The Best Things to Do In Maryland (Printable List)

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Maryland may look small on a map but don’t let its size fool you. Maryland has so many different things to offer with everything from historic landmarks and battlefields to beaches with wild horses. It can be hard to know what the best things to do in Maryland are.

After living in Maryland for several years and exploring as much as we can, we have compiled a list of more than 50 ideas of things to do in Maryland. This list includes a little bit of everything from historical sites and nature hikes to sporting events and must-try foods.

Many of the places to visit we included on this list are places we have visited. But some of them are places we have heard about from friends or things we want to do in the future. Our Maryland bucket list still seems to grow faster than we are able to cross things off.

Don’t forget to get your Free Printable Maryland Bucket List at the bottom of the post so you can add all the places you want to visit to your list. Plus it’s a great addition to your Travel Journal!

Best Places to Visit in Maryland with a free printable bucket list for you to keep track of the places you visit.

Things to do in Maryland

There are so many fun things to do in Maryland if we missed any of your favorites let us know in the comments so we can add them to our bucket list! This list of things to do in Maryland is arranged in no particular order because let’s be honest it’s hard to compare such different activities.

Fort McHenry

Fort McHenry might not sound familiar to you but I’m sure the song that was written here is something you have heard before. The historic Fort McHenry in Baltimore is the site where the Star-spangled Banner was written.

A visit to the Baltimore area of Maryland wouldn’t be complete without visiting the fort. It’s a great place to learn about the writing of the National Anthem as well as facts about Francis Scott Key and what life was like living at the fort during the war.

Fort McHenry is one of many historic sites to explore when visiting Maryland. It’s a fun family-friendly place to visit and one of the best places to learn about some of the historical events that happened in Maryland. If you’re planning a visit to the fort be sure to check out these tips for visiting Fort McHenry.

Fort McHenry Baltimore Maryland

Baltimore Orioles Game

Going to watch the Baltimore Orioles play at Camden Yards is fun for the whole family. We have gone to several games and our kids have enjoyed it each time.

Oriole park is very family-friendly and you can even get a free souvenir on your first visit. When planning your trip to Camden Yards be sure to watch for deals and fun family events at the park.

Assateague National Seashore

Assateague National Seashore is on the eastern shore of Maryland only a short drive from Ocean City.

Visiting Assateague Island and seeing the wild horses is a must when visiting Maryland’s eastern shore. We had friends tell us about this awesome place when we first moved to Maryland years ago. Since then we have visited the national seashore multiple times. Each time we have visited we have been able to see at least a few of the wild horses.

Not only can you see wild horses you can camp on the beach and enjoy some family fun at the Atlantic ocean. Before you plan a trip to Assateague National Seashore read about our trip here and get a few tips

Assateague Island Wild Horses

Pennsylvania Dutch Farmer’s Market

There are several Pennsylvania Amish or Dutch Markets throughout Maryland. These Dutch markets are a wonderful place to stop for lunch. Many of the markets are only open Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays for limited hours.

Along with delicious pretzel logs (Think hot pockets x100) the Amish Market has delicious baked goods, ice cream, BBQ, and more for you to take home and enjoy.

We have visited the Pennsylvania Dutch Markets in Annapolis and in Hagerstown. Both sell very similar items but the one in Hagerstown is much bigger.

Maryland State Parks

Maryland has an extensive state park system with 52 state parks as well as numerous other natural resources and environmental areas. Plus the state also has 3 rail trails and 2 state battlefields.

While I could take up tons of space sharing about each of these state parks and state-managed areas I’ll save that for another post and instead share the most popular Maryland State parks you should visit.

Swallow Falls State Park

Swallow Falls State Park is located in Garrett County Maryland. This state park has some of the most breathtaking scenery in western Maryland. Along the popular 1.25-mile hiking trail you will find three waterfalls including Muddy Creek Falls which at 53 feet is Maryland’s tallest free-falling waterfall.

Calvert Cliffs State Park

Calvert Cliffs state park is the first state park we visited after moving to Maryland. This state park is located in Calvert County only about an hour outside of the DC beltway. This state park is known for its sandy beaches and 20+ mile stretch of cliffs along the Chesapeake Bay.

On the beach, you can find unique fossils as well as shark teeth. You can read more about our trip to Calvert Cliffs State Park here.

