Charm City is surrounded by beautiful natural attractions, exhilarating theme parks, and lovely coastal cities. Explore it all with day trips from Baltimore!
Drive for less than a few hours in any particular direction from Baltimore and you’ll find yourself at a beach, deep within a lush forest, on top of mountains, screaming at the top of a roller coaster, or wandering through a charming historic city.
From shopping and sailing to hiking and swimming, these day trips are all less than three hours from Baltimore.
Table of Contents
- 1 Annapolis Maryland
- 2 Six Flags America
- 3 Chesapeake Beach
- 4 Gunpowder Falls State Park
- 5 Antietam National Battlefield
- 6 Frederick, Maryland
- 7 Sandy Point State Park
- 8 Hersheypark
- 9 Washington D.C.
- 10 Ladew Topiary Gardens
- 11 More Baltimore Day Trips
- Drive time: 50 minutes from Baltimore (33 miles)
A charming waterside city with cobblestone streets, waterside restaurants, and boats for rent, Annapolis is the perfect day trip destination from Baltimore – especially if you love being by or on the water!
Six Flags America
Sometimes, all you need is a day of mindless thrills to break your everyday routine. Six Flags America is one of my favorites, especially on holidays such as Halloween or Christmas. It’s non-stop fun with water rides, roller coasters, games, restaurants, and shopping. They also host concerts and other forms of live entertainment throughout the summer.
More amusement parks near Baltimore
Taking less than half the time it would take you to get to Ocean City, Chesapeake Beach is a great alternative for a day of fun in the sun. You can relax on the beach, swimming and sunbathing, or take a stroll on the gorgeous boardwalk and pier.
There are tons of bars and restaurants if you’re in the mood for a drink and a delicious seafood meal. Other things to do in Chesapeake Beach are to walk the stunning Chesapeake Beach Rail Trail, explore the Chesapeake Beach Railway Museum, go fishing on a chartered boat, or indulge in the yacht life while overlooking the bay.
Gunpowder Falls State Park
- Drive time: 35 minutes from Baltimore (23 miles)
Gunpowder Falls State Park is the perfect day trip location if you’re the outdoorsy, adventurous type. Whenever I want to get away and unwind in nature, I take the quick drive north and spend the day hiking, waterfall gazing, canoeing, or taking photographs of the local flora and fauna.
There are tons of other activities too like kayaking, horseback riding, bird-watching, and fly-fishing – most of which have designated areas within the park.
More Maryland waterfall day trips
Antietam National Battlefield
- Drive time: 1 hour and 20 minutes from Baltimore (73 miles)
Antietam National Battlefield, the site of one of the Civil War’s most dramatic battles, is a day trip is filled with history, education, and excitement. Start at the Visitor Center and branch out to the National Cemetery, Dunker Church and the Pry House Field Hospital.
- Drive time: 1 hour from Baltimore (49 miles)
What Napa is to California, Frederick is to Maryland. Less than an hour away from the hustle and bustle of the city, you’ll find postcard-perfect countryside views accompanied by some of the finest wineries in the state.
You can spend the day taking in the scenery as you indulge in a wine-tasting tour – many of them offer picnic platters too!
There are tons of places to go fishing, hiking, biking, and generally spend the day outdoors. Frederick is home to several golf courses if that’s your thing, or if you’re like me, you can spend hours perusing antiques to find just the right piece.
Sandy Point State Park
- Drive times: 50 minutes from Baltimore (38 miles)
The view of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge from Sandy Point State Park alone is worth the trip. If you do decide on spending the day at Sandy Point, there are lots of things to do within the park such as swimming in the designated beach areas, having a barbecue in the picnic pavilions, going fishing, hiking, or just taking a stroll along the Chesapeake Bay.
- Drive time: 1 hour and 35 minutes from Baltimore (90 miles)
Hersheypark is an adventurous theme park with thrilling coasters and an extensive water park. There are rides and entertainment options for people of all ages, from toddlers to adults! Only an hour and a half away from Baltimore, it’s great for a day of excitement.
- Drive time: 1 hour and 15 minutes from Baltimore (40 miles)
The nation’s capitol is a plethora of culture, history and entertainment. One of the major attractions is the National Mall as well as the many Smithsonian museums which surround it.
You can also head to sites such as the Lincoln Memorial, the National Monument, or the Jefferson Memorial, etc. I like to rent an electric scooter and ride around the basin, stopping once in a while to photograph the views.
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- Best Happy Hours in D.C. and breweries in Washington DC
Ladew Topiary Gardens
Drive time: 40 minutes from Baltimore (28 miles)
Ladew Topiary Gardens is recognized as one of the top five gardens in the nation and I love nothing more than packing some snacks and spending hours walking through its 22 acres.
There’s a visitors’ center, a gift shop, a historic manor house, a seasonal butterfly house, and over a hundred topiary creations like life-size horses and other animals.
More Baltimore Day Trips
St. Michael’s, Maryland
- Drive time: 1 hour and 35 minutes from Baltimore (80 miles)
A quiet seaside town with cute B&Bs, antique stores, and art galleries. Check out the Inn at Perry Cabin for a luxurious escape to the Spa at Perry Cabin.
- Drive time: 2 hours (130 miles)
Amusement park with roller coasters, water rides, and entertainment for all ages. Don’t forget to check out the water park at Kings Dominion during the warmer months, and in winter when Christmas takes over the park.
Shenandoah National Park
- Drive time: 2 hours and 25 minutes from Baltimore (108 miles)
Assateague State Park
- Drive time: 2 hours and 55 minutes from Baltimore (150 miles)
White sand beaches where you can swim, surf, hike, camp, fish, and see the wild horses that roam there freely.
If you are looking for MORE wild horses, check out our guide to Chincoteague Island, VA.
Ocean City, Maryland
- Drive time: 2 hours and 45 minutes from Baltimore (147 miles)
A summertime beach destination with a lively boardwalk, free outdoor concerts, carnival-style game kiosks, and delicious local foods.