Home to everything from sleek shopping malls to ruggedly remote mountains, Maryland is a great place for a vacation.
It has a little something for everyone, so whether you’re into food, art, music, history, nature or culture, you can find plenty of cool places to visit.
The tricky part will be narrowing down your options during your trip.
There’s simply so much to experience in Maryland that you’re going to need some serious planning mojo to fit it all into your schedule!
Grab your calendar.
It’s time to talk about things to do in Maryland.
1. Ocean City Boardwalk
With a big, colorful entrance gate that arches over its old-fashioned wooden pier, Ocean City Boardwalk is one of the most famous tourist attractions in Maryland.
It offers more than three miles of shops, restaurants, games, rides, arcades, bars and hotels all packed into a single walkable location.
Shopping options range from kitschy t-shirts to beautiful handmade collectibles.
Food stalls have funnel cakes, crab cakes, burgers, hot dogs, caramel popcorn and huge buckets of cheese-topped French fries.
Carnival games will beckon you with their gigantic stuffed animals, and rides will keep you moving through carousels, roller coasters and Ferris wheels.
Other entertainment options include museum tours, pub crawls, bike rentals, outdoor concerts and boat trips around the water.
You’ll wear out your flip-flops before you run out of fun stuff to do.
If you want to have a good time in Maryland, Ocean City Boardwalk is a must do!
Address: 698 N Atlantic Ave, Ocean City, MD 21842, United States
2. Basignani Winery
When love is in the air, the Basignani Winery is one of the best places to visit in Maryland.
Its dreamy, romantic atmosphere is sure to get you tingling as you spend time with that special someone, and its wine is perfect for initiating some cuddle time!
Located in the rolling hills of Baltimore County, the Basignani Winery is a small, family-run business with a charmingly quaint atmosphere.
Its vineyards are beautiful, and its buildings have a rustic country charm.
You can take tours, visit tasting rooms, picnic under shaded pavilions or sign up for special classes and workshops to learn more about wine.
If you don’t want the fun to stop once the winery closes, you can buy your favorite bottles from the gift shop or even have them shipped to your home address.
You’re also free to snap couples’ selfies among the brilliant landscapes of the area.
To make special memories, you’ll need to visit a special place.
Grab your partner’s hand and take a stroll through the vistas of the Basignani Winery!
Address: 15722 Falls Rd, Sparks Glencoe, MD 21152, United States
3. National Aquarium
Considered one of the crown jewels of Baltimore, Maryland, the National Aquarium is a must see destination.
It welcomes more than 1.5 million visitors per year, and it frequently tops lists of the best aquariums in the world.
What makes the National Aquarium so amazing?
For starters, it’s a larger-than-life complex that houses millions of gallons of water, and its architecture includes everything from cute little tide pools to gigantic arched tunnels that will allow you to walk underwater.
Sharks will swim over your head; jellyfish will follow your movements with their ghostly tendrils; fish will dart all around as you move from hallway to hallway.
The biodiversity is another reason to visit the National Aquarium.
In addition to its marine creatures, it also houses thousands of birds, bugs, reptiles, amphibians and mammals.
You can explore a number of habitats, including tropical forests.
The National Aquarium is easily one of the best things to do in Maryland.
If you’ll be anywhere near Baltimore during your trip, you’ll want to make time for the most impressive of its sites.
Address: 501 E Pratt St, Baltimore, MD 21202, United States
4. Mike’s Crab House
Seafood is a staple of Maryland cuisine, so whether you’re in the mood for crabs, clams, oysters or scallops, you can find it freshly caught and sizzlingly seasoned at a place like Mike’s Crab House.
Crab, of course, is a central menu item; it’s the single most famous food in Maryland.
The most traditional version is soft-shelled crab served with butter, but you can also enjoy it deep-fried with a crispy brown crust or tossed in a pan along with garlic, onion, pepper and oil.
Other seafood items include grilled tuna, fried oysters, stuffed shrimp, steamed mussels and broiled salmon.
Sides range from greasy baskets of onion rings to fancy salads that can be paired with sparkling wines.
When your stomach is growling in Maryland, stop by a place like Mike’s Crab House.
You can’t visit a coastal state without indulging in a little seafood, and this restaurant is one of the best places to get it!
Address: 3030 Riva Rd, Riva, MD 21140, United States
5. Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine
You might not know Fort McHenry by name.
However, you’re probably familiar with what it inspired: The Star-Spangled Banner!
An immense stone bastion fort, Fort Henry has successfully defended the United States in multiple battles and skirmishes since its original foundation in the late 1700s.
It became one of Maryland’s top places to see after the War of 1812.
The American flag was flown high on the fort after a bombardment, and the sight was so moving that it inspired Francis Scott Key to write a song about it.
Today, Fort Henry is officially known as the Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine.
You can tour the grounds, watch historical reenactments and engage with special programs and activities that range from museum showcases to fireworks displays.
You don’t have to be a history buff to appreciate the significance of Fort Henry.
It’s one of the biggest tourist attractions in Maryland for visitors of all types.
After all, it’s the birthplace of the national anthem!
Address: 2400 E Fort Ave, Baltimore, MD 21230, United States
6. Great Falls
With its mountains, lakes and trees, Maryland is one of the most beautiful states in the US, and destinations like Great Falls can give you a front-row seat to its splendor.
Located on the border of Maryland and Virginia, Great Falls is actually a series of water features along the Potomac River.
There are waterfalls gushing over the rocks; there are whitewater rapids rushing down mountain valleys.
It’s an absolutely stunning place to experience the power of nature firsthand.
There are lots of cool things to do, too.
Whether you’re into hiking, climbing, kayaking or rafting, you can get your heart pumping with outdoor activities that will really test your resolve.
Great Falls is one of the most beautiful places in Maryland.
If you’ll be anywhere near the Potomac River when you visit, make some time for its epic, picturesque sights!
Address: 11710 MacArthur Blvd., Potomac, MD 20854, United States
7. Live! Casino and Hotel
Gambling wasn’t always legal in Maryland.
In fact, its first casinos only opened in the past decade.
However, you wouldn’t know that fact when walking into the Live! Casino and Hotel.
