Welcome to Maryland
To say Maryland encompasses a diverse number of attractions would be an understatement. With the rugged Appalachian Mountains in the west, honey-dipped sand beaches in the east and lively cities in between, it’s no wonder the Old Line State has been dubbed “America in Miniature.”
From the City to the Beach
Start your adventures in the state’s biggest town. Down-to-earth Baltimore will impress you with its historic and scenic Inner Harbor. Walk along its brick pathways to discover top attractions like the National Aquarium and American Visionary Art Museum. Historic ships such as the USS Constellation and rows of restaurants serving up sweet blue crab satisfy eager and hungry visitors. Don’t leave without stopping by the Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine, a preserved fort that defended the city during the War of 1812. When the sun’s out, sprawl out on the beaches of Ocean City and explore its classic boardwalk, too. Lined with carnival rides, seafood joints and souvenir shops, this nearly 3-mile thoroughfare is sure to keep you entertained for hours on end.
Seasoned anglers will hear the splash of trophy trout on Savage River. This 30-mile waterway is stocked with rainbow trout in the upper section and wild brown and brook trout downstream. In the Chesapeake Bay, take a fishing charter and set off for rockfish, bluefish, flounder and more. The bay is a popular spot for crabbing, too, so grab your bait and net and catch up to two dozen male hard crabs with no permit necessary. Boaters won’t want to miss sailing on a real skipjack, a revered class of sailboat that was once used as a fishing vessel. Stop by the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels to board the skipjack H.M. Krentz, an elegant ship that takes visitors out on Maryland’s waters from April to October.
Head to the Shore
Just a stone’s throw away from Ocean City is Assateague Island National Seashore. This protected barrier island is famous for its wild horses and tranquil beaches. Go horseback riding along the shore, join a ranger-guided program or pedal along an extensive network of paved bike trails. There’s always plenty to do in Deep Creek Lake at the western end of the state’s panhandle. Lined with thick forests and rolling mountains, Maryland’s largest freshwater lake invites you to admire fall foliage at the Autumn Glory Festival.
The Outdoors is Calling
Lace up your hiking boots and stride along Catoctin Mountain Park’s 25 miles of scenic trails. Ranging from easy to difficult, these paths trace mountainous ridges and lead hikers to excellent vantage points for wildlife like bears, deer and turkey. You can also follow 40 miles of the Appalachian Trail. Spanning from Pen Mar to the Potomac River, this relatively easy segment of the iconic trail promises historic sites and stunning overlooks. Cyclists will be glad to know that more and more abandoned railroad tracks in the Old Line State are being converted into biking trails. Cruise the Western Maryland Rail-Trail, a paved, 23-mile bikeway along the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, or pedal down the former B&A Short Line Railroad, which connects Annapolis and Glen Burnie.
Celebrate Art, Light and Sailboats
Baltimore is your destination for excitement. Place your bets and cheer on your favorite pony at the Preakness Stakes, or see masterpieces by 150-plus artists at Artscape, the largest free arts festival in the country. Every November, the Inner Harbor is transformed into Light City, an illuminated playground bursting with art installations, concerts, fireworks and a night parade.