Baltimore, also known as the City of Charm, is a melting pot of everything from food from all over the world to a myriad of cultural attractions and museums.
As in many metropolitan centers, the pace of life here can be incessant and a break is sometimes required.
Luckily for you, the surrounding area and the wider state of Maryland are home to some of the most beautiful rural areas in the United States, including a coastline and vast and breathtaking national parks.
Read this helpful guide on some of the best places to spend the day while you are in Baltimore and get ready to relax.
The charming waterfront town of Annapolis is just 30 minutes from the city limits of Baltimore and is the perfect place to spend a day exploring one of the most beautiful urban areas found anywhere in the state of Maryland.
With cobbled streets that hide strange restaurants and bars around every corner and stunning boats that roam the waters of the town’s pier, you will be tempted to stay more than one day.
Once the home of the United States Capitol, Annapolis is a cultural and historical center, bursting with fascinating colonial destinations and stories that make it an ideal place for history buffs interested in learning more about America in its infancy.
2. Sandy Point Park
Just a stone’s throw away, just outside Annapolis, you will discover the enchanting park and its apt name, Sandy Point State Park.
Here, you can expect endless walks along the sand along the extensive coastline, though the beloved beach itself is at one end of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, where the views are spectacular.
Drive near the National Park if you are visiting Annapolis, or even spend the whole day at Sandy Point and indulge in the huge variety of activities on offer, including fishing and hiking, as well as go swimming.
Arrive in the summer to get the most out of the beaches and get ready to leave the pressures of the city behind you.
3. St. Michaels
Even more charming than Annapolis, St. Michael’s is a must-see destination for anyone looking to spend a quiet weekend in a beautiful beach town away from the hustle and bustle of Baltimore.
What’s more, it’s only an hour away, meaning you don’t have to spend more than a day exploring if you don’t want to.
Full of antique galleries and shops, the slow pace of life and the quiet atmosphere of St. Michael’s make it a popular place to go to relax.
If you’re looking to indulge a bit, visit St Michael’s Winery or Lyon Distillery to get some of the best wines and spirits in Maryland.
4. Chesapeake Beach
The vast Chesapeake Bay is so large that it almost divides the state of Maryland in two and as a result, it has an equally large number of attractive destinations on its shores.
The resort town of Chesapeake Beach is a wonderful alternative to Ocean City as it is only an hour from Baltimore and is a perfect trip for families and hikers alike.
Treat yourself to some of the best seafood in the country along with a spectacular view of the bay and explore the hidden bars and restaurants of the promenade – a pleasure to walk in both night and day.
5. Washington D.C.
One for city lovers who want to spend the day discovering what another great city has to offer, Washington DC is just over an hour from Baltimore and has plenty of fascinating, historic and delicious entertainment to offer.
Visit one of the many museums along the National Mall, or perhaps sample one of the restaurants that are constantly appearing and offering the best in food from all over the world.
One of the most important cultural centers in the country, Washington is a developing and never boring place to visit, even if it is only for a day.
6. Ocean City
Without a doubt one of the more favorite beaches on the Mid-Atlantic coast, you will find a 10-mile strip of beautiful public beach in Ocean City, as well as what is considered the best boardwalk in the entire country. .
Among the many things to do here include tasting some of the delicious local food served at the many kiosks along the beach, watching free concerts and movies projected by the sea or just spending the day getting lost on the sunny promenade.
You can also catch a tram between attractions if you are pressed for time but whether you go from point to point or not, you will certainly not run out of things to do.
7. Antiatem National Battlefield
Known primarily for being the site of one of the most dramatic clashes of the Civil War, Antietam is located in the beautiful countryside less than two hours from Baltimore and offers a peaceful insight into both the day of the battle and the details of the war in general.
One of the most revealing activities is the eight-mile, self-guided trail that takes you across Dunker Church, Sunken Road and Burnside Bridge, all key points in the conflict that has shaped the nation’s history.
