Baltimore is known for its busy Inner Harbor, die-hard Ravens fans, and historical landmarks. But its proximity to other destinations was one of the things we enjoyed most while living in Charm City last year. While I haven't yet gotten around to writing about our favorite parts of B-more, here I'm sharing the quick and easy day trips we loved most.
Probably an easy guess, D.C. is a classic day trip from Baltimore. We visited the nation's capital a few times on day-long adventures and if you avoid rush-hour driving times, you won't have any problem at all. One of the most interesting things we did while day-tripping to D.C. was visiting the National Arboretum. An arboretum is a botanical garden devoted to trees - if you know Spanish, it's easy to remember that árbol means tree! The National Arboretum is managed by the United States Department of Agriculture and includes a pretty expansive collection of different types of tree gardens. We enjoyed walking through the bonsai area and making our way to the National Capitol Columns. These columns used to be a part of the capitol and went in to storage for almost 30 years after newer columns were installed. In 1984 they were moved to the National Arboretum to become a monument. So, while these columns seem kind of random in the middle of nature, they're quite precious. While they now support nothing, perhaps they represent everything that our country was founded upon and has since forgotten. It's definitely worth a visit if you're in D.C. or just visiting for the day!
Less than an hour from Baltimore is the sweet town of Frederick, Maryland. We started our day by visiting Glory Doughnuts to fuel up (100% plant-based, bless up!) before swiftly making our way to Linganore Winecellars for a wine tasting. The town of Frederick is full of sweet shops and gorgeous old buildings. We didn't spend time shopping or history-hunting, but instead opted for a self-created brewery tour of some of Frederick's best - including Red Shedman, Flying Dog, and ATTABOY. We visited in the fall and drove through beautiful landscapes of cornstalks and roaming fields in between destinations - it was such a lovely place and I wish we had been able to explore more! I bet it's lovely in the summertime, too.
One benefit to being in Baltimore for us personally was the proximity to Harrisburg and York, PA where some of our best friends lived at the time. We got to experience our home state's capital city, even if just for a day. I was surprised at how quiet and peaceful it was in the capitol district - then again, I suppose people mainly work there but don't really live there. We visited on a Friday and had a chance to walk around to work up an appetite before dining at Sammy's Italian Restaurant. This is a popular spot in the city and it was delicious! After dinner, we spent some time at Millworks Brewery, which is really more than a brewery. They have art studios and shops, games and an outdoor terrace, plus food. It gave us a great impression of what Harrisburg has to offer in art, culture, and brews.
So while we didn't stay long in each day trip destination, driving just an hour or two away from Baltimore afforded us the opportunity to see major cities and charming towns with such a variety of experiences in between. If you're based in Baltimore or just visiting for a while, consider D.C., Frederick, or Harrisburg for your next day trip adventure.