Maryland is a beautiful east coast US state with sandy shores on the Atlantic Ocean, quaint mountain towns in the Appalachians, major metropolitan cities, and plenty of historic main streets. Spend a day exploring downtown Baltimore for a big-city feel or head to the small picturesque main streets in Annapolis and Frederick for boutique shopping, local entertainment, and great fresh seafood.

    Outdoor lovers can head to the shore to spend the day at the beach, navigate the Chesapeake Bay on a kayak or head to the parks for waterfalls and tubing. Whatever adventure you’re craving, Maryland has plenty of awesome options.

    What are the best things to do in Maryland?


    Six Flags America

    Enjoy a day of fun at this classic amusement park

    Six Flags America is an expansive theme park in Maryland located halfway between Annapolis and Washington DC. With a packed entertainment schedule, large water park, fast rollercoasters, and kiddie rides, it’s a great place to spend the day with the whole family.

    Families can head to Looney Tunes Movie Town where there are many kid-friendly games and smaller rides. Thrill-seekers will want to head towards the back of the park where most of the super-fast coasters are found. When you’re ready to grab a bite to eat, head over to the Chesapeake area just east of the park's entrance for some of the best classic theme park eats like burgers, lemonade, and Dippin Dots ice cream snacks.

    Location: 13710 Central Ave, Bowie, MD 20721, USA

    Phone: +1 301-249-1500


    photo by Jeremy Thompson (CC BY 2.0) modified


    Assateague Island

    Discover wild ponies on this beautiful secluded Island

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    Assateague is a 37-mile-long island and national park on the eastern shore of Maryland. Located just south of Ocean City, it’s known for its pristine sandy shores and wild horses that roam freely on the island. Grab your umbrella and pack a picnic for a great way to spend the day soaking in the sun.

    For those looking for a unique camping experience, Assateague has plenty of overnight options. Whether you’re a tent camper or prefer to camp out in a trailer, you can sign up in advance on the National Park Service website and enjoy a beautiful getaway just a few steps from the Atlantic Ocean.


    Downtown Frederick

    Take a leisurely stroll through a historic neighbourhood

    Downtown Frederick is a great place to spend a full day with family and friends. Located about an hour north of Washington DC, the downtown area has many shops, cafés, bars and restaurants. Enjoy retail therapy while walking along Market Street, where you can find boutiques selling everything from vintage clothes to local art.

    For beer lovers, Frederick has over 15 breweries to choose from. Whether you’re into trying local craft beers or just love a bit of live music, you’re sure to find it here. If you happen to be in town on the first Saturday of the month, Frederick's First Saturday events celebrate local businesses, with late-night shopping and plenty of entertainment.


    Gunpowder Falls State Park

    Spend a day exploring the great outdoors at this huge state park

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    Gunpowder Falls is a huge state park in Northern Maryland that’s divided into 6 different areas. Located just north of Baltimore and expanding almost to the state border, there are over 18,000 acres to explore with everything from hiking trails to creeks. For those who love spending time on the water, there are tons of spots to rent kayaks and canoes. For a relaxing day, head to Monkton Bike for inflatable tube rentals.

    Adventure-seekers love Gunpowder Falls for their 120+ miles of bike and hiking trails. One of the coolest places to check out wildlife in its natural habitat is at the Hammerman Area, located in Middle River.

    Location: 2813 Jerusalem Rd, Kingsville, MD 21087, USA

    Open: Monday–Friday from 8 am to 4 pm, Saturday–Sunday from 1 pm to 4 pm

    Phone: +1 410-592-2897


    Main Street in Annapolis

    Experience the quaint downtown area in this small waterfront city

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    Annapolis is a small city in Maryland, between Washington DC and Baltimore on the Chesapeake Bay. Take a stroll down its famous Main Street and enjoy a charming waterfront area that has dozens of boutiques, local seafood restaurants and small pubs.

    Start your walk at the Maryland State House at the top of the hill and work your way down towards the water for a beautiful view of the bay and the US Naval Academy. The Naval Academy is free to visit but to really experience this historic school, make sure to book a walking tour.


    Antietam National Battlefield

    Learn about the rich civil war history

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    The Antietam National Battlefield is a well-preserved historic civil war battle site in northwestern Maryland, just a few miles from the West Virginia border. This battlefield was the site of the bloodiest battle in American history and is a fascinating national park on the east coast that every history buff should visit.

    The best way to start your day is at the visitors centre, where you can explore the expansive museum and watch a quick but fascinating introductory film. After you’re done exploring, head outside to the battlefield and join a park ranger for a talk or take the self-guided tour to soak in the history at your own pace.

    Location: 302 E Main St, Sharpsburg, MD 21782, USA


    Great Falls

    Marvel at the natural beauty of the Great Falls of the Potomac

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    Take in the views of dramatic waterfalls at Great Falls National Park, which is part of the C&O Canal National Historic Park. Located in Potomac, just across the border from Virginia, this national park has a great visitors centre, observation deck, and plenty of hiking trails so you can enjoy the great outdoors.

    While there are plenty of great hikes, locals say the Billy Goat Trail offers the best experience and view of Great Falls. It's truly a spectacular sight – a great way to experience the cascades is with a quick walk from the visitors centre.

