There are plenty of fun things to do in Baltimore proper, but did you know there are also tons of great day trips to check out in the surrounding areas? We’ve rounded up ten of the best day trips from Baltimore, MD to add to your itinerary. These Baltimore day trips offer a little something for everyone, whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway, a family vacation, or even a solo trip.
Ten Best Baltimore Day Trips
1. Washington, D.C.
We’re starting with one of the most popular day trips from Baltimore: Washington, D.C. These two major cities are very close together—you can drive between the two in just one hour on a scenic parkway. There are also plenty of public transportation options between the two cities as well.
Once you get to Washington, D.C., there are so many fun things to do, whether it’s strolling the National Mall, exploring the Smithsonian museums, or relaxing in the city’s beautiful waterfront parks. DC also has an amazing food scene, full of acclaimed restaurants to explore! Check out the amazing restaurants by acclaimed chef and humanitarian José Andrés, one of the city’s most famous restaurateurs.
If you’re looking for a day trip that’s even closer to home, try visiting Annapolis for a day. This small city is Maryland’s state capital and is full of beautiful historic buildings, many of which date back to the 18th century. The town also sits directly on the Chesapeake Bay and is known for its rich naval tradition. For those interested in naval history, be sure to check out the US Naval Academy Museum and the Annapolis Maritime Museum during your visit.
3. Shenandoah National Park
If you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and enjoy some mountain scenery, consider visiting Shenandoah National Park in northern Virginia. This national park covers roughly 200,000 acres of the Blue Ridge Mountains and is a great place for a scenic drive or hike. There are hundreds of miles of trails to explore, and you might even spot some rare wildlife species!
4. Ocean City
Ocean City is a popular beach town on the Atlantic Ocean and is ideal for a beachy day trip. It’s just a 2.5-hour road trip from Baltimore, but you’ll be in a whole new world once you arrive. Looking for a little bit of nightlife while living the surf life? Known for its bars, clubs, and entertainment, Ocean City is a great place to go with friends when looking for a night out. Want a unique experience? Check out Seacrets, a swim-up bar that is actually 17 bars in one! With all its entertainment options, you may want to turn Ocean City from a day trip into a weekend getaway.
Philadelphia is less than a two-hour road trip from Baltimore by car, or roughly an hour away via Amtrak train. The City of Brotherly Love was established in the 17th century and is known for its Revolutionary War-era history. The Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, and the Franklin Institute are just a few of the many popular attractions in this city. Philadelphia is also known for its excellent art galleries, delicious food, and culturally rich neighborhoods.
6. Frederick, MD
Although Frederick is a small town, it has a wide variety of fun things to do. The surrounding area is known for its locally owned wineries, many of which are set in the beautiful Maryland countryside. Additionally, Frederick boasts striking Civil War-era architecture, as well as unique museums like the National Museum of Civil War Medicine. For those who enjoy spending time in nature, there are many excellent hiking trails in the area, as well.
7. Gunpowder Falls State Park
Gunpowder Falls State Park is a fun scenic day trip that’s just a half-hour away from downtown, making it one of the best day trips from Baltimore, MD. The park sits on the Gunpowder River and is a popular place for swimming, boating, and fishing. This state park also has an extensive trail network perfect for hiking, biking or horseback riding. If you don’t have your own equipment, don’t worry—there are plenty of rentals available at the park.
8. Gettysburg National Military Park
This road trip from Baltimore is a must for any Civil War buffs. The Gettysburg National Military Park marks one of the most famous Civil War battles, and it’s just over an hour away from Baltimore. This massive military park is full of fascinating monuments and historic landmarks, and there’s also a museum on site where you can learn more about the battles that took place here.
9. Six Flags America
Whether you have children or just love theme park rides, Six Flags America is a fun and easy day trip from Baltimore. It’s less than an hour by car and has a great selection of roller coasters, water rides, and more. This theme park is as ideal for adrenaline junkies as it is for families. There’s truly something for everyone.
10. Ellicott City
While Ellicott City is technically a suburb of Baltimore, it has a unique history that makes it worth a day trip of its own. Historic Ellicott City Station is one of the oldest railway stations in the United States and has been turned into a fascinating history museum. Many other buildings from the 18th century have survived in Ellicott City, and the downtown area is full of excellent dining and shopping options.
11. Berlin, MD
Looking for an even smaller town? Berlin might be the place for you. This charming, picturesque town of nearly 5,000 residents, Berlin offers everything from antique shops to fantastic restaurants in its historic main street district. Plus, it’s only ten miles from Ocean City, so you can visit the beach after exploring this quaint town.
12. Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge
Over 25,000 acres of wetlands can be found on Maryland’s Eastern Shore at the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, making this an easy, beautiful, nature-filled day trip from Baltimore. If you’re into bird watching or want to get started, this is the place to go. Take in Maryland’s natural beauty right from the Chesapeake marshlands.
Baltimore Can Be Your Home Base with Southern Management
There are so many great Baltimore day trips, making Charm City an ideal hub from which to explore the mid-Atlantic region. If you’re moving to the Baltimore area, Southern Management can help! We have an excellent selection of apartments to choose from throughout the Baltimore metro area, as well as options near Washington, D.C. Contact us today to learn more about our communities!