5 ways to take a Maryland day trip this summer

5 ways to take a Maryland day trip this summer
5 ways to take a Maryland day trip this summer
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If you’re looking to beat the crowds of Delaware beaches this summer, there are plenty of new adventures right next door.

Maryland’s Eastern Shore has something for everyone, whether you’re looking for a quaint town, boutique shopping, outdoor adventures or a new dining scene. And there are other fun places in the state a bit further away that are fun to check out for weekend trip.

Here are just some of the places to keep in mind:


Easton, Maryland, located around 90 minutes from Wilmington and the beaches, is a small, historic town on the Eastern Shore with a lot to offer.

The town itself dates back to the 1700s, with historic walking tours and museums like the Talbot Historical Society Museum and the Academy Art Museum, which highlight the area’s history.

If an educational tour isn’t quite your speed, Easton is also home to one of the top public golf courses in the country, Hog Neck Golf Course. Biking and walking trails surround the scenic town, and the flat terrain makes for perfect sightseeing conditions. The town is also located close to the coastal town of St. Michael’s.

Dining destination: Easton, Maryland, is a must-visit dining destination just 90 minutes from Delaware

Despite its low-key nature, Easton’s dining scene is not to be overlooked. Delaware Online recently took a trip to one of the town’s most well-regarded luxury eateries, Bas Rouge, a contemporary, European-style restaurant with a James Beard-winning executive chef.

Check out more to do in Easton at discovereaston.com.

Zoos in Maryland

Animal lovers, this one is for you. Maryland is home to some of the most well-known and most unique zoos on the East Coast, all of which make for a perfect day trip destination.

Catoctin Wildlife Preserve

13019 Catoctin Furnace Road, Thurmont, catoctinwildlifepreserve.com

Catoctin Wildlife Preserve is home to more than 600 animals on its 50 acres, with more interactive experiences than any other zoo in the region.

This zoo requires a slightly longer drive, around two hours from Wilmington, but the experience is well worth it. Catoctin offers a guided, ride-through safari ride through 25 acres near four exotic animal paddocks. Guests can get close to bison, camels, zebra and more.

The zoo is open from 9 a.m. from 5 p.m. daily and parking is free. Tickets are just under $30 for adults, and just over $20 for children between the ages of 3 and 12.

Maryland Zoo

1 Safari Place, Baltimore, marylandzoo.org

Baltimore’s Maryland Zoo is one of the most well-known spots for zoo enthusiasts. The third-oldest zoo in the country, the 135-acre site is located in Baltimore’s Druid Hill Park adjacent to the Baltimore Museum of Art, about a 90 minute drive from Wilmington.

Maryland Zoo offers feeding experiences for animals like otters and giraffes, up-close meetings with endangered penguins, goat grooming and more activities perfect for families.

The zoo is open from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. every day. Tickets for guests aged 12 and up go for $27 per ticket and tickets for children between the ages of 2 and 11 go for $23. Parking is free at the zoo.

Plumpton Park Zoo

1416 Telegraph Road, Rising Sun, plumptonparkzoo.org

Just over 45 minutes from Wilmington is the Plumpton Park Zoo, right off Route 273.

The park is home to over 180 animals from owls to brown bears. Guests have the chance to feed many of the animals in Plumpton Park including giraffes, goats, alpacas and donkeys, a perfect activity for the family to enjoy.

The park is open from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. every day in the summer. Adult tickets are $20 and tickets for children over the age of 2 are $15.

Great Wolf Lodge and Hollywood Casino

1240 Chesapeake Overlook Parkway, Perryville, greatwolf.com/maryland

Maryland’s Great Wolf Lodge is the newest and biggest in the national water park chain. Its water park, attractions park and over 700-room resort opened last summer to great fanfare from around the region.

Great Wolf Lodge is located just off I-95 at 1240 Chesapeake Overlook Parkway in Perryville, less than half an hour from Newark. The location sits adjacent to Perryville’s Hollywood Casino.

BOOKING GUIDE: Guide to booking at Great Wolf Lodge Maryland, with summer deals and more

There are 22 individual slides varying in intensity, including two slides new to the resort’s repertoire: the High Paw Holler and Forest Flume.

A booking will automatically grant access to two days in the resort. Room check-ins are at 4 p.m. and check-out is typically at 11 a.m., but the water park can be accessed from opening time on the day of your arrival until closing time on the day of your departure. Mid-week stays typically have the best rates on rooms, and it also helps to book a trip further in advance.

Havre de Grace

Just an hour down I-95 from Wilmington, Havre de Grace is the center of some of Maryland’s best natural features, with over 3,000 acres of parkland surrounding it for people to enjoy.

It’s situated near the Susquehanna State Park, which has 15 miles of trails and direct access to the Susquehanna River.

The Havre de Grace Promenade is a short boardwalk that overlooks the river, perfect for enjoying good weather. Right next to it is the nearly 200-year-old Concord Point Lighthouse. It’s only open on the weekends, but free educational tours are offered as well as a chance to climb to the top of the structure.

Small businesses and boutiques dot the town’s main streets and there are plenty of breweries and wineries to enjoy while you’re down. On top of that, every Friday there are free summer concerts in Millard E. Tydings Park overlooking the Chesapeake Bay.

Check out more things to do in Havre de Grace online at explorehavredegrace.com.


If you’re looking for a quieter getaway further from the bustle of Ocean City, check out Maryland’s small town of Berlin.

Less than 10 miles from Ocean City and Assateague National Seashore, Berlin is just an hour from Rehoboth and filled with quirky shops and activities to explore. It was voted as the best town for shopping by USA Today in 2018 and 2020, and for good reason.

MORE MARYLAND FUN: 8 great day trips to take to Maryland, from Assateague Island to the Salisbury Zoo

Berlin’s Main Street is full of eccentric boutiques and antique shops, galleries, live music venues and 47 structures on the National Historic Register. Berlin is not a place that shies away from the oddities. There is a Mermaid Museum that explores the history of the mythical creature and an annual bathtub race that you have to see to believe.

Berlin is also where the Julia Roberts hit “Runaway Bride” was filmed, and a walking tour of the different set locations is offered. There is also the Berlin Farmers Market that is held every Sunday.

Keep up with daily happenings in Berlin online at berlinmainstreet.com.

Molly McVety covers community and environmental issues around Delaware. Contact her at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @mollymcvety. 

Source: delawareonline.com

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