Its dim lights and plush carpets are so comfortable that you’ll feel like they’ve always been there.
It merrily jingling slots will transport you to a world where a big jackpot is just a lever away.
There are thousands of gaming tables.
There are hundreds of hotel suites and dozens of bars and restaurants.
There are even spa services for your skin, hair and nails.
If you need it, you can probably find it here; everything is designed for maximum luxury.
Betting on red at the Live! Casino and Hotel is one of the best things to do in Maryland.
It was a hard-won victory that took years of lobbying, but the good news for you, traveler, is that you can reap all of the benefits just by booking a suite!
Address: 7002 Arundel Mills Cir #7777, Hanover, MD 21076, United States
8. B&O Railroad Museum
Filled with everything from wooden replicas to dissected metal engines, the B&O Railroad Museum is a place where your inner child can remember all of those model sets that you used to build.
It’s dedicated to locomotives of all shapes, sizes and styles, and it’ll provide both education and entertainment for visitors of all ages.
A little-known fact about Maryland is that it’s considered the birthplace of railroading in America.
On May 22, 1830, the first train passenger service took off from a city near Baltimore.
Today, you can amble through the museum and learn about the legacy of America’s trains, and you can geek out at all of the pictures, videos, artifacts, models on display.
They even have full-sized trains available for rides!
In terms of Maryland attractions, the B&O Railroad Museum might not be the biggest or grandest, but it should be respected for the special place that it holds in American history.
It’s literally a one-of-a-kind destination that you can’t find anywhere else.
Address: 901 W Pratt St, Baltimore, MD 21223, United States
9. Harriet Tubman Byway
Winding through Maryland, Delaware and Pennsylvania, the Harriet Tubman Byway is a piece of history that can be lived and breathed by those who desire a deeper understanding of Harriet and her amazing work.
The trail stretches for more than 100 miles and includes many historical museums, monuments and landmarks, including:
– Harriet’s birthplace
– Farms and cabins where she experienced major life events
– Various stops along the Underground Railroad
You can also visit sites like the Harriet Tubman Memorial Garden and the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitor Center.
It’s a self-guided trail, so you can explore these famous places on your own time and through your own means.
Many people choose to drive it, but this isn’t a rule, so feel free to travel by bike, board or even foot.
It’s what Harriet did, after all.
Address (Visitor Center): 4068 Golden Hill Rd., Church Creek, MD 21622, United States
10. Baltimore Museum of Art
Baltimore is one of the most well-known tourist stops in Maryland, and it lives up to its reputation by offering lots of museums, theaters, restaurants and shopping malls for the modern traveler.
If you’re looking for the absolute best, however, you’ll want to make time for the Baltimore Museum of Art.
Internationally renowned for a collection of artwork that spans the globe, the Baltimore Museum of Art will definitely give you a taste of culture.
There are African wood carvings and Asian silk screens; there are European paintings and Native American pots.
Some of the pieces are delicate antiques hidden behind glass displays while others are part of immersive, hands-on exhibits that take up entire hallways.
Because of its diverse collection, there’s a little something for everyone at the Baltimore Museum of Art.
It’s easily one of the top things to do in Maryland.
Drop by when you’re in the area and see what all of the fuss is about!
Address: 10 Art Museum Dr, Baltimore, MD 21218, United States
Traveling to Baltimore soon? See the best things to do in Baltimore before you go!
11. Calvert Cliffs State Park
If you’ve always wanted a shark tooth to put on the end of a necklace, this is the place to get one.
Best of all, it won’t be a rinky-dink plastic thing that you pick up at a souvenir shop.
It’ll be a real fossil!
Calvert Cliffs State Park is located on a wide, windswept landscape where the mountains meet the sea.
It’s a popular destination for nature photography because of its dramatic views, but you can partake in all sorts of outdoor activities to pass the time, including hiking, fishing and swimming.
Don’t forget the shark tooth, either.
The cliffs were formed between 10 – 20 million years ago when the state of Maryland was underwater, so the fossils of marine animals are everywhere.
Visitors are allowed to take home whatever bones that they can find.
Take a trip to Calvert Cliffs State Park if you’re looking for pretty places to go in Maryland that also offer fun and educational opportunities.
You haven’t lived until you’ve gone treasure-hunting for the fossils of sharks, turtles, alligators and more!
Address: 10540 H G Trueman Rd, Lusby, MD 20657, United States
12. Davis Planetarium
Journey to the stars with the Davis Planetarium.
It’s a must do for astronomy lovers, but it can provide a fun, educational experience for everyone, even those who aren’t usually dazzled by the night sky.
Located within the Maryland Science Center, the Davis Planetarium boasts a gigantic dome where it plays everything from kid-friendly light shows to scientifically accurate presentations about galaxies, gas clouds, supernovas, constellations and black holes.
One of its most popular events is its “Cruise the Cosmos” show, but other options include “Shapes in the Sky” and “We Are Aliens.”
When you’re done blasting off into space, you can explore the rest of the Maryland Science Center; it offers a wide range of events and activities for the open-minded visitor.
Grab your jet pack and get ready for a great time at the Davis Planetarium.
Whether you’re a solo traveler or the parent of an entire brood, this is a place that can keep everyone entertained.
The whole universe is located within its walls!
Address: 601 Light St, Baltimore, MD 21230, United States
13. Six Flags America
Is there anything as exciting as a day at Six Flags?
The amusement park chain has more than earned its reputation for family-friendly fun, so if you’re traveling with the kids in Maryland and wondering what to do with the whole brood, Six Flags could be the answer.
Little ones can enjoy carousels and splash pools.
Older children can play games, win prizes, run through mirror houses and eat their weight in cotton candy.
Teens can brag on social media about riding the tallest roller coasters or being shot through the air on the craziest sling rides.
Mom and dad will have plenty to do as well.
In addition to the rides, there are plenty of dining, shopping and sightseeing opportunities.
For example, there’s a “Mardis Gras” area where you can test your tongue against the spiciest of Cajun flavors.
There’s also a “Coyote Creek” area that’s designed to look like the old American frontier, and you can kick up your spurs and grab a drink at its saloon.
