Maryland is a state full of industry, history and vibrant activities. The capital is Annapolis, a must-visit city alongside the more famous Baltimore, but attractions aren’t limited to these two cities. From Kent Island to Edgar Allan Poe’s grave, here are 25 of Maryland’s must-see points of interest.
Kent Island is a treasure trove of seafood restaurants and historic buildings, located close to Chesapeake Bay and the Queenstown Premium Outlets. Originally, it was the first permanent English settlement and served as a bartering station. Top spots are Stevensville – considered the biggest town on Kent Island – and Matapeake Beach, which offers great views of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and contains a picnic area, a dog beach and a café.
Annapolis City Marina is a surprisingly peaceful place, given its location in downtown Annapolis, the state capital of Maryland. The marina features gated parking and free wifi, along with a picnic and grill area, and is a great place for a morning or early-evening stroll. If you are planning on being out on the water for most of the day, stop by the Dock Shop for essentials such as snacks, beer and wine.
Deep Creek Lake is an enjoyable place to get away, especially in the fall and winter. In the fall, the area usually hosts an autumn festival, and many people enjoy staying in one of the roomy, comfortable vacation rentals during the winter. Entertainment options include a small roller coaster, white-water rafting, horse riding, mountain biking and kayaking. Oh, and make sure you bring plenty of beer, wine and hot cocoa.
Home to the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the sleek Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall offers a busy calendar of classical concerts throughout the year. The resident orchestra, now under the baton of internationally-acclaimed conductor Marin Alsop, also engages in a variety of community outreach activities, encouraging talented young musicians from all over the state.
Oriole Park at Camden Yards is home to the Baltimore Orioles, a Major League Baseball team. Orioles’ tickets are significantly cheaper than football tickets, making their games a popular afternoon activity for families and groups of friends. Oriole Park is also located near the M&T Bank Stadium, so avid sports fans have two historic stadiums within easy reach of one another.
The towpaths of the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historic Park are the perfect setting for a stroll or jog. Running alongside the historic C&O Canal, which was a key industrial transportation route between 1828 and 1924, these shaded, well-maintained paths offer some great views of the Potomac River, as it winds its way up towards Washington DC. Plenty of locks and lock houses remain from the canal’s glory days.
The historic district of Ellicott City, Maryland, is rich in culture, history and places to eat. There are many outdoor activities to participate in, such as hiking, yoga and outdoor entertainment, and dozens of pubs, cafés and restaurants in which to eat, drink and relax. Or you can simply walk along Main Street soaking up the ambience and admiring the grand old buildings.
Located on Maryland’s Eastern shores, St. Michaels is a small coastal town with a great deal of character and things to do. The harbor has a variety of outdoor activities and delicious restaurants, and in the summertime, many people take their boats out onto the water in order to enjoy the views and watch the sunset. If you are also looking for quaint, romantic restaurants, there are plenty with picturesque views of the ocean and harbor.
Located in the town of Sharpsburg, 70mi (113km) to the west of Baltimore, the Antietam National Battlefield was the scene of one of the worst clashes in the Civil War, which played out on September 17th, 1862. Learn about the details of this historic battle – in which almost 23,000 soldiers were killed or wounded – by completing the self-guided, 8mi (13km) walking tour and by visiting key sites such as Dunker Church and Sunken Road.
American writer Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849), master of the macabre and creator of the detective fiction genre, is remembered by an elegant monument at 515 Fayette Street, in front of Westminster Hall. Indecision over the best location and the loss of the original grave in a railway accident delayed the process, meaning it wasn’t until 1975 – 26 years after the poet and author had passed away – that the present stone was inaugurated.
For something a little different, head into the dense greenery of the Patapsco Valley State Park, 18mi (29km) west of Baltimore. Here you’ll find the forlorn remains of Daniels: originally known as Elysville, it was founded by Thomas Ely in 1820 and, by the beginning of the 20th century, was a successful mill town, with shops, churches and a school. But the mill closed in 1960, and a tropical storm further hastened the buildings’ decline in 1972.
Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge is an absolute must for birdwatchers and travellers with a love of the outdoors. This 26,000-acre (10,523ha) expanse of marshes, forests and ponds is home to the largest population of breeding bald eagles on the east coast north of Florida, as well as the up-until-recently endangered Delmarva Peninsula Fox squirrel. It’s best explored by walking along one of the many trails that crisscross the park.
Additional reporting by Mark Nayler