Maryland’s amazing answer to Napa’s wine country, Frederick is the only place to be if you’re looking to go on a day trip full of beautiful landscapes and sweeping countryside, not to mention some of the best wine in the country.
The wineries are all locally owned and offer tours tailored to specific tastes and almost all include outdoor recreation in appreciation of the scenery as well as wine.
Such a day trip would not be complete without trying Frederick’s food tour which gives you the opportunity to taste different restaurants and eateries in the nearby town of Frederick.
9. Rifle Falls State Park
Incredibly close to Baltimore is one of the largest national parks in Maryland and just 20 miles away, it is easy to reach and is far from the hectic city life.
Containing over 100 miles of stunning forest with various areas allotted for everything from running to fly fishing, Gunpowder Falls Park is a true outdoor playground.
Ideal for a day trip that takes you back to nature, the area also offers horse riding, canoeing, kayaking and birding, making it almost impossible to experience everything in one day.
The beautiful forest, however, is so close to Baltimore that you can return as many times as you like.
10. Ohio Canal Historic National Park
This park is the culmination of many generations of transportation ingenuity based on canals in the area, which are now open to the public to explore.
The manicured tow paths on both sides serve as walking trails for visitors and along the way you will have the opportunity to explore the many locks and lock houses left.
For truly exceptional canal architecture, visit the Monocassi Aqueduct, the 530-foot structure consisting of seven arched bridges is a spectacular sight to the eye.
11. Astag National Park
About eight miles from the nearby town of Berlin lies the island of Astage, a beautiful, rugged and windswept checkpoint island off the east coast of Maryland.
If you visit in the summer, you will be treated to perfect conditions for swimming and surfing, as well as some stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean and the diverse animals on the island.
The highlight of most visits will be a glimpse of the wild horses that live here, untrained and free to roam.
Seeing the royal animals in their natural environment will make you feel as if you have gone back in time to the pioneer era from which the country grew.
12. American Vision Museum of Art
Even though it is within the city limits of Baltimore, no visit to the charming city would be complete without checking out the American Museum of Vision Art.
The museum, which boasts a mix of indoor and outdoor exhibitions, displays an eclectic array of works of art created by self-taught artists, both from all over the world.
The perfect day trip to keep you curious and inspired, there is something for everyone in the beautifully designed and carefully curated museum.
13. Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge
This vast nature reserve can be found on the east coast of Maryland, just south of Cambridge.
The vast area covers over 25,000 acres of swamps, swamps and forests and is a real wonderland for all kinds of wild birds, migrants and other creatures, some of which are endangered and rare to be seen elsewhere.
Although it is most beautiful in spring and fall, Blackwater Refuge is stunning all year round and never lacks intriguing wildlife to pay attention to.
Make the most of your visit to one of the most amazing hiking trails or the most recommended Wildlife Drive.
14. Six Flags America
Get ready to experience one of the most iconic and exciting days of entertainment in America with uninterrupted fun at Six Flags America.
Without a doubt the country’s undisputed classic theme park, you’ll find the Six Flags in Upper Marlborough, not far from Washington DC. Ideal for families but also fun for hikers and groups who want to experience a share of joy at the American theme park, Six Flags has something for everyone, endless roller coasters and water tours, restaurants, shopping and even live entertainment.
Be sure to book early if you want to avoid queues during school holidays.
15. Mount Vernon
Mount Vernon is the place to be if you want to experience the electrifying blending of contemporary urban culture.
It’s basically in central Baltimore but with so many influences from all over the world, it could very well be on another continent.
Blown up in intriguing and respectable institutions like the Walters Museum of Art and the Peabody Library, there is an abundance of cultural history here.
Then there is the exciting food scene, which offers everything from Spanish cuisine to Afghan and more.
Make the most of your stay in Baltimore and end your day with a night out in one of the many advanced and trendy nightlife spots scattered throughout the neighborhood.
Where to stay: Best hotels in Baltimore, Maryland (MD)
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