Sharks Teeth from Calvert Cliffs State Park

Point Lookout State Park

Point Lookout State Park was the location of a prison camp during the Civil War. The park includes a Civil War Museum, Fort Lincoln, a Lighthouse as well as hiking, fishing, and boating.

This state park is open to visitors on a seasonal schedule so be sure to check the website before visiting.

Fort Frederick State Park

Fort Frederick is a 585-acre park that features a unique stone fort that was used during the French and Indian War. The park borders the Potomac River and the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal runs through the park.

Casselman Bridge State Park

Casselman River Bridge State Park in Garrett County Maryland is known for its 80-foot span stone arch bridge. In 1813 when the bridge was built it was the longest single-span stone bridge in the United States.

Sandy Point State Park

This state park is 786 acres along the Chesapeake Bay. The park’s sandy beach has beautiful views of the Chesapeake Bay, the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, and the Sandy Point Lighthouse.

Gunpowder Falls State Park

With over 18,000 acres Gunpowder Falls State Park is one of the largest state parks in Maryland. The park has more than 120 miles of trails. Along with hiking trails, you can have a good time at the large freshwater beach.

Patapsco State Park

Patapsco Park has over 200 miles of trails with beautiful scenery. Cascade Falls is one of the places you really want to check out at this state park.

Rocks State Park

The two main attractions at Rocks State Park are the King and Queen Seat and Kilgore Falls. The park has 3.5-miles of hiking trails.

sign for Cunningham falls state park

Cunningham Falls State Park

Located in the Catoctin Mountains in Frederick County Cunningham Falls State Park has outdoor activities everywhere! The hike to the falls is perfect for visitors of all ages. Read about our hike to the falls here.

Washington Monument State Park

Washington Monument State Park located at the top of South Mountain is named for being the first completed monument dedicated to George Washington. This state park has a fun and easy hike to the monument that is perfect for families.

Washington DC LDS Temple

The Washington DC Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints visitor center and temple grounds are open to the public. The grounds are beautiful and the visitor center has a few different displays and interactive activities for the whole family.

During the Christmas season the temple grounds are decorated with Christmas lights and the visitor center has live music and other performances free to the public.

Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historical Park

The Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historical Park is located in Church Creek, Maryland. The park is located near the birthplace of Harriet Tubman and includes The Visitor Center, Administrative Building, and a Pavilion.

If you’re ever driving out to Ocean City it’s definitely worth making a stop to visit this site. We stopped there a couple of years ago for the first time and it was a really good experience for the whole family. There are interactive exhibits to help the kids learn and keep them engaged.

The Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge known for its wildlife photography opportunities is now part of the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Monument. The refuge does still have a visitor center even though it is part of the national historical park.

Ocean City

Ocean City is a popular beach resort town on Maryland’s Eastern Shore to take a family vacation. This popular travel destination is fun for everyone. With the beach, mini-golf, restaurants, special events, and more it’s fun for the whole family.

While in Ocean City you won’t want to miss the ocean city boardwalk with all its shops, restaurants, and even a roller coaster or two.

On the boardwalk make sure you try a treat or two we love getting saltwater taffy from Dolle’s Candyland and a bucket of fries from Thrasher’s fries.

Thrasher’s fries have been an Ocean City treat since 1929. A bucket of fries is a must when you visit the boardwalk. For a real Maryland, experience try the fries with malt vinegar. 

Also in Ocean City, the Brass Balls Saloon is a fun place to eat and is family-friendly, especially for lunch. This restaurant is on the boardwalk and has a really fun atmosphere. Plus you can even try their burger eating challenge to get a free t-shirt if you want. Be warned it’s a big burger, my husband was able to eat it several years ago and get the shirt, so it’s definitely possible to win.

Annapolis Naval Airshow

Each year the Blue Angels perform at the US Naval Academy graduation in Annapolis. There are multiple places you can go to watch the airshow during the rehearsal and the day of the performance for graduation. You can read more about our experience and a few tips for watching the Blue Angels.

Inner Harbor

Baltimore Inner Harbor is a sightseeing hub in Maryland with several well-known family-friendly attractions it’s the perfect place to spend a day. Popular places to visit in the inner harbor include the national aquarium, the Maryland science center, the top of the world observation deck, and more.

Maryland State House

If you are a history buff the Maryland State House needs to be on your Maryland bucket list. The State House is located in the historic area of Annapolis. It is the only State House to have ever served as the nation’s capital

The State House is open to visitors to tour for free every day from 9 am – to 5 pm except on Christmas and New Year’s Day.