Six Flags is iconic for a reason.
If you’ve never been, it’s time to go.
Put it on your Maryland bucket list and prepare to have a blast!
Address: 13710 Central Ave, Bowie, MD 20721, United States
14. Flashback Old Time Photos
Maryland can be a rainy state.
In fact, it receives more than 44 inches of precipitation per year.
The good news is that Maryland natives are no stranger to snow, sleet and rain, so they have plenty of ways to entertain themselves even when the weather is nasty.
One such activity is creating a portrait at Flashback Old Time Photos.
Located in Ocean City, Maryland, this is a small photography studio that’s filled with vintage props spanning the eras of 1840 – 1930.
Visitors can use them to create countless costumes, including cowboy, flapper, maid, general, gentleman and Southern belle.
The photos are then processed to resemble old, sepia-toned portraits, so that by the time they’re in your hands, they’re indistinguishable from something out of grandma’s scrapbook.
If you’re wondering what to do on a rainy day in Maryland, stop by Flashback Old Time Photos and slip on a three-piece suit with a vintage pocket watch and matching monocle.
It’ll be one of the most fun ways to salvage a dreary afternoon!
Address: 1st St, Ocean City, MD 21842, United States
15. Sandy Point State Park
Sandy Point State Park is one of Maryland’s most popular swimming destinations.
Located on Chesapeake Bay, it has numerous beaches for folks who enjoy summertime fun, and its calm, mild waters are always welcoming.
You can also rent a boat, hurl yourself from dive spots or go fishing or crabbing along the coast.
There are things to see when you dry off, too.
The Corcoran Woods are nearby, and they offer several miles of nature trails for hiking, biking and birdwatching.
The Sandy Point Farmhouse is a historic, white-walled governor’s mansion that can be viewed from a distance.
If you time your vacation right, you can also participate in special events like the “Polar Bear Plunge,” an annual winter charity drive.
Check their online calendar to see what’s coming up during your vacation days.
The water is clean. The sand is warm.
If you’re looking for great tourist spots in Maryland that have beach access, you’re looking for Sandy Point State Park.
Address: 1100 E College Pkwy, Annapolis, MD 21409, United States
16. Holland Island
Once upon a time, Holland Island was a thriving coastal town with everything from a post office to an old-fashioned schoolhouse.
Over the years, however, the island started to erode.
Its streets flooded more and more often; its residents were forced to abandon ship.
The very last family moved away in 1918.
Today, Holland Island is almost completely underwater.
The only thing that still juts out from the sea is a single, crumbling house on a small and muddy patch of land.
This once-bustling island town has all but disappeared from sight.
If you’re looking for unique destinations in Maryland, it doesn’t get much better than an underwater city.
Its only drawback is that you can’t really experience it; since it’s all gone, you’ll have to be content with admiring the jagged remnants from afar and maybe snapping a few photos to prove that you were actually there.
All things considered, however, it isn’t a bad way to do something new in Maryland.
Address: Holland Island, Toddville, MD 21672, United States
As Maryland’s capital city, Annapolis is well-known for its naval academy, and it’s true that the streets are often filled with sailors and soldiers.
However, there’s a lot more to the destination than its salutes.
First of all, it has a long, rich history as one of the first New England cities to be founded in the colonial era.
You can see some of that legacy on display when you stroll through the city’s historic district and marvel at its old-fashioned architecture.
Another fun thing about Annapolis is that it’s emerged as a chic, trendy place in Maryland, so if you enjoy site seeing around places with a lot of character, you can grab a bubble tea and go thrifting around shops, cafes and artsy boutiques.
Annapolis is one of the most popular places to visit in Maryland.
If you’ll be traveling in the middle part of the state, consider swinging by.
It’s a bucket list kind of place that you’ll be glad to have visited at least once.
18. Ladew Topiary Gardens
You can be forgiven for not knowing about the Ladew Topiary Gardens.
Located on the outskirts of Monkton, Maryland, a small town with less than 5,000 people, they’re frequently passed over in favor of other, more grandiose gardens in the big cities.
If you can find them, however, the Ladew Topiary Gardens are a sight to behold.
They were planted, grown, shaped and cultivated by a single individual in the 1920s, and his artistic whims resulted in some really unique designs.
There are topiaries, for example, with fox hunting themes.
The gardener loved to go fox hunting, so he sculptured shrubs and mosses to look like animals on the run.
He also added ponds, fountains, sculptures and other decorative elements to really express his visions, and he brought in birds and fish to give everything a living element.
As a result, the Ladew Topiary Gardens offer a really fun and unique experience in Maryland.
You’ve never seen a garden quite like this one, so make sure to bring your camera to capture it all!
Address: 3535 Jarrettsville Pike, Monkton, MD 21111, United States
19. Assateague Island National Seashore
With its wave-tossed waters churning endlessly against sandy shores and jagged cliffs, Assateague Island National Seashore is like something off a postcard.
It’s one of the best places to visit in Maryland for sightseeing.
It’s also jam-packed with fun things to do!
The main draw of the island is its wildlife.
Eagles make their nests in tall, spindly trees; wild horses gallop along the coastline.
Visitors come from all over the U.S. to observe these animals in their natural habitats.
If you’re really lucky, you’ll catch a pony taking an afternoon swim!
Other activities at the park include camping, kayaking, hiking, biking and more.
You can dive in the water; you can roar over the sand dunes in a four-wheeler.
There are thrills to be had on both land and sea, so it’s just a matter of finding something that interests you and renting the right equipment for it.
Fortunately, rental shops are everywhere, so you won’t need to pack anything in your already-overstuffed luggage.
Just show up and let the locals get you situated!
Consider a trip to Assateague Island National Seashore if you’re wondering what to do in Maryland as a nature lover or outdoor enthusiast.
Not only is it a gorgeous place, but it’s also an exciting one.
You’ll find plenty of ways to entertain yourself when you’re here.
Address: 7206 National Seashore Ln, Berlin, MD 21811, United States
20. Oriole Park
The home field of Maryland’s most beloved MLB team, Oriole Park was deliberately constructed as a “retro-style” ballpark.
