What's New in Maryland: 2019

The Maryland Office of Tourism presents this round-up of recently-opened or soon-to-be opened attractions, accommodations, services and restaurants. We invite you to contact our public relations experts to talk about these new sites and how they can add to your storytelling. The items on this list are separated by region, then placed in order of their opening (oldest to newest.)


Hotel Gunter and Toasted Goat Winery, Frostburg

Opened Winter 2018

First opened in 1897 with 100 rooms and known as the best hotel between Pittsburgh, PA and Baltimore, MD, Hotel Gunter has been lovingly restored to its former glory, with special care to keep its rich heritage intact. With Federal agents transporting prisoners from the West to Baltimore, a basement jail was built; it remains with yellow bricks framing the barred cells. One former owner, who also served as the town treasurer, operated a not-so-secret speakeasy; now guests may sample wines from the Toasted Goat Winery with plans to add a brewery and distillery onsite in the near future. The gleaming wood grand lobby staircase leads to 16 historically-designed guest rooms that have been updated with modern amenities.  www.facebook.com/HotelGunter

Thomas Kennedy Park Plaza and Center, Hagerstown

Dedication Spring 2019

The colony of Maryland was founded upon the concept of religious freedom, but it was not until Washington County state lawmaker Thomas Kennedy introduced a bill in December 1818 that Maryland citizens of the Jewish faith would be allowed to hold public office. Two hundred years after the introduction of the “Jew Bill” (which did not pass until 1826), Hagerstown will dedicate a park plaza and 7-foot-tall bronze statue of Kennedy designed by Antonio Tobias (Toby) Mendez. The park will also contain benches for quiet contemplation and plaques explaining Kennedy’s lasting legacy and is located across from the Congregation of B’nai Abraham Synagogue.  

The Thomas Kennedy Center will open in Phase Two; the Center will contain exhibits, classroom space and teacher education seminars emphasizing religious freedom and tolerance. www.thomaskennedycenter.org

Western Maryland Scenic Railroad Steam Locomotive, Cumberland

In Service Summer 2019

Originally purchased to haul heavy trains out of West Virginia coal mines in 1949, the full restoration of Chesapeake & Ohio steam locomotive #1309 and return to service will make the 70 year old engine the largest compound-articulated steam locomotive in daily service east of the Mississippi River. “Compound” means the steam is used twice during operation, first for a set of high pressure cylinders and second for the low pressure cylinders.

The excursion trains depart from the Cumberland Depot and travel through breath-taking mountain scenery featuring a horseshoe curve where photographers are often waiting to take the perfect image, and arrive at the Frostburg Depot. Cyclists have an option to depart the train in Frostburg then bike the Great Allegheny Passage back to Cumberland. Other passengers layover to explore Frostburg, one of the lively towns located on Maryland’s Historic National Road Scenic Byway. Visitors will be entranced by a horse-drawn carriage museum; Mountain City Arts Center with a focus on traditional Appalachian arts; specialty boutiques; an eatery operated by four generations of one family; and a cozy coffeehouse and creamery located in Gothic stone building (one of nine creameries on the Allegany County Ice Cream Trail).  www.wmsr.com

National Road Museum, Boonsboro

Opening 2019

The Warrenfelz building, once the town’s hardware store, has been restored and will become the National Road Museum. Visitors to the 1,900 square-foot building will learn the history of the Historic National Road, the first major east-west route that carried early settlers from the historic seaport in Baltimore to Illinois, and its impact on the development of transportation technology.

The “Vehicles Through Time” central exhibit will include a stagecoach, Model-T and other modes of transportation. http://nationalrdfoundation.com/national-road-museum/

**To view a pair of inspiring videos about fun activities along the Historic National Road Scenic Byway, go to www.visitmaryland.org/video/marylands-scenic-byways-historic-national-road


Glenstone Museum, Potomac

Expansion, Opened October 4, 2018

Originally opened in 2006 as a showcase for the post-World War II art collection of Emily and Mitchell Rales, a new 204,000 square foot expansion called the Pavilions furthers the museum’s mission to “create a seamless integration of art, architecture and landscape.” In addition to the exhibit space, the expansion includes two new cafes, a bookstore and 130 acres of outdoor areas featuring outdoor sculptures. www.glenstone.org

