What's New in Maryland: 2016




National Park Service 100th Anniversary
Various dates throughout 2016

The National Park Service will celebrate its 100th anniversary in August 2016. The National Park Service and National Park Foundation are working closely with partners and stakeholders across the country to ensure that the Centennial is more than a birthday. They want people everywhere to learn, embrace and explore the nation’s parks. The partnership started the Find Your Park movement to inspire all people to connect with, enjoy, and support America’s national parks. They ask everyone to join the movement on their website FindYourPark.com and use #FindYourPark on social media to kick off the celebration.

NOTE: Maryland is home to 16 National Parks, 2 National Heritage Areas, 6 National Natural Landmarks and 72 National Historic Landmarks.



Cornucopia Cafe
Opened Fall 2015

Located in Grantsville in the heart of the Penn Alps and Spruce Forest Artisans Village campus overlooking the Cassleman River, Cornucopia Café  recently opened in a totally renovated building that incorporates industrial components such as a corrugated tin-clad bar. The Cafe offers a fresh menu filled with Maryland-sourced ingredients (including Maryland’s Eastern Shore’s Rise Up Coffee Roasters). Relax beside the stacked-stone fireplace in the winter or pull up to a patio table outside in the fresh mountain air while sipping a craft beer, sweet wine or homemade sodas.

Western Maryland Scenic Railroad
2016 Season

 In the heyday of train travel before the interstate highway system was constructed, America’s passenger railroads hung their hats on the reputation of their dining and hospitality services. For the 27th season, the railroad is following in the tracks of the famous B&O dining car experience by upgrading lounge car and dining options out of their Cumberland hub. Daytime “Mountain Limited” experiences and nighttime “Evening Paradise” runs (a 30-mile trip), will feature new dining and lounge car options – including white tie service dinner on the evening train – where local chefs will prepare their most innovative dishes.

Hampton Inn & Suites

Downtown Cumberland will open the doors to a Hampton Inn & Suites with easy access from I-68. The four-story hotel will be convenient to Cumberland’s major attractions, including the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad, the Great Allegheny Passage, the C&O Canal, and the many downtown shops and eateries. Until the new hotel opens, guests can stay at the nearby Hampton in Frostburg.



MGM National Harbor Casino Resort
Fall 2016

The MGM National Harbor Casino Resort plans to open mid-2016 bringing their iconic brand of dynamic entertainment and world-class amenities to the shore of Maryland’s Potomac River. It’s a sure bet that high-rollers will be impressed by the 3,600 slot machines and 140 table games at the casino, and they will also delight in a visit to the luxurious 21-story hotel and spa, seven restaurants featuring both local and celebrity chefs, and a 1,200 seat theater.

Canal Quarters - Lockhouse 21
Opens late 2016/early 2017

The C&O Canal (Chesapeake and Ohio) parallels the Potomac River for 184.5 miles and was once traversed by mule-drawn barges carrying goods and materials. The canal’s rich history began with a groundbreaking ceremony on July 4, 1828, but its life as a National Historical Park only began 45 years ago on January 8, 1971. Lockhouse 21, locally known as “Swains Lockhouse” after the family who inhabited it for years, will be the seventh lockhouse rehabilitated for use into the Canal Quarters Program since 2011. Swains Lockhouse will be the first multi-purpose lockhouse due to its larger size (thanks to a 1890s expansion), will sleep up to eight guests, and will provide water and electricity.

Hotel at the University of Maryland
Opens Early 2017

College Park continues construction of the Hotel at the University of Maryland on the east side of campus opposite Turner Hall. In addition to the hotel’s 297 guest rooms, the conference facility will include rooftop banquet area, two full-service restaurants and a 900-space parking garage.

Westin Bethesda
Opens 2018

The upscale Westin will be the first new full-service hotel in downtown Bethesda in 30 years. Situated on nearly two-acres, the 222-key Westin will be part of an almost 500,000 sq. ft. mixed use development. The 12-story hotel promises unparalleled amenities including: state of the art conference and ballroom space, a yoga studio, a health club, and contemporary food outlets. The project will have 20,000 sq. ft. of high-end retail and four levels of below ground parking.



50th Anniversary of the Carroll County Farm Museum

The Farm Museum, home of the Maryland Wine Festival (celebrating their 32nd year here in September) and several other popular annual events, officially opened on August 13, 1966. The property formerly operated as an almshouse and now offers guided and self-guided tours of various heirloom gardens; traditional arts classes in weaving, spinning, open hearth cooking, basket weaving, painting, chair caning, tinsmithing, blacksmithing, broom making and many more; and demonstrations located in various barns and other farm buildings that have been relocated to the property.

Escape Room Attraction in Catonsville
Opened 2015

Catonsville boats the Baltimore area’s first escape room attraction called Escape This Live. This concept originated in Europe and Asia years ago and is steadily growing in the United States. This attraction involves a live-action adventure game that locks a team of people in a room and challenges them to escape in a designated amount of time. In the case of Catonsville’s Escape This Live, participants will have 60 minutes to follow clues around the room in order to win their freedom.

Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Centennial Celebration
February 2016

The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO) celebrates 100 years of music this 2015-2016 season. The season, the ninth under direction of Music Director Marin Alsop, features appearances by such renowned artists as Lang Lang, Yo-Yo Ma, Andre Watts, Leon Fleisher, Hilary Hahn, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg and Baltimore’s own John Waters. New works will be premiered, exciting signature projects will debut, and local artists and those who got their start on the BSO stage will perform, all leading up to the 100th Anniversary Concert on February 11, 2016, featuring violinist Joshua Bell performing his own unique adaptation of Bernstein’s “West Side Story Suit.”

Light City: First of its kind festival in United States
March 2016

The city of Baltimore presents the first large-scale international light festival in the United States March 28 through April 3, 2016. The festival is a celebration of light, art, music and innovation that will bring together local, national and international artists, musicians and thinkers. In 1816, Baltimore was the first American city to illuminate its streets with gas lanterns. It’s with this spirit of invention and transformation that 200 years later Light City will invite the world to join in a celebration of light.

Artscape’s 35th Anniversary
July 2016

The nation’s largest, free arts festival Artscape celebrates its 35th anniversary with continuous musical performances by local, regional and national talent on multiple outdoor stages, indoor and outdoor visual arts exhibitions, sculptures, art cars, film, theater, crafts, opera, dance, street theater and children’s activities.

Maryland Fleet Week and Air Show Baltimore
October 12-17, 2016         

The U.S. Navy Blue Angels are set to perform intricate aerial maneuvers in the skies over Baltimore October 15-16, 2016. The popular air show will take place during the inaugural Maryland Fleet Week and Air Show Baltimore, a free 6-day festival celebrating the rich naval traditions of the Chesapeake Bay and the contributions of Marylanders to the defense of the nation.

In addition to October’s air show, the Blue Angels will perform in Maryland on May 25 and May 27, as part of the United States Naval Academy Air Show and Graduation Flyover, as well as October 29-30 at the Naval Air Station Patuxent River Air Expo.

2016 Army-Navy Game
December 10, 2016

The always exciting Army-Navy Game will be held at M&T Bank Stadium, returning after a two year absence. The Black Knights of Army and Midshipmen of Navy will square off for the 117th time for one of the most storied rivalries in college sports. Prior to game day, visitors are invited to participate in a number of events that will take place in the Inner Harbor for free.

Baltimore Museum of Art
Premiers October 23, 2016

The Baltimore Museum of Art and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art are collaborating on a major traveling exhibition in 2016-2017, pairing works by French artist Henri Matisse and American artist Richard Diebenkorn. Matisse/Diebenkorn will feature over 90 objects—including more than 30 paintings and drawings by Matisse with 60 paintings and drawings by Diebenkorn – all gathered from museums and private collections throughout the U.S. and Europe. This is the first time these two artists’ works have been exhibited together, and the Baltimore Museum of Art is the only East Coast venue to host this collection.



50th Anniversary of the St. Mary’s County Oyster Festival
November 9. 2016

2016 will mark the 50th Anniversary of the St. Mary's County Oyster Festival in Maryland, a huge event which includes the National Shucking Championship and National Cook-Off. The shucking championship draws people from all over the United States to come and compete to become the US champion who will then travel to Ireland to compete for the International Championship.

Patuxent River Naval Air Station Museum
May 2016

The “Pax River” museum enthralls visitors with an indoor/outdoor collection of nearly two dozen Naval test aircraft,  flight simulators, ejection seats, massive motors, rotors and radars, several immense “builders models” of aircraft carriers complete with “catch wires”, and a many other exhibits that tell the story of the base and the technologies developed here. The new LEED certified building, complete with green technology for basic HVAC systems, opens in May and is the only location in the world to house both the X-32B and X-35C Joint Strike Fighter concept demonstrators.



Delmarva Discover Center & Museum River Otter Exhibit
Summer 2016

Everyone is fascinated by the acrobatic antics of sleek river otters. The Discovery Center is preparing a new home for two male river otters, yet to be named, as part of their exhibits on the flora and fauna of the Delmarva Peninsula. The otters join other exhibits, including a beaver den that was relocated and reassembled at the museum and an exhibit on cypress swamps. River otters are semi-aquatic creatures that spend time both on land and in the water. In Maryland, they can be found up and down the shores of the Chesapeake Bay, but as mostly nocturnal creatures, they are not often seen in the wild.

Rebecca T. Ruark Turns 130

This sloop-rigged skipjack, built in 1886 for use in harvesting oysters from the Chesapeake Bay, is the oldest skipjack in the Chesapeake Fleet. Skipjacks were designated as the Maryland State Boat in 1985, and the Rebecca T. Ruark herself was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2003. Come sail with Captain Wade Murphy, Jr, a true Maryland original – he may even let you take the helm while under sail.

The Inn at the Chesapeake Bay Beach Club
October 2015

The Chesapeake Bay’s newest waterfront hotel offers 54 luxury boutique guest rooms and suites; the property is appointed with upscale furnishings and amenities, including an onsite full-service spa. For dining, the menu at Knoxie’s Table draws inspiration from the Inn’s own chef’s garden and greenhouse paired with the freshest ingredients from local farmers and watermen.

Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad State Park & Visitor Center
March 10, 2017

This new center will immerse visitors in Tubman’s world through exhibits that are informative, evocative, and emotive.  Understand the value of Tubman’s early years in Maryland, experience a rescue mission on the Underground Railroad, and become inspired by her work as a freedom fighter, liberator, leader, and humanitarian.  Further appreciate the life and legacy of this great American hero by attending a ranger led program or exploring additional sites along the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway.