Baltimore has enough attractions, history and things to do to keep any traveler preoccupied. But when and if you're ready to head out of the city for some exploring, the surrounding areas have quite a bit of history, culture, and sightseeing to offer.Whether you decide to stay in-state and venture to historic Annapolis, or cross the state line and visit the Amish in Lancaster County, PA, you can't go wrong.
Overlooking Annapolis — Photo courtesy of T. Browne Smith
A day trip to Annapolis doesn’t necessarily require having personal transportation but it does make a traveler’s life easier. Although there aren’t any public buses or a metro that connects the two cities, visitors can take a taxi cab to downtown Annapolis and explore the city on foot. The drive is approximately 30 minutes from the Inner Harbor to downtown Annapolis and will probably cost around $45 one-way.
Annapolis, like Baltimore, is home to several historic landmarks and buildings. The state capital of Maryland, Annapolis is a port town and retains much of its colonial heritage. The prestigious and esteemed United States Naval Academy resides in Annapolis and is the pride and joy of the city. Main street in Annapolis is littered with Navy paraphernalia, flags, midshipmen, and specials. If you visit on a football day, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a place to park and a restaurant to eat. However, you will feel the energy and pride of a small port city behind its team.
Annapolis has countless restaurants, several of which also have homes in Baltimore such as Miss Shirley’s, Edo Sushi, and Ruth’s Chris. Boutique shopping can be found near the water and along main street where mall shopping can be found at the Annapolis Mall. There are also a number of museums and tours to choose from to get a glimpse into the rich past of Annapolis.
If you wanted to venture out of the state completely on your quest for a slower pace, and wanted to head north, Pennsylvania would be a viable option. A day trip to Lancaster County, PA would definitely require personal transportation. The drive is a scenic one through farmlands and open space. The trip takes about 90 minutes through the Maryland and Pennsylvania countryside.
The Countryside — Photo courtesy of T. Browne Smith
Parts of Lancaster County seem worlds away from downtown Baltimore. The Amish community is a thriving one with its working farms and enterprising families. Lancaster County probably receives just as many visitors as Baltimore, if not more, but the energy and vibe is not one that is rushed or hurried.
Restaurants in Lancaster County are of the country-cooking family style and shopping is very boutique-y. There are buggy tours, farmhouse tours, museums, and theaters to also enjoy in Lancaster.
Visiting a city doesn’t mean that you have to stay within its interior. Oftentimes its surrounding areas and bordering states help to enhance the overall travel experience and provide a good source of comparison. Baltimore is located in a great corridor where visitors have the option to enjoy its treasures as well as those of its neighbors.