The city of Baltimore is an exciting place to visit in Maryland, and its Inner Harbor is the center of the action. The National Aquarium in the Inner Harbor is the city’s biggest attraction, teeming with over 17,000 species ranging from seahorses to sharks. And it is also included in the list of 10 Best Places to Visit in Maryland You can see entire marine ecosystems inside a single huge glass tank, and you can watch 4D movies showing the depths of the ocean. Also in the inner harbor is Top of the World, an observation deck that lets you admire the city from an observation deck on the 27th floor. If you can’t wait for the pirate-themed adventure in the city, take to the high seas with a daring ride on a pirate ship, complete with costumed personnel and even a firing cannon.
2. Ocean City
As the name suggests, Ocean City is a city located on the waterfront. Being on the Atlantic Ocean means the 10-mile sandy beach and all of the recreational activities that go with it are a great reason to visit. The Historic Boardwalk is a must-see attraction and is located at the south end of Ocean City Beach. Along the promenade, you can stop to play games, see live artists, shop, dine on delicious favorite beach fare, and even visit Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum.
3. Chesapeake and Ohio Canal
The C&O Canal, or Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, was built in the mid-1800s from Washington, DC to Cumberland, for a distance of over 100 miles. The trails cross most of the canal and offer plenty of possibilities for hiking, biking or just admiring the view. As the area is steeped in history, there are also many attractions around various key points of the canal. During the summer, boat trips are available at both the Great Falls Tavern Visitor Center and the Williamsport Visitor Center. Although not many people walk the entire route, visiting a small part of history can be a memorable experience.
As the capital of Maryland, Annapolis is a great city with many interesting attractions. In the city center, much of the architecture is historical and a significant part dates back to the 17th, 18th, or 19th centuries. The Annapolis City Pier is a popular place to hang out. As well as seeing the Naval Academy midshipmen performing exercises in uniform, the pier is home to lots of live music and of course huge ships coming and going every day. Tours are also available at the United States Naval Academy itself and can be arranged through the Armet-Leftwich Visitor Center.
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5. Assateague Island
Off the coast of Maryland is the barrier island of Assateague. This uninhabited island is divided, half a state park and the other half a United States national coast. The beautiful island is best known for its wild ponies, which offer breathtaking views as they skirt the sand dunes of the shore. A walk along the Life of the Dunes Trail is a wonderful experience that allows you to admire the scenery, listen to the ocean waves, and observe the many birds that live in the area. Swimming is possible on most of the island’s beaches and there are lifeguards in the most frequented places.
6. Swallow Falls State Park
Outside of Oakland is Swallow Hills State Park. The Youghiogheny River crosses the park boundaries, creating many impressive rapids and beautiful gorges. The highlight of any visit to Swallow Falls State Park is Muddy Creek Falls, a 15-meter waterfall that causes a sensation. An easy mile hike takes you to the falls and you will pass through beautiful hemlock trees along the way. If you’re in the mood for a longer, more strenuous hike, you can walk from Swallow Falls to Herrington Manor State Park, a clearly marked hike of just over five miles.
7. Antietam National Battlefield
The Battle of Antietam is known as the bloodiest day in American military history. This means that the Antietam National Battlefield is an important landmark to explore. The best way to see the great battlefield is to start at the Visitor Center. From there, there is an almost nine-mile route with an audio tour. For civil war enthusiasts, this is unbeatable. You can also visit the Pry House Field Hospital Museum, which has fantastic exhibits showing the scale of what the medics and nurses faced during the battle. Finally, you can enjoy the scenery and natural beauty of the area by hiking the Antietam Remembered or Union Advance trails.
If you are an antique lover, there is no better place to visit than the small town of Frederick. Frederick, founded in the mid-18th century, retains its historic feel and there are several large antique malls, local merchants, and artists in the area. There are also many historic homes you can visit, such as the Barbara Fritchie House. This house is furnished in period decor and Barbara Fritchie was a hero known for bravely flapping the Union Flag even as General Stonewall Jackson passed. Market Street is the best place to start shopping for vintage souvenirs, although the Francis Scott Key Mall is a great alternative.
9. The Chesapeake Bay
One of the largest estuaries on the planet is the massive Chesapeake Bay, once known as Great Shellfish Bay. Countless destinations across Maryland are located directly on the waters of the bay, meaning there is a myriad of ways to experience the location. You can take in the waters as you cross the Chesapeake Bay Bridge from Sandy Point or immerse yourself in the Methodist community of Smith Island. Wherever you go, don’t miss Chesapeake Bay’s regional culinary specialty: Maryland Blue Crabs.