While it’s tricked out with all of the high-def technology that you’d expect from a modern facility, it also has a symmetrical, vibrantly green design that brings to mind the good old days of crackerjacks.
Baseball isn’t the only thing to enjoy at Oriole Park, however.
You can also catch everything from concerts to papal masses.
You might even see Hollywood production teams now and then; the field has been featured in a lot of media, including House of Cards, The Wire and Major League II.
Check the schedule if you’re headed to Maryland this weekend.
You never know when you’re going to find something new happening at Oriole Park!
Address: 333 W Camden St, Baltimore, MD 21201, United States
21. Antietam National Battlefield
The Battle of Antietam was one of the bloodiest days in U.S. history.
On September 17, 1862, more than 22,000 soldiers were killed, wounded or otherwise incapacitated during a fight between the Union and the Confederacy.
Their history is remembered at Antietam National Battlefield.
Located in Sharpsburg, Maryland, the Antietam National Battlefield offers several ways for people to learn more about the past.
There’s a cemetery; there’s a museum; there’s a visitor center.
You can take a self-guided drive through the various monuments and landmarks, or you can take an official, state-sponsored tour of things like a preserved field hospital and a stone arch bridge that served as a major tactical point for Civil War infantries.
The Antietam National Battlefield can be an uncomfortable place to visit when you consider all of the lives that were lost on that fateful day in 1862.
However, it’s definitely one of the major points of interest in Maryland, and it has valuable lessons to deliver to anyone who is willing to listen.
Address: 302 E Main St, Sharpsburg, MD 21782, United States
22. Flying Dog Brewery
As the largest brewery in Maryland, the Flying Dog Brewery is one of the coolest places to see for those who like their liquor.
Beer isn’t just a beverage here.
It’s an art form.
The first thing to know is that it was founded by a physicist with a degree from CalTech, so its frosty deliciousness has been calculated down to the molecule.
If you want to try its concoctions for yourself, there are tours, tasting rooms and tap houses with plenty of samples.
Another awesome thing about the brewery is its decor.
It was an old favorite of cult classic author Hunter S. Thompson, and he got his illustrator to put bright, funky designs on everything from the walls to the bottle labels.
All things considered, the Flying Dog Brewery is one of the most fun things to do in Maryland.
It’s cool; it’s vibrant; it can get you drunk in less than an hour.
What’s not to love?
Address: 4607 Wedgewood Blvd, Frederick, MD 21703, United States
23. Chaps Pit Beef
Another great place to grab a bite, Chaps Pit Beef is one of the best stops in Maryland for meat eaters.
It’s known as a “carnivore heaven” thanks to a gigantic menu filled with even more gigantic burgers, sandwiches, subs, ribs, reubens and party platters.
You’ll never go hungry here.
Each sandwich is absolutely piled with beef; if it doesn’t wobble threateningly when you pick it up, you should send it back.
Sky-high sandwiches are a staple of the establishment.
In addition to its mouthwatering menu, Chaps Pit Beef is also known for its unpretentious vibe.
It’s actually located in a strip mall!
On busy days, however, the line can snake around the building like it’s a five-star restaurant run by Gorden Ramsay himself.
Maryland might be famous for its seafood, but it can serve up a mean pile of ribs as well.
Stop by Chaps Pit Beef when you’ve worked up such an appetite that only several pounds of barbecue will do.
Address: 5801 Pulaski Highway, Baltimore, MD 21205, United States
24. American Visionary Art Museum
Dedicated to “outsider art,” the American Visionary Art Museum is one of the most unique things to do in Maryland.
Its collection has a fun, vibrant mix of art pieces from creative minds that have allowed their imaginations to take flight in a safe space.
Typical exhibitions include things like handmade robots and human-sized bird nests.
You can also find cars made out of bottle tops and balls made out of women’s bras.
Model planes hang from the ceiling; mosaic sand art decorates the walls.
Entire rooms are dedicated to “round things” or “splatter surprises.”
Tours are available from the museum staff, or you can simply wander the multi-story building with your head swiveling in every direction.
A gift shop is available, and as you might imagine, the souvenirs are just as eclectic as the exhibits.
The American Visionary Art Museum is a must see destination for art lovers in Maryland.
Not only will it stun the eye, but it’ll also delight the soul.
This is one place where you never have to be afraid of being different!
Address: 800 Key Hwy, Baltimore, MD 21230, United States
25. McKee-Beshers Wildlife Management Area
It might have a boring name, but the McKee-Beshers Wildlife Management Area is an incredible place to visit in Maryland.
It draws thousands of visitors every summer thanks to its bright, beautiful fields of sunflowers.
The main purpose of the sunflowers is to attract wildlife.
Some like the pollen; others prefer to munch on the petals or the seeds.
Others still are just visually drawn to their colors.
People can’t resist the scenery, either.
Tourists come from all over to take pictures, watch the birds or just stroll among the sunflowers while holding hands with their loved ones.
Admission is free, so you won’t have to pay anything for the privilege.
Maryland attractions can range from luxurious spas to death-defying amusement parks.
Sometimes, however, it’s nice to just chill out for awhile.
Visit the McKee-Beshers Wildlife Management Area if you’re looking for simpler, quieter kinds of vacation places.
Address: 16898-16500 River Rd, Poolesville, MD 20837, United States
26. Forest Haven Asylum
Forest Haven Asylum is one of the top places to visit in Maryland if you’re a fan of the eerie.
Originally a hospital for special needs children, it was closed several decades ago because of the abuses and deaths suffered by its residents.
Rather than tearing it down, the state simply left it to wither, and now it’s become of the creepiest locales in the area.
The walls are covered in vines.
The floors are a mess of dust and broken glass.
Many of the original furnishings remain, including chairs, desks, beds and hauntingly innocent toys.
There are even grave sites on the property.
One of them was a mass grave in the basement where bodies were disposed for years.
Entrance to the Forest Haven Asylum is technically forbidden, but it’s a popular destination for those who obsess over abandoned places, and it can be especially crowded at Halloween.
Locals can tell you all kinds of spooky stories about specific hauntings, too.
If you have a strong enough stomach to tolerate its real, horrific history, this facility will definitely be a memorable stop during your trip to Maryland.
