Harford County, 25 miles north of Baltimore, has three towns – Havre de Grace, Aberdeen and Bel Air – that offer different experiences even though they’re only minutes apart. Overall, the county is a rambling landscape that presents a diverse range of options: bed and breakfast getaways; wine tastings; nature walks; and golfing.
Havre de Grace, founded in 1658, is a waterfront community on the Susquehanna River that’s known for its eclectic mix of restaurants, inns, art galleries, specialty boutiques and antique shops. Also here are: the Decoy Museum, the Susquehanna Museum, the Concord Point Light House, a waterfront promenade, the Havre de Grace Maritime Museum, and the Skipjack Martha Lewis. For biking and hiking, there’s Susquehanna State Park.
Five miles west is Aberdeen, home of Ripken Stadium and the Ironbirds, a minor-league affiliate of the Orioles. Oriole legend Cal Ripken, Jr. is an Aberdeen native and maintains an active interest in the team. The U.S. Army Ordnance Museum is also in Aberdeen, at the Aberdeen Proving Ground.
Bel Air is the county seat, where you’ll find delightful parks, Victorian architecture and evening farmers’ markets. And, don’t forget two historic homes: Tudor Hall, built in 1852, home of American Shakespearian actor Junius Brutus Booth, and the Liriodendron Mansion, built in 1898. One of Booth’s sons was John Wilkes Booth, Abraham Lincoln’s assassin. Liriodendron is the botanical name for the tulip poplar tree, many of which can be found on the 100-acre estate.
Ladew Topiary Gardens in Monkton is another impressive garden attraction. The property has 15 garden rooms, a manor house and dozens of topiary figures. Northern Harford County, an agricultural area known for horse farms and hilly terrain, is home to Fiore Winery in Pylesville. The winery hosts the annual Fiore Wine and Jazz Festival.
Visit the Harford County web site.