Near the Maryland State House, there are several other historic buildings to visit and even some buildings that have been turned into bed and breakfasts and restaurants. The United States naval academy is also located really close to the State House.

Cove Point Lighthouse

The Cove Point Lighthouse located in Lusby Maryland has been restored and can be rented as a vacation home. The lighthouse grounds and visitor center are open to the public from June through August from 1:00 -4:00 pm each day.

Ravens Game

The Baltimore Ravens NFL team plays its home games at M&T Bank Stadium in downtown Baltimore. So if going to a professional game is on your bucket list you can cross that off by going to a Ravens game in Baltimore.

Antietam National Battlefield

Antietam national battlefield is just one of the many revolutionary war battlefields you can explore on the east coast. The Antietam Battlefield is located in Sharpsburg, Maryland.

A great way to see this battlefield is to include it on a battlefield day trip (or make it into a weekend) and visit Monocacy National Battlefield, Antietam and then head across the state line to Gettysburg Pennsylvania. Young kids can enjoy doing the junior ranger program on all of these battlefields.

If you get the chance driving through Antietam national battlefield for the Annual Memorial Illumination is very special. For one night in December, a luminary (23,000 of them) is lit for each soldier that was killed, wounded, or missing during the battle of Antietam. 

When visiting Antietam National Battlefield be sure to drive into the town of Sharpsburg and visit the Nutter’s Ice Cream shop. Known for large servings of delicious ice cream at affordable prices, it’s a family favorite whenever we are in the area.

Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historic Park

The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal national historical park often called the C and O Canal stretches from Washington DC to Cumberland Maryland. The canal operated sporadically between 1831 and 1924.

The C&O Canal towpath that was originally built for mules to walk beside the canal as they pulled canal boats is now a popular trail to visit. Stretching from Georgetown to Cumberland this dirt and stone path is popular for walking, running, and biking.

There are many different access points for the towpath and along with beautiful scenery, there are historic locks and lock houses that you can visit along the canal. There are also visitor centers at several of the different access points.

Since first visiting the C&O canal years ago it’s become one of our favorite places to visit when we want to get outdoors. If you’re wondering why you should add this towpath to your list of things to do in Maryland check out this post where I share 10 reasons we love going to the C&O Canal.

The Paw-Paw Tunnel is part of the C & O Canal. The Tunnel is 3,118 feet long and took 14 years to construct and is a popular place to explore along the canal. When visiting bring a flashlight and be sure to hike the Paw-Paw Tunnel Trail.

Chesapeake Bay Bridge

The Chesapeake Bay Bridge often referred to as the “Bay Bridge”, is a dual span bridge that connects Maryland’s Western Shore to the Eastern Shore. The Bridge is just over 4 miles long, it’s quite the experience to drive across.

Want a view of the bridge? Sandy Point State Park is a great place to stop to get a view of the bridge from below. During the summer months, the beaches at Sandy Point State Park get really busy so be prepared.

Clark’s Elioak Farm

Clark’s Elioak Farm has a petting area as well as produce and meat, but the highlight of Clark’s Elioak Farm is the Enchanted Forest attractions.

The Enchanted Forest was a storybook park in Ellicott City that opened in 1955. The park closed in the early 1990s and starting in 2004 through 2015 Clark’s Elioak Farm was able to move the attractions to their petting farm and restore them.

Conowingo Dam

The Conowingo Dam in Darlington, Maryland is the largest dam in the state of Maryland. While this might seem like a crazy attraction to include on a list of things to do in Maryland a visit to Conowingo Dam has become very popular.

Why you might ask? To see bald eagles.

October through January is the peak time to see a lot of bald eagles at the Conowingo Dam. The ready supply of food in the water near the dam attracts eagles from up north as the weather gets colder. 

Monocacy National Battlefield

Visiting Monocacy National Battlefield in Frederick Maryland is free admission and a great place to learn a little more about American history. Did you know that the Battle at Monocacy is known as “The Battle that Saved Washington” the Battle of Monocacy and was the confederate’s victory in the north?

The battlefield has a small museum and visitor’s center. Then there is an auto tour to explore the battlefield as well as a few hiking trails. Read more about the battle here and our trip to the battlefield.