Address: Fort Meade, MD 20755, United States
27. North Market Pop Shop
Located in Frederick, Maryland, the North Market Pop Shop is one of the most interesting places in the state.
It sells glass bottles of soda that are right out of a cheesy 1950s malt shop ad!
More than 400 flavors are available, and they range from classic root beers to fun, quirky takes on “alien snot” and “zombie brains.”
You can also find the occasional can of old, rare brands like Surge.
Their looks aren’t their only vintage aspect, however.
They’re also sweetened with sugar cane rather than artificial chemicals, so they’re a throwback in multiple senses of the word.
You can enjoy the soda on its own or pair it with ice cream for an old-fashioned soda float.
You can also order classic, American-style hot dogs if you want lunch and dessert.
Stepping into the North Market Pop Shop is like stepping into another time.
If you long for the good old days, put on your bowtie and give it a visit while you’re in Maryland!
Address: 241 N Market St, Frederick, MD 21701, United States
28. Port Discovery Children’s Museum
Are you looking for Maryland attractions that won’t cost an arm and a leg?
Consider a trip to the Port Discovery Children’s Museum.
Not only will it offer a fun, educational experience for the whole family, but with discounted rates for its littlest visitors, it’s also a budget-friendly way to entertain everyone all at once.
There are three floors to the museum, and each one is packed with nifty things to do.
Children can paint, build, climb and dig.
They can fiddle with dials; they can play with science experiments.
They can even jump into models of planes and trains!
Adults won’t be bored, either.
While the museum is admittedly geared towards K-12 students, older visitors can also entertain themselves with things like videos and art projects.
The Port Discovery Children’s Museum is one of the top places to visit in Maryland.
It’s exciting; it’s affordable; it will teach your kiddos a thing or two even as they run around and expend some of their nonstop energy.
It ticks all of the boxes as a vacation destination.
Address: 35 Market Pl, Baltimore, MD 21202, United States
29. Adventure Sports Center International
Thrill seekers, this one is for you!
Adventure Sports Center International (ASCI) will make your heart slam into your rib cage with high-octane activities that include kayaking, rafting, rappelling, rock climbing and more.
Nestled in the cliffs of one of Maryland’s largest nature reserves, ASCI is the only place in the world for mountaintop whitewater rafting.
It also has traditional activities like hiking and biking through forest trails as well as leisurely, beginner-friendly paddleboarding in the water.
You don’t have to get extreme with ASCI.
It’s just a common recommendation when outdoor enthusiasts are wondering where to go to test their limits.
Do you love challenging yourself with new extremes?
Or are you looking for awesome vacation spots in Maryland that aren’t the usual shops and restaurants?
Pack some swim shoes and hit up Adventure Sports Center International for a wild ride through nature.
Address: 250 Adventure Sports Way, McHenry, MD 21541, United States
30. Inn BoonsBoro
Its rooms are named things like “The Nick and Nora” and “The Elizabeth and Darcy.”
Can you guess the theme of the Inn BoonsBoro?
That’s right: Everything is modeled after famous literary characters.
From The Princess Bride to A Midsummer Night’s Dream, you can take your pick of classic titles to enjoy a quaint evening in an cozy, old-fashioned suite.
The neighborhood is equally charming.
Since the inn is located within the historic district of Boonsboro, you’ll be surrounded by brick sidewalks, mom-and-pop shops, vintage pharmacies and local art displays.
The Inn BoonsBoro is one of the best places to visit in Maryland.
Not only is it supremely comfortable, but it’s so utterly unique that you won’t find another place like it anywhere else in the state.
If you want an awesome vacation story to tell your friends when you get home, this is the place to get it!
Address: 1 N Main St, Boonsboro, MD 21713, United States
31. Rod ‘N’ Reel Resort
Pamper yourself with a trip to the Rod ‘N’ Reel Resort.
It’s an all-inclusive resort that has bars, restaurants, pools, saunas, game rooms and more, so you won’t even have to leave the premises to have fun!
Since it’s located on Chesapeake Bay, everything has a waterfront view.
Whether you’re getting a manicure or digging into a porterhouse steak, you can do it while surrounded by beautiful, breathtaking coasts.
If you want to go outside and actually see the coasts for yourself, that’s an option as well.
The resort has a private marina where you can fish, boat, sail or sing up for a cruise.
Last but not least, don’t forget about the accommodations!
The Rod ‘N’ Reel Resort has some of the best suites in Maryland, so they’ll be perfect for vacations, weddings, honeymoons, corporate events and more.
Just make sure to call early.
It’s a popular resort that can have a long waiting list during peak tourist times.
Address: 4160 Mears Ave, Chesapeake Beach, MD 20732, United States
32. Sun and Surf Cinema
Maryland is no stranger to movie theaters.
There are hundreds scattered across the state, and they range from old-fashioned drive-ins to sleek and futuristic multiplexes with surround sound and 3D screens.
Sun and Surf Cinema is an example of the former.
It shows modern movies, but its vibe is distinctly retro.
The seats are crinkled red leather; the popcorn buckets are soaked with butter.
They sneak a few modern conveniences into the viewing experience, including button-controlled reclining seats, but vintage is definitely the name of the game here.
You’ll also find lots of special events on their calendar.
A common one is outdoor movies projected in the parking lot, but there are plenty of others as well!
Movie theaters are a staple of Maryland attractions, and you’ll have plenty of options if you decide to catch a flick while you’re in town.
If you’re looking for the absolute best of the best, however, you’ll want the Sun and Surf Cinema.
Its atmosphere just can’t be beaten.
Address: 14301 Coastal Hwy, Ocean City, MD 21842, United States
33. George Peabody Library
Considered one of the most beautiful libraries in the world, the George Peabody Library is the kind of place that will turn you into a reader even if you aren’t one already.
It’s impossible not to gawk at its glossy white-and-gold architecture, and with more than 300,000 books, reels, scrolls and newspapers in its collection, you’ll have your pick of reading material.
Do you like animals?
Check out some of the old, sepia-toned anatomy prints from 18th and 19th century zoologists.
Are you interested in other places and cultures?
