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16 Best Weekend Getaways From Baltimore, Maryland

If you’re a resident of Baltimore, you already know all of the great things to see and do in “Charm City.” But sometimes, you just need to get away from home and experience the sights and sounds of a new place. And there are plenty of places within a few hour’s driving distance of Baltimore that is just waiting to be discovered. From history and culture to nature and recreation, these quick weekend getaways include something for every traveler, no matter your tastes, schedule, or budget.

Thurmont, Maryland There are lots of trails for hiking and biking in the Catoctin Mountain State Park.
Credit: There are lots of trails for hiking and biking in the Catoctin Mountain State Park. by bigstockphoto.com

Thurmont, Maryland

The small town of Thurmont, located in the Catoctin Mountains, is a great weekend getaway spot, especially if you’re traveling with children. First, there’s plenty of natural beauty to enjoy at Catoctin Mountain State Park and Cunningham Falls State Park. But, there’s also the Catoctin Wildlife Preserve and Zoo, where you can check out the animals up close on a safari ride. And, the Catoctin Mountain Orchard, where you can pick your own apples and berries and go shopping in the Orchard store for jams, jellies, baked goods and more.

Harpers Ferry, West Virginia Harpers Ferry is located at the junction of the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers, making it a great spot for watersports.
Credit: Harpers Ferry is located at the junction of the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers, making it a great spot for watersports. by www.bigstockphoto.com

Harpers Ferry, West Virginia

Because of Baltimore’s convenient location, you can travel for just one hour and find yourself in the beautiful mountains of West Virginia. Situated in the Shenandoah Valley, Harpers Ferry is located where the Shenandoah and Potomac Rivers meet and is a popular spot for all kinds of watersports including kayaking, canoeing and whitewater rafting. There are also twenty miles of hiking trails to explore in the Harpers Ferry National Historical Park. Because the area is very rich in history, there are lots of significant sites to visit as well, like the Harper House, Arsenal Square and John Brown’s Fort.

Deep Creek Lake, Maryland Deep Creek Lake has plenty of activities to enjoy, no matter what time of year you visit.
Credit: Deep Creek Lake has plenty of activities to enjoy, no matter what time of year you visit. by bigstockphoto.com

Deep Creek Lake, Maryland

Another beautiful area for enjoying the outdoors is Deep Creek Lake, about a three-hour drive from Baltimore. This popular destination is a great choice no matter what time of year you’re visiting, thanks to a wide variety of activities. During the winter months, WISP Ski Resort offers skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, and even an alpine roller coaster. But, there’s plenty to do during the summertime too, including a canopy tour, rope courses, mountain biking, disc golf, and archery. Plus, Deep Creek Lake State Park also offers kayaks, canoes, and paddleboards that you can rent and take out on the water.

Bethany Beach, Delaware Bethany Beach in Delaware
Credit: Bethany Beach in Delaware by Collins93/shutterstock.com

Bethany Beach, Delaware

For a quick beach getaway, Bethany Beach, DE is just a short three-hour drive from Baltimore. And, unlike some of the other larger, more populated beaches nearby like Dewey Beach and Ocean City, MD, Bethany is more low-key and less crowded. There’s still plenty to do here stroll through the shops along the boardwalk, play miniature golf, go to the spa, visit Fenwick Island State Park or, of course, go sunbathing and swimming at the beach. For the ultimate beach experience, stay overnight in an oceanfront vacation rental.

Williamsburg, Virginia Williamsburg, Virginia
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Williamsburg, Virginia

If you are a big fan of history, you’ll definitely want to take a weekend trip to Colonial Williamsburg, just a little over three hours from Baltimore, where you’ll see history come alive all around you. In fact, it’s considered the largest living history museum in the country. You won’t just find a bunch of boring exhibits here. Instead, there are original 18th-century buildings to explore, carriage rides, two art museums, costumed tradespeople demonstrating various trades using 18th-century techniques and tools, and four historic taverns where you can experience authentic dishes served by traditionally-dressed waitstaff. If you’re lucky, you may even run into an important figure like Martha Washington or Thomas Jefferson during your visit!

