Looking for a little history and a fun roadtrip!
April 24, 2009 7:49 AM   Subscribe

Suggestions for interesting daytrips from Baltimore (other than DC?)

Having my first summer free since moving to Baltimore, I'm searching for interesting daytrips or overnights that can be had via car or train, in any direction. I've not experienced anything south of Maryland, but honestly anything with a bit of history, nature or whatever is fine by me. All suggestions welcome, and favorite restaurants, shops, attractions within specific cities as well. Thanks!
posted by Asherah to Travel & Transportation around Baltimore, MD (20 answers total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
head up north to catoctin mountains, you can do cunningham falls state park, swim in the falls, great pictures.
Also, you can hike on the Appilacian Trail, hike to annapolis rock, great site.
While up there, you can lunch in Frederick, or head a little more north to gettysburg where there is food, outlet shopping and more fun.

Heading South, try a trip to williamsburg, va. Lots of history, and lots of shopping. Also, some good B&B's there.
posted by fozzie33 at 7:53 AM on April 24, 2009

Have you done Harpers Ferry in West Virginia? It's about an hour and half straight west of Baltimore. It's a really fun place for a weekend--pick one of the bed and breakfasts in or near town, then spend one day wandering around the little (cute) town and looking at all the historical sites or doing a hike (lots of great hiking around there), then the next day tubing down the river.

I'd recommend going for a weekend when it's not too unbearably hot--June rather than August, in other words. I love hiking but August was a bit too much to bear; it would have been much more pleasant if it had been 10 degrees cooler. Of course, hotter is better for tubing, so I guess YMMV depending on what sounds fun.
posted by iminurmefi at 7:55 AM on April 24, 2009

Some say the Narrows in Kent Island makes the best crab cake in the state. I can attest that it's great, though I'm not connoisseur enough to make a strong claim that it rises above Faidley's in Lexington Market. If you like the Orioles, you can see the Orioles of the future at Bowie or Frederick. When I was growing up in Maryland, people always went to Chincoteague Island to see the wild ponies.
posted by escabeche at 7:59 AM on April 24, 2009 [1 favorite]

I highly recommend going to Mount Vernon in Virginia to see George Washington's home. It's about an hour, hour and a half from Baltimore depending on traffic. I went there a couple of times when I was living in Laurel, MD and I really enjoyed it.
posted by Kimberly at 8:07 AM on April 24, 2009

Annapolis is fun - there's a few historical homes to tour and some pretty good walking tours. We went on a ghost tour where the tour after ours had a sighting.

If you like the Civil War, you're in a good place. You've got Gettysburg to the north and Antietam to west.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 8:13 AM on April 24, 2009

Ellicot City is a nice place to walk aroun that's nearby. Further afield, I highly recommend the Antietam Battlefield in Sharpsburg, because it's a horrible, tragic, blood-soaked part of American history, but also it's full of big freaking fields to run around and fly kites in.
posted by Dr.Enormous at 8:14 AM on April 24, 2009

Breezy Point on the Western Shore (of the Chesapeake) is a great place to grill/picnic and search for sharks teeth, whale teeth, and the like. The water itself is pretty jelly fishy as I remember, but otherwise it's a very nice little beach.

If you've never looked for teeth before, basically you just sift through the band of detrius that's washed up 20' from the water line and look for tiny little teeth-like triangles (sharks) and flat dark rectangles with ridged edges (whales). Google Images can help out a wee bit, too.
posted by cowbellemoo at 8:15 AM on April 24, 2009

As part of your Harpers Ferry trip, or as a weekend away, you should spend a day or two in Berkeley Springs.
posted by arco at 8:34 AM on April 24, 2009

Agreeing on Chincoteague, Harper's Ferry and Catoctin State Park. If the history stuff is interesting, Gettysburg is also pretty close (1.5 hrs.).

And, of course, on preview, each of these popped up. Well, nthing them, then.
posted by el_lupino at 8:46 AM on April 24, 2009

Deep Creek Lake.
posted by wowbobwow at 8:48 AM on April 24, 2009

If you are into Civil War history Fredericksburg VA will keep you busy for a long weekend at least.
posted by COD at 9:02 AM on April 24, 2009

Heartily agree with Chincoteague, VA.

You could drive to Crisfield, MD (a href="http://www.crisfield.com/">seafood capital of the world, if you're into that sort of thing) and take a ferry to Tangier Island, VA, for the day. Definitely one of the most unique towns in the US. (There are also ferries from Crisfield to Smith Island, MD, known for its cakes and its cats.)

If you feel like heading north, you could head to Lancaster, PA, home of outlet shopping, historic sites, and the Amish.
posted by LolaGeek at 9:29 AM on April 24, 2009

Uh, Crisfield would be the seafood capital of the world, sorry...
posted by LolaGeek at 9:30 AM on April 24, 2009

Harper's Ferry, for sure, but also Shenandoah National Park.
posted by soelo at 9:36 AM on April 24, 2009

You can get to Harper's Ferry by MARC, and there is a good hostel there.

I've been planning to go to Spa World when I have access to a car.

I like taking my dog to Fort Howard Park. It is out in the County, east of the city, free and has old gun emplacements and stuff to wander around, as well as great views and a picnic area.
posted by QIbHom at 9:45 AM on April 24, 2009

Another vote for Gettysburg! Although, I hear the took out the cool floor diorama. It is a beautiful site, the monuments are very interesting and the history is very present.

Amish country is also beautiful and they have wonderful crafts and food for sale.

There is also Philly, the Delmarva peninsula (Dewey Beach in particular, although it might still be a bit chilly), Ocean City (again with the chilly), Chincoteague, Williamsburg in Virginia and many sites in West Virginia.

I can also recommend Ellicott City having grown up down the way a bit. Definitely go up into the hills to see the great old mill houses and architecture.

The great thing about Baltimore is that you can venture out in just about every direction and find something very interesting.
posted by Leezie at 9:56 AM on April 24, 2009

Head south to Solomons Island, St. Mary's City and Point Lookout.
posted by Confess, Fletch at 10:07 AM on April 24, 2009

The bridge/tunnel is worth a trip.

You could also eat your way down the eastern shore of the Bay from the more upscale St. Michaels and Oxford to the more working-class Cambridge and beyond...
posted by Pollomacho at 12:04 PM on April 24, 2009 [1 favorite]

Several people have said Chincoteague, but Assategue is also pretty cool, is uninhabited by humans, and has ponies.
posted by dilettante at 2:14 PM on April 24, 2009

Grew up in Maryland, here's a few nearby places I enjoyed:

- Rehoboth Beach nicer than OC in my opinion
- Second the suggestion for Shenandoah National Park, see the Luray Caverns while you're there.
- Annapolis is my hometown, the down town area is lovely! Lots of great shops, historic sites, and food. There is a boat show some time in the summer.
- I haven't been since I was a child, but I really enjoyed Calvert Cliffs
- Assateague is awesome, just watch the horse flies!
posted by finitejest at 3:32 PM on April 24, 2009

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