Wellspring Manor and Spa, Upper Marlboro

Opened November 2018

This serene retreat, housed in a tastefully decorated 5,000 square foot colonial-style manor house, sits on seven acres of wooded property with a history dating back nearly three centuries. Five spacious guest rooms with fireplaces, ensuite bathrooms and sitting rooms, a spa reserved for exclusive use of overnight guests, a curated art gallery, and chef prepared, made-to-order breakfast (with options for vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free and organic) are a few of the luxurious amenities that Wellspring Manor offers. www.wellspringmanor.com

Maxwell’s Kitchen, Frederick

Opening Spring 2019

Providing “elevated food at a faster pace,” Maxwell’s Kitchen (named after a nearby alley) in Frederick’s historic downtown district is a new venture by the owners of Wine Kitchen. The full menu is still in draft, but executive chef Jeff Beard does plan to include plenty of vegetarian options such as a “beetstrami” sandwich. Maxwell’s Kitchen shares access to reception spaces on the second floor with next-door-neighbor Tenth Ward Distilling and the two plan to work closely together. www.facebook.com/maxwellskitchen

C&O Canal, Swains Lockhouse, Potomac

Opening Summer 2019

The latest lockhouse to be renovated and placed into the C&O Canal Trusts’ Canal Quarters Program, Swains Lockhouse will be unique in that it will be the first accessible building, and also multi-purpose, due to its larger size thanks to a 1890s expansion.

Each lockhouse currently in the Canal Quarters program was rehabilitated and furnished to depict a style of canal history during the period 1830-1954. Swains Lockhouse will accommodate up to eight guests and will interpret 1916, the year the National Park Service was created, and also an important time in the Canal’s history, when it was transitioning from being a commercial to a recreational resource. www.canaltrust.org/swains


1817 Restaurant at the Guinness Open Gate Brewery and Barrel House, Relay

Brewery Opened Summer 2018; Restaurant Opened Fall 2018

The famous Irish brewery opened their first U.S. brewery location since 1954, appropriately in the first distillery building to legally open after Prohibition ended, Maryland Distillery. Resident Guinness brewers produce a new Guinness Blonde and also develop new creations onsite. Visitors can take a tour, sample Guinness beers at a tasting room, and shop for merchandise. As for the famed Guinness stout, that will continue to be brewed in Dublin and shipped to Maryland.

Named after the year that Guinness was first shipped to the United States, 1817 offers Maryland classics side-by-side with traditional Irish dishes.  www.guinnessbrewerybaltimore.com 

The Alexander Brown Restaurant, Baltimore

Opened Early 2019

Built in 1901 and a survivor of Baltimore’s infamous 1904 fire, the historic Alexander Brown building still stands at the corner of Baltimore and Calvert streets in the city’s bustling business district. Maintaining its historic and architectural legacy, The Alexander Brown Restaurant will provide a stunning historic setting for modern conversation, phenomenal food, and worldly design. https://alexanderbrownrestaurant.com

The Inaugural Baltimore Old-Time Festival, Baltimore

Friday, March 22 - Saturday, March 23, 2019

Roots music traveled from Appalachia to the streets of Baltimore in the middle half of the 20th century, where local musicians attached their own charm city spin. Fans attending the event at the Creative Alliance will be treated to concerts, workshops, jam sessions and square dancing at this brand new music festival. Performers signed to date include Bruce Molsky, Corn Potato String Band, Jake Blount & Tatiana Hargreaves and more.


Merriweather Post Pavilion Mezzanine, Columbia

Opening Spring 2019

Maryland’s popular outdoor concert facility is in the final stages of a five-year renovation. This spring, just in time for the summer concert season, Merriweather will unveil 30 suites with capacities from five to 20 seats. The suites will create a new mezzanine level that will be connected to the recently renovated VIP area. Earlier phases of the renovation saw the construction of new box offices, concession stands and restrooms as well as a stage expansion, upgraded production area and state-of-the-art sound technology. www.merriweathermusic.com/about-us

First Mile Stables, Baltimore

Opening Summer 2019

The first railroad car was equine-powered, and in a nod to that heritage, B&O Railroad Museum will be home to the new stables for the Baltimore Police Department’s mounted unit. The unit, founded in 1888, is now the oldest continuously operated mounted police unit in the country. Visitors will be able to tour the equestrian center to learn about the storied history of the unit, animal husbandry and law enforcement. www.firstmilestable.org

