Maryland is one of the original 13 colonies, one of the smallest states in the United States, and is the official founder of Old Bay. Whether you’re planning a stress-relieving beach vacation or you prefer immersing yourself in local history, Maryland has something for everyone.
Plan a memorable, authentic Maryland getaway with each of these must-do experiences.
Experience Original Maryland in Ocean City
People have been visiting the quaint town of Ocean City for over 100 years. Maryland, Virginia, and Washington D.C. residents flock to the area each summer to enjoy a slow-paced beach getaway. Stroll along the boardwalk and enjoy some cotton candy or get your adrenaline pumping on a ride at Trimper Rides of Ocean City. Ocean City is also recognized as the White Marlin Capital of the World, making fishing a popular activity.
Sightsee Wild Horses on Assateague Island
You can’t visit Maryland without a stopover at Assateague Island. Soak your feet in the Atlantic Ocean, and if you’re lucky, you might witness one of the wild horses. The island is 37 miles long and home to over 300 wild ponies. Depending on when you visit, you may even get to witness the famous pony swim, where hundreds of wild horses swim across the Assateague Channel before being auctioned off.
Make sure you pack accordingly. The weather tends to be chillier on Assateague Island, and bringing layers will ensure you have an exciting yet comfortable trip.
Taste Test Old Bay on Just About Anything
Old Bay, the famous seasoning, was first invented in 1940 in Baltimore, Maryland. Marylanders love Old Bay so much that they put it on just about everything. You’ll find it sprinkled on fries, crab cakes, sandwiches, BBQ, donuts, cod, hot dogs, hamburgers, and just about everything. A visit to Maryland wouldn’t be complete without trying Old Bay on at least a few of your favorite dishes.
Enjoy a Blue Crab Dinner
The Blue Crab is a must-try Maryland staple. Blue Crabs are one of the most valuable fish found in the Chesapeake Bay and a delicacy on many Maryland menus. You’ll find a lot of restaurants all over the state that sell Blue Crab. Some even offer an authentic Blue Crab tasting experience that involves cracking and removing your own food from the shell.
Visit the Birthplace of the National Anthem
The Star Spangled Banner, the country’s national anthem, was written in Maryland. Visit the Fort McHenry National Monument for historical reenactments and to view the Star Spangled Banner flag. Once you’ve reached Maryland, learning how important flags are to the state won’t take long.
If you enjoy learning about local history, you’ll find an abundance of museums in Maryland worth checking out. A visit to the Antietam National Battlefield is one of the most educational things to do in Maryland. It’s not only the American flag that is important to Marylanders but also the Maryland state flag. The yellow, black, and red flags can be found outside restaurants, homes, parks, and on just about every license plate. If you’re looking for a unique souvenir, anything with the Maryland flag is an excellent choice.
Fish the Chesapeake Bay
Fishing the Chesapeake Bay can be a unique fishing experience. You’ll find striped bass, black drum, red drum, and bluefish. Of course, you could also go crabbing and try to catch your own Blue Crab. You can fish off the coastline at many of the state parks or register for a half or full-day fishing trip.
Lounge on Island Time in Stevensville
Grab your camera and cross the bridge over to historic Stevensville or Kent Island. Life here is slower, with casual tiki huts and restaurants lining the water. You’ll also find an abundance of nature parks where you can go hiking or biking. Spend a few hours at one of the island’s distilleries or wineries, or take a drive through the Stevensville Historic District.
Check Out the Capital City of Annapolis
A visit to Annapolis is a must when in Maryland. The city of Annapolis sits directly on the Chesapeake Bay and is home to the United States Naval Academy. You can also take a stroll down the historic downtown area and enjoy the unique architecture and cobblestone brick roads. Stop in for a bite to eat overlooking the water or enjoy an afternoon of shopping at the antique stores. You’ll also find a lot of walking tours, including ghost stories that take you to some of the most haunted destinations in Annapolis.
Maryland may be one of the smallest states in the country, but it has its own personality, making it worth a visit. Whether you want to see wild horses or enjoy island time, Maryland has something for everyone.