Deep Creek Lake Scenic Overlook

Things to See and Do in Western Maryland

High peaks, dense forests, famous battlefields, shimmering waters and the strains of guitars—that’s Western Maryland, and it’s glorious.

Share
Deep Creek Lake Scenic Overlook

About two hours from Baltimore, Washington or Pittsburgh, trout streams and cool air beckon in the summer; ski resorts and cross-country paths are great winter destinations. At any time of year, this region is great for checking out fine art, stocking up on timeless antiques or trying your luck at the casino.

1
Amp up the action at Adventure Sports Center International (ASCI), McHenry
People Whitewater Rafting at ASCI

Adventure Sport Center International - ASCI - is Maryland's Whitewater Rafting Gateway and center for Adventure Tourism

Want a boat? From kayaks to white-water rafts, Adventure Sports Center International has a rentable inventory and offers guided instruction at a man-made, mountaintop white-water park. If you prefer a land-based adventure, the activities include hiking, biking, geocaching and rock climbing.

2
Coast Downhill for Mountain Scenes, McHenry
Person Snowboarding at Wisp Resort

Wisp is Maryland's only four-season ski, golf and recreation destination resort.

The Resort at Wisp offers the downhill Mountain Coaster, and skiing. In the summer, golf is the name of the game. Take the kids on a chairlift ride to have a look at the mountain scenery. Try your hand at disc golf or soar high above it all on a zip-line.

3
Take a Road Trip on a Scenic Byway
Bridge going over a creek

Explore “The Road That Built the Nation” from historic Baltimore through rolling countryside through Frederick to Hagerstown on our Historic National Road eastern section.

America’s first federally funded highway once carried Conestoga wagons into the Western frontier. Now the 170 Maryland miles along the National Road are a destination all their own. Leaving Baltimore, passing through small towns long-abandoned by the interstates, and meandering along mountain passes and winding riverbanks, the National Road is an is an artery to the heart of America. The National Road Museum in Boonsboro honors the nation’s first federal highway, built to take settlers west in pursuit of the frontiers.

Or check out Mountain Maryland, Stretching 193 miles from the heights of Keyser’s Ridge to historic Cumberland, the Mountain Maryland byway tours the glorious geography of Western Maryland. Skirting the raging Youghiogheny River and plunging into the heart of the Alleghenys, traveling the byway becomes a transcendental experience when the fall colors turn.

4
Craft Your Own Glassworks
Simon Pearce Factory Outlet and Glassblowing Workshop
Man blowing Glass

Simon Pearce Factory Outlet Glass Blowing

A visit to the Simon Pearce Factory Outlet and Glassblowing Workshop in the Deep Creek Lake area lets you bring home a one-of-a-kind piece of art—something no one else will have. The workshop sometimes offers classes, so you can create

5
Take the plunge on a visit to Deep Creek Lake, McHenry
Two Kayakers on a lake at dusk

Kayaking Deep Creek Lake State Park

Most Marylanders know the state’s largest freshwater lake as a great summer getaway. But Deep Creek Lake, built a century ago, is a year-round destination. Gorgeous in the fall, the area hosts 65 miles of shoreline for viewing the ambers and yellows reflected in the waters. Winter welcomes skiing at nearby resorts and roaring fires in one of the many vacation rentals. Summer is the season for free outdoor concerts in addition to swimming and boating. And in spring, the golf courses beckon guests to tee off at Thousand Acres and Wisp Resort.

6
Get Creative with Local Artists, Grantsville
Spruce Forest Artisan Village

Spruce Forest Artisan Village | Photo by Sarah Duck

Bring home one-of-a-kind gifts from the Spruce Forest Artisan Village, a collective in Grantsville that offers handmade metal sculptures, wood furniture and accessories, and soaps. Or make something yourself—the village also hosts workshops in photography, weaving, bird carving and drawing.

7
View Autumn in All Its Glory, Oakland
Deep Creek Lake in Autumn
Deep Creek Lake in the Autumn

MSN rated Autumn Glory the “#1 Fall Festival in the World.” It’s easy to see why, with spectacular colors, a pumpkin festival and the state fiddlers competition.