Broadway Market, Baltimore

Rolling Openings, 2019

Broadway Market was established in 1786 to serve the immigrants and sailors of the waterfront neighborhood named Fells Point. The market is undergoing a full renovation, and will reopen with a mix of previous and new vendors. The North Shed is expected to open in February 2019 with Connie’s Chicken and Waffles, Taharka Brothers Ice Cream, The Verandah (Indian street food), Old Boy (Korean food), Thai Street, and two to-be-announced businesses – a produce vendor and a smoothie stand. The South Shed is expected to open in Summer 2019 with The Choptank, a fish and crabhouse. The restaurant, named after the Choptank River on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, will contain 150 seats inside and an additional 125 seats outside on picnic-styled tables and will source most of their oysters, crabs and rockfish from their namesake river and other Chesapeake Bay tributaries. https://bpmarkets.com/markets/broadway-market

Hammerjacks, Baltimore

Opening 2019

Once a Baltimore rock and roll institution which fostered such talent as local vocalist Joan Jett, the band Kix and many more rock and roll legends, Hammerjacks operated from 1977 until 1997. After a long hiatus, new owners plan to open the concert hall and club in 2019. Hammerjacks will contain three distinct areas - a concert hall that will hold up to 2,000 people, a sports bar and beer garden combo, and a smaller venue perfect for smaller acts such as comedy routines. http://hammerjacks.com


Calvert Marine Museum, Solomons Island

Reopening March 2019

One of the Great Chesapeake Bay Loop’s most popular museums reopens after renovations to their classrooms and learning center. Visitor experiences at the museum include a marsh walk; tours of both the Drum Point Lighthouse and the Cove Point Lighthouse*; cruises aboard the oyster buy boat William B. Tennison and the skipjack Dee of St. Mary’s; a summer concert series; lectures; the Lore Oyster House*; and a number of galleries related to the history and heritage of the Chesapeake Bay, including one of the preeminent fossil collections in the region.  *Located off the main campus www.calvertmarinemuseum.com


The Barn and The Cottages at Chesapeake Bay Beach Club, Stevensville

Opened Late Fall 2018

Located on Kent Island and in view of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, the elegant Chesapeake Bay Beach Club opened The Barn, a standalone farm-style inspired building containing 18 guest rooms and suites, and The Cottages, five one-bedroom luxury bungalows. Additional amenities on the campus include a multi-pool splash garden and two Himalayan Salt Stone Saunas inside the Spa. https://www.baybeachclub.com/blog/press-coverage-the-barn-cottage-expansion

Matchcoat Sojourner, Cambridge

Opened Fall 2018

Discover authentic Eastern Shore heritage via local foodways and centuries old traditions created on both land and water. This woman-owned tour company leads visitors on an excursion to an oyster farm where lessons on shucking are accompanied by tastings and pairings with local beer and wine. Coming soon are German bread baking experiences. www.matchcoatsojourner.com

New Hotels, Ocean City

Opening 2019

Ocean City, Maryland’s seaside family resort, is adding several name-brand hotels in 2019 following closely upon the heels of the Residence Inn, Hyatt Place, Country Inn & Suites, Fairfield Inn and Doubletree by Hilton hotels that opened in 2018. The Aloft Hotel, a Hilton TRU and Hampton Inn debut this spring and summer. 

National Folk Festival, Salisbury

September 6-8, 2019 & dates TBD 2021

Salisbury will be home to America’s largest, most prestigious, and longest-running celebration of fine arts, culture, and traditional arts in the country in 2018, 2019 and 2021. In the inaugural year, the free festival featured seven stages of continuous music, a dance pavilion, traditional Maryland crafts, regional food, storytelling, parades, and folk life demonstrations. Officials estimate that event drew between 65,000 and 75,000 visitors on what turned out to be a very rainy weekend.  www.nationalfolkfestival.com


20th Anniversary Potomac Jazz and Seafood Festival

40th Anniversary of the Annapolis Boat Shows

40th Anniversary Ballet Theatre of Maryland

150th Anniversary of Government House, Annapolis

155th Anniversary of the Battle of Monocacy

Dorchester County 350th Anniversary


2020 100th Anniversary of 19th Amendment, Events/exhibits all year

2020 Final year of National Folk Festival in Salisbury, Fall TBD

2020 Maryland Fleet Week in Baltimore, September

2020 170th Anniversary of completion of the C&O Canal, October

2021 Great Wolf Lodge opening in Cecil County, TBD

2021 50th Anniversary C&O Canal becomes a National Historical Park, January 8, 1971

Updated February 2019