Itching to get out of town for a change of scenery? Now is the perfect time to once again pack up the family and hit the road! This time we are heading south to some cool cities (Baltimore, Annapolis and Washington, D.C.) and exciting venues within a day’s drive.
To ensure a successful trip, have a plan in place before getting in the car, especially since there are constant updates with the pandemic still in effect. Be sure to check state regulations as well as policies for any site you want to visit.
Now onto the fun stuff! Outlined below are some entertaining activities to explore in Baltimore, MD, Annapolis, MD, and Washington, D.C. Pick one or pick them all for different weekend exploits…We are on the road again!
Activities are Booming in Baltimore, MD
Take the family on a straight jaunt down I-95S and you can enjoy Baltimore’s Inner Harbor for the day. There is so much to do you may want to plan – and stay – for an entire weekend!
No trip to the Inner Harbor would be complete without visiting The National Aquarium where you can take advantage of Half Price Friday Night admission. Sign up for a Private Dolphin Training Session or Reptile Encounter to delight everyone in the family.
When you finish touring the Aquarium, make some time to take in the fleet of ships permanently docked in the Harbor. It is a spectacular group of vessels ranging from the USS Constellation to the USS Torsk, a submarine you won’t want to miss! While the Historic Ships plan to reopen around April 1, you can still view and appreciate their glory safely from the Harbor.
Oriole Park at Camden Yards was the first baseball stadium of its kind, combining old-time ballpark nostalgia with state-of-the-art facilities. Celebrating its Opening Day game in April of 1992, the stadium has been drawing spectators from all over the country ever since.
If the Orioles are on the road when you journey to Baltimore, you can still take in some baseball history with a tour of the Babe Ruth Birthplace Sports Legends Museum. Baltimore takes great pride in calling George Herman “Babe” Ruth a native son and his birthplace has a wonderful collection of memorabilia. The museum is a short walk from the Inner Harbor.
In the mood for some transportation information? We have got you covered. Explore the B&O Railroad Museum conveniently located near the Inner Harbor. Guests can experience a train ride on the first commercial mile of track laid in America or book early bird tickets for a Day Out with Thomas the Train in May where your children will be treated to miles of smiles with Thomas!
Complete your trip to Baltimore with a tour of Fort McHenry National Monument, which played a pivotal role during the War of 1812 and is historically known as the place where Francis Scott Key wrote The Star Spangled Banner. Currently the public facilities are closed but the grounds and parking lots are open from 9 am – 5 pm.
To view our full guide to Baltimore destinations, click here.
On to Amazing Annapolis, MD
The beautiful capital city of Maryland provides both history and adventure for the family with a serene setting right on the Chesapeake Bay. This historical seaport city is only 26 miles south of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, making it an easy destination whether as an add-on or a solo trip.
Jump into the entertainment when you arrive by booking Pirate Adventures on the Chesapeake where your swash bucklers can have a grand time living the life of a pirate. Search for a sunken treasure and fire the water cannons for some yo-ho-ho excitement!
Annapolis is home to the US Naval Academy, and while public tours are currently not available due to Covid-19, it is worth the time to take a look at the hallowed grounds. Carve out a few minutes of your day to marvel at the beauty of the space that provides so much rich history and trains our country’s future Naval officers.
There is no better place to discover the rich maritime heritage of the Chesapeake Bay than at the Annapolis Maritime Museum and Park. Book a sailing adventure on one of the few remaining skipjacks, the Wilma Lee, or take in a tour of the Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse, the last screw-pile lighthouse on the Bay (2021 Saturday tour dates will be announced soon).
Fifty years ago the city of Annapolis became a National Historic Landmark District, a proud distinction that includes The Maryland State House, the only state house to ever have served as the nation’s capitol. Presently the State House is closed to the public but you can still admire its beauty and take a virtual tour to learn the history. Continue perusing the Historic District to see St. Anne’s Episcopal Church, the first church in the city founded in 1692.
Want to see the city in a fun, engaging fashion? Try Annapolis Scavenger Hunt: Red Bricks and Blue Views for an epic adventure with the entire family. It is the perfect opportunity to take in the historic aspect and the harbor views while in Maryland’s capital. Book in advance to learn some secrets of our nation’s growth.
To view our full guide to Annapolis destinations, click here.
Onward to Our Nation’s Capital: Washington, D.C.
The question is not what to do in D.C. but what not to do! The possibilities are limitless and there is something for everyone. Museums? They have got that? Monuments? Got that covered, too!
A trip to Washington, D.C. will require advanced planning based on the number of days you outline to spend plus the ages and interests of your children. Start with the Washington, D.C. Sightseeing Pass which offers flexibility and selection on which attractions you want to see. Passes include a 24-hour Big Bus ticket pass plus admission to one, two, or four attractions.
Another great way to see all of the monuments is on a bike tour. Several years ago our family embarked on a tour of all the major monuments in D.C.; with limited time we were able to visit everything from the Lincoln Memorial to the Jefferson Memorial to the Vietnam Memorial. The bike tour made it possible and fun to reach all epic monuments in one outing. There are several companies available for booking.
If walking is more your speed, spend time strolling through the National Mall and Memorial Park where you can view several of the iconic memorials in our country’s capital, such as the Washington Monument, the Korean War Veterans’ Memorial, and the World War II Memorial. It is a great place and fantastic space to dawdle and absorb history.
There may be no better known collection of museums than the Smithsonian Institution, and all located in one city. Popular venues among the Smithsonian include the National Air and Space Museum, the National Museum of Natural History, National Museum of American History, the National Portrait Gallery, and the National Zoo. While the museums still remain closed, the garden and outdoor spaces are open to the public.
An early piece of history all school-age children learn about is the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, so why not stop by Ford’s Theater to immerse yourselves in happenings on the evening of April 15, 1865. (While we wait for the theater doors to once again open, visitors can take part in live-streaming programs.)
Complete your Washington trip with a visit to the International Spy Museum, sure to be a favorite for everyone in the group. Visitors can “go undercover” on their own secret mission and be debriefed at the end of the tour. The Museum is now open Thursday-Monday.
To view our full guide to Washington D.C. destinations, click here.
Remember to plan ahead, check hours and availability of tickets, and then have tons of fun exploring these spectacular cities beckoning for you to explore.