If you’ve ever dreamed of being a sea captain, then do I have good news for you: There’s a nearly 200-year-old working lighthouse on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, and you can spend the night there.
The beach is great–except for all the sand, sunburns, and shark attacks. You risk none of those things if you instead take the MARC train to DC to visit the National Building Museum‘s “beach” this summer. That’s because the ocean in question is actually made of 1 million clear plastic balls–you know, like the ball pits that little kids play in, except way more adult, and way huger. Seriously: it’s so deep that you can’t even touch the bottom.
University of Baltimore MFA student Terri Steel recalls the childhood road trip that changed her forever.
Another one whizzed by; we’d been passing them for hours. Bright yellow bubble letters against a black backdrop reading “SOUTH of the BORDER” and “CATCH Pedro IF YOU CAN!” The signs were a welcome sight, standing out against a monotonous stretch of landscape unadorned aside from the occasional nut shop dotting Interstate 95. I looked down at the bag of Stuckey’s pecans I had been munching on since morning. “How much longer until we get there, Mom?”
When a childhood road trip turned stormy, humorist Jennifer McGaha imagined the worst–and her brother only made matters worse.
It was mid-July 1977, and we were cruising down I-40 in a 1969 Ford LTD on our way from North Carolina to the Grand Canyon. My father did not believe in listening to music while driving. He wore a light blue cap that said “Olin” in darker blue on the front, and he stared straight ahead, his eyes focused on the road. My mother angled toward him, one foot tucked underneath the other thigh. She filed her fingernails while she chattered.
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.
I never thought I’d say this sentence, but: I can’t wait to go visit the Maryland House.
If you’ve ever gone on a family road trip that involved a traffic slog up or down I-95, you know the Maryland House I’m talking about. As the Baltimore Sun notes, it’s one of the most frequented travel plazas in the country, and as such often featured long lines, stressed employees, and a generally hectic atmosphere. But that’s all in the past (I hope). Roadtrippers take note: the Maryland House has just undergone a $30 million makeover. And it sounds FANCY.
Baltimore-based writer Ron Tanner could’ve tried to sell his book, From Animal House to Our House, the old-style way — doing readings in local bookstores, begging friends and family to buy copies, making it required reading for his writing students at Loyola University Maryland. Instead, he decided to try something a little riskier: a road trip.
Every year in early May my husband and I head to the Maryland-Delaware shore. After a flurry of spring activity and before the final stretch of graduations, weddings and end-of-the-year activities, we soak up the solitude.
This spring’s beach retreat was cool, sometimes sunny, sometimes foggy and drizzling, sometimes down right cold. The weather never matters.
We walk empty beaches and residential roads. I sometimes rent a bike. We read and draw, shop in well-stocked stores, eat in half-full restaurants, sit on the porch in sweatshirts, watch the waves and look for porpoises. This year a magical supermoon appeared.