Maryland Travel Guide

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How can so much diversity be packed into such a small state? Maryland vacations offer the chance to go for a sail on the Chesapeake Bay, work on your golf game, wake up in a cozy mountain cabin, or stroll along the sandy beaches. If you’re looking for a new place for some family fun, read on to discover all that Maryland has to offer!

From the charming city of Baltimore to calm lakes for fishing to top-notch entertainment, the variety of Maryland will surprise many visitors. If your family has a variety of interests, let VacationRentals.com show you how one destination can satisfy many different tastes with this Maryland Travel Guide!

What to Do

Maryland Outdoors

Active Getaway

If you’re the type of family that always likes to be on the go, then this Maryland travel guide can show you how to find adventure on your Maryland vacation! Spend your vacation hiking, biking, or fishing. Start your day by waking up in a private mountain cabin in the Appalachians and then hitting the trails for some quality family time.

Not all adventurous activities in Maryland take place on land. Pack your bathing suit and get ready for some exhilarating water sports. From sailing to charter fishing to water parks there are plenty of ways to cool off during the warm summer days in Maryland! The most popular beaches in the state include famous Ocean City, Bay Ridge Beach, Assateague State Park, and Chesapeake Beach.

Maryland vacations can also be planned around winter sports. Wisp Resort offers great snow tubing and skiing as well. During better weather, golf becomes the sport of choice in Maryland. There are over a hundred courses to choose from across the state, including options with beautiful views over the ocean. The most popular courses in the state are the Congressional Country Club in Bethesda and Grey Stone Golf Course in White Hall.

Maryland Horse Racing

Annual Events

Maryland vacations could easily be planned around a variety of annual events. The Steeplechase horse race is a favorite spring sporting event. If you’re into horse racing, don’t miss Preakness, the second jewel of the Triple Crown, every May. The Maryland Film Festival also takes place each May and draws a variety of celebrities and filmmakers to the state.

Other annual events are based on the culinary creations of Maryland. Baltimore Restaurant Week takes place each summer in July and August, Ocean City Restaurant Week takes place in the beginning of June, and Talbot Restaurant Week in March features many Chesapeake specialties. These restaurant weeks are designed to expose visitors to a variety of dining options at budget prices. Planning your trip around one of these annual events can help you get the best value out of Maryland vacations!

Heritage

Maryland vacations can be as educational as they are entertaining. Take a drive along a network of Civil War trails and see where some of the most difficult battles were fought. The Historic National Road has other sites as well, including the birthplace of "The Star Spangled Banner."

Your kids will be fascinated by the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of the Underground Railroad. Any detailed Maryland travel guide will give you details on how to follow in the footsteps of African American heritage by exploring these historic landmarks.

Art and Entertainment

Some travelers assume that all Maryland vacations include a trip to the beach. While there are many fantastic locations for relaxing along the sea, the cities of Annapolis and Baltimore both offer great entertainment as well. The cultural melting pot of Maryland is on display in its museums, theaters, and concerts.

Attend an opera or treat your family to a night at the symphony. From performing arts to visual arts and museums to exhibitions for kids, Maryland has it all. In advance of your trip, book tickets for the Baltimore Opera Theatre, the Hippodrome Theatre, or the Lyric Theatre. Districts throughout the state are known for their artistic creativity including Bethesda, Silver Spring, Cambridge, and Snow Hill.

maryland theme park

Family Fun

No Maryland travel guide would be complete without revealing some of the best entertainment options for families. The Jolly Roger Amusement Park features rides and shows for kids of all ages. Six Flags Great Adventure offers over 100 roller coasters and has the largest water park in the region. The Maryland State fair offers fun for the whole family with music and entertainment.

The Eastern Shore, located east of Chesapeake Bay, is not only one of the most popular places in Maryland, but it also offers a glimpse at spectacular wildlife. From wild ponies to exotic birds, the animals in this region of Maryland will mesmerize visitors. Bring your binoculars! Picturesque towns to visit along the Eastern Shore include Oxford, Chestertown, St Michael's, and Smith Island.

A visit to the Baltimore Inner Harbor will keep families occupied all day long. Treat your kids to a trip to the National Aquarium or grab a seat at one of the outdoor restaurants to watch the ships come and go. The Annapolis City dock is another great place for a family stroll. To infuse some excitement in your trip, surprise your family with tickets to a Baltimore Orioles baseball game or a Baltimore Ravens football game. Be sure to purchase your tickets in advance, especially for games that local residents would consider a rivalry!

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What to See

Maryland kayaking

The Great Outdoors

Maryland vacations are full of opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors. The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historic Park dates back to the 18th and 19th centuries. This park is a great place for a hike or bicycle ride, and you are sure to encounter interesting historical relics such as aqueducts.

Deep Creek Lake is the perfect place for a family kayak tour, lazy afternoon picnic, or horseback ride. Located in western Maryland, this area of the state is rich in mountains, rivers, and lakes. The adventure continues year-round; in the winter, snowmobiling and snow tubing are popular activities at the lake.

