BALTIMORE (February 3, 2015) – Celebrate the love in your life with friends, family, or your special someone through welcoming getaways, wine-tastings and brewery tours, and romantic date nights. Maryland offers plenty of opportunities to stay warm while exploring the best winter activities to enjoy this season.
“February is the perfect time to plan a getaway in Maryland and discover its charming B&Bs and inns across the state,” said Margot Amelia, executive director, Maryland Office of Tourism. “Wine and beer enthusiasts can taste their way through Maryland and, with Valentine’s Day, there are events planned that highlight romance and love all month long.”
Here are just a few activities, lodging options and events across Maryland this season:
Pick out a unique Valentine’s Day gift chosen especially for your sweetheart at the Allegany Arts Council’s Arts for Sweethearts in Cumberland’s new Schwab Mountain Maryland Gallery through February 14.
Elegant overnight accommodations are available at The Deer Park Inn, a restored Victorian Mansion listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Nestled comfortably in the picturesque Allegheny Mountains, it is also the perfect setting for a memorable dining experience offering seasonal fare and produce from nearby Amish farms.
Author Nora Roberts acquired the dignified Boone Hotel and has transformed it into Inn Boonsboro, a B&B that opened on Valentine’s Day in 2009. Catering to romantics, this upscale B&B has rooms named for literary lovers including Nick and Nora Charles, named for the married detectives in The Thin Man.
Enjoy the Maryland Wine Passport Experience -- February 21-22 and February 28-March 1 -- along the Antietam Highlands Wine Trail, one of Maryland’s six wine trails. Savor award-winning vintner Dave Collins’ wines at Big Cork Winery, craft hard ciders made from apples produced on the 3,000-tree specialty orchard at Distillery Lane Ciderworks, higher-end ultra-premium “estate wines” at Knob Hall Winery, exceptional wines made from local honey at the Orchid Cellar Meadery & Winery, and high-quality sweet and dry wines made from grapes harvested from its vineyards at the Red Heifer Winery.
If you are passionate about beer, stop in and find out what makes Antietam Brewery and Benny's Pub a unique gem. Benny's menu highlights local meats, fresh and organic cheeses, and hand-crafted delicious beers brewed on site in Hagerstown.
Savor a four-course meal and gracious service on the Walkersville Southern Railroad Sweetheart Special Dinner Train from February 14-15. Board the richly restored dining car in Walkersville for a 6:00 PM departure, then settle back and relax to piano music and fine dining throughout your two-hour train ride.
Engage in a mouth-watering experience. In Montgomery County, you’ll love the small batch brews at the Baying Hound Aleworks, a nano-brewery; the ever-changing seasonal beers at Denizen’s Brewing Company; the wide selection of craft brews and scrumptious food pairings at Growler’s Brew Pub; and great beer brewed the old-fashioned way alongside award-winning food at the Barley and Hops Grill & Microbrewery. In Frederick County, enjoy handcrafted beers made from ingredients grown on site at the Milkhouse Brewery at Stillpoint Farm. Then plan stops at Brewer’s Alley Restaurant and Brewery and Monocacy Brewing Company. Don’t miss a visit to Franklins Restaurant, Brewery and General Store, Prince Georges County’s first microbrewery and the only combination restaurant, brewery and toy store in the world.
Chocolate lovers will swoon at the farm and factory owned chocolatier, SPAGnVOLA (pronounced as spang—vola), in Gaithersburg. Factory tours are available on Saturday afternoons where you can experience the art of the entire bean-to-end-product manufacturing process of their premium chocolate bars, truffles and bonbons. Be sure to grab gifts for all your chocolate lovers.
On February 7-9 and 13-15, celebrate love, passion and romance with your special someone at the Hops and Hearts tasting event at the Red Shedman Brewery and Hop Yard. Located on more than 200 acres of farmland among the rolling hills of Mt. Airy, Red Shedman cultivates several varieties of hops.
It may be cold outside, but Baltimore is heating up for Absolutely Febulous, February 15-28, Shake off the winter blues with two weeks of deals at Baltimore restaurants, hotels, attractions and museums. Take advantage of fixed-price menus; Buy One, Get One free attraction and museum offers; and an exclusive gift card with purchase of a hotel package.
Plan a romantic getaway at one of the region’s elegant B&Bs and Inns, such as the Admiral Fell Inn, located in the lively waterfront community of historic Fell’s Point; the Antrim 1844 Country House Hotel by the Catoctin Mountains; one of the three boutique Historic Inns of Annapolis offering historical charm in the heart of Annapolis, Victorian-style Le Cle D’or Guesthouse in Havre de Grace, the luxurious Wayside Inn in Ellicott City, the tranquil Butterfly Fields B&B in Lothian; or the Gramercy Mansion and 1840s Carrollton Inn, both just minutes from Baltimore's Inner Harbor, museums, art galleries and fine dining.
