As you get older, it seems like it gets harder and harder to round up your friends for a road trip even if it's for an afternoon. Everybody has different schedules and it always seems like life gets in the way.

But road trips don't have to involve intense preparation or coordination, especially if the destination is kind of right in your backyard. There are so many treasures that are right under your nose. You just have to get it together and drive, drive, drive.

These destinations are all within 3 hours from Baltimore so it's highly doable for one day or for a weekend! Don't feel as if every vacation has to be a week-long affair where you have to request time off work. You can travel, experience new things, and have fun right in your home state. 

If you're ready to be the one to kick things off, go through this list and just pick a place that excites you! The only other step is to get that group text going in WhatsApp and coordiante who's bringing what. Let loose, have fun, and take photos!

Saint Michaels

Time from Baltimore: 1.5 hours

Where: Talbot County

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Honestly, what can't you do in Saint Michaels? That's the real question. If you're looking for a peaceful and relaxing weekend away with friends, this is the destination for you. You can do a leisurely walk to the Hooper Strait lighthouse, check out the breweries and wineries or take a scenic drive to Tilghman Island to really get away from it all. So turn off that phone, live in the moment, and upload all those pictures when you get back home.

Calvert Cliffs State Park

Time from Baltimore: 1.5 hours

Where: Lusby

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The sound of the waves is the perfect soundtrack to your walk along the beach under the cliffs. But don't get too distracted by the cliffs because you might just miss seeing the fossils! You can find anything from shark teeth to Miocene era oyster shells. And if that wasn't enough, there are 13 miles of marked trails for you to hike. 


Time from Baltimore: 40 minutes

Where: Chesapeake Bay

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This charming city is bursting with so many activities to do. You can take a sightseeing cruise, a historical walking tour, or have a delicious seafood dinner right on the pier as you look over at Chesapeake Bay. Explore the boutique shops and art galleries as you walk along the cobblestone streets and take in the colonial buildings. The main street is pretty romantic during the day and night, so take along your SO for a low-key date. 

Ladew Topiary Gardens

Time from Baltimore: 40 minutes

Where: Monkton

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Being outdoors doesn't always mean being in a forest without cell reception. Take an afternoon and walk through 22 acres of gardens, take a tour of Manor House or visit the Butterfly House. Don't rush through your visit! As they say, stop and smell the roses.


Butler's Orchard

Time from Baltimore: 1 hour

Where: Germantown

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It tastes so much better when you do it yourself! You can visit this family-run pick-your-own farm all year round. You can pick various berries, flowers, and even potatoes! Of course, since we're heading into fall, you can pick apples and pumpkins as well. Before you go, make sure you check out the crop calendar to see what you can pick!


Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park

Time from Baltimore: 1.5 hours

Where: Cumberland

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Pile yourselves into one car and head straight to this park. There are several sectioned off areas on the canal that are safe for boating. If biking is more your speed, check out the hikes that allow cyclists. A really cool aspect of the park is that you can take a phone tour. All along the park, there are signs that have a number you can dial to listen and learn the history of the area.

Loch Raven Reservoir

Time from Baltimore: 30 minutes

Where: Baltimore County

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Nature and animal lovers, this one's for you. You can hike along the reservoir that's flanked by luscious plants and wildlife. You will be able to see oak, maple, poplar trees as well as bald eagles, cardinals, blue jays and woodpeckers! No sound of loud car horns or construction to be heard here!

Kilgore Falls

Time from Baltimore: 1 hour

Where: Pylesville

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Waterfalls are a year-round activity. There's nothing like making it to the end of a hike and witnessing a 17-foot high waterfall. It's nothing short of spectacular. There is the option to wade in, but the water is ice cold. Instead, some people pitch a hammock or sit on the side and read. 

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Brookeville Beer Farm

Time from Baltimore: 45 minutes

Where: Brookeville

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This brewery and farm is open seven days a week with an event happening every day. Head on over with a couple of friends and taste all the beers they have on tap. At night, there is often a live band playing so drink that liquid courage and start dancing along to the music!


The King and Queen Seat

Time from Baltimore: 1 hour

Where: Rocks State Park

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The entire park is beautiful, but you can't miss this. The King and Queen Seat sits 190 feet above Deer Creek. It provides a stunning view that's worth it after that challenging hike to the top. Prepare yourselves for the hike and don't rush! For those of you who start shaking when you're high up, maybe sit this one out. Or just don't stand so close to the edge!

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Sugarloaf Mountain Vineyard

Time from Baltimore: 1 hour

Where: Dickerson

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You always want to have options. You can drive all the way up Sugarloaf Mountain or drive about three-quarters of the way before hiking the rest. Whichever way you choose is fine because, in the end, everybody gets to see the view. But of course, if you do hike the whole thing, you have a better excuse of drinking more wine at the winery. Or screw the excuses! Take a tour of the winery or just head straight to the tasting room. You do you, hunny. 