8
Scenic Road in Garrett County
On the Road to Englander’s Antique Mall
Experience the Autumn Glory Trail

Step back in time at Englander’s Antique Mall in Oakland in the heart of the Deep Creek Lake area. Past the antiques in the back is an old-fashioned soda fountain restaurant serving up home cooking, including biscuits, fried chicken and savory vegetable soup.

9
Peruse the Saville and Schwab Mountain Maryland Galleries, Cumberland
Cumberland
Cumberland

The Allegany Arts Council's Saville and Schwab Mountain Maryland galleries are located in historic downtown Cumberland at 9 N. Centre Street. The galleries feature year-round exhibitions of national and local talent. You are sure to see something different and interesting each time you stop by.

10
Bike the C&O Canal and Great Allegheny Passage, Cumberland
Biking in Western Maryland
Biking in Western Maryland

The flat path along this scenic canal is ideal for two-wheeled trips, so pack your bike and head out to the Cumberland Visitor’s Center to spend the day riding along this historic canal. The Great Allegheny Passage (GAP) rail-trail offers 150 miles of hiking and biking between Cumberland, MD, and Pittsburgh, PA. In Cumberland, the GAP joins the C&O Canal Towpath, creating a continuous 335 mile long trail experience to Washington, DC. So, for the adventure of a lifetime, make Cumberland your bike destination.

11
Make It Your Lucky Day, Flintstone
Rocky Gap Resort Casino Grounds
Rocky Gap Resort Casino

Rocky Gap Casino Resort offers up year-round activities, including hiking along its shady trails for an invigorating experience before trying your luck at the tables. The resort also features a spa, so make it a day.

12
Antietam Battlefield
Experience Antietam
Antietam was the site of the single bloodiest day of fighting on American soil.

Students of history won’t want to miss the Antietam National Battlefield, which ended the Confederate Army’s first attempt at taking the North. About 23,000 soldiers died or were wounded within 12 hours, marking one of the bloodiest days of the war. Today, the battlefield is beautiful and serene to contrast its past, making the magnitude of what happened an awakening experience.

13
Hike the Eastern Continental Divide, Grantsville
Hikers in Garrett County
Garrett County Rocks and Trees

This rugged seam formed where North America’s continental plates are pulling apart makes for some of the most intriguing geology and challenging hiking on the East Coast. With beautiful views of the Savage River Forest, Big Savage Mountain, Meadow Mountain, and idyllic New Germany Lake in New Germany State Park, hiking the Eastern Continental Divide in Garrett County is a must for every outdoorsman or woman’s bucket list. 

14
Relax with Warm Coffee in Hand, Frostburg
Mountain City Coffee
Mountain City Coffee
macfamhome-instagram

In Frostburg, order an oversized latte and a vegetarian sandwich, and pull up a chair next to a study group at the quaint Mountain City Coffee. If it’s warm, grab a table outside, back to the stone walls, and watch the scenes on Main Street.

15
Refresh with Fresh, Local Eats, Friendsville
Water Street Cafe
Water Street Cafe

Local eggs, hearty wraps and fresh baked goods—what more could you need for a day of wine tasting, hiking and biking? Check out the Water Street Café. This casual Friendsville spot will keep you going to the next attraction.

16
Seclusion at Savage River, Frostburg
Cabin Available from Savage River Outfitters
Savage River Outfitters' Cabin
Mountain Soul Media

World-class fishing guide Mike Evans at Savage River Outfitters in Swanton will take you fishing. But he also will happily leave you to sweet solitude if you’re renting one of his three cottages, each with ample room for families. Sit by the forested banks and enjoy the cool breeze with a good book or rent some gear and give the old casting hand a try. Each place has a grill, too.

17
Stay College Cool in Frostburg
Frostburg
Frostburg
G. Snelson

Stroll the scenes of University of Maryland’s westernmost campus, and enjoy dining, arts walks, festivals and a farmers’ market along Frostburg's wide main street.

