What are your plans for the first weekend of 2022?
Maryland is renowned for its fantastic beaches, excellent trails, and proximity to Washington DC. And if you’re a travel buff, winter is the best time to explore the several offbeat nooks and corners of the Old Line State. If you want to explore new places while avoiding the crowd, a winter excursion is a must on your bucket list!
The 7 Best Places in Maryland for a Winter Escapade
We’ve compiled a list of the seven most eccentric places in Maryland to visit this winter. How many are on your bucket list?
While the town’s charm is best felt during summer, there is something exciting about visiting Annapolis during the winter. The city turns into a magical wonderland with fewer crowds during the Holidays. And this is a treat for avid shoppers.
Head downtown and immerse yourself in a shopping spree. And if you want more, visit Arundel Mills Mall, Maryland’s largest outlet mall. Annapolis’s other notable shopping districts are Maryland Avenue, Main Street, and City Dock.
When you’re done shopping, head over to the Jolly Express cruise on the river. Ticket prices include a 45-minute cruise, hot cocoa, great music, and everything you need to have a good time.
Cumberland is a terrific place to visit if you love exploring the great outdoors. Home to 70,000 acres of plain land, the town hides some of the best trails in the state. Visit Rocky Gap State Park and explore 3,000 acres of rugged mountainous terrain.
You can enjoy a hike, head out on a bike trail, or visit Lake Habeeb, a 243-acre reservoir. The lake freezes during winter, which is perfect for ice fishing. If you’re in town, don’t miss Green Ridge State Forest. The place has over 50 miles of hiking trails and is a traveler’s paradise.
Enthusiasts can also spend a day at the Allegany Museum, home to the county’s rich heritage and Appalachian Maryland’s geographical, cultural, and commercial heritage.
Located on Maryland’s coastline, Rod ‘N’ Reel Resort is one of the most prominent places for vacationers. The resort has over 72 cozy and exquisitely decorated rooms for guests. While the restaurant serves some of the most lip-smacking delicacies from the region.
If you’re looking for the ultimate relaxation, the Chesapeake Beach Salon & Spa is where you should be headed next. Spend a relaxing evening with an exclusive massage and feel the tension evaporate.
The nearby North Beach is a major attraction and is famous for ice fishing during the winter. If you’re into casual gambling, there are two casinos in the resort where you can try your luck. Other nearby attractions include the Bayside History Museum and the Chesapeake Bay Railway Museum.
Located in central Maryland, Frederick is a historical town with several interesting places. From WWII-era structures to magnificent natural wonders, Frederick never ceases to amaze travelers.
If you’ve never visited before, Cunningham Falls State Park, Rose Hill Manor Park, Children’s Museum, and the National Museum of Civil War Medicine must be on your bucket list. And if you have time, don’t forget to check out Clue IQ escape rooms, Maryland’s #1 escape room.
Clue IQ hosts fantastic room escape games that offer an immersive, family-friendly experience. Take your pick from an expansive escape game selection and start gaming today!
Baltimore has several fascinating winter escapades for the adventurous bunch. You can plan a romantic date with your significant other or take the kids out on an epic adventure to Mimi DiPietro Ice Skating Rink or Pandora Ice Rink.
If ice-skating is not your forte, visit the Baltimore World Trade Center Observatory to soak in the breathtaking views of the skyscape. Tickets are priced at $5 for kids and $8 for adults. Other notable attractions include the Inner Harbor of Baltimore and the Maryland Science Center.
See the historical USS Torsk and the USS Constellation up close and familiarize yourself with American history. Astronomy enthusiasts will love the Ramsey Observatory and its countless temporary and permanent exhibits.
Two things are constant on Maryland’s Eastern Shore – water and seafood. Winters on the Eastern Shore offer several novel options for a fun-filled vacation. While seafood lovers won’t be disappointed by the fresh oysters available in the region, the vineyards along the Chesapeake Wine Trail are the ideal place to try some of America’s finest wine.
Bay Wolf, The Harrison House, and Chesapeake Landing are three of the top restaurants in the region and a must-visit on any foodie’s map. Don’t miss the opportunity to try raw, steamed, or fried oysters when you’re in town.
If you like spending time amidst nature over a glass of local wine, Costa Ventosa Winery, Bordeleau Vineyards, and St. Michael’s Winery are the top three picks. Take a road trip to nearby Virginia and Chincoteague for some of the best-tasting brews in the region.
Located near the Chesapeake Bay, Sandy Point State Park is a public recreational area famous for its swimming beach. However, the crowds are thinner during winter, making it the ideal time for exploring the area.
The park isn’t massive and can be explored on foot. So, wear your walking shoes if you plan on taking a scenic hike. Among the several scenic trails in Sandy Point, Blue Crab Tail and Symbi Trail stand out. While the former is perfect for birdwatchers, the latter doubles up as a cycling trail that takes you through an old pine forest and marshes.
