Maryland destinations, parks and attractions
Are you going on a road trip to Maryland, looking for tips about the destinations so you and your party can enjoy it, be comfortable and not spend a fortune?
Here are some of the top destinations in Maryland and tips about visiting them
National parks and monuments in Maryland
- Antietam National Battlefield,
23,000 soldiers were killed, wounded or missing after twelve hours of savage combat on September 17, 1862. The Battle of Antietam ended the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia's first invasion into the North and led Abraham Lincoln to issue the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation.
- Appalachian National Scenic Trail,
Maine to Georgia, CT,GA,MA,MD,ME,NC,NH,NJ,NY,PA,TN,VA,VT,WV.
The Appalachian Trail is a 2,180+ mile long public footpath that traverses the scenic, wooded, pastoral, wild, and culturally resonant lands of the Appalachian Mountains. Conceived in 1921, built by private citizens, and completed in 1937, today the trail is managed by the National Park Service, US Forest Service, Appalachian Trail Conservancy, numerous state agencies and thousands of volunteers.
- Assateague Island National Seashore,
Want to live on the edge? Visit a place recreated each day by ocean wind and waves. Life on Assateague Island has adapted to an existence on the move. Explore sandy beaches, salt marshes, maritime forests and coastal bays. Rest, relax, recreate and enjoy some time on the edge of the continent.
- Baltimore-Washington National Parkway, Washington D.C. and Baltimore, Maryland, MD.
This 29-mile highway connects Baltimore, MD and Washington, D.C. The parkway has carried visitors to and from the capital city since 1954.
- Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail,
Various States VA,MD,DE,DC,PA,NY.
People first arrived in the Chesapeake Bay during the last ice age. As glaciers melted, diverse societies learned to thrive in a world of water. When Englishman Captain John Smith explored the Bay in 1608, he documented hundreds of American Indian communities. Today, sites on his map are archeological treasures and sacred sites for tribal citizens. Come join us on the shores of the Chesapeake Bay!
- Catoctin Mountain National Park,
President Franklin D. Roosevelt created programs to give people a chance to rebuild their lives from the Great Depression. The Works Progress Administration and the Civilian Conservation Corps gave this land a second opportunity and through re-growth, a new role as a recreation area.
Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historic Park, Potomac River, DC,MD,WV.
Preserving America's early transportation history, the C&O Canal began as a dream of passage to Western wealth. Operating for nearly 100 years the canal was a lifeline for communities along the Potomac River as coal, lumber, and agricultural products floated down the waterway to market. Today it endures as a pathway for discovering historical, natural, and recreational treasures.
- Chesapeake Bay ,
Chesapeake Bay Watershed, DC,DE,MD,NY,PA,VA,WV.
NPS helps you learn about and enjoy the Chesapeake Bay, the largest estuary in North America. Here, you can visit major league cities, colonial towns, American Indian landscapes, farms and fishing villages. You can learn to kayak, pick crabs, go fishing, tour a lighthouse, slurp oysters, and slow down to enjoy the natural beauty of the Chesapeake.
- Civil War Defenses of Washington, Washington, DC,MD,VA.
On forested hills surrounding the nation's capital are the remnants of a complex system of Civil War fortifications. These strategic buttresses transformed the young capital into one of the world's most fortified cities. By 1865, 68 forts and 93 batteries armed with over 800 cannons encircled Washington, DC. Today, you can visit 17 of the original sites now managed by the National Park Service.
- Clara Barton National Historic Site,
Glen Echo , MD.
Clara Barton dedicated her life and energies to help others in times of need - both home and abroad, in peacetime as well as during military emergencies. Glen Echo was her home the last 15 years of her life and the structure illustrates her dedication and concern for those less fortunate than herself.
- Fort Foote National Park,
Oxon Hill, MD.
Fort Foote was constructed in 1863 atop Rozier's Bluff to strengthen the ring of fortifications that encircled Washington, D.C. Two of the Guns that protected Washington are still there along with the remains of the fort's earthworks.
- Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine,
by the dawn's early light, a large red, white and blue banner? Whose broad stripes and bright stars... were so gallantly streaming...over Fort McHenry! The valiant defense of the fort during the Battle of Baltimore on September 13-14, 1814 inspired Francis Scott Key to write the words that became the U.S. national anthem. The fort's history holds many other stories too, from the Civil War to WWII.
- Fort Washington National Park,
Fort Washington, MD.
Built to defend the river approach to Washington, DC, Fort Washington has stood as silent sentry for over 200 years. As technologies advanced so did Fort Washington, from the brick and stone of the 19th century to the concrete and steel of the 20th century. Joining the National Park Service in 1946, the park continues to protect the Potomac River.