Craft lovers will be in heaven at the American Craft Council’s Baltimore Show, February 20-22. This three-day celebration of all things handmade brings together more than 650 top contemporary jewelry, clothing, furniture, and home décor artists from across the country under one roof.
On February 22, sample fine wines from around the world, taste great craft brews, and savor delicious food from some of the area's top restaurants at the 16th Annual HCC Winter Wine Expo in Harford County. Other highlights include chances to bid on unique auction items, try your luck in several raffles, and order wine and beer at discounted prices.
Foodies are readying their palates for a week of deals and savory dishes at dozens of Annapolis and Annapolis-area restaurants during the Seventh Annual Annapolis Restaurant Week from February 23 to March 1. Enjoy two-course fixed-price breakfasts for $12.95, two-course luncheons for $15.95, and three-course fixed-price dinners for $32.95.
On February 6, the Calvert Marine Museum is open and free to the public from 5:00-8:00 pm. Fall in love with the Chesapeake Bay as you explore how the past, natural environment, and maritime heritage come together for a unique and passionate story. Get ready to tap your toes when the Annapolis Bluegrass Coalition takes the stage in the Harms Gallery.
Let the Chesapeake romance you in this beautiful region, surrounded by water, and rich in historical attractions. The hard part will be deciding whether to stay at the gracious Solomons Victorian Inn Bed and Breakfast, the luxurious Victorian Candle Bed & Breakfast, the elegant Rosewood Manor with its four-star Grecian Tea Room, the charming Back Creek B&B, a former waterman’s home, or the Blue Heron Bed & Breakfast with its magnificent water views.
Enjoy the beauty, magic and flavor of other regional wineries along the Patuxent Wine Trail as you indulge your palate during the Maryland Wine Passport Experience February 21-22 and February 28-March 1.
The Annmarie Sculpture Garden & Arts Center spectacular Main Gallery is transformed from exhibition space into artist studios during Artists in Action 2015, running through March 3.
Share your creativity with friends at Bordeleau Winery on February 8. Join artist Vivian Davis for an afternoon of painting and wine as she helps you create your own acrylic painting. All materials—including your first glass of wine—are free. Reservations are required.
Plan a romantic getaway at one of the Eastern Shore’s many B&Bs. Consider the luxury Elk Forge Bed and Breakfast in Elkton, with a spa, tea room, whirlpools and fireplaces; the Kitty Knight House Inn & Restaurant atop the banks of the Sassafras River in Georgetown, with fine dining and lodging; historic Kent Manor Inn on a 226-acre waterfront farm with 24 luxurious accommodations; the gracious Somerset House in historic Princess Anne; the Idylwild Farm Bed & Breakfast in horse country; the romantic oceanfront Inn on the Ocean; the premier Bartlett Pear Inn in Easton; the Victorian mansion Waystead Inn in Berlin; and the Combsberry Inn, a blend of elegance and pet-friendly hospitality.
Venture to Ocean City on February 14, for the second annual Fager’s Island Oyster Garden. Enjoy local farmer-shucked oysters from True Chesapeake Oyster Co., Barren Island Oyster Co., Hooper Island Oyster Aquaculture Co., Bay Landing Shellfish Co., and select oyster creations by The Local Oyster. Craft beer pairings include Flying Dog’s Pearl Necklace Oyster Stout and Evolution Craft Brewing’s Incubator Oyster Stout among several others.
Stimulate your senses along the Chesapeake Wine Trail as you toast with friends during the Maryland Wine Passport Experience February 21-22 and February 28-March 1. Whether you are on your way to the beach or just taking a drive to admire the beautiful Bay, you will be treated to one of the most scenic and charming parts of the state.
Celebrate life, brew and good food in the "Land of Pleasant Living". Stop by Evolution Craft Brewing in Salisbury – a favorite local gathering spot featuring small batch brews, as well as award-winning locally sourced food. Once in Ocean City, grab a pint of the Assawoman Bay Brewing’s hand-crafted beer while enjoying the view from the pub, Shallow Waters. There’s always a new small-batch craft beer brewing at Backshore Brew and the Ocean City Brewing Company is a full-service craft brewery and family restaurant.
About Maryland Tourism
The Maryland Office of Tourism is an agency of the Division of Tourism, Film and the Arts within the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development. Visitors to the state spent more than $15.4 billion on travel-related expenses in 2013. During 2013, the Maryland tourism industry also generated $2.1 billion in state and local taxes, and provided 138,682 jobs for Maryland residents.