Top 10 Maryland Getaways

From Baltimore to the beach, Maryland has plenty of reasons for you to pack the car.

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Set in the scenic Allegheny Mountains in Garrett County, Deep Creek Lake (McHenry, Maryland) offers a variety of activities for year-round fun. Deep Creek is home to many popular campsites and state parks, perfect for outdoor activities such as fishing, golfing, hiking and biking. There are plenty of comfortable places to stay, including abundant short-term rental homes and the well-known Wisp Resort, which offers ziplining, ropes courses and the Wisp Mountain Coaster year-round, as well as cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and snowmobiling in the winter.

DISTANCE: 180 miles from downtown D.C.
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Terrapin Adventures
No need to spring for that jungle vacation. You can swing through the trees at Terrapin Adventures (8600 Foundry Street, Savage, Maryland), which offers ziplining, rope climbing, a giant swing and more. All challenge courses take you high in the sky, 30-40 feet in the air (under the supervision of trained professionals, of course). Other outdoor activities include horseback riding, rock climbing and windsurfing. Walk-ins should call ahead to make sure there's space. The center operates year-round, rain or shine.

DISTANCE: 25 miles from downtown D.C.
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The historic city of Annapolis serves up maritime history, quaint architecture — the place is 350 years old — and not-to-be missed dining on West Street. Have a pirate adventure, catch a concert at Rams Head (33 West St.), or visit the Annapolis Maritime Museum (723 2nd St.). You can even go cruising on the scenic Chesapeake Bay to escape from land for 40 minutes or more.

DISTANCE: 35 miles from downtown D.C.
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Vintage is all the rage in Frederick — stroll through a variety of secondhand shops to spruce up your home (or yourself) with retro home décor from a classic antiques marketplace, or local favorite Venus on the Half Shell (101 E Patrick St.). End end your day with a trip to "Top Chef" runner-up Bryan Voltaggio’s Volt (228 N. Market St., Frederick), where the Victorian décor compliments the unique dining experience. But make sure you have a reservation.

DISTANCE: 50 miles from downtown D.C.
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Adventure Sports Center Int'l
Home to the world’s only mountaintop whitewater course, Adventure Sports Center International (250 Adventure Sports Way, McHenry) features expert guides and an Olympic-caliber whitewater course. Even beginners can take part whitewater rafting — the man-made course is adjustable and offers rapids from classes I to IV. You can also take lessons in rock climbing, rappelling and biking, all of which are right by the sheltered mountaintop Wisp Resort.

DISTANCE: 180 miles from downtown D.C.
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Queenstown Premium Outlets
In need of some serious retail therapy? Head on over to Queenstown Premium Outlets (441 Outlet Center Drive, Queenstown, Md.) and shop at one (yeah, right) or all of their 65 (OK, well, don't go crazy) outlets and factory stores. Save big at Adidas, Banana Republic, Brooks Brothers, J. Crew, Michael Kors, Nike and Polo Ralph Lauren! Not sure where to start? Check their website before you go to see where to score extra discounts.

DISTANCE: 50 miles from downtown D.C.
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It’s no secret that Marylanders take great pride in the Chesapeake Bay, but visitors to the shore may not be as familiar with the tiny town at its epicenter. Tilghman Island, a traditional watermen’s village just off the mainland, is the perfect place for a relaxing weekend getaway. With a handful of cozy B&Bs, fresh local seafood and beautiful scenery, you might never want to leave (hey -- we wouldn’t blame you).

DISTANCE: 90 miles from downtown D.C.
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Whether your idea of a good time is sunbathing on the beach, fishing, eating, hopping on carnival rides or strolling the boardwalk, you can do it in Ocean City. Chow down on boardwalk fare like Delmarva fried chicken, crabcakes and (obviously) saltwater taffy. You can also catch free concerts and movies many nights during summer.

DISTANCE: 145 miles from downtown D.C.
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Experience a wonder of nature — by which we mean wild ponies hanging out right on the beach! Assateague Island National Seashore, which actually straddles the Maryland/Virginia line, offers beachfront camping, plus the chance to hobnob with the island's wild ponies (you can even take a ranger-guided tour). (P.S., On the Virginia side, you can join a Nature Cruise to tour the wildlife refuge.)

DISTANCE: 170 miles from downtown D.C.
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Whether you’re a history buff, fan o’ beer, or just enjoy a good day trip, you’ll find something fun in Baltimore. Eat up or bar hop along the Inner Harbor, catch an Orioles game at Camden Yards (333 W Camden St.), or visit the world-class Baltimore Aquarium (501 E. Pratt St.) or the eerily historic Edgar Allan Poe House (203 Amity St., West Baltimore).

DISTANCE: 40 miles from downtown D.C.
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Didn't see your fave spot listed? Look for it in our other Worth the Trip ideas:
10 Places to Swim If You Want to Avoid Bay Bridge Traffic
Top 10 Beaches
Top 10 Virginia Getaways
Top 10 Weekend Getaways
Top 10 Day TripsTop 10 Places to Cool Off
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