10 Amazing Things to Do in Southern Maryland
Want to take a lighthouse crawl, immerse yourself in nature, and get an up-close look at some of Maryland’s most historic landmarks? You can do all of this and much more, and that’s just the first day!
If you live in our region, you’ll soon find that there are plenty of exciting and interesting things to do in Southern Maryland. Today, we’re sharing a list of our 10 favorite must-see spots to spend your next day off.
1. Visit Historic St. Mary’s City
Did you know that before Annapolis claimed the title in 1694, St. Mary’s City was recognized as the capital of Maryland?
More than 60 years earlier, in 1633, colonists from England set out from the Isle of Wright on the Ark and Dove. They landed at Old Point Comfort and established a colony there. Later, that colony became St. Mary’s City and was deemed our state’s first capital.
Today the area is a popular tourist site, along with the nearby Historic Village of Port Tobacco, once recognized as the second-largest seaport in the state. When planning your visit, make sure to leave plenty of time to check out the brick chapel and archeological excavations! It’s like taking a step back in time, and you’ll leave feeling more informed and enchanted by the region.
2. Tour the Calvert Marine Museum
Located in Solomons, the Calvert Marine Museum is a must-stop for anyone looking to learn more about the Southern Maryland or the larger Chesapeake Bay. Ideal for all ages, the museum is filled with interactive and engaging exhibits, including a beloved river otter showcase!
From the informative Maritime History Gallery to the beautiful Marsh Walk and on-site Wood Carving Shop, there’s plenty here to see and discover. Start your day early and plan to spend a few hours.
3. Explore the Wineries Along the Patuxent Trail
There’s arguably no better way to spend the afternoon than to wind lazily along Southern Maryland’s Patuxent Trail. The bucolic roadway is flanked by stunning water views, but your eyes will likely be on the reds and whites, not the blues.
You don’t have to go to Tuscany or Napa Valley to find a region replete with gorgeous, full-bodied wines. You can simply start at one end of the trail and travel as far as time will allow! A few notable standouts include Fridays Creek Winery, Cove Point Winery and Running Hare Vineyard.
4. Catch a Baseball Game
As soon as the weather warms and the April winds blow, locals know it’s baseball season! The Southern Maryland Blue Crabs never fail to disappoint, playing 70 home games per season, capping off the year in September.
As members of the independent Atlantic League of Professional Baseball, this team always delivers plenty of crowd-pleasing fun! Games are held at Regency Furniture Stadium, and many local educators provide “Reading Bookmarks” that allow schoolchildren to redeem a complimentary game ticket for meeting literary milestones!
5. Discover Jefferson Patterson Park
Home to some of the most beautiful sunsets in the world, Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum is worth visiting time and again. Go for the views over the Patuxent River alone, and stay for the Native American Village Museum, public archeological digs, and miles of hiking trails.
This is one of those Southern Maryland destinations you’ll want to block off an entire day to enjoy. Bring the whole family, pack a picnic, and rent a kayak along the St. Leonard Creek. You can even go on a walking audio tour to learn more about the history of the park, including the populations who used to live and work there.
Before you set out, remember to pack sunscreen and bug spray! If the mosquitos in your yard are any indication, warm weather can bring out plenty of bugs and stinging insects looking for a host.
6. Find a Thrill at the Maryland International Raceway
Does your idea of an adventure involve sitting in the stands listening to engines rev up? If so, you’ll love taking in a race at the Maryland International Raceway. Located in Mechanicsville, the track regularly hosts a variety of events, including fun-filled car shows, exciting showdown battles, and biker fests.
Take a look at the jam-packed schedule online and find a date that fits your calendar! Just remember to bring your earplugs along, and take enough for the whole family! The season runs from March to November, with events happening almost every day.
7. Trace History at the Dr. Samuel Mudd House and Museum
After the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln, John Wilkes Booth went on a daring escape route that would take him from the Ford Theatre in Washington City far into Southern Maryland. He was joined by his accomplice David Herold on the route, which took a total of 12 days.
Ultimately, federal troops caught up with the pair around Garrett’s Farm near Bowling Green, Virginia. Today, many of the places they stopped along the way are still open to the public, with local tours available through the Surratt Society.
One of the most prominent destinations along the route is the Dr. Samuel Mudd House and Museum. This property once belonged to prominent Maryland doctor Dr. Mudd, who set Booth’s injured leg at 4:00 a.m. on April 15, the morning after Lincoln’s assassination. After splintering the limb, Dr. Mudd allowed Booth and Herold to rest in the upstairs bedroom before they continued on their journey.
8. Meander the Annmarie Sculpture Garden and Arts Center
Looking for a great place to take the kids and explore? Check out the Annmarie Sculpture Garden and Arts Center!
This 30-acre property is home to thick forests, wide-open fields, and breathtaking meadows. When you’re ready to stretch your legs, you’ll also find miles of paved walking and bike trails to try. Along the way, you’ll encounter unique and artistic outdoor sculptures, as well as special “Look Out” exhibits designed to make you think and appreciate.
As a Smithsonian affiliate, you’d expect nothing less from this spot, which effortlessly blends art and culture to deliver an all-in-one experience you’ll revisit regularly.
9. Tour Point Lookout Lighthouse
The peninsula formed where the Chesapeake Bay meets the Potomac River is one of the most scenic spots in the state. Here, you’ll find Point Lookout State Park, once an active Union outpost during the Civil War.
Now, the area is one of the most popular and cherished spots in all of Southern Maryland. Here, you can swim in the gorgeous beaches, visit the nearby Point Lookout Lighthouse, or cast a line off the fishing pier. You can also take part in the park’s myriad outdoor activities, including rock climbing, hiking, cross-country skiing, and biking.
There are several campsites located throughout the park, as well as cabins and lodges, so consider making this a weekend trip.
That way, you’ll have plenty of time and space to explore everything that this park has to offer! Just make sure to pack smart and stay prepared, as ticks and other pests can be difficult to spot at first. If you get back home tick-free, we can make sure your yard stays that way.
10. Explore Aviation History
Both big and little kids alike
will enjoy touring the Patuxent River Naval Air Station Museum, located in Lexington Park. Commonly referred to as NAS Pax River, this museum is filled with details on the region’s rich naval aviation presence and history. Formerly an official U.S. Navy museum, NAS Pax River is now a privately-funded, non-profit 501(c)(3) organization.
Recently, the museum completed a multi-million dollar capital project that transformed its aesthetic and opened the door to years of future expansion.
Visitors can browse the exhibits to get a personal look at historic artifacts, along with photographs, films, and other forms of memorabilia. Yet, the real focus here is on the future. Exhibits mostly display researchers’ current and ongoing efforts in the fields of aviation research, development, testing, and evaluation.
The star of the show? The impressive and towering naval aircraft on display, that number more than 25. In addition, the realistic F-14 Tomcat flight simulator is worth taking for a spin.
Try These Things to Do in Southern Maryland
When you’re ready to explore new areas and uncover hidden gems, you don’t have to go very far. There are plenty of exciting things to do in Southern Maryland, and many local residents aren’t aware of all of them!
These 10 sites are a great place to start but don’t stop there. Our region is filled with plenty of sweeping vistas, exciting adventures, and interesting exhibits. Consider which attractions your family would enjoy the most, and go from there.
As you plan your next adventure away, we can help make sure your home is protected and pest-free.
Our team takes a safe and effective approach to pest control Southern Maryland homeowners appreciate, with services designed to give you peace of mind. From mosquito control to termite treatment, we do it all so you can get back to doing the things you love. Contact us today to schedule a service and let’s connect.