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The Sunflower Garden

Time from Baltimore: 1 hour

Where: Westminster

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Everybody thinks sunflowers are exclusive to summer, but that's not true. You can still dance through sunflower fields for Instagram well into the fall season. Don't feel too embarrassed about having a full on photoshoot here because the farm even encourages it! So snap those selfies and get up close and personal with those flowers. They do make the perfect backdrop for a photo.


Dinosaur Park

Time from Baltimore: 30 minutes

Where: Laurel

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Calling all Jurassic Park nerds! Unfortunately, Jeff Goldblum and Chris Pratt aren't here, but you can still see a collection of fossils from the Cretaceous Period. There's even a climbable dinosaur skeleton so there's that! Go test out your dinosaur sounds and sing the Jurassic Park theme song on the drive there. 


Solomons Island

Time from Baltimore: 2 hours

Where: Solomon

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Visit the small waterfront village for some peace and quiet. Take a stroll down the Riverwalk boardwalk where you can look out onto the water while having access to so many great restaurants. But the one thing you can't miss is the Drum Point Lighthouse and sometimes you can even meet the light keeper!

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Assateague State Park

Time from Baltimore: 2 hours and 45 minutes

Where: Berlin

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This is Maryland's only oceanfront park! The horses that you see on the island are wild and have learned to survive in the wilderness. As soon as you reach the island, you will immediately see them everywhere. But don't get too close to them. You definitely want to admire from afar. 

Western Maryland Scenic Railroad

Time from Baltimore: 2 hours

Where: Cumberland

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It's a round trip excursion that lets you see the mountains on this 16-mile ride. There are many different train rides you can take, but the most fun one appears to be the Murder Mystery Train. Enjoy a meal, drinks, and an interactive performance while you try to solve a murder!


Cape May

Time from Baltimore: 3 hours

Where: New Jersey

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If you're up for the drive, why not head to Jersey? Cape May has your beautiful beaches and a lighthouse to tour. But if you're up for something different, check out the historic district. There are over 600 buildings in the resort area for you to explore! It's a city that has the charm of a small town. You will die at all the Victorian houses and buildings! Make sure to take photos in front of them because they are c-u-t-e.

Annapolis Rock

Time from Baltimore: 45 minutes

Where: Myersville

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The Black Rock Cliff hike is a popular trail so expect lots of people when you're on it. But that shouldn't deter you from embarking on this hike. Once you reach Annapolis Rock, the view you get is nothing short of beautiful. Can you picture yourself standing at the very top and feeling like the king of the world? Yes, you should 100% reenact that Titanic scene when you get there.

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Ellicott City

Time from Baltimore: 30 minutes

Where: Howard County

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It's only a short drive from Baltimore, but this city has so much to offer. To enjoy a nice walk around the park, head to Centennial Park. But the real highlight is walking around downtown among the hundreds of 18th and 19th-century buildings. If history is your thing, make sure to check out the train station because it's the oldest surviving train station in the U.S. For another treat, drive 5 minutes from downtown to Cascade Falls in Patapsco Valley State Park!

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NASA Goddard Visitor Center

Time from Baltimore: 40 minutes

Where: Greenbelt

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Experience for yourself the exciting work that's happening in planetary science, Earth science, astrophysics, and more. There are several permanent exhibits that will have you amazed. Exhibits contain photos and video that NASA scientists use to study space! Crazy, right?


Swallow Falls State Park

Time from Baltimore: 3 hours

Where: Oakland

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One can never tire of state parks, right? Listen, if the weather is nice, enjoy it while it lasts because as winter is coming. This park has the Youghiogheny River flowing along the borders and there's a 53-foot waterfall called Muddy Creek. At this point, you have to have TLC's "Waterfalls" on a Spotify playlist for these hikes.

Field of Screams

Time from Baltimore: 45 minutes

Where: Olney

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This one is seasonal and a little out there, but totally worth it. If you or your friends need a little help getting into the Halloween spirit, this is the ultimate attraction. It runs from the end of September until the end of October. It has four main attractions that are haunted houses and a haunted hayride. Please go only if you can handle it. There are always things lurking in the dark ... in every corner ...


Gunpowder Falls State Park

Time from Baltimore: 30 minutes

Where: Middle River

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Like any park, you can never visit the whole thing in one day. But Gunpowder Falls is set up into six areas so it's easy to plan your visit there based on the activities you and your gang want to get up to. It's recommended you head to Hereford Area because there's hiking, water activities and you can even visit the famous Mills Pond Cottage.


Time from Baltimore: 1 hour

Where: Frederick

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This list has already mentioned a variety of tours you can take, but none match up to what's in Frederick. You can take a food walking tour! Get a sense of the city and its culinary scene through your taste buds. Over the course of three hours, you will get to talk with locals and restauranteurs and understand the history of Frederick from a whole new perspective. So eat, explore, and be merry!


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