Assateague Island, Maryland You can see the wild ponies in their natural habitat at Assateague Island.
Credit: You can see the wild ponies in their natural habitat at Assateague Island. by bigstockphoto.com

Assateague Island, Maryland

Animal lovers will especially love a getaway to Assateague Island, located on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, about two and a half hours from Baltimore. In addition to sunbathing, swimming, and walking along the sand, the best part of visiting this beautiful island is catching a glimpse of the wild ponies that live here. Although many of them are kept in a private area away from public access, you can still get a good view of them by taking a boat tour or a wildlife bus tour. Besides the ponies, you’ll have a chance to see other wildlife on the tour like deer, elk, and a variety of birds. During your visit to the area, you can also take a tour of the historic Assateague Lighthouse that dates back to 1867, and go hiking or mountain biking on the several miles of trails spread across the island. There are also plenty of opportunities for bird watching, crabbing, clamming, and fishing.

Washington, D.C. Washington DC in Spring
Credit: Washington DC in Spring by © Sean Pavone | Dreamstime.com

Washington, D.C.

The nation’s capital, Washington, DC, is just a short trip from Baltimore and one of the best places in the country to learn about history, democracy, and American culture. There are so many free monuments and museums to visit in DC, as well as festivals, live art performances, and political demonstrations. Depending on the traffic, you can typically get to DC from Baltimore in less than an hour and will have no shortage of things to see and do once you arrive. Catch a baseball game at Nationals Park, browse local goods at Eastern Market, and spend some time at the National Mall to relax and take a sightseeing break.

Annapolis, Maryland Annapolis, Maryland
Credit: Annapolis, Maryland by bigstock.com

Annapolis, Maryland

Another great weekend getaway from Baltimore is Annapolis, a beautiful city along the Chesapeake Bay. This is a historic place to visit where you can learn a lot and also enjoy outdoor activities on the water. There are some fun festivals that take place in Annapolis each year, such as the Annapolis Seafood Crawl and the Irish Festival. Annapolis is less than an hour from Baltimore, making it a quick and easy weekend getaway that’s right by the water. Popular ways to spend a day here include touring the historic buildings, eating fresh seafood at a waterfront restaurant, or renting a kayak or boat to get out on the water.

Cape May, New Jersey Cape May, New Jersey
Credit: Cape May, New Jersey by Bigstock.com

Cape May, New Jersey

Cape May, New Jersey is within road trip distance of Baltimore and filled with small towns and seaside charm. There are many historic buildings here and also great restaurants and quaint B&Bs for overnight accommodations. When you visit Cape May on a trip from Baltimore, you can check out a lighthouse, book a spa treatment, and learn new things at the local museums. Other fun ideas for your Cape May getaway include seeing the Jersey Shore Alpacas, touring the Naval Air Station Wildwood Aviation Museum, and doing a tasting at the Cape May Winery & Vineyard.

Mount Vernon, Virginia Mount Vernon, Home of George Washington
Credit: Mount Vernon, Home of George Washington by bigstock.com

Mount Vernon, Virginia

It’s fun to visit Mount Vernon, Virginia when you are in the Baltimore area to learn about America’s first president, George Washington, and tour his iconic home. This is a destination where you can learn all about the American Revolution and also take a scenic boat tour on the Potomac River. You can definitely spend a few hours at the Mount Vernon estate as you explore the mansion and grounds. George Washington’s Distillery & Gristmill is available for tours as well and is about 2.7 miles from the main entrance.

