Summer Hot List: Popular attractions, parks, and recreational opportunities of the region
Jul 05, 2016 01:52PM
● By Cate Reynolds
Tuckahoe Lake and State Park is a popular fishing hole on the Eastern Shore
Looking for a local adventure; someplace worth exploring and/or to let loose? We’ve compiled a list of some of the region’s more popular attractions, parks, and recreational opportunities. Please call ahead or visit websites for hours of operation, admission prices, and updated information.Adkins Arboretum: 400-acre native garden and preserve on Maryland’s Eastern Shore with five miles of paths and year-round programs in ecology, horticulture, and natural history for all ages. 12610 Eveland Rd., Ridgely. 410-634-2847. Adkinsarboretum.org.
Annapolis Canoe and Kayak: Annapolis Canoe and Kayak rents canoes, kayaks, and paddle boards. 311 Third Street, Annapolis. 410-263-2303. Annapoliscanoeandkayak.com.
Annapolis Parks and Recreation: Annapolis area residents can enjoy the beauty of the outdoors and the grace of nature at its many community parks and trails with more than 40 parks and on more than 200 acres of park land. http://www.annapolis.gov/government/city-departments/recreation-and-parks.
Annapolis Tours by Watermark: Walk side-by-side, or explore local waterways on the Chesapeake’s largest tourism fleet, with Annapolis’ most experienced tour guides. Visitors’ Center at 26 West Street and 1 Dock Street, Annapolis. 410-268-7601. Watermarkjourney.com, cruisesonthebay.com, and annapolistours.com.
Anne Arundel County Fairgrounds: Hosts many festivals including the Naptown barBAYq Festival, Anne Arundel County Fair, and more. 1450 Generals Highway, Crownsville. 410-923-3400. Aacountyfair.org.
Betterton Beach: This five-acre landscaped, family-oriented waterfront park is the larger of two public beaches in Kent County on the Chesapeake Bay. The exceptional sandy beach has 300 feet of frontage for swimming and 700 feet of shoreline access. 410-778-0416. Betterton, Maryland. Kentcounty.com/betterton.
Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge: More than 28,000 acres composed mainly of rich tidal marsh, popular during the November waterfowl migration. Also features a Visitor Center, Wildlife Drive, four hiking trails, three paddling trails, miles of cycling roads, hunting/fishing/crabbing opportunities, and adventures in environmental education. 2145 Key Wallace Dr., Cambridge. 410-228-2677. fws.gov/refuge/Blackwater.
Blue Crab Chesapeake Charters: Award-winning 90-minute sailing cruises departing up to five times daily from Waterman’s Crab House. At the Foot of Sharp Street, Rock Hall. 410-708-1803. Bluecrabcharters.com.
Calvert Marine Museum: The Calvert Marine Museum is a public, non-profit, educational, regionally oriented museum dedicated to the collection, preservation, research, and interpretation of the culture and natural history of Southern Maryland. 14200 Solomons Island Road, Solomons. 410-326-2042. Calvertmarinemuseum.com.
Capital City Colonials: See the Historic District of Annapolis from an 18th century viewpoint. Walking and specialty tours with guides in colonial costumes. 202-683-8847. Capitalcitycolonials.com.
Charles Carroll House and Gardens: Celebrating a history that spans over 300 years, the Carroll House is a restoration-in-progress. The site bears great historical significance to the state of Maryland and America as the home of Charles Carroll the Settler, first Attorney General of Maryland, his son, Charles Carroll of Annapolis and his grandson, Charles Carroll of Carrollton (1737-1832). 107 Duke of Gloucester Street, Annapolis. 410-269-1737. Charlescarrollhouse.org.
Chase-Lloyd House: Georgian mansion that started construction in 1769 by Samuel Chase, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, and was finished in 1774 by William Buckland. The house is open for tours March–December, Monday–Saturday. 22 Maryland Avenue, Annapolis. 410-263-2723. chaselloydhouse.org.
Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum: Dedicated to preserving and exploring the history, environment and people of the Chesapeake Bay via education, restoration, and exhibition programs. 213 N. Talbot Street, St. Michaels. 410-745-2916. Cbmm.org.
Chesapeake Beach Water Park: The water park features eight water slides, fountains, waterfalls, a lagoon, and kids’ activity pool. 4079 Gordon Stinnett Avenue, Chesapeake Beach. 410-257-1404. Chesapeakebeachwaterpark.com.
Discover Annapolis Tours: Tour sites of Historic Annapolis by trolley bus, including City Dock, State House, St. John’s College, colonial mansions, Victorian homes, and more. Tours depart from 26 West St., Annapolis. 410-626-6000. Discover-annapolis.com.
Downs Park: 236-acre park overlooking the Chesapeake Bay with five miles of walking trails, fishing pier, dog beach, picnic pavilions, a playground, youth camping, summer concerts, and more. 8311 John Downs Loop, Pasadena. 410-222-6230. Aacounty.org/departments/recreation-parks/parks/downs.
Hammond-Harwood House Museum: The mission of the Hammond-Harwood House Association is to preserve, for public education and enjoyment, the architecturally significant Hammond-Harwood House museum and its collection of fine and decorative arts.19 Maryland Avenue, Annapolis. 410-263-4683. Hammondharwoodhouse.org.
Historic London Town and Gardens: The 23-acre museum and park features history, archaeology, and horticulture. The Historic Area includes the circa 1760 William Brown House, a National Historic Landmark, reconstructed colonial buildings, and an ongoing archaeological investigation in search of the “lost town” of London. 839 Londontown Road, Edgewater. 410-222-1919. Historiclondontown.com.
