8 Top-Rated Maryland Tourist Attractions
1 Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Museum
The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Museum is one of Baltimore's biggest attractions and offers a look at some of America's important railroad history. The museum operates out of historical buildings, including the Mount Clare Station. The museum showcases locomotives, coaches, and the main attraction, a turntable with 22 connecting lines.
2 Antietam National Battlefield
Antietam National Battlefield has the unfortunate distinction of being the site of the bloodiest one day battle of the Civil War. On September 17, 1862 23,000 men were killed, wounded, or went missing. The visitor center offers two films and numerous exhibits on the battle and related history. Visitors can also walk, bike, or drive through the battlefield.
3 Assateague State Park
Assateague State Park is located on Assateague Island, a barrier island. On the east side of the island is the windswept landscape of the Atlantic Ocean, with a long stretch of beach. In this summer this is a popular area for swimming and surfing. On the more protected bayside of the island there are opportunities fishing and kayaking. The island supports a range of wildlife but is known in particular for the feral horses that roam the island. The park has campsites, picnic tables, a camp store and eating facilities. The closest town is Berlin, approximately 8 miles away.
4 Baltimore Inner Harbor
Baltimore's Inner Harbor is a fun area for visitors, with numerous attractions and entertainment options. The Inner Harbor includes the waterfront areas as well as the neighborhoods just back from the water. The whole area has been nicely developed with parks, hotels, restaurants, shops and museums. The National Aquarium, another of Baltimore's big attractions, is also located within the Inner Harbor.
5 Rocks State Park
Located near Jarrettsville, Rocks State Park is a scenic and culturally significant park. Covering approximately 855 acres, the area is primarily known for huge boulders, but also consists of forests, streams, and waterfalls. One of the main features is the King and Queen Seat, a huge rock outcrop which was a traditional ceremonial gathering place of the Susquehannock Natives. Also within the park are remnants of the Maryland and Pennsylvania Railroad. Many people come here to fish, hike, canoe, rock climb, or enjoy a simple picnic in the day use areas.
6 Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park
The C&O Canal operated from 1828-1924 as a transportation route, primarily hauling coal along the Potomac River to Georgetown. Hundreds of locks, lock houses, and aqueducts, are still standing as reminders of the canal's role as a transportation system during the Canal Era. The canal follows the route of the Potomac River from Washington, D.C. to Cumberland, MD.
7 William Paca House and Garden
The William Paca House and Garden in Annapolis is a National Historic Landmark that once belonged to William Paca. Although he was known for many achievements he is best remembered for being a signer of the Declaration of Independence, in 1765. Built in the 1760s this impressive home has been lovingly restored to its original splendor, completed with antique period furnishings and original Paca family items. Like the house, the 2 acre garden has also been brought back to its 1760s appearance. It features terraces, a fish-shaped pond, topiary, and a variety of plants.
8 Gunpowder Falls State Park
Gunpowder Falls State Park provides locals and visitors with great opportunities for hiking, fishing, canoeing, and swimming. Highlights of the park are the Big and Little Gunpowder Falls on the Gunpowder River. Also located here is Jerusalem Mill Historic Village. The restored grist mill is today the headquarters for the park and contains a small museum. The grist mill was in operation between 1772 and 1961. http://www.dnr.state.md.us/publiclands/central/gunpowder.asp