budget travel, maryland, sunrise ocean city maryland
Beach sun rise at Ocean City, MD | Photo courtesy of TCDavis via Flickr

Whether you love sightseeing, walking or fishing, are a keen ornithologist or are just looking for a relaxing family beach holiday, Maryland’s rolling countryside, sandy beaches and historic cities make it a wonderful destination. Best of all, you don’t need to spend a lot to have fun here: try some of these interesting recommendations for having fun in Maryland—even when on a budget.

Ocean City, MD

Swimming, people watching or just chilling out at this beautiful sandy beach: there is a lively atmosphere during the summer months but you can enjoy an off-season tranquillity during other times of the year. Kids love the old-fashioned amusements at Trimper’s Rides and the wonderful display of Christmas lights in Northside Park, so don’t miss out. For budget accommodation fronting the beach, try the Seascape Hotel: it’s a little dated but clean and comfortable.

Gaithersburg, MD

If your dream holiday involves mountain bikes, Gaithersburg is on the doorstep of some wonderful mountain bike trails. Schaeffer Farms Mountain Bike Trail offers different levels to test all abilities. To relax after your workout, sample the revamped Washingtonian Center. You can try taking a train ride around the lake and grab a bite at one of the many eateries before taking in a movie while you’re there too!

Towson, MD

History buffs will be fascinated by the Hampton National Historic Site, where knowledgeable guides conduct you through rooms decorated in period styles while providing facts about Baltimore’s history and famous residents. Beautiful, geometric gardens add to the elegant ambience. You can stay in private rental apartments from just $25 per night, a short walk from Johns Hopkins University. With housekeeping and linen provided, these accommodations make a perfect low-budget base.

Bethesda, MD

The Ratner Museum, with its display of bronze Biblical sculptures, is a must-see attraction in Bethesda and is completely free. Bethesda is home to the Strathmore center, a world-class venue for the performing arts, as well as several other theaters. After all this culture, the whole family enjoyed a walk at Cabin Johns Country Park, with an excellent play area for the little ones. Bethesda is a great base for visiting Washington, D.C. but you won’t be faced with the high prices for accommodation.

Silver Spring, MD

The kids were enthralled by the historic Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Station museum that opens on the first Saturday of every month. Bring a picnic lunch or eat at the station cafe. Wheaton Regional Park provides walking trails through woodland and around the lake: the botanical garden is a horticultural paradise with greenhouses filled with rare and exotic plants. Silver Spring is a perfect detour from the hustle and bustle of American capital city.

There is so much to explore in Maryland and you will find that a holiday here really does offer something for everyone. While these smaller towns may just be a detour on your way to the big city, I hope that these budget hacks will inspire you to come back time after time.

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