From Annapolis—Maryland’s capital city and the Sailing Capital of the World—to the bustling metropolis of Baltimore, to the Piedmont forests and the shores of the Chesapeake Bay, the Central Region offers thriving cultural destinations, history, music and more. With so much to do, where do you start? Try our list of 10 can’t-miss Central Maryland favorites!
1 Spend a Day on the Bay at North Point State Park
Relax on the beach, go for a swim, cast a line off the jetty or go for a nature stroll and spot some of this 1,300-acre bayfront park’s herons and bald eagles. Make sure to check out the historic trolley stop and fountains still standing from the time when North Point was the old Bay Shore amusement park.
More about North Point State Park
8400 North Point Rd
Sparrows Point, MD 21219
2 Feel the Funk at Merriweather Post Pavilion
The lawn at Merriweather is where music memories are made. This legendary outdoor amphitheater, nestled into Symphony Woods in the heart of downtown Columbia, is the perfect place to catch the biggest bands around. The annual Capital Jazz Fest is a can’t-miss event.
More about Merriweather Post Pavilion
10475 Little Patuxent Pkwy
Columbia, MD 21044
3 Have Some (REALLY) Old School Fun at Renn Fest or Medieval Times
Lace up your bodice and jerkins, grab a turkey leg and prepare for some good “Olde”-fashioned fun at the Maryland Renaissance Festival, one of the biggest Renn fests in the country. Haven’t gotten your jousting fill? Check out Medieval Times at Arundel Mills for year-round sword and sorcery fun.
More about Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament
7000 Arundel Mills Cir
Hanover, MD 21076
4 Go for Primo Vino on a Wine Trail Tour
Maryland’s Central Region is home to some of the Old Line State’s finest wineries. Take the Carroll Wine Trail through Carroll County or travel the Piedmont Trail with eight wineries in the region. Events and tastings run year round pairing good wines with great times.
5 Have a Crab Feast at the Ballpark at an Ironbirds Game
There’s nothing in the world like steamed crabs and America’s Pastime, which makes Ripken Stadium in Aberdeen just about the best place to be for baseball. See the future Orioles on the field while getting into some heavy crabs straight out of the steamer in this gem of a ballpark.
More about Ripken Stadium
873 Long Dr
Aberdeen, MD 21001
6 Oh Say, Have You Seen the Ramparts at Fort McHenry?
Built on a beautiful peninsula at the head of Baltimore Harbor, Fort McHenry and its brave defenders saved the city during the War of 1812 and gave America its National Anthem. The fort’s flag inspired Francis Scott Key to pen “The Star-Spangled Banner,” and the 15 brilliant stars of its enormous flag continue to inspire to this day.
More about Fort McHenry National Monument & Historic Shrine
2400 E Fort Ave
Baltimore, MD 21230
7 Visit the U.S. Naval Academy
Take a walking tour on the historic grounds of the United States Naval Academy, where the next generation of Navy leaders are made. Visiting the beautiful crypt of John Paul Jones, father of the American Navy, is a transformative experience. Be sure to catch a Mids game at Navy-Marine Corps Stadium.
More about U.S. Naval Academy-Armel-Leftwich Visitor Center
52 King George St
Annapolis, MD 21402
8 Head Down to the Ol’ Swimmin’ Hole
In the dog-days of summer, there’s no better way to beat the heat than to take the plunge into a real, old-fashioned swimming hole. The Beaver Dam Swimming Club, Cascade Lake and Hammerman Area of Gunpowder State Park are ideal oases away from the summer swelter.
9 For Rail Riding Fun, Choo-Choo-Choose to Visit the B&O Railroad Museum
Train buffs can touch—and even ride—the amazing collection of historical iron at this one-of-a-kind museum. For kids, the rides, games and occasional visits from Thomas make this museum a must. Plus, how often do you get to visit a site from the Monopoly board?
More about Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Museum
901 W Pratt St
Baltimore, MD 21223
10 Sit at the Annapolis Dock by the Chesapeake Bay and Watch the Tide Roll Away
Grab a drink and watch the sunset over Ego Alley, the perfect spot for ogling the most amazing yachts around. Then stroll Annapolis’s historic streets for unique shopping and dining, and catch amazing music at the original Rams Head Tavern just a few short steps from the state house.
More about Annapolis City Dock
Boating & Sailing
One Dock St
Annapolis, MD 21401