family road trip

Unforgettable Maryland Road Trips to take with Kids

“Are we there yet?” It is a familiar phrase to anyone who has ever taken a long drive with children. But road trips don’t have to be dreaded family affairs – they can be bonding experiences full of new and exciting adventures. And what could be better than getting lost in the beautiful state of Maryland?

With its winding roads, scenic byways, and historic landmarks, Maryland is the perfect place to take a road trip with the kids, especially if you love outdoor adventure. Here are some of our favorite spots for an amazing Maryland road trip with kids.

maryland family road trip

Amazing Road Trips in Maryland for Kids

1. Ocean City, MD

Is your dream vacation centered around the beach? Sandy toes, beachy hair, sun-kissed skin? Then a trip to Ocean City is a must! This historic beach town has been a family’s favorite summertime destination for generations. Ocean City has a ton of fun things to do over the summer and even during the wintertime.

Ocean City has something for everyone: ten miles of sandy beaches, a world-class Boardwalk, and countless shops and restaurants. In addition, it is one of the best Maryland road trips for kids.

Your picky teen will love the enthralling and soul-nourishing water sports, while your toddler will be thrilled to ride the carousel or enjoy some fun rides at Jolly Roger amusement park. And don’t forget about all the delicious seafood – Maryland is known for its crabs and crab cakes, after all!

When you’ve had too much sun and wish to enjoy fresh air, check out the Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum.


2. Baltimore

Yes, we know, Baltimore isn’t exactly a beach town. But it’s still a great place to take the kids on a road trip!

There’s so much to do in Baltimore, especially for kids, from exploring the Inner Harbor to visiting the National Aquarium. And let’s not forget about all the history – your kids will love learning about The Star-Spangled Banner and seeing where it was written at Fort McHenry National Monument.

They can also check out historical sites like the B&O Railroad Museum.

Other great kid-friendly attractions in Baltimore include the Maryland Science Center, the Port Discovery Children’s Museum, and the Maryland Zoo. Each of these places will make your trip to Baltimore one to remember.

You can take many weekend trips from Baltimore, including day trips to Annapolis or Washington, D.C.

maryland zoo

3. Deep Creek Lake

Do you want to leave behind the city and head to the mountains of Western Maryland for a three-hour scenic drive from Baltimore? Then look no further than Deep Creek Lake!

This man-made lake is perfect for relaxing and enjoying the great outdoors. Hire a boat to cruise around the lake, rent a canoe or kayak and paddle along the shore, or take a picturesque journey on one of the many winding roads.

And in the winter, Deep Creek Lake is a winter wonderland! Go sledding, skiing, or snowboarding at Wisp Resort, or hit the ice at one of the many lakeside ice skating rinks.

Your kids will love Splash Island Inflatable Water Park, and you’ll love the fact that there’s no cellphone service.

Check out these posts on Deep creek lake!

14 Hikes in Deep Creek Maryland

19 Amazing Things To Do in Deep Creek MD in Winter

4. Chesapeake Bay

The Chesapeake Bay is one of Maryland’s favorite weekend trips from Baltimore. This estuary is home to countless fish, birds, and other wildlife.

The best way to experience the Chesapeake Bay is by taking a cruise on one of the many boats that offer tours. You’ll see the Bay Bridge, Maryland’s Eastern Shore, and maybe some dolphins!

And don’t forget to stop at one of the many waterfront restaurants for a delicious Blue Crab feast. Some of the crowd cheering favorites are The Crab Claw Restaurant, Cantler’s Riverside Inn, and Captain James Crabhouse.

If you want to bring an ear-to-ear grin to your kiddo’s face, look no further than Six Flags America. There’s something for everyone at this theme park, from heart-pounding roller coasters to kid-friendly rides.

The Chesapeake Bay includes the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michael’s, Calvert Cliffs, Hooper’s Island, Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, and more.

After this, weekend trips from Baltimore will be your kids’ favorite excursions to take! Be sure to check out some of the best Chesapeake beaches in Maryland.

5. Rising Sun

Rising Sun, a small town in Cecil County is home to the famous roadside attraction, The Antique Emporium. This three-story building is crammed full of antiques, collectibles, and oddities.

Your kids will love exploring this treasure trove, and you’ll love the prices. So stop at the attached ice cream parlor for a sweet treat!

And if your kids are into trains, they’ll be sure to love the Maryland and Pennsylvania Railroad Museum. The museum is dedicated to preserving the railway’s history through collecting and displaying artifacts.

The Plumpton Park Zoo is the highlight of Maryland day trips for kids. This small zoo is home to over 100 animals, including lions, tigers, bears, and reptiles. Your kids will have a blast learning about the animal kingdom at this family-friendly zoo.

6. Sideling Hill

Sideling Hill is a great place to take the kids for a hike while in Maryland. Your kids will be thrilled to explore this natural wonder with its winding trails and spectacular views. If you’re searching for somewhere to cool off, the Crystal Grottoes Caverns are a must-see. This man-made cave is full of stalactites and stalagmites and is a great place to beat the heat.

Visit the Sideling Hill Exhibit Center to wrap your day. The region’s history is represented in this museum, which includes several active exhibits that your little ones will enjoy. No visit to Sideling Hill is complete without stopping at the roadside attraction, The Giant’s Stairs.

These massive rock formations will amaze your kids with their size and beauty.

7. Assateague Island

On the eastern coast of Maryland, on the other hand, is a barrier island called Assateague Island. It’s one of Maryland’s most impressive national parks and is most well-known for its wild ponies, but there’s so much more to see and do on this island.

Begin your road trip at the Assateague Island Visitor Center, where you may discover more about the island’s history and ecology. Then take a stroll on one of the many nature trails, go for a swim at one of the beaches, or explore the maritime forest.

And don’t forget to say hello to the ponies! These wild horses are a sight to see; your kids will love getting up close and personal with them.

You must also pay a visit to the Assateague Lighthouse. This historic lighthouse has been standing since 1867 and is a beautiful sight.

There are plenty of kid-friendly eateries on Assateague Island, but one of the most popular is The Island Creamery. This ice cream shop has a world of flavors and is the perfect place to cool off after a day in the sun.

8. Maryland Waterfalls

Maryland is home to some beautiful waterfalls for a relaxing day out. Although there are not a ton of them, the few ones are a sight to behold. Be sure to take your bathing suits, especially if you plan to go close to or play in the waterfall. Some incredible waterfalls to check out are Cunningham Falls state park and Great Falls of the Potomac.

9. State Parks

There’s something for everyone in Maryland State Parks. If you’re a history fanatic, there are plenty of colonial-era towns to explore. The Eastern Shore is teeming with wildlife sanctuaries and parks if you’re a nature lover. And if you’re looking for a place to relax and take a break from the world, there is no shortage of State Parks in Maryland.

From the beaches of Assateague Island to the rolling hills of Patapsco Valley State Park, these green havens provide plenty of opportunities for outdoor recreation, relaxation, and family fun. So if you’re looking for a soul-nourishing escape, Maryland State Parks are one of the best things to do in Maryland with your kids

A few great state parks to check out in Maryland are: 

  • Cunningham Falls State Park
  • Patapsco valley state park
  • Deep creek lake state park

10. Indoor playgrounds

 My kids and I love Indoor playgrounds and anything play area. Maryland has a lot of great indoor play areas for kids to have fun. We have been to probably all or most of the indoor playgrounds in Maryland and have a few favorites you could check out. As the weather starts to get colder and filled with rain, snow, and ice, it might be hard for kids to enjoy playing outside.

But, kids need this time outside to release their energy and work on building their gross motor skills. Indoor playgrounds usually have some outdoor playground things like slides, bumper cars, bouncy houses, rock climbing, and much more.

Here are a few favorites

Kidz Park Indoor Playground Maryland

11. National Parks

National parks can be a great outdoor adventure for your family road trip. Not only do you enjoy the beautiful scenery, but there are also opportunities to have picnics, go hiking, go fishing, and more. Maryland is home to many beautiful National parks, perfect for a day trip or a more extended visit.

From the expansive forests of Patapsco Valley State Park to the rocky beaches of Assateague Island National Seashore, there’s something for everyone in Maryland’s parks system. 

