15 Maryland Vacation Spots: Islands, Lakes, Forests, & More

The beautiful state of Maryland has coastal towns, forests, lakes, islands, flea markets, waterfalls, and amusement parks. You could also call it “Miniature America”.

Tour the long beaches of its Eastern Shore to the heavily forested hills of its western counties. 

Let us explore some of the best Maryland vacation spots which you can explore.

Annapolis

Annapolis

Annapolis is one of the most historic cities in Maryland. Also the capital of the state, Annapolis was formerly the capital of the country. A visit to the city is not complete without taking a stroll on what is known as “Historic Annapolis” to enjoy restaurants, shopping, and beautiful architecture.

If you want to relax, head to the serene Quiet Waters Park, where you can stroll or rest along the South River. Other tourist attractions which you must visit are the United State Naval Academy and the Maryland State House.

Baltimore

Baltimore

This bustling waterfront city provides a unique experience to every visitor. Baltimore has a little for everyone who visits the city. 

This town is the largest city in the state and has many family-friendly attractions like touring the USS Constellation or seeing oddities at Ripley’s Believe it or Not. Visit the waterfront area which has so many unique things to do that it is an attraction in itself.

From world-class dining to shopping and even museums, there are lots to explore like the B&O Railroad Museum or the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History.

Art lovers can explore the  Baltimore Museum of Art.

Ocean City

Ocean City

If you want a weekend with sun, sand, and beach – then Ocean City is the place to visit. Nestled on the Atlantic Ocean, Maryland is the perfect summer ground for residents in Maryland.

It is one of the most popular beaches in the Atlantic Coast and has 10 miles of free public beach and a three-mile classic wooden boardwalk. The boardwalk boasts of shops,  a Ferris wheel, a roller coaster, a 1902 carousel, and kiosks selling foods that will blow your mind away.

The bustling town welcomes over eight million visitors annually. If you want to experience this town without the crowds, visit in the off-season when the crowds are less and the hotel prices are even lesser.

Surfing, parasailing, sunset cruise are some of the activities you can indulge in.

Frederick

Frederick

Known as the getaway to western Maryland, Frederick is nestled at the foot of the mountains and has a rich history. It has a 40-block historic district which is filled with shops, galleries, and restaurants.

Frederick remains a popular weekend getaway for those living in Baltimore and Washington D.C. Take a tour of Monocacy National Battlefield to know more about this city and its history. 

Afterward, you can visit one of the many Frederick’s historical attractions like the National Museum of Civil War Medicine or the Schifferstadt Architectural Museum.

If you are here with family, then kids will love the Rose Hill Manor Park and Children’s Museum, where you can see more about early American life. Another fun family-friendly activity is a vintage train ride on the Walkersville Southern Railroad. 

Deep Creek Lake

Deep Creek Lake

Located in the western part of the state, snuggled in lush mountains is the Deep Creek Lake. This lake is a popular four-season destination that offers plenty of adventure and action for the whole family. 

Deep Creek Lake makes for a great weekend getaway. It is a wonderful summer destination where you can escape the concrete jungle and be near nature. 

The cool lakes with their shimmering waters are really inviting and you can go boating, swimming, paddle boarding, tubing, or fishing. Plus, plenty of marinas around the lake offer boat rentals.

Assateague Island National Seashore

Assateague

If you want to see houses in the wild, then Assateague Island National Seashore is the place to be. This national park is home to wild horses, which roam along the beaches and mingle with the tourists. 

This unspoiled island is a paradise that makes for a great vacation spot in Maryland. Here you can explore the sandy beaches, run with the horses, and enjoy the unspoiled nature that is here.

Biking is also a great way to see the island as there are a few trails that will take you from the marsh to the sandy beaches.

Other than that, you can also enjoy camping, kayaking, and other outdoor activities. 

Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park

Chesapeake & Ohio Canal

Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historic Park is famous because of its incredible scenic beauty. The park operated from 1828-1924 as a transportation route, primarily hauling coal along the Potomac River to Georgetown.

The canal is a reminder of its transportation system in the Canal Era. Now that canal is used only for recreational purposes.

Visitors can experience the history of these canals via boat rides and seven visitor cantors that spread accordingly throughout the 184.5-mile area of the park.

Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge

Blackwater Refuge

Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge is located just 12 miles south of Cambridge on Maryland’s Eastern Shore and covers 26,000 acres of marshes, ponds, and forest.

A great number of plants and animals can be found here in the three major habitats of the park, namely marsh, shallow water, and forest. The refuge also provides a great habitat to many migratory birds that visit here.

The best time to visit is in the spring and fall when birds are moving through. There is a visitor center as well for information which you can visit. 

Berlin

Berlin

Located just minutes away from Assateague Island National Seashore, Berlin is one of the coolest small towns in America. Berlin was established in 1790 and grew around the main road that had long been used by the Pocomoke and Assateague peoples.

The town grew after the Civil War and eventually became a popular starting point for tourists, who came to the area for fishing and hunting.

The town’s downtown area is much loved by residents and tourists alike. Explore the historic Burleigh Inn, many lovely Victorian homes, museums, shops and restaurants

Chesapeake City

Chesapeake City

Chesapeake City is located close to the water and has great historical value as a city. The town has many historical homes, galleries, and shops that have been restored to their original state.

The city is filled with 19-century grandeur. You can visit the Canal Museum where you can learn about the busy waterway and also see a replica of a lighthouse. 

The city has a small-town charm that makes Chesapeake a fantastic vacation spot in Maryland. Visitors will love the abundant stores, restaurants, and charming bed-and-breakfasts.

You can also visit nearby cities from here like Baltimore, Philadelphia, and Wilmington.

Kent Island

Kent Island

If you are looking for a romantic escape or a quiet weekend, then Kent Island is for you. This is the largest island in the Chesapeake Bay and makes a great place for a laidback getaway.

Head to the  Chesapeake Exploration Center, to know more about the history of the area. Take a walk in the area at sunset, where you might be able to see many migratory birds feeding or flying around. 

Cumberland

Cumberland

This beautiful city is located in the Maryland Mountains and makes for a great getaway. If you love the arts, then do visit this beautiful city of Cumberland. 

Walk along the tree-lined streets, greet the friendly people, and admire the beautiful city. Known for great quality of life, once you visit this city you might not want to leave again!

Catoctin Mountain Park

Catoctin Mountain Park

This national park in Thurmont, Maryland makes for a great vacation spot. This park welcomes many hikers and campers because of its scenic beauty.

The park has a diversified ecological system that caters to many different kinds of plant and animal species in this small area.

Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Museum

Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Museum

The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Museum is one of the most popular attractions in Baltimore. The museum operates out of historical buildings and showcases an extensive collection of locomotives and coaches, most of them in working order.

The main attraction is where the rolling stock is displayed.

Baltimore Museum of Art

Baltimore Museum of Art

If you love art, then you should head straight to the Baltimore Museum of Art. The museum is known for its superb collections of 19th-century, modern, and contemporary art.

It holds 95,000 works by artists that include Pablo Picasso, Paul Cezanne, Vincent van Gogh, Andy Warhol, and also the world’s largest collection of works by Henri Matisse.

In addition to works of art, paintings, sculpture, and graphic arts, jewelry, furniture, and a lot more here. 

Conclusion 

Maryland is one of the most versatile and eclectic states to visit. It will keep you busy with its outdoor activities at Deep Creek Lake and lovely cities like Annapolis.

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