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The new nation was barely in its infancy when the War of 1812 brought the British back to American soil.

In their attempt to capture Baltimore, the British heavily bombarded Maryland's Fort McHenry throughout the day and night of September 13, 1814 as "the rockets red glare" inspired the famous lyrics to America's national anthem, The Star Spangled Banner.

Today, Maryland still plays a part in defending America's shores at the the US Naval Academy Museum in historic Annapolis. Meanwhile the capitol city Baltimore gets the national spotlight every Spring as horse race fans line up at the Preakness Stakes, one of the three jewels in the world famous Triple Crown.

Other Maryland must-sees include stops along the coastal shore of Chesapeake Bay -- famous for its Maryland crabs and scenic beaches -- as well as Atlantic Ocean swimming, surfing, and summer attractions along the boardwalk at Ocean City,
For more fun in the sun, a trip to Assateague Island National Seashore is a nature lover's paradise with its unspoiled sand dunes and protected herds of (yes) wild horses!

Maryland tourist attractions
Major attractions throughout Maryland include the Inner Harbor in Baltimore, fun in the sun at both
Ocean City and around Chesapeake Bay (try the Marland crabcakes!), plus tours of historic Annapolis.


Family-friendly Baltimore

In Baltimore, top family-friendly attractions include the National Aquarium and the Maryland Science Center at Baltimore's Inner Harbor. For toddlers and younger kids, Port Discovery also offers wonderful activities and a chance to become part of the action at unique exhibits covering American history, science and pop culture.

More history is on display at the Babe Ruth Birthplace and Museum, a mecca for baseball fans of all ages. Or, spend a sunny afternoon outdoors at Baltimore's Cylburn Arboretum for walks around the nature preserve featuring family-friendly activities and demonstrations throughout the year.

2023 Maryland special events and festivals

maryland rennaisance fair
Jousting matches, artisans' crafts, shops and
taverns beckon on weekends from August
to October at the sprawling Maryland
Renaissance Fair in Crownsville.

Just up ahead, check out our 2023 Maryland travel calender featuring memorable events and major festivals happening throughout the state with dates, locations and official links for more information.

Happy travels!

May 20, 2023 -- Preakness Stakes Pimlico Race Course Baltimore

June 10 - June 11, 2023 -- OC Air Show Ocean City

August 2023 -- The National Folk Festival Salisbury

Weekends in August, September and October -- Maryland Renaissance Festival Crownsville

September 2023 -- Maryland Seafood Festival Sandy Point State Park Annapolis

September 20 - September 24, 2023 -- Artscape Baltimore

also see -> 2023 Maryland Fall Foliage Guide

Maryland Shopping Outlets   |   Maryland Campgrounds

Off the beaten track Maryland

If you're limiting your time to Baltimore and Maryland beaches, try heading further east where you'll discover the "wild ponies" of the Assateague National Seashore (they're actually full gown horses) and listen to the sound of pounding hooves competing with crashing waves.

So ... how did they get here? One story tells of panicked horses safely swimming to shore following a 18th century shipwreck. Another tells of swarthy pirates who left them on the island before sailing off.

The more likely story, say historians, is that colonial farmers probably brought them to the island to farm the land -- and to avoid having to pay the colony's high taxes!

Take a walk on the wild side for a close encounter with the wild ponies of Assateague Island.

Speaking of horses, in Baltimore don't miss The Horse You Came In On Saloon for a look at the city's oldest libation station (dating to 1775) and the last place that poet Edgar Allan Poe supposedly visited before his mysterious death. PRO TIP: If you're still looking for Baltimore souvenirs, don't forget to visit the gift counter for something unique to bring back home.

DID YOU KNOW? Maryland Travel Fun Facts

: Antiques capital: New Market

• Located at Swallow Falls State Park near Oakland, Muddy Creek Falls measures 63 feet high and is the state's largest waterfall.

• Built in the mid-19th century, an acorn-shaped gazebo can be found in Acorn Park in Silver Spring.

• With downtown lined with many small shops specializing in the sale of antiques, New Market is known as Maryland's antique capital.

• Many of the famous people born in Maryland include Yankee slugger Babe Ruth, rocker Frank Zappa, blues singer Billie Holiday, and author Upton Sinclair.


More about Maryland travel around the Web:


Maryland Tourism - The official site featuring info on hotels & accommodations, restaurants, major tourist attractions, pictures, video clips, guides to cities and towns, historical background, kids activities, FAQ's, weather info, event calendar. - Check out neighborhood guides, pictures, fun facts, plus useful info on hotels and restaurants, getting around, major attractions, seasonal events.

Ocean City Maryland Chamber of Commerce - Maryland by the sea - with beach guides, events and activities, hotels, restaurants, driving directions, pictures, Ocean City maps, calendar of events, FAQ.

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