- George Washington Memorial Parkway,
The George Washington Memorial Parkway was designed for recreational driving. It links sites that commemorate important episodes in American history and preserve habitat for local wildlife. The parkway and its associated trails provide a scenic place to play and rest in the busy Washington, DC metropolitan area.
- Glen Echo National Park,
Glen Echo, MD.
Glen Echo Park began in 1891 as a National Chautauqua Assembly "to promote liberal and practical education." By 1911, it transformed into DC's premier amusement park until it closed in 1968. Since 1971, the National Park Service has owned and operated the site and today, with the help of the Glen Echo Park Partnership for Arts and Culture, offers year-round cultural and recreational activities.
- Greenbelt National Park,
Greenbelt Park is located in suburban Greenbelt, Maryland. Visit to enjoy affordable camping, peaceful surroundings and National Park Service hospitality. Greenbelt Park has a 174 site campground, nine miles of trails and three picnic areas.
- Hampton National Historic Site,
Once possibly the largest private home in America by 1790, the Hampton mansion serves as a grand example of late-Georgian architecture in America. Hampton is also the story of its people, as the estate evolved through the actions of the Ridgely family, enslaved African Americans, European indentured servants, and paid laborers within a nation struggling to define its own concept of freedom.
- Harmony Hall, Prince George's County, MD.
The 18th century Harmony Hall mansion is located on a 62.5-acre open pasture land estate along the Potomac River. This estate was purchased by the National Park Service in 1966, to preserve southern Maryland cultural heritage. Surrounded by a rich landscape, it offers visitors many chances to connect with Colonial History. The park also home to the remains of the Want Water House and canal.
- Harpers Ferry National Historic Park,
Harpers Ferry, WV,VA,MD.
A visit to this quaint, historic community, at the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers, is like stepping into the past. Stroll the picturesque streets, visit exhibits and museums, or hike our trails and battlefields. Spend a day or a weekend. We have something for everyone, so come and discover Harpers Ferry!
- Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historic Park,
Harriet Tubman was a deeply spiritual woman who lived her ideals and dedicated her life to freedom. She is the Underground Railroad’s best known conductor and before the Civil War repeatedly risked her life to guide 70 enslaved people north to new lives of freedom. This new national historical park preserves the same landscapes that Tubman used to carry herself and others away from slavery.
- Monocacy National Battlefield,
During the summer of 1864, the Confederacy carried out a bold plan to turn the tide of the Civil War in their favor. They planned to capture Washington, DC and influence the election of 1864. On July 9, however, Federal soldiers outnumbered three to one, fought gallantly along the banks of the Monocacy River in an effort to buy time for Union reinforcement to arrive in Washington, DC.
Oxon Cove Park and Oxon Hill Farm, Oxon Hill, MD.
The diverse history of Maryland and our national heritage can be experienced at Oxon Cove Park. Through hands-on programs and other activities, you can experience farm life and how its changed over time. Explore how the park evolved from a plantation home during the War of 1812, to a hospital farm, to the park you can visit today.
- Piscataway National Park,
Piscataway Park is home to bald eagles, beavers, deer, foxes, ospreys, and many other species. To complement the surroundings, the park has, in addition to a public fishing pier and two boardwalks over fresh water tidal wetlands, a variety of nature trails, meadows, and woodland areas. The Park is also home to National Colonial Farm.
- Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail,
the corridor between the Chesapeake Bay and the Allegheny Highlands, DC,MD,PA,VA.
Over thousands of years, the Potomac River wound its way through layers of rock. Carving limestone cliffs, roaring falls, and serene winding bends, these waters created a landscape and shaped a nation. Today, the Potomac River corridor is rich in both history and recreation. Offering a chance to both explore your heritage and choose your adventure along the way. Start your journey below!
- Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail, DC,MD,VA.
For three years the young United States was embroiled in the War of 1812 and the Chesapeake Bay region felt the brunt of it, choked by shipping blockades and ravaged by enemy raids. Through sites and landscapes in Virginia, the District of Columbia, and Maryland, the Trail tells the stories of the events, people, and places that led to the birth of the U.S. national anthem.
- Thomas Stone National Historic Site,
Port Tobacco, MD.
Choosing revolution, as Thomas Stone and many others eventually did, was not an easy or inevitable decision for most American colonists. The outcome of a war with England was far from certain and regardless of who won, the lives of the colonists would never be the same. With safety, security, family and fortune at stake, courage and personal sacrifice were tested no matter what side was chosen.
- Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route National Historic Trail, MA,RI,CT,NY,NJ,PA,DE,MD,VA,DC.