Sandy Point State Park is the hub of social activities during winter. And with over 60 unique displays during the holiday season, the park is brimming with activity. Take the Polar Bear Plunge, for instance. Participants contribute $75 each for a chance to leap into the freezing waters of Chesapeake Bay in January to support Maryland’s 7,782 athletes.
Maryland might not be the largest state in the country, but don’t let its size fool you. Packed with some of the most exciting activities for travelers, a trip to Merry-land can be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. From conventional vacation activities to novel experiences, several adventures await in Maryland.
One such excursion starts in Frederick. Clue IQ escape rooms offer the most advanced escape room experience in Maryland. Get your squad together and experience 60-minutes of unadulterated thrill. So, what are you waiting for? Book your slot today!
Located in the heart of Maryland, 40 miles from Baltimore, lies Damascus.
Famous for its rural heritage and small-town charm, this beautiful community sits cozily in a suburban oasis.
Apart from picturesque neighborhoods, Damascus boasts several outdoor activities during the winter.
And if you find yourself in the area, here’s everything that must be on your bucket list.
12 Must-Try Winter Activities Near Damascus MD
From exploring the culinary scene on Main Street to taking long walks on the trails of Branch Stream Valley, here are the absolute must-tries near Damascus, MD.
Explore the Beauty of Oak Ridge Park
Spread over 90 acres, Oak Ridge County Park used to be a golf course that was recommissioned as a park back in 2009.
Home of the historic Homestead Farm, it’s the ideal place to try your hands at several outdoor activities.
From playing baseball in the field to taking a horseback ride along the trails, Oak Ridge Park never disappoints.
Plan a Family Picnic at Damascus Recreational Park
Damascus Recreational Park is the ideal spot for a daylong excursion if you’re an outdoorsy person.
Spread over 284 acres of land, the park boasts a basketball court, volleyball court, and tennis courts for visitors.
Locals can also use the soccer and baseball fields for sports practice. There are reserved picnic spots at Damascus Recreational Park for families and friends to get together and spend some quality time.
If you’re feeling a bit adventurous, there is a hiker-biker trail to explore.
Dig in the Delicious Local Cuisine at Hornet’s Nest Grille
This cozy bar and grille in Damascus have been an integral part of the local community for the past two decades, and the owners take pride in staying true to tradition.
Hornets Nest Grille is famous for serving quality food prepared using fresh local ingredients.
Some of the specialties include American cuisine, a variety of local salads, sandwiches, soups, and other entrees at a reasonable price.
If you’re dining at Hornet’s Nest Grille, don’t forget to try their craft beer and local wine.
The Charm City Countdown NYE Party is held annually at the Radisson North Baltimore Hotel. And the event flaunts a unique theme every year.
This year’s highlights are the open bars, dinner buffets, dedicated party zones, champagne toast at midnight, several entertainment acts, a red-carpet zone for clicking photographs, and Baltimore’s most significant balloon drop.
Explore Our Beautiful Planet at the Maryland Science Center Baltimore
Gain an awe-inspiring view of our planet this New Year’s Eve with a three-dimensional view show at the Maryland Science Center.
Hosted in conjunction with NASA, the show packs breathtaking images and footage of the planet and the effects of human footprint.
Watch the most significant cities on Earth, a view from the clouds, and other natural wonders from outer space.
And better yet! See how international cooperation can result in amazing things as we work together.
Visit the Holiday Festival of Trains at the B&O Railway Museum Baltimore
If you have little ones in the family, don’t miss the Holiday Festival of Trains at the B&O Railway Museum.
This unique daytime celebration features several exciting events that the kids will love.
The list is long, from Reindeer Railway Train Rides to Photos with Santa, Holiday Model Train Layouts, and Santa’s Winter Village.
Holiday Festival of Trains is underway! Model trains & the holidays are a perfect pair, so head on over to the B&O to see our new Model Train Gallery sponsored by Bank of America. There's lot more holiday fun to be had at the B&O, so plan your visit at https://t.co/HCITr5Gfmxpic.twitter.com/AOpORtO0z5
Take a Candlelight Tour of Historic Houses of Worship in Frederick
If you want to explore the religious diversity of Frederick, the Candlelight Tour of Historic Houses of Worship is the best way to witness local traditions.
This virtual free presentation is an ideal opportunity to look at some of the most beautiful buildings in town, appreciate diverse traditions, and reflect on the town’s history.
You can book your tickets to this year’s event from this link.
Welcome the New Year at Sagamore Pendry
Sagamore Pendry’s historical setting and architecture promise an incredible experience. So, check yourself in for an exclusive two-night NYE event and enjoy the holiday in all its glory. Your reservation includes:
Complimentary overnight parking
Daily buffet breakfast
One in-room movie credit
Dinner at Rec Pier Chop House
New Year’s Day recovery kit
Late check-out at 2 PM
Optional Sagamore Spirit or sommelier-recommended pairing with breakfast/brunch cocktails.