The Brookside Gardens are 50-acres of award-winning flora. Visitors flock to see the Japanese gardens, the butterfly garden, the rose garden, and the formal garden. Another popular attraction is the National Wildlife Visitors Center, located in Laurel, Maryland.

Historical Attractions

A prime location provided Maryland with a rich history over the last several decades. Today visitors can take steps towards understanding that history by visiting a few key attractions. Historic Ellicott City was once a flourishing mill town. Today it is known more for its historic charms and antique shops.

The history of Baltimore is on display around every corner of this charming city. Learn about the role Fort McHenry played in the war of 1812 or step aboard the USS Constellation, the last all-sail warship in the US. The Maryland Science Center, Camden Yards, and the National Aquarium are more visitors' favorites within Baltimore’s Inner Harbor.

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Where to Shop and Eat

maryland vacation

Maryland Crabs and More

Maryland is known for all things crab and more. Blue crabs are especially popular and are eaten whole, in crab cakes, and in a variety of other dishes. Beyond crab, there are many award-winning restaurants that keep bringing people back to Maryland. If you’re in Baltimore, try Charleston for gourmet specialties or the Black Olive where you can choose your dinner from a fish tank. Seafood is a specialty of the region, and restaurants will carry whatever is seasonal and fresh.

Food is just as delicious along the Eastern Shore area of Maryland as well. Masons’ serves New American cuisine while Out of the Fire has a massive stone hearth oven. The Bartlett Pear Inn is an upscale restaurant set in a historic building. From casual beach dives to upscale terrace dining, Maryland vacations will be full of meals to remember!

Where to Shop in Maryland

Spend a day or two exploring the city of Baltimore through its shops. The inner harbor is home to a variety of name-brands while Mount Vernon and Fells Point are known for more specialty stores and boutiques. Antique Row on Howard Street is known for unusual finds while Lexington Market is a great place to refuel.

Shops along the Eastern Shore have everything visitors could need. From beachwear to groceries, the communities along the shoreline are used to catering to tourists. Find quirky shops and surf shops in significant numbers in these beach areas.

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When to Visit

This Maryland travel guide has shown you how to enjoy the state in every season. From skiing in winter to sailing in summer and strolling through the gardens in spring to attending professional sports games in the fall, there is a reason to visit Maryland in every season.

The most popular time for Maryland vacations is the summer, when the beaches attract a variety of travelers. Whether you arrive to relax and sunbathe or get out on a sea kayak, the warm Maryland summers will be a perfect accompaniment to your activities. When schools are closed during the months of July and August, the beach towns receive an influx of visitors.

Outside of the summer, discounts can be found on beach houses and mountain cabins, so if you’re looking for peace and quiet on a budget, travel to these areas of Maryland during the spring and fall. Once the kids have gone back to school, the beaches of Maryland become a peaceful place once again!

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What to Bring

Maryland vacations can be as casual or fancy as you want them to be. Baltimore is home to great restaurants and nightlife, or you can enjoy the city just as much by taking a mallet to a blue crab with a bib wrapped around your neck. Dress according to the season, and remember extra layers even in summer (air-conditioned restaurants and museums can be chilly). For summer vacations remember all of your beach essentials including swimsuits, sunscreen, and a hat. Visitors who aren’t used to the Maryland sun will be surprised just how strong it can be!

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Local Services in

Maryland vacations are simplified by the quality of local services. From Baltimore to the beaches, local services are widely available. You rest assured that even if you forgot to pack something, it won’t be difficult to find. Bring prescriptions along, but it will be possible to fill them if you need to. ATMs, banks, post offices, and mailboxes are all common. If you require the Internet, both libraries and Internet cafés are available throughout Maryland.

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What to Know

Maryland vacations can take many forms. Any good Maryland travel guide will tell you that a trip to this coastal state can be multifaceted. If you’re looking for a beach vacation, Maryland can provide that. But opportunities for kayaking, sailing, and seeing wildlife will also be available close by.

While the cities of Maryland are often overshadowed by neighbors such as Washington DC or Philadelphia, the cities of Baltimore and Annapolis have a great deal to offer. Museums, picturesque docks, gourmet restaurants, and great shopping all lure travelers to this region of the US every year.

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Getting to

Many people who plan Maryland vacations arrive by car. States in this area of the country are closely linked by highways, and people from Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, Virginia, and beyond can all enjoy a trip to Maryland within a short drive.

It is also possible to reach Maryland by plane. The major airport of the state is in Baltimore, with smaller airports in Salisbury and Hagerstown. Budget travelers will want to check the availability of flights into nearby Washington DC airport as well. From the airport, it is possible to rent a car and continue on to your Maryland vacation rental.

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Why Vacation Rentals?

A budget vacation doesn’t have to be short on luxury. Maryland vacation rentals provide more space and value than a hotel could ever supply. Your family will appreciate the extra room to spread out and relax after a long day of hiking or splashing around on the beach. Family vacations should be about quality family time, so why not find yourselves in the perfect environment to reconnect? Enjoy your meals on your own balcony overlooking the ocean and watch the stars come out at night. Maryland vacations are the ideal time for families to come together over life’s simple pleasures.

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