There are five counties that make up what is described as Central Maryland. These are Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County Carroll County, Harford County, and Howard County. As with everywhere else in Maryland, these counties offer a varied choice of things to do and see.
There are eight cities in Anne Arundel County, none so well known as Annapolis. Besides Annapolis, there are Crofton, Fort Meade, Glen Burnie, Hanover, Severn, Linthicum, and Jessup. In this county there are no less than six excellent golf courses, one of which is called Atlantic Golf at South River. This golf course has been rated in the Golf Digest magazine as one of the top ten in America.
Annapolis has been dubbed America’s sailing capital, and as the name suggests, it offers a wide variety of sailing activities such a boat cruises, boat rentals, sailing, fishing or just swimming in the cool clear waters of Chesapeake Bay. There are about 500 miles of beautiful shoreline to discover as well as numerous lighthouses to visit. If you prefer to shop, then visit the red brick pavestones of old Annapolis, the 18th century seaport town and the State’s capital. There is a veritable treasure to be found in Annapolis and if you have the good fortune to be there at the same time as the US Navy as they arrive for training at the U.S. Naval Academy based in Chesapeake Bay, you will see the memorable sight of more than three or four thousand midshipmen training and information at this National Historic Landmark Campus.
Baltimore is just a short drive from anywhere, and most consider it the heart of Maryland. You can reach Baltimore county from the BWI airport, or from the Inner City Harbor, or Annapolis or Columbia. You could also drive one hour out from Washington, D.C.
Baltimore offers just about everything, mirroring the intense diversity of Maryland itself. During the day, you could visit any of the four state parks, North Point, Gunpowder Falls, Patapsco Valley or Hart-Miller Island. Or if you prefer the beach, there are three public beaches, Rocky Point Beach and Park, Miami Beach, and the Oregon Ridge Park and Beach. You could play golf on any of the six golf courses, or you could view any of the historic attractions such as the two museums, the Maryland State Police Museum and the Benjamin Banneker Memorial Historical Park and Museum. There are 175 miles of shoreline to discover.
Carroll County is famous for its civil war sites as both sides trekked along its rural roads to the great battle of Gettysburg.
Harford County is located on the I-95 route and this county offers a fantastic mix of activities, from historic sites, to high class urban shopping complexes. This county is probable the best known for its 5 star golf course, Bulle Rock Golf Course and its many museums.
Howard county is the gourmand’s county with spicy delights at the French style bistro wine bars. Visit the town’s mysterious hidden alley, the first national road and the Patapso Valley State Park, Maryland’s oldest public park of more than 16,000 acres.
Southern Maryland is made up of three counties, St. Mary’s, Calvert, and Charles county. St. Mary’s is the oldest of these three; indeed, it is the oldest county in Maryland. This county has been a major tourist attraction since 1634! St. Mary’s county is in actual fact a peninsula, formed by the Chesapeake Bay and its two great tributaries, the Potomac River and the Patuxent River.
Choose to stay at one of the many cozy inns or a traditional cottage to experience real Maryland hospitality. Indulge in the great seafood, especially the famous Maryland steamed crabs. Explore the sparkling Tidewater mansion and listen to stories of a slave’s life in an actual slave hut. Take the place of a Union soldier as he stands guard at the Point Lookout where Potomac River and Chesapeake Bay meet. Visit the state park, St. Clement’s Island and hear all about the first British colonists landing in Maryland.
Learn all about Maryland’s part in the American Nation’s aviation quest for surpassing excellence at the Patuxent River Naval Air Museum. Or you may hike to the peak of Piney Point Lighthouse in Potomac. Whatever your tastes may be, you are sure to find something fun and interesting to do in any of the four cities Leonardtown, Lexington Park, Wynne or Calfornia located in this special county.
Once visited Calvert County, it is unforgettable. This county has five wineries, about six spas and numerous art galleries and antique shops scattered around its unspoiled countryside. There are four must-visit museums, namely, Bayside History Museum, Calvert Marine Museum, Chesapeake Beach Railway Museum and the Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum. There is also the Battle Creek Cypress Swamp, which contains the most northern naturally occurring stand of the American bald cypress trees in this 100 acre ecological bird sanctuary.
This county in Southern Maryland boasts of not one, but two, championship golf courses. There are also many waterways in which boating can be done. There are also four cities in this county, namely, Huntingtown, Lusby, Dunkirk and Prince Frederick. One event is essential to catch and that is the yearly Calvert County Jousting Tournament held each August in Port Republic. This tournament has been held consecutively for more than forty years!
In Charles county, the main attraction is the Potomac River, the Southern Bank along which this county is located, which provides a basis for many water-based activities such as, fishing, hiking, camping. You can also go bird watching at the famous Blue Heron Rookery located in the Nanjemoy, on the East Coast of Maryland. Charles County is also renowned for having the second largest American Bald Eagle population in Maryland. Indulge in one of the Riverside seafood restaurants or cook your own catch caught from one of the fishing facilities.
This county’s location next to the Potomac River offers a veritable wealth of scenic views and beautiful landscapes. This county is located southeast twenty miles from the Nation’s Capital and contains four cities, La Plata, Indian Head, Waldorf and Hughesville.