Crystal Grottoes Caverns

Crystal Grottoes Caverns located in Boonsboro Maryland is privately owned and open year-round. The caverns have more formations per square foot than any cave known to man.

Inside the caverns are 54 degrees year-round making them a great place to visit in Maryland during the summer and the winter.

Clear Meadow Farm Sunflowers

Clear Meadow Farm in Harford County offers a variety of agricultural products and services. But the reason to visit is to see the Sunflowers. Peak Season to view the Sunflowers is mid-September. Keep a watch on the Sunflowers in Jarrettsville, MD Facebook page to see when the peak season will be each year.

Wizard of Oz Park - Watkins Regional Park Maryland

Wizard of Oz Park

Watkins Regional Park also known as the Wizard of Oz Park is a ton of fun for kids of all ages. The large park is all based on the Wizard of Oz movie with bright colors and tons of fun places for kids to play.

This is just one of many fun-themed parks throughout the state of Maryland. Another fun park kids love is the Sophie and Madigan’s Playground in Frederick (my kids call this the princess park).

Naval Academy

The Naval Academy is located in Annapolis Maryland it’s a fun place to walk around and you can often see bigger boats out on the water from the academy. You can also spend time in the museum learning about the history of the United States Navy.

After spending time at the Naval Academy it’s definitely worth it to explore the main street and Ego Alley.

6 Flags America

6 Flags America is a family-friendly Amusement Park near Washington D.C. The park has amusement park rides, water rides, shows, and other attractions. If you love roller coasters then this is probably a place you should add to your Maryland bucket list.

Smith Island

Smith Island is home to the Maryland State dessert the Smith Island Cake. To visit Smith Island, you have to take a 45-minute ferry ride from Crisfield, MD.

Port Discovery Children’s Museum

This Children’s Museum is ranked in the top 5 Children’s museums in the United States. It has three floors of interactive exhibits and is located in Baltimore.

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Located in Greenbelt Maryland only 30 minutes from DC, Baltimore and Annapolis the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center has free admission. Activities and exhibits at the visitor center are a great educational experience for all ages.

Piney Point Lighthouse

At Piney Point explore the museum, Potomac River Maritime Exhibit, and enjoy a guided tour of the lighthouse and keeper’s quarters.

Fort Washington Park

Fort Washington was built to defend the river approach to Washington D.C. The park has artillery demonstrations on select days during the summer.

Western MD Scenic Railroad

Take a ride on the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad. Excursions start in downtown Cumberland at Canal Place. There are several different experiences you can have including seasonal events.

Merkle Wildlife Sanctuary and Visitor Center

The Merkle Wildlife Sanctuary is the wintering grounds for many Canadian geese. Along with a Visitor Center, there are hiking trails and a self-guided driving tour.

William Paca House and Garden

Tour the William Paca house that was built in the 1760s and today is recognized as a National Historic Landmark and one of the finest 18th-century homes in the country. William Paca was the third Governor of Maryland and one of four from Maryland to sign the Declaration of Independence.

Star-Spangled Banner Flag House

The Star-Spangled Banner Flag House in Baltimore was built in the late 1700s. Here you can learn what life was like in the 19th century and learn about Mary Pickersgill and the making of the garrison flag that inspired Francis Scott Key to write the national anthem at Fort McHenry.

The Star-Spangled Banner Flag that was made by Mary Pickersgill and flew over Fort McHenry in Baltimore Harbor is on display at the National Museum of American History at the national mall.

National Museum of Civil War Medicine

Learn about the harsh conditions and brilliant innovations of medicine during the civil war at the National Museum of Civil War Medicine in Frederick.

Misty Meadows Farm Creamery

Misty Meadows Farm Creamery is one of the stops on the Maryland Ice Cream Trail. Situated in the rolling hills near Smithsburg the creamery is a fun place to visit and the ice cream is delicious.

Not only can you enjoy the delicious ice cream at one of several picnic tables the kids can enjoy seeing farm animals, riding large trikes, climbing on a tractor play structure, and more. Read about our trip to Misty Meadows Creamery here.

Brookside Gardens

The award-winning 50-acre Brookside Gardens is part of the Wheaton Regional park and gardens in multiple distinct areas as well as two conservatories so you can enjoy the gardens year-round.

National Harbor

Just 20 minutes from Washington D.C. National Harbor is located in Maryland, not in DC. National Harbor is a busy area with shops, resorts, restaurants, and unique attractions including a Ferris Wheel.