18
Camaraderie in Frostburg
Allegheny Trail House Historic B&B
Allegheny Trail House Historic Bed & Breakfast
Allegheny Trail House Historic Bed & Breakfast

The Allegheny Trail House is a bicycle-friendly bed and breakfast that makes an excellent option for connecting with others. It offers large common rooms, reliable wifi and a hearty breakfast. Friends of the owners or other guests stop by on occasion; even if the house is empty, there’s always people-watching on busy Main Street.

19
Mountain Moods in Cumberland
Cumberland Railroad Bridges
Cumberland Railroad Bridges

It’s hard to find another city with a view quite like this one. The Potomac River runs through this town, so take in the scenes and savor Appalachian Mountain and river valley views. Don’t miss ice cream at the Queen City Creamery & Café, so named for the days when Cumberland was Maryland’s second-largest city.

20
Train’s a Coming— So Hop On! Cumberland - Frostburg
Western Maryland Scenic Railroad
Western Maryland Scenic Railroad
Western Maryland Scenic Railroad

The Western Maryland Scenic Railroad is a delight for adults and children alike, as the oldfashioned locomotive winds its way through the mountains near Frostburg. And if you want to watch, and not just ride, the sight of the locomotive against the backdrop of fall colors or a leafy mountainside is Instagramable.

21
Tour the Antietam Highlands Wine Trail
Mazzaroth Vineyard
Antietam Highlands Wine Trail
Mazzaroth Vineyard

Meandering through the rolling hills and mountains of Western Maryland, crisscrossing five National Parks, 10 state parks, and one of the most important fronts of the Civil War, the Antietam Highlands Wine Trail is home to nine of Maryland’s premiere wineries. This trail is a must for wine lovers and history buffs alike. 

22
Del Does It Again, Cumberland
DelFest Crowds at Sunset
Brad Kuntz

Bluegrass virtuoso Del McCoury, family members and a world-class list of longtime musicians gather with their banjos, steel guitars and fiddles and play their hearts out for three days at DelFest in the Allegany County Fairgrounds. Some say it’s the best bluegrass festival in the world, and who are we to argue? If you want to try some picking yourself, The Travelin’ McCourys offer a three-day music academy before the festival.

23
Gaze at Dazzling Cave Features, Boonsboro
Crystal Grottoes in Boonsboro

Nearly 100 years ago during the building of the state road, workers discovered Crystal Grottoes Caverns. Now, visitors can marvel at the stalactites and stalagmites while enjoying a year-round temperature of 54 degrees.

24
Float Down the Canals, Williamsport
Boat at Cushwa Basin on the C&O Canal
Visit Hagerstown

Visitors who only know the C&O Canal in Georgetown will be surprised at how much it widens out in the mountains. Memorial Day through Labor Day, the Williamsport Visitors Center offers boat rides along the canal. In Cumberland, the C&O Canal National Historical Park explores the history of what was once thought to be the future of transportation

25
See Brushstrokes Up Close, Hagerstown
Exterior of the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts

The Washington County Museum of Fine Arts frequently showcases a gallery of local artists. Spend the afternoon strolling among Old Masters, traveling exhibitions and new modern works.

26
Bring Home Some Bargains, Hagerstown
Stop by these outlets in Western Maryland for athletic gear from Adidas and Nike before your hiking and biking trips.
Simon Premium Outlets

Just off Interstate 70, Hagerstown Premium Outlets offers great prices and a fun day of shopping name brands, like Banana Republic, Under Armour, Coach and Guess.

27
Root for the Home Team, Hagerstown
Hagerstown Suns baseball
Washington CVB

If they’re playing, take in a Hagerstown Suns game. This farm team for the Washington Nationals turns out avid fans and offers fun giveaways on many summer nights. Games take place at a historic ballpark and one of the three oldest facilities in Minor League Baseball.

28
Family Fun at Jellystone, Hagerstown
Get back to nature with the family (and have fun in the waterpark too!).
Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park

Go rugged in a campsite or keep the comforts of home in a cabin. Either way, the family will love walking out and finding pools, playgrounds, water parks, miniature golf and laser tag just steps from your home away from home in Hagerstown.