Kids can also learn about becoming junior rangers and enjoy many recreational activities.

Here are some friendly National parks in Maryland to check out:

  • Catoctin mountain park
  • Ohio canal national historical park
  • Antietam National Battlefield
  • George Washington Memorial Parkway
Walking along the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Towpath to reach the Billy Goat Section A turnoff
Photo credit:

12. Nature Center

Nature centers are a great place to take your kids. They offer a variety of activities, educational programs, and opportunities to learn about nature. Kids can explore the outdoors, learn about plants and animals, and have fun. Nature Centers provide a valuable resource for families and children.

Check out some of the best nature centers in Maryland.

13. Annapolis

Annapolis is one of my favorite parts of Maryland. Annapolis is full of life; it’s the capital city of Maryland, and no matter what season you visit, there is something to do. You can cruise The Annapolis Harbor, Aboard The Harbor Queen, spend some time at the sandy beach, and explore and walk around town.

There are also guided tours, go shopping, try out excellent restaurants, and much more. Visitors can also visit the United States Naval Academy and enjoy the tons of food, and entertainment this city has to offer. Some breakfast options are Miss Shirley’s and Iron Rooster.

There are also many parks and beaches along Chesapeake Bay shores where visitors can have picnics, hike, or relax. It’s about 35 minutes drive from Baltimore and thus a great road trip when you leave Baltimore.

I have a few friends that cycle down to Annapolis from Baltimore/ Glen Burnie area using the Baltimore Annapolis Trail. Not something I can do yet, but hey, if you are up for it, why not!

If you stop by with your kids, check out some fun places in Annapolis to take your kids!

Where to stay in Annapolis, Maryland

annapolis maryland family road trip

14. St. Michael

Taking a trip with your family to St Michael is a worthwhile experience. There are lots of great outdoor adventures to explore when you visit St. Michaels, plus you can check out some of the little shops and restaurants around.

Make a stop at the Inn at Perry Cabin, where the famous Wedding Crashers movie was held. While here, you can grab a meal, sail on their sailboats, and enjoy the beauty of Eastern Maryland.

You can also check out the Chesapeake bay maritime museum because a road trip in Maryland would not be complete without making this stop. Our favorite is the Play on the Bay, which has interactive exhibits to entertain your kids. At St Michael, you can rent out paddle boats or kayaks for older kids.

There are also a lot of great places to go kayaking in Maryland if you cannot do so here. Finally, take your kids and head to Justine’s Ice Cream Parlor, especially in the hot summer. 

15. National Harbor

the National Harbor is another worthwhile place to stop over on a road trip in Maryland. It’s a D.C. waterfront resort with lots to do, from eating and drinking to shopping and activities. Explore outdoors on the waterside trails and tours or soar over the Potomac River in the famous Capital Wheel.

There are also many historical sights and landmarks like George Washington’s Mount Vernon, National Colonial Farm, etc. For your kids, there are fun things to do as well. Every Thursday from June through August, there are activities such as crafts, meet and greets with the police department and Fire department, Interactive stories, and more.

When you are done exploring and need a bite, stop at places like BurgerFi for some fresh burgers, Bond45 for some steaks and seafood, and Bellagio Patisserie for some French-inspired breakfast, cookies, sandwiches, and more. Or better still, take your kids to Ben and Jerry’s for some ice cream. 

national harbor christmas  light
Christmas tree and buildings at night in National Harbor, Maryland.

16. Gardens

Gardens are a great place to relax after a long day moving around. Maryland is home to some fantastic gardens that will take your breath away. Some nice ones to visit are Brookside gardens and Ladew Topiary Gardens.

Final thoughts on Maryland Road trips with kids

Whether you’re looking for relaxation or adventure, Maryland has something for everyone. So when planning your next road trip with your kids, add Maryland to your list. From the beautiful views to the rich history and culture and amazing places, your kids will have many great experiences. There are also a ton of games you can play while on road trips.

While packing for your trip, include snacks, drinks, sunscreen, hats, and comfortable shoes. And don’t forget the camera to capture all of the memories you’ll be making!

Have a safe and fun trip!

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