Western Maryland is made up of three counties, Allegany, Garrett and Washington county. Allegany in commonly referred to as Mountain Maryland and as the name suggests, is a veritable treasure for mountaineers and other outdoor adventures. There are numerous activities to do, including a scenic railroad, three state parks, namely, Rocky Gap State Park, Will’s Mountain State Park and Dan’s Mountain State Park.
For golf lovers there is Rocky Gap Golf Resort. There are two cities in this county, Cumberland, which is aptly described as a veritable haven for artists, and Frostburg. There are many art galleries and tours available for the artistic. The Frostburg State university and the Allegany college of Maryland are found in Allegany county, making this county truely diverse and an interesting place to visit for all age groups.
Garret, the westernmost outpost of Maryland is highly recommended for those favoring extreme recreation. There are many state parks which provide various activities all year round. There are four cities in this region, Oakland, which is a county retreat with its own claim to fame, as Thomas Edison and Harvey Firestone have both resided there, Deep Creek Lake, which houses Maryland’s largest fresh water body, Grantsville and Friendsville.
This county is an athlete’s dream with white water rafting, kayaking, skiiing, rugged rock climbing, biking trails and hiking over rugged terrain for the most adventurous to swimming and fishing for the others. This part of Maryland is absolutely breathtaking in winter and it is because of this that it is sometimes described as a winter playground. Be sure to visit Wisp Resort, Maryland’s largest ski resort. Also located in McHenry, is the Adventure Sports Centre International, the only one of its kind artifical mountaintop and white water rafting course in the world. This county also has its own college, Garret College.
Washington county keeps America’s past alive with 18th century buildings and other carefully preserved structures, plus an extensive network of civil war sites. Take a walk through history with a visit to the museums of the civil war, the French and the Indian war. Visit the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts to gaze at the works of famous artists. This county in renowned for its historic stone arch bridges, 20 in all which link various small towns scattered about the lush green country side of Western Maryland.
There are five cities, Hagerstown, Forsythe, Hancock, Boonsboro, Williamsport and Smithburg where great shopping can be had. In Washington county there is something for everyone, high class outlet shopping, museums, hotels and theaters, and many state parks where hiking white water rafting, canoeing, kayaking, biking and ice skating for the athletic. And of course, take time out for the all American sport, baseball. Follow the games of Hagerstown’s own team, the Hagerstown Suns Minor League Baseball Team. On the green slopes of this county in Western Maryland it is also a must to enjoy some golf, how many holes is up to you.
This shoreline of Maryland is packed with things to do and places to see. There are nine counties and Ocean City that make up this eastern coast. Ocean City is in a class by itself. This is the premier resort in Maryland, boasting of 10 miles of beautiful white sandy beaches boardered by its own boardwalk.
During the day, frolic in the surf, build sand castles with the kids or just laze on the beach, tanning and watching the waves play. Then at night sample delicious meals from any of the nearby restaurants, offering diverse options from hamburgers and fries to the famous Maryland steamed crabs. Then relax at the beach under the starry night sky next to a roaring bonfire or take in one of the many concerts.
There are numerous family friendly attractions such as amusement rides, water sports, scenic pleasure and nature cruises. There is an extensive collection of places to stay, luxurious hotels and motels, apartments and beach houses and high class condominiums. Just off this island you will find other activities, such as golf, and local museums. There are fantastic activities such as the Winter Fest of Lights, the Sun Fest, The Annual White Marlin Open and the OC Air show that you must include in your list of events to do.
Caroline county is a naturalists’ dream, with 8,000 acres of wild life sanctuaries, parks and nature preserves, where you can hike, swim, fish and hunt to your heart’s content.
Cecil County rests along the upper banks of Chesapeake Bay, and in its five cities, Elkton, Perryville, Woodlawn, Cherry Hill and Chesapeake City there is peace to be found. Take a leisurely stroll next to the harbors of sparkling waters or up on the cliff where five rivers flow into Chesapeake Bay 100 feet below. Or go for a horse ride in the rolling hills to come back refreshed and ready to take a tour of the quaint Maryland antique shops. You can also visit the Plumpton Park Zoo which has an extensive range of animals, including a Siberian tiger.
Kent county and Dorchester county is where the fresh and salt water meet, offering a diverse view with its clear rivers and murky marshlands. This is truly the haven for bird watchers, cyclists and nature lovers. There are old fashioned waterfront towns to visit and Maryland working boats to watch.
Queen Anne’s county is located just opposite Chesapeake Bay Bridge where almost every type of water based activity is offered.
The very name of Somerset County brings to mind Princess Anne who built numerous brick sidewalks, and also Thomas Jefferson whose associate built the famous Teakle Mansion. This can be visited by the public.
The Talbot county is often called the `Hampton’s of the Eastern Shore’ because of its 600 miles of Maryland shore line. There are many golfer visitors to Hog Neck, which is a golf course that has been ranked amongst the top 25 in Maryland.
In Worcester County, is Maryland’s sole seaside county, in which Ocean City is located. On this shore is found the wild pony herd of the Assateague Island State Park which have been made famous by the many stories, both fictional and true that these ponies have been the inspiration of.
Wicomico County is best know for its original Frisbee golf course, to novists, this game is absolutely hilarious. There are many historical attractions such as the 18th Century house called the Popular Hill Mansion, located in Newtown, Salisbury’s oldest district.