Hershey, Pennsylvania At Hershey's Chocolate World, you can take a chocolate-making tour and design your own candy bar.
Credit: At Hershey's Chocolate World, you can take a chocolate-making tour and design your own candy bar. by bigstockphoto.com

Hershey, Pennsylvania

Anyone with a sweet tooth should definitely plan to visit Hershey, Pennsylvania on a weekend trip from Baltimore. Hershey Park is a leisure park and chocolate factory with dozens of fun attractions, including rollercoasters and a water park. It only takes about an hour and a half to get from Baltimore to Hershey Park. It’s close to the town of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania too, just in case you’re looking for more city attractions to fill out your weekend itinerary.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Independence Hall in Philadelphia is where both the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence were written.
Credit: Independence Hall in Philadelphia is where both the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence were written. by bigstockphoto.com

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The exciting city of Philadelphia is less than two hours from Baltimore and another great place to learn about American history. This is the location of the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, and Independence National Historical Park. There are many art galleries to explore here and also the iconic Philly cheesesteak to try for a locally famous meal. The Eastern State Penitentiary is a historic prison that offers tours and exhibits, while the Reading Terminal Market is a great place to find tasty food. Also, it wouldn’t be a complete trip to Philly without snapping a photo in front of the “LOVE” sculpture in John F. Kennedy Plaza before you head back to Baltimore!

Chesapeake Beach, Maryland Chesapeake Beach
Credit: Chesapeake Beach by Jon Bilous/shutterstock.com

Chesapeake Beach, Maryland

For a quaint bayside town experience, plan your weekend getaway to Chesapeake Beach. This resort town along the railway is known for having both year-round and summer homes. Families love spending time at the beach here and also checking out the Railway Museum and Bay Front Park. Fishing, sunbathing, and visiting museums are all popular things to do in this place. Chesapeake Beach is just a little over an hour from Baltimore so you can maximize your beach time without being stuck in the car for too long.

Atlantic City, New Jersey Atlantic City Boardwalk
Credit: Atlantic City Boardwalk by © Littleny - Dreamstime.com

Atlantic City, New Jersey

In less than three hours, you can get from Baltimore to Atlantic City, New Jersey for some beaches, fine dining, and exciting nightlife. Atlantic City is known for its famous boardwalk, many casinos, and upscale restaurants with ocean views. The Steel Pier Amusement Park is a favorite local spot among families. Summer is a perfect time to visit Atlantic City and spend time exploring all it has to offer. Some of the other top attractions to squeeze into your Atlantic City weekend are Ripley’s Believe It or Not, the Atlantic City Ballet, and the Atlantic City Aquarium.

Frederick, Maryland Frederick, Maryland
Credit: Frederick, Maryland by © Cvandyke | Dreamstime.com

Frederick, Maryland

You can learn a lot about history and get active in the outdoors when you spend a weekend in Frederick, Maryland. This town is filled with Civil War-era buildings, art galleries, and museums to explore. The Appalachian Trail is nearby for hiking, and battlefields are in the vicinity to visit too. It is just under an hour’s drive between Baltimore and Frederick. Gambrill State Park is near Frederick and a lovely place for hiking, biking, and scenic views. Other things to do on a weekend in the Frederick area are touring local wineries, golf, the zoo, and seeing the covered bridges.

Lancaster, Pennsylvania Enjoy a slower pace in the Pennsylvania Dutch country of Lancaster, PA.
Credit: Enjoy a slower pace in the Pennsylvania Dutch country of Lancaster, PA. by bigstockphoto.com

Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Within about an hour and a half, you can drive from Baltimore to Lancaster, Pennsylvania to slow down your pace of life and experience unique cultures. This is a traditional home of the Amish people and a countryside getaway in Pennsylvania Dutch Country. There is a vibrant downtown area to explore in Lancaster and many local attractions, such as the Lancaster Central Market, Amish Farm and House, and Dutch Wonderland amusement park. When you plan a trip to Lancaster for the weekend, you can also see President James Buchanan’s Wheatland, attend a baseball game at Clipper Magazine Stadium, and watch a performance at the American Music Theater.

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