s nothing like sitting behind home plate on a blue-bird summers day, cheering on the batter to “swing batter-batter swing”!
Next, satisfy your inner literary curiosity by visiting the Edgar Allen Poe House and Museum. See where Poe might have gotten inspiration for his famous works of poems and short stories. Poe lived and died in Baltimore and you can see his grave not far from his former home, which is adorned with a raven and is inscribed with the words “quoth the raven nevermore”.
Finish your tour of Baltimore with a visit to one of its many fabulous museums.
Walk about the Walter Art Museum and experience 5,000 years of art depiction in one visit.
Additionally, visit the Inner Harbor of Historic Ships for a lesson on the importance of this port city and the history that has made it what it is today. Your trek around Baltimore can be the grand kick off for your tour of the great state of Maryland.
There’s something about Assateague Island’s wild beauty that transports you back to a time when the landscape was barren of buildings, structures and throngs of people.
The days of old live in the hearts of the wild ponies that roam the island whose DNA might contain that of the lineage of George Washington’s favorite horse, Nelson.
Sitting on beaches that haven’t changed for many millennia will make one nostalgic and long for the uncomplicated days of yesteryear when only the trillions of grains of sand and the famous blue crab of the territory lurked in the crashing waves.
Assateague Island is a place where the lost can find themselves again as they hike the marshlands, watch the sun set and spend time in one of the most beautiful places in Maryland.
Ocean City Boardwalk
If you are looking for a great place to roam, eat, people watch and just have a blast, Ocean City Boardwalk is one of the best places in Maryland for a great time and fantastic amusement.
This three mile stretch contains a lot of great memories for me in the form of a breathtaking roller coaster, salt-water taffy and fun in the surf and sun. When the sun sets we love the live music that fills the air along with the elevated high you get with those vacation vibes emitting from all directions.
Get a hotel right on the beach and enjoy the boardwalk right off of your balcony and experience why The Travel Channel calls this boardwalk, “The Best in America”.
Just across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge is a sweet little community named Kent Island that is as old as Plymouth and Jamestown, but doesn’t get quite the recognition is should.
Do you want a mouthwatering seafood feast? Kent Island is the best place to go in Maryland to get that fix. Reserve your empty stomach for fresh Chesapeake Crab right off the boat.
Then, spend some time at the marina to watch the catch come in, talk to the fishermen and get a true sense of the thriving community Kent has been for over 300 years due to this little Blue Crab.
You can also take a hike on one of two trails on the island, Cross or South Island Trail that anyone in your crew will enjoy. Wind down the day at one of the island’s wineries and distilleries for a tasting as you watch the sun dip into the marsh beyond. Not a bad day in Maryland!
There’s a place in Maryland where steel and wood from bow to stern have taken the brunt of fierce Atlantic storms landing them in a shallow graveyard to exist for your explorative pleasure.
If you are seeking adventure, then you have found it at Mallows Bay, one of the coolest places in Maryland.
Find an abandoned shipwreck from the Revolutionary War, a confederate blockade runner and an eighteenth century schooner, in addition to a graveyard for tossed ships that were no longer necessary in World War II war efforts, totaling to 88 vessels.
Today, the bay is a calm and serene sanctuary for explorers and marine and aviary animals, alike.
Kayak or boat through the wrecks and enjoy how the environment has incorporated man made twisted steel for their liking and created habitats for hundreds of species.
This is a place for relaxation in nature in Maryland that can’t be missed.
Do you need a moment to meditate, rest and recharge on your trek to see all things Maryland? Brookside Gardens is a great place to stop and take a day from the sometimes chaotic nature of traveling daily.
Enjoy walking or lying around Brookside Gardens on a sunny day while the 50-acre award winning landscape is bursting at the seams with color and life.
Watch the fish in one of the two ponds or relax in one of the Japanese Tea Houses.
Take a picnic lunch and some binoculars like we did and spend hours watching the birds in this fantastic outdoor venue in Maryland.
If you are visiting in Winter, you are in luck as you will be privy to one of the most beautiful places in Maryland during this frosty time of year.
I’d recommend a walk through the “Garden of Lights” in all its half mile splendor.
The Garden is open and free of charge year round, so make plans to enjoy the wonder of this place no matter what time of year it is.
Swallow Falls State Park
Make your way over to Western Maryland and put Swallow Falls State Park on your Maryland itinerary. Experience some of the best scenery in the east in this 257 acre natural playground.
Stretch your legs from that long car ride and take a hike on the 1.5 mile Canyon Loop Trail that borders the Youghiogheny River and showcases 53-foot Muddy Creek Falls.
Make sure you catch the other two breathtaking falls while you are there. This was my favorite trail in Maryland and the scenery is bar none!
If being on the water is more your cup of tea, you can kayak down the Youghiogheny River and challenge yourself to some rapids that are sure to bring either smiles and laughter or terror and prayers!
Swallow Falls State Park really is a park that has it all and represents Maryland’s great outdoors well.
Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park
Devoid of infrastructure such as highways and airports, getting goods to and from major ports in the earlier years of America was difficult.
George Washington formed the Potomac Company to improve navigation from the coast to the interior and Washington D.C.. It was here that the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal was born.
Nowadays, the water highway is used for recreation. In fact, there are 184 miles of waterways that stretch from Cumberland, Maryland to Washington D.C. One can boat, kayak, bike or hike along the Potomac River and the canal.
We chose to bike when we visited. As a result, we met plenty of visitors that were biking the five day 184 mile trail with their families. By bike-packing, they were able to camp, sightsee and get some fun exercise from one state to another.
The scenery is gorgeous and there are countless historical places of interest that make this the most interesting place to visit in Maryland.
There are also campgrounds along the path that you can access on your bike to make for a great little family vacation or a good weekend getaway with your special someone.
There’s something truly special about Annapolis, Maryland. Mixing the old with the new, this interesting town has a little bit of everything.
From its quaint and historical marinas to the quiet yet vibrant neighborhoods, Annapolis is my favorite town in Maryland.
The perfect itinerary includes some history, some shopping and some great food! Stop by the U.S. Naval Academy and walk around campus. Visit the museum and see how this prestigious institution has helped shape American history.
Have you ever shopped at a 2 million square foot mall? At Arundel Mills Mall, you will be walking around the largest mall in the state of Maryland. Shop at discount and luxury stores alike for that perfect gift that brings back fond Annapolis memories and grab yourself an Orange Julius to boot!
After, you can visit The Point Crab House and see what Chef Bobby Jones can do with the beautiful blue crustacean. Eat your grub there or take it to the marina and watch the ships come in with their catch. It’s a tasty way to see the sunset.
Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine
Francis Scott Key was so moved by the valiant triumph of the Americans over the British at the Battle of Baltimore that he wrote the “Star Spangled Banner”. Hearing this special tune at every event, reminds us of the early Americans’ courage and bravery.
Today, you can see just where this amazing act of heroism took place at Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine.
Come walk the landscape and tour the fort that made history. Your favorite part might be like mine. We enjoyed the walking trails that surround the fort, affording excellent views and a chance to get some exercise.
If you are in Maryland, you must put this on your itinerary as it is something that every American should experience and an amazing piece of Maryland history.
One of the best aquariums in the country is in the great state of Maryland. At the National Aquarium, you can simply come for the day and observe some of the 20,000 animals in their natural habitat or you can get up close and personal with the animals.
Get up early and have a chance to feed the animals their breakfast, watch dolphin trainers communicate with these fine flipper friends or walk the catwalk above Shark Alley where you’ll be feet above these misunderstood kings of the sea.
The Animal Care and Rescue Center was my crew’s favorite place at this aquarium. Here, they were able to see a seal being cared for after being caught in a net.
While you are exploring Baltimore, make sure you make this fun adventure a stop on your tour of the great state of Maryland.
Did we miss anything you would like to see in Maryland? We’d love to hear from you!
Leave what you’d like to see in the comments!