Dive into biographies of Korean emperors or documentaries about Kenya’s religions.
When you need a break from the books, just wander around the library for awhile.
It has multiple stories with wrought-iron railings and frosted glass windows that rise up to a stunning, cathedral-style atrium.
It really is one of the best places in the state for book lovers.
Put on your reading glasses and visit the George Peabody Library.
It’s second to none in terms of Maryland destinations, and it’ll offer beauty, history and wisdom all in a single location.
Address: 17 E Mt Vernon Pl, Baltimore, MD 21202, United States
34. Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge
If you’re thinking about where to visit in Maryland to “get away from it all,” you’ll want to put on your hiking boots and enter the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge.
Not only does it boast a beautifully remote landscape that’s free of phones, televisions and radio towers, but it’s also home to dozens of native wildlife species.
Birds migrate across the marshes.
Bucks dash through the forests.
If luck is on your side, you might even catch a glimpse of the Delmarva fox squirrel, a rare creature that was only recently removed from the endangered species list.
Other activities at the refuge include fishing, hiking, cycling, boating and even hunting.
If you’re traveling with younguns, the visitor center has lots of kid-friendly events like puppet shows and archery lessons.
If you’re handy with a camera, there are guided tours of the best photography spots.
At the end of the day, however, the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge isn’t one of those busy vacation spots where things are always happening.
It’s a quiet, tranquil kind of place where you go to escape the noise of the big cities.
That’s why it’s called a refuge.
Address: 2185 T Wallace Drive Route 1, Cambridge, MD 21613, United States
35. Crystal Grottoes Caverns
What comes to mind when you think about Maryland?
The answer probably isn’t “caves,” but the Crystal Grottoes Caverns will be an awesome experience all the same.
Filled with stalactite, stalagmite, helectite and calcite, these caverns are an example of stunningly complex natural worlds.
It’s actually said that they have more cave formations per square foot than any other cave in the world.
Visitors can take a tour of its thick-packed red mud walls by descending into its depths with a supervised guide.
For safety reasons, you’ll only be able to explore a portion of the cavern, but you’ll definitely get your money’s worth.
The tunnels are completely covered with geological formations.
Visit the Crystal Grottoes Caverns if you aren’t afraid of heading underground for a little fun.
One of the top places to visit in Maryland is actually at the bottom!
Address: 19821 Shepherdstown Pike, Boonsboro, MD 21713, United States
36. Chesapeake and Ohio Canal
Do you like sun-dappled bike paths through shaded tree groves?
Have you ever wandered around the locks and levels of a gigantic stone aqueduct?
With the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, you can experience the huge, sweeping scale of a European backpacking trip without the fuss of traveling abroad.
It covers more than 184 miles through Maryland and Virginia, and it comes a hair’s breadth within Pennsylvania as well, so it’s ideal for travelers who like scenic places in ever-changing landscapes.
The most common way to enjoy the sights is to take a road trip through its houses, parks, bridges, tunnels and canal ports.
However, you can also bike or backpack it to explore its many points of interest at your leisure.
On foot, it’ll take about five days to complete the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal trail.
Make sure to plan your trip accordingly.
You might be able to start it this weekend, but finishing it will be another story!
Address: 205 W Potomac St, Derwood, MD 21795, United States
37. Sugarloaf Mountain
Escape the smog of the big cities with a deep lungful of fresh air.
Located in the countryside of Dickerson, Maryland, Sugarloaf Mountain is a wonderful way to get away from it all and rest your weary soul in a beautiful, natural landscape.
Like its name, Sugarloaf Mountain is quite sweet.
You can hike, bike and climb it, and since the weather is mild and the trails are easy, you can be a complete beginner and still have a good time.
If you can make it to the top, the sunrises and sunrises are absolutely stunning with their panoramic views of Maryland’s wilderness.
If you can’t make it that high, however, you can still appreciate the sights and sounds of nature in a picturesque location.
Sugarloaf Mountain is one of the nicest vacation spots in Maryland.
Whether you’re a newbie hiker or an experienced backpacker, it’ll serve as a relaxing, rejuvenating getaway destination.
Address: 7901 Comus Rd, Dickerson, MD 20842, United States
38. Harris Crab House
Located in a little town called Grasonville, the Harris Crab House offers an all-you-can-eat version of Maryland’s most famous menu item.
You can enjoy everything from crab legs to crab cakes piled high on platters that never stop coming!
In addition to “traditional” dishes like steamed crabs served with butter, you can also try experimental things like deep-fried crab nuggets or crab stews flavored with sherry sauce.
When you can’t eat another bite of crab, consider trying the other seafood options on the menu, including oyster, lobster, clam, shrimp, tuna, flounder and alligator.
Everything is freshly caught right off the Chesapeake Bay, so you’ll be getting the best of the best in terms of quality.
Another nice thing about the restaurant is that it offers live music on Fridays and Saturdays, so you can enjoy your meal in the outdoor pavilion with good tunes and great views of the water.
Are you wondering what to do during a trip to Maryland this weekend?
The Harris Crab House is always open, and it’s a fun, casual place that doesn’t require any reservations.
Just hit it up when you’re hungry to eat your weight in crabs!
Address: 433 Kent Narrow Way N, Grasonville, MD 21638, United States
39. Winterbrook Farm
You might not think of farms as exciting places.
Winterbrook Farm, however, will shatter your expectations.
It offers dozens of games, events and activities for any family that can find it in the rolling hills of Thurmont, Maryland!
Attractions include sunflower fields, pumpkin patches, hay rides, corn mazes and apple cannons.
There’s a petting zoo for barnyard animals during the day; there’s a collection of metal bonfire cans for roasting smores at night.
There’s even a zipline at Winterbrook Farm.
It’s small and kid-friendly, so there are none of the usual risks of a high-flying zipline, and it will let your little ones do something fun and different during their vacation.
If you’re looking for tourist attractions in Maryland that are clean, modest, wholesome and fun for the whole family, you might want to check out Winterbrook Farm.
It’s a lovely destination with a lot to offer to travelers of all kinds.
