Looking for free things to do in Maryland? Look no further! Maryland is a state full of history, nature, and culture, and there are plenty of free attractions and activities to explore.
From world-class museums to beautiful outdoor spaces, Maryland offers something for everyone without breaking the bank.
Whether you’re a history buff, an art enthusiast, or a nature lover, this list of 22 free things to do in Maryland will help you make the most of your visit.
1. Marvel at the National Museum of Health and Medicine
One of the top free attractions in Maryland is the National Museum of Health and Medicine. Located in Silver Spring, this museum offers a fascinating look into the history of medicine and healthcare in America. From Civil War medical innovations to modern medical research, the museum showcases artifacts, exhibits, and interactive displays that educate and inspire visitors. With free admission, it’s a must-visit destination for anyone interested in American history and the evolution of healthcare.
2. Discover the Baltimore Museum of Art
Art enthusiasts shouldn’t miss the opportunity to visit the Baltimore Museum of Art. With its impressive collection of over 90,000 works spanning centuries and cultures, including pieces by renowned artists like Henri Matisse and Andy Warhol, this museum is a treasure trove of artistic beauty.
Best of all, admission is free, making it the perfect destination for a day of cultural exploration. Don’t forget to check out the Sculpture Gardens, where you can enjoy outdoor artwork and a serene atmosphere.
3. Wander the Cylburn Arboretum
If you’re looking for a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of city life, head to the Cylburn Arboretum in Baltimore. This 200-acre park is home to a diverse collection of trees, plants, and wildlife, making it the perfect place for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.
Take a stroll along the winding trails, enjoy a picnic in one of the open meadows, or simply soak in the serenity of the surroundings. With free admission, the Cylburn Arboretum offers a tranquil retreat for visitors of all ages.
4. Explore the National Aquarium during Dollar Days
For a unique and educational experience, don’t miss Dollar Days at the National Aquarium in Baltimore. On select dates throughout the year, the aquarium offers discounted admission of just $1 per person.
This is a great opportunity to explore the fascinating underwater world and learn about marine life through interactive exhibits and displays. From tropical coral reefs to the Amazon rainforest, the National Aquarium offers a variety of free activities and programs that are both fun and educational. Don’t forget to visit the famous “Penny Black” exhibit, showcasing the world’s first adhesive postage stamp.
5. Visit the Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine
Step back in time and immerse yourself in American history with a visit to the Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine. Located in Baltimore, this historic site played a significant role during the War of 1812 and inspired Francis Scott Key to write “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
Explore the fort’s ramparts, watch interpretive programs, and learn about the fort’s role in defending Baltimore and our nation. With its beautiful waterfront setting and rich historical significance, Fort McHenry is a must-visit destination for history buffs and patriots alike.
6. Stroll around the Enoch Pratt Free Library
Book lovers shouldn’t miss the opportunity to visit the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore. Established in 1886, this historic library is not only a place to borrow books but also a cultural landmark and architectural gem.
Take a stroll through the library’s halls, admire the intricate woodwork and ornate details, and soak in the ambiance of this grand building. With free admission, the Enoch Pratt Free Library offers a unique and enriching experience for visitors of all ages.
7. Experience History at Antietam National Battlefield
Experience history at the Antietam National Battlefield, where you can immerse yourself in the rich historical significance of the site. Explore the well-preserved landscape and learn about the Civil War’s impact on the region. Gain insights into significant battles and the stories of those who fought there.
The Visitor Center offers educational resources and guided tours, providing a deep understanding of this pivotal moment in American history. Engage with the past and appreciate the sacrifices made on this hallowed ground.
8. Enjoy Nature at the Assateague Island National Seashore
Unplug and immerse yourself in the raw beauty of Assateague Island National Seashore. This pristine barrier island offers a unique blend of sandy beaches, salt marshes, and maritime forests, providing a haven for diverse wildlife like wild horses and migratory birds.
Nature enthusiasts can revel in activities such as birdwatching, kayaking, and beachcombing. Whether you opt for a stroll along the shore or a serene picnic amidst nature, the island guarantees an unforgettable, rejuvenating experience.
9. Join a Free Tour at the United States Naval Academy
Explore the rich naval history at the United States Naval Academy by joining a fascinating free tour. Immerse yourself in this prestigious institution, guided by experts who provide insights into the academy’s heritage and daily life. From the stunning architecture to the storied traditions, the tour offers a captivating experience, making it a must-visit for history enthusiasts and those intrigued by maritime affairs. Uncover the legacy of this esteemed academy through an engaging and informative exploration.
10. Experience the Walters Art Museum
The Walters Art Museum in Maryland offers a unique blend of art, history, and culture. Visitors can immerse themselves in an extensive collection spanning thousands of years and diverse cultures. From ancient artifacts to medieval armor and renowned works by artists such as Henri Matisse, the museum provides a rich and educational experience. With free entry, exploring the Walters Art Museum is an excellent choice for art enthusiasts and history buffs alike. Its serene atmosphere and diverse exhibits ensure a pleasant and enriching visit.
11. Visit the Historic Ships in Baltimore Harbor
Step aboard historic vessels at the Baltimore Harbor, offering a glimpse into the city’s maritime past. Explore the USS Constellation, the last all-sail warship built by the US Navy, and the US Submarine Torsk, a veteran of World War II. Engage with living history interpreters and experience life at sea.
These remarkable ships provide an immersive experience, making it a must-visit for enthusiasts of naval history and anyone seeking a unique and educational outing. Don’t miss this opportunity to step back in time and learn about Baltimore’s seafaring heritage.