Maryland Live! Casino: Features table games, slots, fine and casual dining, and live entertainment and concerts. 7002 Arundel Mills Circle #7777, Hanover. 443-842-7000. Marylandlivecasino.com.
Maryland Renaissance Festival: Travel back in time at this 1500's recreated English village, named Revel Grove, complete with costumed entertainment, games, food, drink, performances, medieval knights and jousting, and much more. 1821 Crownsville Rd., Annapolis. 800-296-7304. Rennfest.com.
Maryland State House: The oldest state house in continuous use in the nation. 100 State Circle, Annapolis. 410-946-5400. Msa.md.gov.
Maryland Zoo: The Maryland Zoo is home to more than 1500 wild animals, located in Baltimore’s historic Druid Hill Park.1876 Mansion House Drive, Baltimore. 410-396-7102. Marylandzoo.org.
National Sailing Center & Hall of Fame: Currently offers free sailing trips (up to 10 people) aboard the sandbaggers Bull and Bear. Permanent museum and hall of fame will be built in the future. 69 Prince George Street, Annapolis. 1-877-295-3022. Nshof.org.
Ocean City Skydiving Center: Offers skydiving experiences with the Atlantic Ocean, Ocean City, and rural Eastern Shore as the backdrop. 12724 Airport Road, Berlin. 410-213-1319. Skydiveoc.com.
Patuxent Research Refuge & National Wildlife Visitor Center: 12,841-acre research center and wildlife refuge features the largest science and environmental education center in the U.S. Department of the Interior. The Refuge offers tram tours, fishing, hiking, art and nature programs, and much more. 10901 Scarlet Tanager Loop, Laurel. 301-497-5760. Fws.gov/refuge/Patuxent.
Quiet Waters Park: 340-acre park abutting the South River and featuring visitor center with art exhibits, playgrounds, walking/hiking trails, picnic areas, dog park and beach, ice rink, sculpture garden, summer concerts, and more. 600 Quiet Waters Park Rd., Annapolis. 410-222-1777. Aacounty.org/RecParks/parks/quietwaters.
The Rock Hall Beach: The small swimming beach and gazebo, known locally as Ferry Park, is located on Beach Road. With picnic tables, barbecue stands, and pavilions, it offers outstanding views from the Chesapeake Bay and the Bay Bridge to the Western Shore. Rock Hall, Maryland. Rockhallmd.com/visitors/pages/beach.
Sandy Point State Park: 786-acre Maryland State Park with sandy beach, picnicking, trails, marina, and more located along the northwestern shore of the Chesapeake Bay. Located off U.S. Routes 50/301 at exit 32, Annapolis. 410-974-2149. Dnr2.maryland.gov/publiclands/pages/southern/sandypoint.aspx.
Schooner Woodwind: Public, private, and special event cruises along the Severn River and Chesapeake Bay aboard a 74-foot wooden schooner. Departs from 80 Compromise St., Annapolis. 410-263-7837. Schoonerwoodwind.com.
Six Flags America: Theme park with roller coasters, rides, attractions, water park, and entertainment. 13710 Central Ave., Upper Marlboro. 301-249-1500. Sixflags.com/America.
Smithsonian Environmental Research Center: 2,650-acre wooded campus and outdoor museum, with hiking trails, canoeing, and nature programs. 647 Contees Wharf Rd., Edgewater. 443-482-2200. Serc.si.edu.
Sultana Projects: Replica of a British schooner that patrolled the North American coast just prior to the American Revolution, Schooner Sultana offers two-hour public sails as well as group programs. 105 S. Cross St., Chestertown. 410-778-5954. Sultanaeducation.org.
Tawes Garden: Representations of the state’s various geographic areas are featured in the Maryland Department of Natural Resources’ five-acre garden. 580 Taylor Ave., Annapolis. 410-260-8189. dnr2.maryland.gov/publiclands/pages/southern/tawesgarden.aspx.
Terrapin Nature Park: 276-acre nature park features a 3.25-mile oyster chaff walking trail, gazebo, boardwalk overlooking the Chesapeake Bay, beach, and more. 191 Log Canoe Circle, Stevensville. 410-758-0835. Parksnrec.org/hiker-biker-trails/parks-and-maps.
TriCycle & Run: Bicycle rentals available for exploring the town of St. Michaels. 929 S. Talbot Street, St. Michaels. 410-745-2836. Tricycleandrun.com.
Tuckahoe State Park: Features a 60-acre lake, 20 miles of scenic hiking, biking, and equestrian trails, camping, picnicking, and more. 13070 Crouse Mill Road, Queen Anne. 410-820-1668. Dnr2.maryland.gov/publiclands/pages/eastern/tuckahoe.aspx.
Whitehall Historic House: Whitehall Plantation is only 7.5 miles to the east of Annapolis. It features elaborate original interior woodwork and is a National Historic Landmark and architectural gem. 1915 Whitehall Road, Annapolis. 443-905-3464. Whitehallmd.com.
William Paca House and Garden: The restored home of William Paca, signer of the Declaration of Independence and Revolutionary-era Governor of Maryland, stands today as one of the most elegant landmarks in Annapolis. Guided tours of the house take place hourly. 186 Prince George Street, Annapolis. 410-990-4543. Annapolis.org/contact/william-paca-house-garden
U.S. Naval Academy’s Armel-Leftwich Visitor Center: Films, displays, and exhibits are located on the yard at the U.S. Naval Academy Museum in Preble Hall. Guided tours available. Gate 1, 52 King George Street, Annapolis. 410-293-8687. Usnabsd.com/for-visitors.