Attend the Mountain Dance Party at Rocky Gap Casino Resort Flintstone
Ring in 2022 with a grand celebration at the Rocky Gap Casino Resort in Flintstone. Sing along to the live tunes or dance to your favorite music by The Bachelor Boys Band all night long.
The staff has arranged for a unique firework display at midnight along with an exclusive champagne toast. The casino resort can also make things extra special if you’re traveling with your spouse.
The most eagerly-awaited time of the year is here. It’s time to huddle around friends and family, head out to see Christmas lights, dine out with loved ones, shop local, and go on a vacation. And if you find yourself in Frederick, MD, this year, here’s everything that should be on your bucket list.
Top 10 Things to do in Frederick this Christmas
From highly-anticipated Christmas events to action-packed escape rooms, prepare to set the stage on fire.
Last-minute Christmas shopping can be extremely tough. Thankfully, the stores in Frederick do their bit every year to ease shopping woes. From complimentary wrapping and shipping to extended store hours, accessible restrooms, and parking spots, prepare to kick off the festive season in style.
Shoppers can participate in scavenger hunts, stroll through the historic district, enjoy holiday-special deals and discounts, and listen to live music throughout the day. The ambiance swiftly changes as the sun sets as the community comes alive with Christmas lights and cocktail competitions.
It is a truly unique experience for families in Frederick as they ride through the picturesque countryside with Santa Claus for over an hour. Santa Train is a must-try this Christmas if you have kids at home.
The highlight of Santa Train is a visit from Father Christmas as he approaches every passenger with a surprise gift.
Kids also love the Winter Express tour that’s packed with loads of fun activities like holiday art and crafts, musical acts, pajama parties, and tasty treats.
Maryland Christmas Show is an elaborate Christmas fair combining a crafts exhibition, antique shop, and farmer’s market that everyone loves unequivocally. It’s the best place near Frederick to pick up premium Christmas home decorations.
You can access the best local artisans, decked-up Christmas tableaus, and mouth-watering treats for a nominal entrance fee. Maryland Christmas Show is a prime attraction for families in and around Frederick and tourists.
Nothing compares to the excitement of solving crazy puzzles with friends during the holidays. So, get your gang together for some unfiltered thrill at ClueIQ escape rooms in Frederick. Loaded with exciting games that promise to blow your mind, ClueIQ curates immersive and unforgettable family-friendly adventures for small and large groups.
That’s not all. Escape IQ is hosting an exclusive Christmas-special escape game called Operation Jingle Bells. It’s a limited-time deal. So, book your slot before the window closes.
Christmas scavenger hunts are pretty popular around Frederick. So, when you’re on a shopping spree, keep an eye out for bright silver-and-blue light burst displays alongside the Christmas lights.
Over 200 storefronts in Frederick’s shopping district have these colorful displays. All you need to do is guess the number of light bursts in total, and you stand a chance to win an exclusive gift card that can be redeemed in any store in the shopping district.
The Delaplaine Visual Arts Center in Frederick is hosting a holiday art competition this Christmas. Check out the beautiful original art and craft collection from local artisans and craftsmen from various backgrounds.
Celebrate Frederick’s diversity at this colorful event as you usher in the holiday spirit with winter-themed artwork and presentations. As the event comes to a close, the judges’ panel picks a winner from the eclectic mix, and the artwork will be on display throughout the following year. You should try and guess who’s taking home the prize for some additional thrill.
Christmas is incomplete without a holiday lights tour. And if you’re in Frederick this year, take a stroll through the brightly-lit avenues downtown to immerse in the festive cheer. Most residents put up astonishing music-themed light displays and brightly-lit Christmas trees at home. And that’s a sight to behold.
Proceeds from the Frederick Holiday Lights Tour go to local charities supporting the local community’s children. Visitors get a map, a booklet, a chance to vote for the best-decorated house, and a lucky draw entry along with every ticket.
A truly Merry-land experience awaits the residents of Frederick every year. Lighted and decorated sailboats line Carroll Creek Park while a sailing light installation floats between November and February.
Please take a good long look at each boat since they represent different charities. And every dollar that you donate casts a vote in favor of your chosen sailboat. The best time to visit is after sunset as you can’t catch the intricacies in the daylight.
This self-guided walking tour in Frederick will take you on an excursion through the vintage private houses of the community. Relish the intricate Christmas decorations of the elaborately adorned houses.
The list of houses changes every year. So, there’s always something new to look forward to. Keep an eye out for novel architectural elements, brightly-lit Christmas trees, and learn more about Frederick’s history.
Christmas is a great time to explore Frederick, MD. From its old-world charm to communities steeped in Civil War history, the city comes alive with bright décor and festive cheer as winter approaches. So, if you’re new in town, the charming town will keep you busy.
But if you want to explore a different side of Frederick this Christmas, we recommend playing a thrilling escape game with friends and family. If you know someone who has never visited an escape room before, gift them an escape room voucher this Christmas. Happy holidays!