Visiting Maryland? Here are some of the best places to visit in Maryland that you shouldn’t skip on your holiday.
Named after Queen Henrietta Maria of England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales, or as most of us know her, Queen Mary, Maryland is the quintessential American state, often referred to as ‘Little America’ or ‘America in Miniature’, it features a diverse range of landscapes, people, cultures and activities, making it an ideal tourist destination.
Additionally, there is almost no better state to visit if one wants to know the U.S. better, as it has the greatest number of landmarks per capita of any state in America.
So, where should one start exploring this 12,407-square-mile state? Look no further, for this list of the top places to visit in Maryland will provide a definitive list of must-do activities so that you can say you experienced this city properly and fully.
The National Aquarium:
The National Aquarium in Baltimore stands as the largest tourist attraction in the State of Maryland, drawing 1.5 million visitors annually. Thus, one can’t claim to have experienced Maryland without a visit to The National Aquarium.
Within its walls, the aquarium proudly houses over 1,700 specimens representing 750 species, all immersed in a stunning 2,200,000 US gallons of water. It’s safe to affirm that this is undeniably one of the most impressive aquariums globally.
Even movie enthusiasts can find delight in this destination, as it features a state-of-the-art 4D theater that enables you to genuinely sense the experience of swimming alongside sharks! And if sharks happen to be less to your liking, fret not, as they also showcase films involving significantly less intimidating species, such as dolphins.
Baltimore Museum of Art:
Founded in 1914, this 20,000 square metre art museum designed by John Russell Pope is a true paradise for art lovers, and boasts a collection of 95,000 objects from such esteemed artists as Pablo Picasso, Vincent van Gogh, Edgar Degas, Henri Matisse, Paul Cézanne, Paul Gauguin, and Pierre-Auguste Renoir, as part of the famous “Cone Collection”.
The museum displays a rich collection of art from Africa, Ancient America, The Pacific Islands, Asia, and Europe, as well as contemporary art.
Thus, this entry finds mention on a list of places to visit in Maryland without question.
B&O Railroad Museum:
This museum started as a railway station and is the oldest railroad manufacturing complex in the U.S. It was the first railroad ever built in the country!
For that reason alone, this museum is one of the must-visit places to visit in Maryland, but if you’re still not convinced to visit it, it might interest you to know that it was also the site of the world’s first telegraph message!
Boasting the largest and most impressive collection of 19th-century American locomotives in the world, the museum will certainly have you spellbound with its rich atmosphere and enchanting artifacts.
Fort Frederick State Park:
Surrounding the only stone fort built by a British colony during the French and Indian War, The Fort Frederick State Park is both enthralling with its display of ancient 18th-century architecture and with its diverse offering of activities like a boat launch, flat water canoeing, camping and even hiking. That’s why we consider it one of the best places to visit in Maryland.
During the weekends, the staff dress in period-appropriate attire simulating the day-to-day life of the fort’s residents during its heyday and breathing life into the aging ruins.
Famous for hosting the renowned “Battle That Saved Washington,” Monocacy National Park is celebrated for its pivotal role in turning the tide of the American Civil War in favor of the Confederacy. But let’s set aside this incredible historical significance and focus on why you should plan a visit to this remarkable location in Maryland.
Encompassing 1,647 acres of rolling farmlands, historic buildings, and expansive vistas along the picturesque Monocacy River, the park offers stunning hiking trails and weekly demonstrations, including artillery firing. If the idea of gorgeous hiking trails, historic structures, and panoramic views doesn’t excite you, I still recommend planning a visit – the experience is truly worthwhile.
Washington Monument State Park:
Home to the iconic Washington Monument, a 554-foot marble Egyptian-style obelisk that once held the record as the tallest man-made structure, and featured in a surprising number of Marvel movies like Iron Man 2, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Spider-Man: Far From Home, and even Raiders Of The Lost Ark.
Immerse yourself in this part of the American Zeitgeist through its museum and picnic pavilion, and don’t miss the chance to bask in its monumental aura. After all, it is one of the top places to visit in Maryland.
Fort McHenry National Monument:
If you’re a history enthusiast seeking to walk in the footsteps of the past and experience a slice of American history, Fort McHenry National Monument is an absolute must-visit. Nestled on the shores of the picturesque Baltimore Harbor, this iconic landmark carries an air of historical significance that can be felt from the moment you set foot on its grounds.
This is where Francis Scott Key penned the words that would become the American national anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner”, thus cementing it as a piece of American history.
Exploring the fort’s interior is like stepping into the pages of history. Wander through the barracks, envisioning the daily lives of soldiers who once called this place home. Marvel at the cannons that once roared, defending the city against the advancing enemy. The museum within the fort provides a treasure trove of artifacts, stories, and interactive exhibits that vividly recount the events that unfolded here.
Make sure to catch the daily flag-raising ceremony, and take a stroll along the ramparts, which offer breathtaking views of the harbor and the surrounding cityscape.
Fort McHenry National Monument:
Fort McHenry National Monument promises an enriching journey through time. From the echoes of the past to the spirit of resilience ingrained in every brick, this landmark stands as a testament to the indomitable spirit that defines the American story.
Assateague Island National Seashore:
Experience the untamed allure of Assateague Island National Seashore, a haven of natural beauty, where you can camp amid 148 scenic sites, hike trails under a mile, and swim freely in the ocean. Witness the abundance of shorebirds and wading birds, and the presence of feral horses, known as Chincoteague ponies of Assateague horses, roaming freely.
These majestic creatures are said to be descendants of horses that survived a shipwreck along the coast long ago. For lovers of natural beauty, Maryland offers this untouched oasis of wildlife.
Visit the spectacular beach resort town of Ocean City, where you can stroll the sandy beaches, the lively boardwalk and ghost walk, explore the amusement parks, engage in big-game fishing, and much, much more.
There are many things to do in Maryland, the miniature United States, however, whenever you find yourself able to visit this magnificent state, be sure to see the above-mentioned places, for only then can you say that you’ve made the most of your visit, and seen all there is to see.
Is public transportation easily accessible in Maryland?
Major cities like Baltimore and Washington, D.C., have public transportation options including buses and light rail. However, renting a car might be more convenient for exploring the state's various attractions.
What cultural events or festivals can I experience in Maryland?
Maryland hosts a variety of festivals throughout the year, such as the Maryland Renaissance Festival, Artscape in Baltimore, and the National Folk Festival
What is the best time to visit Maryland?
Between late April to June and from late August to October is generally considered to be the best time to visit Maryland.
What is Maryland known for in terms of cuisine?
Maryland is famous for its blue crabs, enjoyed in dishes like crab cakes and steamed crabs. Don't miss the chance to try Old Bay seasoning, a local favorite.