You will find live music at the MGM National Harbor hotel, unique experiences at the Gaylord hotel and so much more when you explore National Harbor.

Salisbury Zoo

The Salsbury Zoo also known as “the best little free zoo in North America” has free admission and free parking. The zoo is a short drive from Ocean City. It is situated on 13 acres in Salisbury Maryland and is home to animals native to the Americas and Australia.

Rose Hill Manor

Rose Hil Manor Park and Children’s museum in Frederick Maryland is a historic home listed on the U.S. national register of historic places.

In this white house, child-friendly educational programs with hands-on activities present the daily life of Thomas Johnson, Maryland’s first governor as well as the history of Frederick County.

The museum also frequently has special events and specific educational classes children can take.

Appalachian Trail

The Appalachian Trail stretches 2,190+ miles from Springer Mountain, Georgia to Katahdin, Maine. 40.9 miles of the Appalachian trail are in Maryland. With multiple access points and easy to moderate sections of trail. It’s a great place to go hiking with visitors of all ages.

Blueberry picking

Fruit Picking

Maryland is home to multiple farms and orchards. Just a few miles outside the big cities you will find some of the best U-pick farms.

Larriland Farm and Butler’s Orchard are two popular U-pick locations in central Maryland. At Larriland Farm where you can pick pretty much any fruit, you want along with several different vegetables and flowers. Butler’s Orchard not only has the most popular fruits (except peaches) for you to pick they also have a sunflower field.

If you’re heading to West Virginia on 15 Frog Eye Farm is a fun place to pick blueberries. Up farther north in Smithsburg Gardenhour Orchards is a fun place to go apple picking, plus you can buy fresh apples in bulk without picking them if you prefer.

Great Falls

Located on the border of Maryland and Virginia great falls is a series of waterfalls along the Potomac River. Though these waterfalls aren’t tall they are beautiful and do a great job showing off some of the beautiful nature you can find in Maryland.

North Market Pop Shop

Located in downtown Frederick North Market Pop Shop is an interesting place for soda fans to visit. This shop sells glass bottles of soda in more than 400 flavors. Flavors of soda range from classic root beers to fun, quirky, and just weird flavors like pickle, alien snot, and Cheshire vanishing cream to name just a few.

B&O Railroad Museum

See the oldest and most comprehensive American railroad collection in the world at the B&O Railroad Museum in Baltimore. The 40-acre site of the museum was the original site of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, the first commercial railroad in the nation founded in 1827.

The roundhouse that was built in 1884 and restored in the early 2000s is my favorite area of the museum. Today the roundhouse is the best location to see 19th-century railroad equipment in the world.

Along with amazing historical equipment and buildings the B&O Railroad Museum also has special events throughout the year including the popular Day Out with Thomas for kids.

Adventure Park USA

Open year-round Adventure Park USA is an indoor-outdoor park with over 20 major attractions. Admission is free then using a fun pass you pay per attraction or you can get a membership if you plan to visit the park often.

The Ultimate Maryland Bucket List. Over 50 things to do in the state of Maryland #maryland #travel #bucketlist #printable

Free Printable Maryland Bucket List

Download and print a free Maryland bucket list pdf below. The bucket list has blank space for you to write down the places you want to visit in the state of Maryland. Please keep this printable for personal use.

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The Ultimate Maryland Bucket List. There are so many things to do in Maryland! Here are 50+ Things to do in Maryland plus a free printable bucket list!

(Post was originally published in 2017)

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19 thoughts on “The Best Things to Do In Maryland (Printable List)”

  1. Inner harbor is empty now except the Hard Rock Cafe and the aquarium. Fells point and federal bill is where you wanna go!

  2. Pingback: Visiting Fort McHenry - A Few Tips - The Keele Deal

  3. Pingback: The Ultimate Maryland Bucket List. There are so many things to do in Maryland!… – Maryland

  4. We love Maryland and have family there. We will have to check out some of these suggestions. We love exploring there with our kids. So beautiful and so much to do.

  5. I’ve been to Baltimore once and it was gorgeous! I was there for work and only got to enjoy the harbor area for an afternoon. Hope to go back someday and take your ideas with me!

    1. Thank you for your service and for taking time to comment! If you get the chance to see the Blue Angels Airshow, it’s awesome! We have watched them at the Naval Airshow in Annapolis but they do shows all over the country.

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