Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse
Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse via Flickr

For travellers who want to get a little taste of everything on their travels, Maryland is a great place for a getaway. This state’s geography juxtaposes nice beaches and imposing mountains; its landscapes vary from urban and rural and the culture is both historic and modern. Here are a few ideas for an exciting sightseeing trip to the “America in Miniature” state:

Explore Smith Island

Captain John Smith discovered Smith Island in the 17th century. The island can only be accessed via boat so you will get a great view of the Maryland and Virginia coastline on the ride over. On the island, a bicycle tour will get you around to see the Island Belle ship built in 1916 and to eat Smith Island cake—the official dessert of the state of Maryland.

Visit the Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse

The Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse is a unique style of lighthouse. It isn’t a tall tower sitting on a rocky point on the shore. Thomas Point’s lighthouse, erected in 1875, is a screwpile offshore lighthouse—it’s in the bay and looks like a little 2-story house raised above the water. Be sure to visit this national landmark near Annapolis by boat!

See the Falling Branch Falls

If you’re into the great outdoors, you’ll enjoy seeing this 300-foot waterfall in Rocks State Park. It’s a short hike (1.2 miles) with an impressive payoff and a bit of history: the area used be a meeting place for Susquehannock Native Americans. Don’t forget your swim suit—you’ll be able to take a refreshing dip in the water below the falls.

Walk along the National Harbour

The National Harbour in Oxon Hill is a waterfront development on the Potomac River. You’ll find outdoor art sculptures, boats sitting in the harbour, and a number of restaurants and shops. Be sure to take a ride of the Capital Wheel at night. The waterfront Ferris wheel provides views of Oxon Hill, Washington, D.C. and beyond.

Look at the murals of Acorn Park

Acorn Park is a small urban green space in Silver Spring packed with things to see. Francis Blair once had an estate here; now it is a park with an acorn gazebo and beautiful murals created by Mame Cohalon. Most people who will be staying in Silver Spring get a flight into Ronald Reagan airport—saving that transfer time means you’ll have lots to explore!

Soar through Rock Creek Park

Rock Creek Regional Park in Rockville is a great place for picnics, boating, and kayaking. On weekends, the road through the park closes, making it a scenic trip for cyclists and joggers alike. If you really want to soar through the park with a view from above, try the Go Ape treetop adventure. They have six ziplines, rope ladders, and 2 Tarzan swings that get you to the top of the forest canopy.

Whether it’s relaxing in a charming bed and breakfast in Bethesda or getting a workout on the Appalachian Trail, Maryland has something here for everyone! Enjoy your trip to the beautiful state of Maryland.

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