Top 10 Western Maryland Attractions

Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historic Park

Richard T. Nowitz / Getty Images

Western Maryland is the mountainous side of the state, noted for rural landscapes, small towns, and numerous state parks and outdoor recreation opportunities. It is a scenic region with a wide variety of fun things to do for all ages. See suggestions and learn all about the top attractions in Washington, Allegany, and Garrett counties. With its close proximity to the Washington, D.C. area, Western Maryland is a great destination to plan a day trip or weekend getaway and enjoy exploring this beautiful area.

01 of 10

Deep Creek Lake

Grassy shore of Deep Creek Lake lined with trees and rocks

TripSavvy / Rachel Cooper

With 65 miles of shoreline, Deep Creek Lake in Garrett County is Maryland’s largest freshwater lake. During the warmer months of the year, visitors enjoy boating, swimming, fishing, hiking, biking, and golf. Wisp Ski Resort offers a wide range of winter activities including skiing, snowboarding, snow tubing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, and sleigh rides. The Western Maryland resort area is the most popular attraction in the region.

02 of 10

Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park

View from above of canal running through field of trees in autumn at Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historic Park

TripSavvy / Rachel Cooper

The national historic park runs 184.5 miles from Cumberland, Maryland to Georgetown in Washington, D.C. The towpath along the C & O Canal is a popular bike trail with gorgeous scenery. The western terminus of the canal offers canal boat tours, scenic railroad excursions, dining, shopping, and outdoor recreation. The Cumberland C&O Canal National Historical Park Visitor Center offers interpretive exhibits on the transportation history of the region.

03 of 10

Antietam National Battlefield

Three people in Civil War attire walking on a path to commemorate the Battle of Antietam
Maryland Office of Tourism

Located in Sharpsburg, Maryland, the site commemorates the bloodiest one-day battle in American history, fought on September 17, 1862, during the Civil War. You can explore museum exhibits, join a park ranger for a battlefield talk and take a self-guided 8½ mile auto tour through the battlefield.

04 of 10

Western Maryland Railroad

Empty railroad station against cloudy sky

John Lowe / EyeEm / Getty Images

The historic railway station in Cumberland, Maryland offers a 32-mile ride through the scenic mountains of Western Maryland aboard a restored 1916 Baldwin Steam Locomotive and vintage diesels. The round trip excursion is entertaining and educational including interpretive history about rail transportation. Special rides include the Murder Mystery Train, Engineer for a Day and Santa Express.

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Hagerstown Premium Outlets

Evening view of people in front of storefronts at Hagerstown Premium Outlets including Banana Republic Factory Store and kate spade New York.
Hagerstown Premium Outlets

The outlet shopping mall is one of the closest to the Washington, D.C. area, attracting shoppers to its brand named stores including Adidas, Banana Republic, Brooks Brothers, Calvin Klein, Coach, Gap, Guess, J.Crew, kate spade, Nike, Tommy Hilfiger, Under Armour and many more.

06 of 10

Western Maryland Rail Trail

Western Maryland Railway BoWest Bridge

Trains & Trails / Flickr / CC BY-ND 2.0


The 21-mile asphalt paved trail is perfect for hiking, biking, and roller-blading. From Hancock, Maryland, the trail travels 10 miles to the east to about 1/2 mile from Fort Frederick State Park and another ten miles to the west to Polly's Pond. The center of the trail is accessible from the Hancock Station Parking Area just off Main Street in Hancock, Maryland.

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Rocky Gap State Park

View from above of body of water at Rocky Gap State Park surrounded by grass, trees, and Rocky Gap Lodge and Golf Resort
Rocky Gap Lodge and Golf Resort

Located in Western Maryland’s Allegany County, the park features gorgeous mountain views and a 243-acre lake. The park has a day use area with a nature center, interpretive programs, hiking trails, boating and fishing, campgrounds and cabins. Rocky Gap Casino Resort offers luxury accommodations, gambling facilities, and a conference center. 

08 of 10

Crystal Grottoes Caverns

Stone walls and stalactites inside Crystal Grottoes Caverns

Jklispie / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0

Located between Frederick and Hagerstown, Maryland's only commercial underground caverns is a popular attraction that dates back to 1920. Visitors take a 40-minute tour and learn the history of the formations and geological aspects of the caverns.

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Greenbrier State Park

Body of water reflecting surrounding trees and sky at Greenbrier State Park
Department of Natural Resources

Located in the Appalachian Mountains, this state park has a 42-acre man-made lake that offers swimming, sunbathing, boating and fishing opportunities. It is one of the closest lakes to the Washington, D.C. area that allows swimming. There are also hiking trails, picnic tables and grills and playgrounds available for day use. There are 165 campsites.

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Discovery Station at Hagerstown

View from above of various exhibits including a model of the RMS Titanic at Discovery Station
Discovery Station

The science, technology and history museum in Hagerstown, Maryland offers hands-on experiences for all ages, stimulating a curiosity for discovery and learning. Exhibits include a full-scale Triceratops skull, a Cessna 150, a model of NASA spacecraft, 15' model of the Titanic, Moller historic organ, and much more.

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