Tag: day trips

Two Maryland Towns Named “Top Towns in America”



Berlin and Havre de Grace have been named by TravelWorld as two of the top small towns in America

    Cape May Has Plenty to Offer for a Day Trip



    From Mid-Atlantic Day Trips–

    Cape May, NJ, is the original beach resort on the East Coast. Its collection of authentic Victorian mansions makes it a destination for anyone who prefers the intimate setting of a bed and breakfast inn over those horrible beach hotels found at other beach resorts. I’ve visited Cape May a handful of times over the past 2 decades. This most recent visit was after over a decade away from this quaint little city, and during this visit, as we walked around, I looked for B&Bs I’ve stayed at previously. The mansions were still there, of course, but the names had changed.
    The city of Cape May is located on the island (south of the peninsula) and is home of the oldest seaside resort in America, with historical roots dating back to the 18th century.The recorded history of Cape May stretches back to 1620, when Captain Cornelius Jacobsen Mey surveyed and named the area for himself. It later grew from a small settlement to the large beach resort it has been since the 19th century. The City of Cape May asserts that its status as a vacation spot began in 1766, when Philadelphians drove in by stagecoaches and horse-drawn wagons or arriving by ships. Hotels were already on Cape May as of 1834. The entire city was designated as a National Historic Landmark on May 11, 1976.

    This time we spent the night at the Inn of Cape May, a Victorian-era beach resort which was quaint and fully adequate, if not luxuriously comfortable, for the 1-night stay we were planning! It’s right on Beach Avenue, which parallels the ocean. We enjoyed the view of the ocean from our window on the fourth floor.

    Why I’m including Cape May in this day trips blog is because of the sheer quantity of things to do there. If you’re a beach and ocean fan, then of course, there’s that. But you can stroll (or bike) around the town and enjoy the Victorian beauties, most of which have been magnificently and colorfully restored. There are artful boutiques and several excellent restaurants. Just outside of Cape May itself are four wineries. We didn’t get a chance to go to them, but we are planning a “girls weekend” in the fall — maybe I can check them out then!

    Cecil County Food & Wine Festival


    Cecil County Food and Wine

    catch of the day fish (2)If summer in the city is starting to make you swelter, maybe it’s time to get more proactive about weekend day trips. And thanks to our fabulous location, where we’re generally a short jump to anything from beaches to countryside, to historic colonial towns, to our nation’s capital, that’s a pretty easy thing to do. This weekend, you can beat the heat (kind of) by heading northwards a bit to the charming town of North East for the Cecil County Food & Wine Festival. There’s always been plenty to love about this small-town, one-day festival, but this year, they’ve teamed up with Maryland Wineries, so it’s a whole new level of awesome.

    Mid-Atlantic Day Trips: Beach Combing at Calvert Cliffs State Park



    It can be really fun to go fossil hunting — at least, it sounds fun to a 12 year old. It sounded fun to me too. That’s why an early summer Saturday found us on our way to Calvert Cliffs State Park. Calvert Cliffs State Park is unique among hiking opportunities in the region for its up-close views of the Calvert Cliffs from below, fossil hunting opportunities, and hiker-only access to the Chesapeake shoreline along a mile of sandy beach.

    The main feature of the park is the huge Miocene cliffs that dominate the waterfront. The cliffs and the shores below contain more than 600 species of fossils from the Miocene epoch, more than ten million years ago. These cliffs rise over the Bay over 100 feet and are slowly eroding at the rate of almost 3 feet per year, ensuring a constant supply of “new” fossils to discover. They were created over 10 million years ago when the Chesapeake Bay and most of southern Maryland were still a shallow sea. As the waters receded, the sea floor became exposed and what was to become fossils gathered at this point. The cliffs are the most extensive assemblage of Miocene fossils in the eastern United States.
    More than 1,000 acres of this park are designated as wildlands; the park is allowing the landscape to return to its more natural state.

    MidAtlantic Day Trip: Bicycles, Wine and Dogs, On My!


    Courtesy MidAtlantic Day Trip – Last weekend we braved the frigid temperatures and headed out for some bike shopping and to visit two wineries — return visits for the blog to two favorite Maryland wineries.

    Our first primary destination (we stopped at a bike shop first) was Elk Run Vineyards, nestled in the rolling hills of Frederick County. Although I didn’t go to one of its Yoga in the Vines events (see the link below for more about that), Day Trip Pal did. She liked it so much she suggested we return so I could experience the winery for myself.

    Elk Run Vineyard was established in 1979, and named for a stream that runs through the property. The site itself was selected for soil composition, orientation of the land for sun exposure, altitude, and its proximity to both Baltimore and D.C. A bonus was the fact that it sat on a historic property.

    The history of the property is pretty cool. The winery site and the original vineyard is the old Liberty Tavern (the property sits on Liberty Road, near Libertytown, which was named for the Sons of Liberty who met there prior to the Revolutionary War, which is in itself so very neat, because I’d never thought of Maryland as a hotbed of revolutionary fervor).In 1995, Elk Run expanded to land across the road, but that merely reunited the original farm. The original deed to the land on both sides of Liberty Road is registered as “The Resurvey of Cold Friday,” a land grant from the King of England to Lord Baltimore in the early 1700s. The new vineyard is called Cold Friday to honor the legacy.

    Mid-Atlantic Day Trip: C&O Canal at Great Falls


    Beginning today,  we’ll share a weekly post from MidAtlanticDayTrips, a blog about travels to local points of interest like the Hampton Historic Site, Boordy Vineyards, Tilghman Island and more. On the to-do list for 2014: a  visit to Winterthur, kayaking around Assateague Island, a tour of Fort McHenry and other local adventures. We live in a region filled with natural beauty and historic sites. Read along and get inspired to take a day trip, too. – The Eds.

    Certainly when the canal was first envisioned, the planners, engineers and builders never imagined that 180 years after its creation, it would serve as a popular recreational attraction. In the 19th and early 20th century the C&O Canal provided jobs and opportunities for people throughout the Potomac River Valley, from the tidal basin in Washington D.C. to the mountains of Western Maryland.

    The canal operated from 1831 until 1924 parallel to the Potomac River in Maryland from Cumberland, Maryland, to Washington, D.C. The total length of the canal is about 184.5 miles and has 74 locks.

    One of the most popular sections is at Great Falls Park, accessed on the Maryland side at the Great Falls Tavern Visitor Center. The Billy Goat Trail on Bear Island, accessible from the Maryland side, offers scenic views of the Great Falls, as do vantage points on Olmsted Island. It’s worth noting that dogs are prohibited from Olmsted Island, so plan on foregoing the views if you’ve got the pooch along, or get someone in your group to hold the leashes while you see the views. It’s quite spectacular when the river is running high, as it was during our visit.

    The Best Day Trips from Baltimore


    August has a bonus treat for us this year:  an extra weekend. And if the city’s getting you down, remember that Baltimore is ideally placed for all sorts of day- and weekend-trips along the east coast and into the mountains. Below, our picks for the best places to escape Baltimore: