Top 15 Maryland Attractions and Best Places to Visit

Adirondack Chairs by Deep Creek Lake, Maryland
••• Deep Creek Lake. Jumping Rocks/UIG/Getty Images
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    Best Places to Visit in Maryland

    Maryland offers a wide variety of attractions and things to do with its landscape extending from the seashore (the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean) to the mountains (the Appalachians) to urban areas (Baltimore and the Washington DC suburbs). In one day you can enjoy wonderful scenery and outdoor activities as well as visit museums, historic sites, and cultural events.

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    Maryland Eastern Shore

    Maryland, Eastern Shore, St. Michaels, harbor
    ••• St. Michaels, Maryland. Stephen Saks/Getty Images

    The "Eastern Shore", the eastern side of the Chesapeake Bay, is Maryland's most popular attraction. The region is characterized by historic towns, beaches and beautiful natural areas that draw a crowd during the summer months. Visit Chestertown, St. Michaels, Cambridge, Ocean City or Assateague Island. Each town has its own unique character and is well worth a visit. For more information, see a Visitor's Guide to the Maryland Eastern Shore.

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    Baltimore Inner Harbor

    The National Aquarium in Inner Harbor
    ••• The National Aquarium in Baltimore's Inner Harbor. Atlantide Phototravel/Getty Images

    Baltimore is a fun place to spend the day—walk along the docks, shop, eat and watch people. It is the largest city in the state of Maryland and the Inner Harbor is a prime destination for all ages with world-class attractions including the National Aquarium, Camden Yards, Port Discovery, Baltimore's Historic Ships, Maryland Science Center, Pier Six Pavilion, and Horseshoe Casino. To learn more, see the Top 10 Things to Do in Baltimore.

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    Annapolis City Dock

    winter sunrise at Annapolis's City Dock
    ••• A winter sunrise at Annapolis's City Dock. Charlie Stinchcomb/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

    Enjoy shopping, dining and the beautiful scenery of the state capital of Maryland and the sailing capital of America. Take a sightseeing cruise or walking tour and learn about the history of this beautiful seaport. Annapolis is the home of the United States Naval Academy and St. John's College, the third oldest institution of higher education in the United States. To learn more about the area, see a Visitor's Guide to Annapolis.

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    C & O Canal National Historic Park

    River running along C&O Towpath
    ••• The C&O Towpath. Eric Foltz/Getty Images

    The Chesapeake & Ohio Canal (C & O Canal) is a national historic park that dates back to the 18th and 19th centuries. The 184.5-mile towpath extends from Georgetown in Washington, DC to Cumberland, Maryland. Walking or bicycling along the towpath, you can view original structures including locks, lockhouses, and aqueducts. Read more about Exploring the C & O Canal.

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    Deep Creek Lake

    Adirondack Chairs by Lake
    ••• The grounds of Lake Point Inn, located on Deep Creek Lake. Jumping Rocks/UIG/Getty Images

    Deep Creek Lake is one of the top getaway destinations in the state of Maryland. Mountains, rivers, and lakes offer a wide selection of activities from active outdoor adventures to just plain relaxing. Enjoy hiking, bicycling, picnicking, boating, fishing, camping, swimming, and horseback riding in warmer weather and skiing, snowboarding, snow tubing, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling during the winter months. For more information, see a ​Visitor's Guide to Deep Creek Lake.

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    Maryland Live Casino

    Maryland Live casino
    ••• Maryland Live Casino. Rachel Cooper

    Located halfway between Baltimore and Washington DC, the casino features Las Vegas-style slot machines and electronic table games, including Blackjack, Roulette, Mini-Baccarat, and Pai Gow Poker. The $500 million gaming destination offers a variety of dining options and live entertainment. Read more about Maryland Live Casino.

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    Six Flags America

    Family playing in water at Six Flags America
    ••• Six Flags America. Courtesy of Six Flags America

    Six Flags America is the largest attraction for kids in the state of Maryland featuring more than 100 rides, shows, and the area's largest water park. The amusement park is a big attraction for all ages with 10 roller coasters with names like Wild One, Joker’s Jinx and Superman Ride of Steel. The show lineup includes an internationally awarded stunt show that is entertaining for all and younger kids enjoy the Looney Tunes Movie Town, where they can meet Bugs Bunny. The park is open April through October. Read more about Six Flags America.

