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Best things to do in Maryland

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Where in the world: USA  /  Maryland
From wandering around the country's diverse landscapes to discovering its eventful past, visitors enjoy a range of interesting things to do in Maryland. Featuring a battlefield, an educational visitor's center, and a National Military Cemetery, Antietam National Battlefield in Sharpsburg makes a perfect place for all those interested in the history of the American Civil War. Animal lovers flock to National Aquarium in Baltimore, where they can observe and learn about more than 750 different marine species. For a relaxing day by the ocean, head to Ocean City Beach, where you can swim, sunbathe, and practice your swing on an adjacent golf course.

Maryland is best known for its Casinos, Specialty Museums, and Aquariums.

Top 15 things to do in Maryland

1. National Aquarium, Baltimore

Constructed during a 1980s period of urban renewal, National Aquarium shelters more than 17,000 marine animals, representing 750 different species. Dedicated to inspiring conservation of the world's diminishing aquatic treasures and disseminating information about the pressing issues facing endangered habitats around the globe, the aquarium offers educational programs suitable for visitors of all ages. You can learn about the dangers threatening the planet's rain forests and coral reefs, or visit the marine mammal pavilion to observe Atlantic bottlenose dolphins, most of which were born in captivity. Save a little time for the sea cliffs exhibit, housing several species of seabirds.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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2. U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis

Established in 1845 and first called the Navy School, trains naval officers with a four-year, college degree program. Candidacy is hard-won because each student must apply directly and also be nominated by a member of Congress. The campus is commonly called "The Yard," and you'll find many halls cover the 137 hectares (340 acres) area. The campus is also dotted with monuments commemorating U.S. military history. Visit the Tripoli monument, the oldest military monument in the U.S. Follow the Stribling Walk of 16,000 bricks to find others, such as the Mexican monument. Inside the academy, the chapel and the rotunda leading to Memorial Hall are inspiring examples of American neoclassical architecture.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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3. Horseshoe Casino, Baltimore

Try your luck at Horseshoe Casino, a sprawling, two-story establishment, equipped with over 2,000 slot machines. In addition to the standard blackjack, craps, and roulette, fans of table games can choose from several poker varieties, including Ultimate Texas Hold'em and Mississippi Stud. As far as refreshments are concerned, a number of restaurants and food outlets await, ranging from casual to upscale. If you get tired of gambling, you can relax with a drink or dance the night away at the lounge, which hosts DJs and live music on weekends.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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4. Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine, Baltimore

The fortress that inspired Francis Scott Key to write "The Star Spangled Banner," Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine displays artifacts from all the wars fought near its walls. Soldiers at the fort successfully defended Baltimore Harbor during the War of 1812. The fort was used in military operations until World War II, acting an army hospital in World War I and as a Coast Guard base in World War II. You can reach the military establishment by water taxi from Inner Harbor in the center of Baltimore. Historical reenactments of the siege of 1812 and other periods take place regularly.
Suggested duration: 8 hours
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5. Ocean City Boardwalk, Ocean City

Ocean City Boardwalk is a promenade between the beach and the town in Ocean City. Hotels that boast ocean views and beach access line the boardwalk. The ground floors of many of these buildings are filled to bursting with boutiques, souvenir shops, and bars. For fresh seafood, consider Harrison's Harbor Watch Restaurant overlooking the inlet. In addition to beach and water activities, you can visit Ripley's Believe or Not Museum and Ocean City Pier Games, an arcade and game stop.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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7. Ocean City Beach, Ocean City

Ocean City Beach combines 16 km (10 mi) of beaches with a golf course and resorts. The beach sometimes hosts concerts and sporting events, and its clean and inviting sand and water clean make the beach area popular with families. A boardwalk promenade skirts almost 5 km (3 mi) of beach and is lined with restaurants and shops.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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8. Inner Harbor, Baltimore

A defining landmark, Inner Harbor featured water too shallow in the 18th century for heavy industry. In the 1970s, a visit from tall, masted ships attracted tourism and led to the development of the National Aquarium, Maryland Science Center, and the Harborplace festival marketplace. Restaurants, shops, and hotels fill the space between the attractions and create an attractive cityscape.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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9. Antietam National Battlefield, Sharpsburg

Commemorating the significant Battle of Antietam during the American Civil War, Antietam National Battlefield is a protected area featuring the battlefield, an educational visitor's center, a field hospital museum, and a National Military Cemetery. Beginning on September 17, 1862, Union forces halted the Confederate Army's first invasion of the North, which led to President Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation. Later, it became known as one of the bloodiest single-day battles of the Civil War, with 23,000 casualties. You can take a self-guided, 13.7 km (8.5 mi) driving tour of the battlefield. It features 11 stops. You may purchase an audio tour to accompany your drive if you wish.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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10. Sherwood Gardens, Baltimore

Sherwood Gardens is a 6-acre (24,000 m2) park located in the Guilford neighborhood of Northern Baltimore, Maryland. The gardens are bordered by East Highfield, Underwood, Stratford and Greenway Roads. In addition to well-groomed, standard ground cover (azaleas, evergreens, etc...), Sherwood Gardens is famous for its nearly 80,000 tulips that peak in late April. After the tulips finish blooming, the Tulip Dig occurs on the Saturday of Memorial Day each year. Anyone can dig up and purchase the tulip bulbs.

The park is maintained and managed by Stratford Green, Inc., a 501(c)3 organization.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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11. Assateague Island National Seashore, Assateague Island

Witness wild ponies running free on 16,720 hectares (41,320 acres) at Assateague Island National Seashore, a portion of Assateague Island run by the National Park Service. Stop in at the visitors center before crossing over into the park. Walk the shores of its famous white sand beaches, take a short hike, swim anywhere on the island, or even go fishing (Maryland fishing license required). While the island hosts a variety of birds, it is most well-known for its free-roaming, wild ponies. These Assateague Island wild ponies wander along the beaches near Chincoteague, Virginia, and Ocean City, Maryland. In addition to participating in recreational activities available on the Island, take a tour to see these majestic creatures in their natural habitat.
Suggested duration: 8 hours
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12. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore

The Walters Art Museum houses a vast selection of world art, including Greek sculpture, Roman sarcophagi, Art Nouveau jewelry, and medieval ivories, as well as Old Master and 19th-century masterpieces. Named for William Thompson Walters and Henry Walters, the father and son duo who collected a significant portion of the museum’s pieces, the museum opened in 1934 following Henry’s death and subsequent donation of his collection to the city of Baltimore. An audio guide is available to talk you through each exhibit.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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13. Fell's Point, Baltimore

Walk the cobblestone paths, drink at coffee shops, go to museums and antique stores, or have a ghost tour, at the charming historical district Fell's Point. Built along Baltimore Harbor and Potapsco River, this area was the principal destination of the European settlers in the early 19th century. Parts of it resemble Belgium, others Italy, and some neighborhoods are described as German-American or Jewish. Today, it is home to over 120 pubs--the greatest concentration of drinking establishments in the city--and numerous tourist attractions. The area can be accessed by car, bus, or water taxi.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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14. American Visionary Art Museum, Baltimore

Dedicated to the unusual creations of the "outsider art" movement, American Visionary Art Museum features more than 4,000 works off-the-wall, unorthodox pieces. Known also as "raw art" or "self-taught art," visionary works displayed in the museum focus primarily on self-discovery, individuality, timelessness, and exploration of the mind. You'll find that the museum generally has no permanent curators, as its community-based approach means that most are brought in as guests. Regardless of your artistic leanings, you can view the pieces and learn about the "visionaries" creating them. Check the museum's website for information regarding special tours, art talks, and traveling exhibits.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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