Visit the Assateague national park famous for its horses that roam free.

15 Epic Ways to Experience Authentic Maryland

Famous local dishes, one-of-a-kind landmarks and unique cities and towns: these 15 only-in-Maryland experiences will spark your imagination.

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Visit the Assateague national park famous for its horses that roam free.

Whether it's your first visit or you're a lifetime resident of the Old Line State, we bet you haven't crossed all these off your bucket list yet. So what are you waiting for? Please check with attractions in advance for altered hours and openings

Many tourism destinations, museums, historic sites and other attractions are offering virtual options for visitors to explore and learn at home.  And, to keep all that Maryland offers top of mind, visit Maryland Fun For Everyone for Puzzles, Bingo, Scavenger Hunt and much more.

1
Solomons Island
Calvert Cliffs

Positioned where the Patuxent River meets the Chesapeake Bay, Solomons Island is the perfect launching point for a day on the Bay.  Stroll the Riverwalk, or set sail for a day of Chesapeake fishing or a leisurely cruise. The kids will love hunting for fossils at nearby Calvert Cliffs State Park and you can finish off a fabulous day with dinner on the waterfront.

2
Ocean City
For an authentic beach vacation, head to where the locals go--Ocean City!
Maryland Office of Tourism

Experience a quintessential beach vacation at this iconic coastal town. Miles of sand and surf and plenty to do make this beach town a prime summertime destination. Head “Down the Ocean” and leave your cares behind. For some fun in the sand, surf and sun, stroll its three-mile-long boardwalk and pick up beach treats like Thrasher’s French Fries or ice cream from Dumser’s Dairyland.

3
Fort McHenry
Watch battle reenactments at Fort McHenry in Baltimore.

Be inspired at the home of the brave and the birthplace of the National Anthem. Fort McHenry held a strategic peninsula saving Baltimore, and some say the nation, during the War of 1812. After the historic bombardment, a young lawyer and amateur poet, Francis Scott Key, was so moved by the battle that he penned the poem that would become the National Anthem. A trip to Baltimore isn’t complete without a visit to Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine.

4
Assateague Island
Visit the national park famous for its horses that roam free.

Who can resist the allure and mystique of wild horses roaming the beaches of this unspoiled island? No one knows just how these horses found their way to the island more than 400 years ago, but their iconic beauty adds to the allure of Assateague's miles of pristine beaches.

5
Rocks State Park
Climb the King and Queen's Seat at this state park and enjoy the vistas of the park's lush forests.
Mitch Lebovic

Marvel at nature’s stunning beauty in this majestic wooded wonderland. The “King and Queen’s Seat,” a 190-foot outcrop that was once a gathering place for the Susquehannock Indians, offers a spectacular panorama of this park’s lush forest. Closer to earth, the park is home to Kilgore Falls, fantastic fishing, swimming, hiking and hunting.

6
C&O Canal
The Great Falls Tavern area of the C&O Canal features an overlook of the Great Falls of the Potomac.

At the time of its construction, the C&O Canal was a marvel of engineering, and it became a vital conduit for trade and travel. Today, the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historic Park provides stunning vistas and a pastoral backdrop for hiking, biking, horseback riding and water sports such as kayaking.

7
Adventure Sports Center International
Kayaking
ASCI - Adventure Sports Center International

Whether you’re a novice paddler or a major white-water athlete, Adventure Sports Center International (ASCI) has got the thrill for you. ASCI’s safe, man-made rapids offer rafting, kayaking and river boarding with instruction for beginners and a slalom course so challenging it hosted the 2014 International Canoe Federation World Championships. For land-loving adventurers, ASCI offers hiking, biking, mountain geocaching, elite rock climbing and rappelling.

8
National Harbor
At the heart of the National Harbor is a resort which boasts a huge spa, beautiful atrium and stunning views
Gaylord National Resort

Enjoy waterfront attractions and entertainment minutes from the nation’s capital. From boating to culture, National Harbor offers something for everyone all year round. Here, you can spend an unforgettable day with the kids strolling the boardwalk and watching movies on a giant outdoor screen. Or, get away for a couples or girls’ weekend for vibrant nightlife, upscale dining and fantastic shopping. During the holidays, everyone loves the one-of-a-kind ice show and breathtaking seasonal decorations.

9
St. Michaels
Take in the tranquil water views at this popular Eastern Shore inn.
Belmond

Get a taste of Chesapeake living with a visit to this charming town. This friendly, walkable and bikeable town boasts elegant boutiques and antiques shops, restaurants serving mouth-watering seafood, and local brew pubs with award-winning craft beers on tap.

10
Maryland Crab
Enjoy crabs and beer while dining on the deck or inside at Harris Crab House.

From white tablecloth fine dining to roadside stands, the state’s famous blue crab is at home on all of Maryland’s tables. Whether you eat it in a delicious crab cake, atop a salad, in Maryland Crab soup or piping hot out of the steamer with Old Bay seasoning, enjoying this local delicacy should be at the top of every visitor’s list of things to do in Maryland.

 

11
Annapolis
Tour Annapolis Harbour aboard the Queen Anne.
Visit Annapolis

Three centuries of history mingle on the streets of Annapolis. Here you can visit the U.S. Naval Academy and The State House, then take a break at Chick & Ruth’s Delly, home to the world’s largest milkshake. Shop and dine at the waterfront City Dock, and don’t miss the Wednesday night sailboat races.

12
Scenic Byways
Hop on your bike and see authentic sites like this covered bridge in Frederick Countyy.
Visit Frederick

Take a road trip along 2,500 miles of Maryland’s official scenic byways. Road trip from the mountains to the sea, take a drive through pastoral horse country or cruise an urban oasis with art galleries and great restaurants on one of Maryland’s scenic byways. With 18 designated routes, there’s a lifetime of memories just waiting to be made.

13
Antietam National Battlefield
Immerse yourself in Civil War history at this Western Maryland site.
VisitMaryland.org

Hike the trails and fields of this legendary battlefield. The park’s rolling hills and forested vistas make a great picnic spot or fall foliage destination. For history buffs, tour the visitor center with its collection of Civil War artifacts and interpretation stations, pedal the Antietam Battlefield Bike Tour, or hike the historic trails and Bloody Lane, site of the battle’s fiercest fighting.

14
Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway
Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway
Maryland Office of Tourism

Called “The Moses of Her People,” Harriet Tubman used a secret network of trails, waterways and safe houses in Maryland to lead enslaved people north to freedom. Travel the 125-mile byway from Cambridge to Goldsboro to witness the bravery of her journey.

15
Havre de Grace
Concord Point Lighthouse
Adam Rybczynski

Nestled at the mouth of the Susquehanna River, this historic river port offers a waterfront promenade and welcoming downtown with great restaurants and unique shops like the huge Seneca Cannery Antiques. Pop in the Havre de Grace Decoy Museum for a peek at 1,200 masterfully carved decoys, and don't leave home without stopping by Bomboy's for homemade candy or ice cream.