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    Strathmore Music Center

    The Strathmore Music Center
    ••• The Strathmore Music Center. The United States Army Band/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

    The 2,000 seat state-of-the-art concert hall, brings world-class performances and arts education to Montgomery County, Maryland. Strathmore holds performances by major national artists including folk, blues, pop, jazz, show tunes, and classical music. Concerts and children's performances are held outdoors on the lawn during the summer months. AMP by Strathmore, a performance and event space within Pike & Rose, opened in 2015 featuring a 250-seat music venue for additional performances. Read more about Strathmore.

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    Brookside Gardens

    Japanese pagoda at Brookside Gardens
    ••• The Japanese pagoda at Brookside Gardens. Edward Kreis/dK.i imaging/Getty Images

    The 50-acre award winning garden is one of Montgomery County, Maryland's top attractions including an aquatic garden, azalea garden, butterfly garden, rose garden, children's garden, formal garden, fragrance garden, Japanese style garden, and trial garden. Brookside Gardens offers a variety of educational programs for adults and children. ​Read more about Brookside Gardens.

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    National Harbor

    Gaylord National Resort
    ••• Gaylord National Resort. Courtesy of Gaylord National Resort

    The 300-acre waterfront destination along the Potomac River is a $2.1 billion mixed-use community in Prince George's County, Maryland that includes hotels, restaurants, retail stores, condominiums, a full-service marina, a convention center, and commercial office space. National Harbor is a great place to shop, dine and play. Read more about National Harbor.

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    Merriweather Post Pavilion

    Cobra Starship perform live in concert at Merriweather Post Pavilion
    ••• Cobra Starship perform live in concert at Merriweather Post Pavilion. Jeff Fusco/Getty Images

    The outdoor concert venue is nestled within the 40 preserved acres known as Symphony Woods in Columbia, Maryland conveniently located between Baltimore and Washington, DC. A wide range of musical performances are held April through September. Read more about Merriweather Post Pavilion.

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    Historic Ellicott City

    Former mill town now antique center, Ellicott City, Maryland
    ••• The main street of Ellicott City. Walter Bibikow/Getty Images

    During the late 1700s, Ellicott's Mills was the largest flour milling center in the region. Today, the quaint town in Howard County, Maryland is a fun place to visit and is known for its historic charm as well as a nice selection of antique and specialty shops and unique restaurants and cafes. For more information, see a Visitor's Guide to Ellicott City.

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    Maryland Parks

    The view from the top of Sugarloaf Mountain
    ••• The view from the top of Sugarloaf Mountain. Mr.TinDC/Flickr/CC BY-ND 2.0

    Maryland's diverse geography from the Appalachian Mountains and the Chesapeake Bay to marshland on the Eastern Shore to the Atlantic Ocean make it a fun place to explore. The state has a wonderful variety of parks that offer endless opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors. Enjoy activities such as hiking, bicycling, picnicking, boating, fishing, camping, rock climbing, horseback riding and much more. See a guide to Maryland's Best Parks.

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    AFI Silver Theater and Cultural Center

    AFI Silver Theatre
    ••• AFI's Silver Theatre in Silver Spring. Courtesy of AFI Silver Theatre

    The American Film Institute (AFI), located in downtown Silver Spring, Maryland, is America's national arts organization dedicated to advancing and preserving the art of film, television, and digital media. Events include filmmaker interviews, panels, discussions, musical performances and more. Read more about the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center.

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    NASA Goddard Visitor Center

    NASA Goddard Space Flight Center's Visitor Center
    ••• NASA Goddard Space Flight Center's Visitor Center. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center's Visitor Center/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

    The Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland offers many unique programs, special events and presentations that highlight Goddard's Earth and Space Science, engineering, and technology work. Exhibits include interactive displays and models, as well as real examples of satellites and rocket flight hardware. Closed Sunday and Monday. ​Read more about the NASA Goddard Visitor Center.