Address: 13001 Creagerstown Rd, Thurmont, MD 21788, United States
40. Ghost Fleet of Mallows Bay
You don’t have to wait for Halloween to experience thrills and chills in Maryland.
The “Ghost Fleet” of Mallows Bay will be a delightfully spooky visit to one of the state’s most eerie destinations!
It originally existed as a fleet of wooden steamships that were built for WWI.
They were abandoned after a transfer of ownership, however, and left to rot in the water sometime in the 1920s.
They were also joined by the occasional shipwrecked or storm-tossed vessel that happened to drift into the bay.
Today, the remains of more than 100 ships are floating in the Ghost Fleet of Mallows Bay.
The best time to view them is during spooky mists at night, but they’re also a sight to behold during the day.
The Ghost Fleet of Mallows Bay is one of the top things to see in Maryland.
Part spooky and part historical, it’ll tick off several boxes for cool, unique tourist places!
Address: Wilson Landing Road, Nanjemoy, MD 20662, United States
41. Paw Paw Tunnel
If you’re planning a last-minute trip to Maryland, the Paw Paw Tunnel can be something quick and easy to put on your itinerary.
It doesn’t have any admission fees, and it’s never crowded with tourists.
In fact, some consider it a hidden gem since it isn’t well-known outside of its region.
What is the Paw Paw Tunnel?
Simply put, it’s a long, brick-covered tunnel that was originally built in 1836.
It has a colorful history due to delays and complications in its construction, and it was officially abandoned in 1924.
It stretches for more than a half-mile in complete darkness.
Today, the Paw Paw Tunnel is a tourist attraction for explorers, nature lovers, history buffs and anyone else who likes cool and unique vacation destinations.
It can be one of the most fun things to do in Maryland if you’re into historic landmarks.
Just make sure that you aren’t afraid of the dark!
Address: Towpath, Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, Oldtown, MD 21555, United States
42. Arundel Mills
Arundel Mills covers almost two million square feet.
It’s easily the biggest mall in Maryland, and it offers a lot more than just stores.
From a gigantic movie theater to a casino-connected hotel, it’s filled with fun tourist attractions that will keep you busy during your vacation.
Is your money burning a hole in your pocket?
Shop at stores, stalls, boutiques, kiosks and marketplaces.
Are you hungry?
Hit up the multi-ethnic food court with flavors from all around the world.
Teens can play in the arcade.
Kids can bounce on play structures.
Visitors of all ages can see a movie, attend a concert or have dinner at a medieval-themed restaurant.
Arundel Mills is one of the most fun places to visit in Maryland.
It’s a shopping mecca, of course, but it’s also a genuinely exciting destination for other types of entertainment.
Your wallet might cry, but your kids won’t!
Address: 7000 Arundel Mills Cir, Hanover, MD 21076, United States
43. Swallow Falls State Park
As you’ve already seen from this list, Maryland has plenty of waterfalls.
You might look at a place like Swallow Falls State Park and ask, “Okay, but what makes this destination any different from the rest?”
For starters, it has the tallest free-falling waterfall in Maryland.
Muddy Creek Falls rises like a tower into the air, and it gushes onto the rocks below with a pretty spray that belies its name.
It’s especially beautiful in the wintertime when it starts freezing and forming icicles.
Another fun feature of the park is its hemlock trees.
They’re part of an “old growth forest” that dates back more than 300 years, and some people say that the hemlock is the last of its kind in the state.
For these reasons and more, Swallow Falls State Park is one of the top 10 things to see in Maryland.
It’s naturally gorgeous and historically significant, so if you have “visit a waterfall” on your bucket list, consider checking it off right here.
Address: 2470 Maple Glade Rd, Oakland, MD 21550, United States
44. The Book Thing of Baltimore
Are you looking for free attractions in Maryland?
You’ll love the Book Thing of Baltimore.
It’s a quirky and kitschy bookshop, but unlike others of its kind, it’s free!
That’s right: You don’t have to pay a dime for any of the books at this bookshop.
It’s more of a giveaway destination than a traditional retailer.
The only rule is that you can’t resell the books once you’ve taken them, so everything gets stamped “not for resale” before you go.
You might be wondering how Book Thing operates since it doesn’t make any profit.
The answer is volunteers, donations, fundraisers and other charitable efforts.
The official mission of Book Thing is to deliver books to anyone and everyone who wants to read, including underprivileged folks who might not have the resources to buy books otherwise.
The Book Thing of Baltimore is amazing for a multitude of reasons, but one of its best qualities is the fact that you can have fun without blowing through your budget.
Maryland isn’t always the cheapest vacation destination, but with free attractions like these, you can save money, support a good cause and have a blast!
Address: 3001 Vineyard Ln, Baltimore, MD 21218, United States
45. Spruce Forest Artisan Village
There’s no shortage of beautiful places in Maryland, but if you’re looking for something a little different than usual, you might enjoy the Spruce Forest Artisan Village.
Built around the National Road, a historic piece of Maryland that greatly helped its westward expansion during the colonial era, the Spruce Forest Artisan Village is a collection of cabins, churches, taverns, mills and one-room schoolhouses.
Some are original structures that have been carefully preserved over the years; others are replicas and recreations that are designed to take you back in time.
Activities at the village include everything from guided tours to art shows.
There’s Shakespeare in the Park in the summer; there’s Christmas in the Village in the winter.
If you’re wondering what to see in Maryland that’s a bit off the beaten path, consider a leisurely afternoon at Spruce Forest Artisan Village.
Whether you’re interested in homemade jams or outdoor fiddling concerts, it can provide lots of good old-fashioned fun.
Address: 177 Casselman Rd, Grantsville, MD 21536, United States
46. Iron Rooster
The Iron Rooster is the place to go for a hearty breakfast in Maryland.
It specializes in gigantic, fun filled “RoosTarts” that are basically PopTarts on steroids, but you can dig a fork into many other dishes as well, including omelettes, pancakes, pastries, breakfast burritos and chicken and waffles.
The atmosphere is casual.
A bright red awning will beckon you from the gray, dreary streets, and a cheerful server will greet you as soon as you walk in the door.
The Iron Rooster is known for its hospitality just as much as its menu.
Its headquarters is in Annapolis, but there are also locations in Canton, Hunt Valley and Locust Point.
Basically, if you’re in Maryland, you’re never that far from a gigantic plate piled high with strawberry-filled, sugar-topped breakfast churros.
You just have to find the nearest Iron Rooster.
Address: 12 Market Space, Annapolis, MD 21401, United States
47. Washington County Museum of Fine Arts
The Washington County Museum of Fine Arts is one of the best Maryland attractions for folks on a budget.
Though it welcomes donations, it doesn’t charge entrance fees for visitors of any age, so the whole family can enjoy an afternoon excursion without paying a dime.
The works of many painters, photographers, sculptors, illustrators and printmakers are displayed here, including famous names like Benjamin West and Thomas Sully.
The materials of their work range from rusted metal to intricate hand-blown glass.
The museum itself is relatively small, but what it lacks in size, it employs in style.
Its classic architecture pairs beautifully with its flower-filled landscape in a county park.
Do you want to enjoy a little culture during your trip to Maryland?
Stop by the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts.
It’s a top destination for art lovers, and with free admission, it’ll be an affordable one as well.
Address: 401 Museum Dr, Hagerstown, MD 21740, United States
The travel guides of Maryland are filled with the state’s most popular tourist attractions.
But what if you’re looking for places to go that aren’t crowded with people wearing fanny packs and rubbing sunscreen on their noses?
What if you prefer destinations that are a little off the beaten path?
Bazaar is an oddity shop in Baltimore that definitely lives up to its name.
Offering a strange but compelling mix of goodies, it’s a place where the shelves are crammed with things like skulls, masks, specimens, spell books, anatomical models, star charts and taxidermy animals.
To add to the chaos, the shelves aren’t always organized, so you’ll need to go diving into the piles to see the full range of items on display.
Whether you’re looking for necklaces made out of cat bones or terrariums filled with rare, dangerous plants, Bazaar is definitely a marketplace like none other.
It’s one of the best places to go if you’re a fan of the unusual.
Address: 3534 Chestnut Ave, Baltimore, MD 21211, United States
49. Huntley Meadows Park
Animal lovers, you won’t want to miss Huntley Meadows Park.
Its lush landscape includes everything from dry forests to swampy wetlands, and as a result of its biodiversity, it attracts huge amounts of wildlife.
Birds sing in the trees.
Bucks dart among the shrubs.
Beavers construct dams in the creeks and rivers.
Basically, if it runs, swims, crawls or flies, you can probably find it at Huntley Meadows Park.
While there are other outdoor activities to be enjoyed at the park, the wildlife is definitely the main draw.
You’ll be able to observe Maryland’s critters in fully natural habitats to your heart’s content.
Who needs a zoo when you have Huntley Meadows Park?
Address: 3701 Lockheed Blvd, Alexandria, VA 22306, United States
50. Vanadu Art House
Located in Hyattsville, Maryland, the Vanadu Art House is a “junk house” where the exterior walls are covered in locks, keys, wheels, watches and other forms of scrap metal.
It isn’t a scrapyard, however. It’s a living art piece!
Built by a museum curator with a flair for the artistic, the Vanadu Art House is an eye-popping destination that has to be seen to be believed.
It’s decorated with nothing but old, recycled junk, but the pieces come together in such a compellingly intricate way that you can’t help but admire their design.
In terms of Maryland destinations, the Vanadu Art House is utterly unique.
You won’t find it anywhere else because it was hand-crafted by a single artist with a vision.
If you’re looking for cool and unusual things to do while you’re in Maryland, drive by the Vanadu Art House.
Address: 3810 Nicholson St, Hyattsville, MD 20782, United States
51. Thomas Point Shoal Light
As a coastal state, Maryland has its fair share of lighthouses.
They range from old-fashioned landmarks to newer models with modern tools and technology.
One of the most prominent lighthouses is the Thomas Point Shoal Light.
Originally built in 1825, it was made with a stone tower, wooden cottage and various important architectural elements like a light and built-in foghorn.
The lighthouse is still in use today, and you can take a tour if you’re interested in its construction or operation.
You don’t have to be a history buff to appreciate its legacy.
It stands tall as one of Maryland’s oldest and most significant monuments to its coastal heritage, and it’ll be a great spot for your vacation bucket list.
It’s even been designated on the National Register of Historic Places, so it truly lives up to its reputation as a state landmark!
52. Edgar Allan Poe House and Museum
Quoth the raven: Have you ever been to the Edgar Allan Poe House and Museum?
Home to the former writer, this historic house has been a fixture of Baltimore, Maryland, since 1830.
It was owned by the Poe family and handed down through the generations.
It’s said that its most famous resident wrote several notable works within its walls, including Berenice, Morella and The Unparalleled Adventure of One Hans Pfaall.
Weekly tours are available if you’d like to step inside of the house and see where one of the world’s greatest poets got his inspiration.
Just be warned that some spooky things have been uncovered here, including skeleton remains under the living room floorboards.
It seems as though The Tell-Tale Heart isn’t just a story when it comes to the Edgar Allan Poe House and Museum.
Address: 203 N Amity St, Baltimore, MD 21223, United States
Last but certainly not least, if you’d like to see the best of Maryland, Bethesda is one of the premiere destinations of the state.
Located just a few miles north of Washington, DC, it’s a lovely, peaceful place where you can make good vacation memories in a low-key environment.
As befitting the affluent nature of the neighborhood, there are lots of upscale shopping and dining opportunities downtown.
There are also parks, cinemas, museums, art galleries and country clubs.
Since the city is considered a hot spot for politics, you’ll find many government buildings as well.
You might even run into some familiar faces out and about!
Consider a trip to Bethesda if you’ll be traveling to Maryland soon.
Not only is it a worthwhile destination in its own right, but since it’s located so close to Washington, DC, you can basically get a two-for-one vacation from both places!
Start Planning Your Trip To Maryland
These are just a few of the most fun things to do in Maryland.
It might be a small state, but don’t let its size fool you!
It’s packed with cool and unique tourist attractions, and with any luck, they’ll create a once-in-a-lifetime vacation experience for you.