    Location: 11710 Macarthur Blvd, Potomac, MD 20854, USA

    Open: Daily from 10 am to 5 pm

    Phone: + 1 301-767-3714


    National Harbor

    Explore this waterfront district with beautiful views of the Potomac

    The National Harbor is a scenic waterfront area close to Washington DC and across the Potomac from Alexandria. With over 200 shops and restaurants, a massive casino and an observation Ferris wheel, there are tons of experiences the whole family will enjoy.

    When you get to National Harbor, you’ll immediately be greeted by the Capital Wheel, a huge observation wheel with stunning views of Alexandria and the DC monuments. For those who love to shop, there’s a great mix of boutiques, name brands and a full outlet mall. Grab a bite to eat at one of the many chic restaurants or enjoy a night at the casino at MGM National Harbor for endless fun.


    Deep Creek Lake

    Take advantage of outdoor fun at Maryland’s largest freshwater lake

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    Deep Creek Lake is a local favourite destination in Maryland all year-round, with almost 4,000 acres of water to enjoy during the summer and a ski resort nearby for winter getaways. It's a few hours’ drive from both Washington DC and Baltimore, making it is a popular place for a break from the city.

    The best way to soak up the summer heat at Deep Creek is on the lake, where you can rent all types of watercraft, from speedboats to canoes. When the weather turns cold, Deep Creek turns into a winter wonderland. Adventurers can head to Wisp ski resort for a day on the slopes or enjoy tubing, ice fishing or snowmobiling.


    Guinness Open Gate Brewery & Barrel House

    Grab a beer at the only Guinness Brewery in the United States

    Open Gate Brewery & Barrel House is a great place to grab a beer and bite to eat with friends. Located less than 10 miles from downtown Baltimore, it was established in 2015 when Guinness decided to head across the Atlantic Ocean to the USA to open a brewery for the first time in almost 70 years.

    Open Gate has everything from a visitors centre and gift shop to a large outdoor space and trendy restaurant serving classic Irish dishes and local Maryland seafood. Grab a pint and enjoy one of their guided tours to learn about how this iconic stout is made. You can enjoy lawn games and delicious pub food on their expansive alfresco lawn. 

    Location: 5001 Washington Blvd, Halethorpe, MD 21227, USA

    Open: Thursday from 3 pm to 10 pm, Friday from noon to 10 pm, Saturday from 11 am to 10 pm, Sunday from 11 am to 9 pm (closed from Mondays to Wednesdays)

    Phone: +1 443-575-6893


    Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine

    Enjoy a picnic atop a historical battlefield

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    Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine marks the site of one of America's finest military victories – the Battle of Baltimore (1814). The invading British fleet was defeated by the resistance at Fort McHenry, and so inspired Francis Scott Key, that he composed The Star-Spangled Banner in the following months.

    Today, you can freely roam or enjoy guided tours of the fort and partake in several activities such as flag talks and drill demonstrations. One favourite is being able to assist in the changing of the 42-ft flag. After a tour, sit and chow down on a picnic while soaking up the scenic views of Chesapeake Bay. Admission to the general park area is free, but there is a fee to enter the actual fort.

    Location: 2400 E Fort Ave, Baltimore, MD 21230, USA

    Open: Daily from 9 am to 5 pm

    Phone: +1 410-962-4290


    photo by Ken Lund (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified


    Ocean City boardwalk

    Shop, stroll, snack and take in the sea views

    Walk, jog or take a bike ride along the Ocean City boardwalk, which extends up the seaside for nearly 5 km. Soak up the sea views and stop to watch the street performers. Check out the amusement parks and arcade games, or shop for souvenirs and surfing gear along the wooden walkway’s length. 

    Stop by the Life-Saving Station Museum and learn about brave rescue efforts in storms and shipwrecks off the Maryland coast over the past 200 years. Don’t forget to grab some French fries with plenty of vinegar at Thrasher’s for a salty treat to enjoy while you stroll along.

    Location: Atlantic Ave, Ocean City, MD, USA


    Baltimore Museum of Art

    Peruse world-class works of art for free

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    The Baltimore Museum of Art, next to John Hopkins University, is a famed institution drawing art enthusiasts from around the globe. While the museum started off by hosting 1 art piece at a time, its collection now covers over 95,000 pieces from distinguished masters such as Andy Warhol, Picasso, and Cézanne.

    The highlight of the museum is the impressive 1,000-piece Matisse collection housed in the Cone Wing – kindly donated by a pair of Baltimoreans sisters a few decades ago. Works by women and artists of colour are showcased in the Contemporary Wing, also home to a sculpture garden and regular summer jazz sessions. Enjoy the museum completely free before finishing your day with a fine-dining meal at Gertrude’s, which serves up signature Chesapeake Bay cuisine.

    Location: 10 Art Museum Dr, Baltimore, MD 21218, USA

    Open: Wednesday–Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm (closed on Mondays and Tuesdays)

    Phone: +1 443-573-1700


    photo by Baltimore Heritage (CC0 1.0) modified


    Inner Harbor

    Stroll the heart of the city

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    Baltimore’s Inner Harbor has been an important seaport since the 18th century, and continues to be the activity centre of the city. Located just south of downtown, the harbour is home to some of Baltimore’s biggest attractions and is connected by an expansive 7-mile brick waterfront promenade.

    Spend the day walking and shopping at the numerous boutique malls, or stop and take in exhilarating street performances. The National Aquarium, the Maryland Science Centre, and the USS Constellation Museum are the big draws, all within a 10-minute walk of each other. Jump aboard a water taxi or head to Federal Hill Park for the best views of the harbour.

    Victoria Zelefsky | Contributing Writer

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