Top 10 Maryland Day Trips for Spring

Winter's finally releasing its grip on us! Celebrate springtime at one of these Maryland spots for a perfect day trip.

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National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland, is the perfect option when you want to feel like you're on vacation... but you're still only 20 minutes from home. Take a ride on the Capital Wheel for sweeping views of the Washington Monument, Potomac River, National Cathedral and more; explore the gorgeous indoor gardens of the Gaylord National Resort; try your luck at the MGM Grand, and shop at everything from stylish boutiques to the Tanger Outlets. Dining options are abundant, from southern comfort foods to Italian to seafood to fast casual. DISTANCE: 10 miles from downtown D.C.
Wisp Resort
Set in the scenic Allegheny Mountains in Garrett County, the Deep Creek Lake area offers a variety of activities for year-round fun. Deep Creek is home to many popular campsites and state parks, and it's perfect for outdoor activities such as fishing, golfing, hiking and biking (plus snow sports in the winter). You'll find plenty of comfortable places to stay, including abundant short-term rental homes and the well-known Wisp Resort, home to the popular Wisp Mountain Coaster (pictured), as well as ropes courses and ziplines. DISTANCE: 180 miles from downtown D.C.
The historic city of Annapolis serves up maritime history, quaint architecture -- the place is 350 years old -- and not-to-be missed dining options on West Street. Have a pirate adventure, catch a concert at Rams Head Tavern, or visit the Annapolis Maritime Museum. You can even go cruising on the scenic Chesapeake Bay to escape from land for 40 minutes or more. DISTANCE: 32 miles from downtown D.C.
In the mountains of Western Maryland, Catoctin Mountain Park in Thurmont features easy strolls and strenuous climbs along 26 miles of trails. Presidential retreat Camp David resides within the park, although it is not open to the public. Visitors can enjoy a number of outdoor activities including camping, fishing, horseback riding, rock climbing, picnicking, orienteering and ranger programs. DISTANCE: 66 miles from downtown D.C.
Terrapin Adventures
No need to spring for that jungle vacation. You can swing through the trees at Terrapin Adventures, 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. The center operates year-round, rain or shine. DISTANCE: 25 miles from downtown D.C.
Stroll and shop throughout historic downtown Frederick. Stop in a variety of secondhand shops to spruce up your home (or yourself). Tucked between shops is the National Museum of Civil War Medicine. End your day with a trip to "Top Chef" runner-up Bryan Voltaggio's Volt, where the Victorian décor compliments the unique dining experience, or try local trendy spots like Cafe Nola or The Orchard. Stroll along Carroll Creek and explore Baker Park if time allows. DISTANCE: 50 miles from downtown D.C.
Antietam National Battlefield in Sharpsburg is the site of the bloodiest single-day battle in American history. It was General Robert. E. Lee's Confederate Army's first invasion of the North and led Abraham Lincoln to issue the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation. Today, visitors can take walking or car tours of the battleground, or experience the rural landscape by taking a self-guided hike on one of the area's 10 trails. Find admission fees online here. DISTANCE: 70 miles from downtown D.C.
Six Flags America in Upper Marlboro is now open Fridays through Sundays; it will change to a daily schedule starting May 25. Filled with exhilarating attractions, including the Apocalypse and the BATWING Coaster, the park offers a day of thrills and fun. Tickets are available at a discount if you order early. DISTANCE: 20 miles from downtown D.C.
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, or visit the world-class Baltimore Aquarium or the eerily historic Edgar Allan Poe House. Also, be sure to check out Fort McHenry, where Francis Scott Key wrote "The Star-Spangled Banner," and the B&O Railroad Museum, the "birthplace of American railroading." DISTANCE: 40 miles from downtown D.C.
Explore Calvert Cliffs State Park in Calvert County. Follow the 1.8-mile Red Trail through forests and marshlands, across boardwalks and dirt paths to reach the water view, where massive cliffs meet the Chesapeake Bay. Skim the beach near the cliffs for fossils of prehistoric species including sharks, whales, rays and seabirds. Aside from going fossil hunting, visitors can also swim and sunbathe during the warm weather. DISTANCE: 58 miles from downtown D.C.
Looking for even more fun close to home? Check out our Top 10 Virginia Day Trips for Spring.
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