In 1781, General Rochambeau’s French Army joined forces with General Washington’s Continental Army to fight the British Army in Yorktown, Virginia. With the French Navy in support, the allied armies moved hundreds of miles to become the largest troop movement of the American Revolution. The effort and cooperation between the two sides led to a victory at Yorktown and secured American independence.
Maryland State parks and historic sites
- Appalachian Trail - The Appalachian Trail is a footpath across 2,168 miles of Appalachian Mountain ridgelines from Georgia to Maine. Almost 40 miles of the A.T., as it is affectionately known, cross Maryland - most of which follow the ridgeline of South Mountain.
- Assateague State Park
- Big Run State Park
- Bill Burton Fishing Pier State Park
- Bohemia River State Park
- Calvert Cliffs State Park
- Casselman River Bridge State Park
- Cedarville State Forest
- Chapel Point State Park
- Chapman State Park
- Cunningham Falls State Park
- Dans Mountain State Park
- Deep Creek Lake Natural Resource Management Area
- Deep Creek Lake State Park
- Elk Neck State Park
- Fair Hill Natural Resources Management Area
- Fort Frederick State Park
- Franklin Point State Park
- Gambrill State Park
- Gathland State Park
- Greenbrier State Park
- Greenwell State Park
- Gunpowder Falls State Park
- Hallowing Point Waterfront Park
- Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad State Park
- Hart-Miller Island State Park
- Helen Avalynne Tawes Garden
- Herrington Manor State Park
- Janes Island State Park
- Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum (Managed by Maryland Department of Planning)
- Martinak State Park
- Merkle Natural Resources Management Area
- Monocacy Natural Resources Management Area
- Morgan Run Natural Environment Area
- New Germany State Park
- Newtowne Neck State Park
- North Point State Battlefield
- North Point State Park
- Palmer State Park
- Patapsco Valley State Park
- Patuxent River State Park
- Pocomoke River State Park
- Point Lookout State Park
- Rocks State Park
- Rocky Gap State Park
- Rosaryville State Park
- Sandy Point State Park
- Sang Run State Park
- Sassafras Natural Resources Management Area
- Seneca Creek State Park
- Smallwood State Park
- Soldier's Delight Natural Environment Area
- South Mountain Battlefield
- South Mountain State Park
- St. Clement's Island State Park
- St. Mary's River State Park
- Susquehanna State Park
- Swallow Falls State Park
- Torrey C. Brown Rail Trail
- Tuckahoe State Park
- Washington Monument State Park
- Western Maryland Rail Trail
- Wolf Den Run State Park
- Woodmont Natural Resources Management Area
- Wye Island State Natural Resources Management Area
- Wye Oak State Park
- Youghiogheny Wild River Natural Environmental Area
Maryland Seasons, bugs, topography and climate
Maryland has a lowland coastal are as well as a mountainous area in the western part of the state. In the highland west, temperatures can range from -40 °F (-40 °C) to more than 100 °F (38 °C). The average temperatures in the western part of the state are 65 °F (18 °C) in July and 28 °F (−2 °C) in January. The eastern part of the state is more humid and hotter in the summer.
Maryland Camping tips
The Maryland Park Service offers more than 2,000 campsites, 120 full-service and camper cabins, and 100 picnic shelters to guests. Reservations for these facilities can be made through a toll-free, reservation service by calling 1-888-432-2267, (9 am - 5 pm Monday through Friday). For citizens residing outside the United States, reservations can be made by calling 301-687-8160. This is not a toll-free call. TTY users can call 866-804-7846.
On-line reservations may be made at parkreservations.maryland.gov.
Campers are limited to a maximum two-week stay. Campers who have stayed in a campground for two weeks must vacate the park for at least one week before re-registering. From Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day there is a two-night minimum stay required, which must consist of a Thursday/Friday, Friday/Saturday or Saturday/Sunday stay. Holiday weekends require a three-night stay, which must include a Friday/Saturday/Sunday. Saturday arrivals or departures are not permitted during this time unless you are reserving seven (7) or more nights. Campsites have a picnic table and in most cases a fire ring. A central restroom facility with hot and cold running water and flush toilets is provided.
Camper CabinCamper cabins offer guests the option of enjoying the outdoors, while sleeping in a mini cabin on a real bed and closing a real door. Many Maryland State Parks offer these mini cabins, which are small rustic cabins with beds for four to six people -- usually a double and two twin beds set up bunk style. The six-person camper cabins also offer an additional futon couch or set of bunk beds and usually a small table w/chairs. Grills are provided for outdoor cooking and restroom facilities are available nearby. Camper cabin reservations must be made for a minimum of two nights on weekends and three nights on holiday weekends from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day.