12. Explore the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge
Discover the serene atmosphere of the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge in Maryland. This amazing campus offers outdoor activities and a pleasant surprise for nature lovers. Explore the area’s right balance of details as you wander through the refuge’s beautiful landscapes. Marvel at the wildlife and take in the beauty of the surroundings. Whether it’s a rainy day or a sunny one, this refuge is an awesome place to spend some time in nature.
13. Visit the Clara Barton National Historic Site
Step into history at the Clara Barton National Historic Site and explore the life and work of Clara Barton, the founder of the American Red Cross. Walk through her home, which also served as the first national headquarters of the American Red Cross, and gain insight into her humanitarian contributions.
Engage with informative exhibits and guided tours that offer a captivating glimpse into Barton’s accomplishments and the impact of her legacy on society. Discover the significance of this site in shaping America’s history.
14. Spend Time at the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park
Nestled along the Potomac River, the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park offers a tranquil retreat for nature lovers and history enthusiasts. This park provides a perfect blend of outdoor activities and historical significance. You can explore the scenic towpath, visit the Great Falls, or indulge in a leisurely picnic amidst picturesque surroundings. The park’s rich history and serene atmosphere make it an excellent choice for a day of exploration and relaxation.
15. Enjoy the View at the Maryland Scenic Byways
Drive along the Maryland Scenic Byways and immerse yourself in the picturesque landscapes. These routes offer stunning views of mountains, forests, and waterways, providing a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.
The historic and cultural landmarks along the way add depth to the experience, making it an enriching journey for history enthusiasts and nature lovers alike. Whether it’s the Chesapeake Country Byway or the Historic National Road, the Maryland Scenic Byways promise a delightful and scenic adventure.
Experience the mesmerizing Glenstone, an art museum located in Potomac, Maryland. This unique museum integrates art, architecture, and landscape into a serene and immersive environment.
The museum features post-World War II art in a contemplative setting, allowing visitors to engage with the artworks in a tranquil atmosphere. With free admission and a focus on maintaining a serene atmosphere, Glenstone offers a peaceful retreat into the world of contemporary art, making it an excellent choice for art enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.
17. Peale Museum
Explore the Peale Museum, a historical gem in Baltimore. Located in a charming 19th-century building, it offers engaging exhibits, including the “Legacy of Slavery in Maryland” and “Struggle for Women’s Rights.” The museum also hosts events and workshops, making it an enriching experience for all.
Immerse yourself in the diverse history and culture of Maryland, all for free. Take a stroll through this unique museum and gain valuable insights into the state’s rich heritage.
18. Lore Oyster House
Nestled in the heart of Maryland, Lore Oyster House offers a delectable journey through the region’s culinary heritage. This historic establishment presents a delightful fusion of exquisite flavors, showcasing the state’s rich seafood traditions.
Visitors can savor fresh oysters and other coastal delights while immersing themselves in the charming coastal ambiance. With its rustic charm and delectable offerings, Lore Oyster House provides an authentic taste of Maryland’s maritime legacy, making it a must-visit for gastronomy enthusiasts and cultural explorers alike.
19. Columbia Art Center
Explore the vibrant arts scene in Maryland at the Columbia Art Center. This community art center offers free exhibits and art events, making it a perfect spot for art enthusiasts.
Located in Howard County, the center provides an opportunity to engage with local artists and appreciate their work. Whether you’re an art aficionado or just looking for a cultural experience, the Columbia Art Center is sure to inspire and captivate visitors with its diverse and dynamic creative offerings.
20. Beat the Heat at the Walter Sondheim Fountain
On a scorching day, head to the Walter Sondheim Fountain in Baltimore to cool off. Surrounded by lush greenery, the fountain offers a refreshing respite. Whether you want to dip your toes or simply enjoy the sight and sound of water, it’s a delightful spot.
The fountain is a favorite among locals and visitors alike, providing a serene atmosphere amidst the city’s bustle. So, when the sun is high, make your way to this charming oasis and beat the heat effortlessly.
21. Take a Walk in the Park
Enjoy a stroll in one of Maryland’s picturesque parks. Whether it’s the quietude of Quiet Waters Park or the breathtaking landscapes of Patapsco Valley State Park, there’s an array of natural havens to explore.
Immerse yourself in nature, breathe in the fresh air, and unwind amidst serene surroundings. Discover local flora and fauna, have a picnic, or simply revel in the tranquility. Taking a walk in the park offers a rejuvenating experience, perfect for relaxation and rejuvenation.
22. Gaze at the Stars
On a clear night in Maryland, stargazing is a mesmerizing experience. With minimal light pollution in certain areas, such as the western part of the state, you can witness the beauty of the night sky in all its glory.
Places like Deep Creek Lake State Park host stargazing events, allowing visitors to marvel at the celestial wonders through telescopes and knowledgeable guides. It’s a serene and awe-inspiring activity that provides a welcome escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the best times to visit these free attractions in Maryland?
Discover the best times to visit these free attractions in Maryland to make the most of your trip. Plan your visit to coincide with special events or seasonal highlights for an unforgettable experience.
Are there any free events or festivals in Maryland?
Discover a variety of free events and festivals in Maryland, including art exhibitions, historic sites, and scenic byways. From the National Museum of Health and Medicine to the Walter Sondheim Fountain, there’s something for everyone to enjoy without spending a dime.
What are some family-friendly free activities in Maryland?
Experience family-friendly free activities in Maryland, from exploring the Assateague Island National Seashore to joining a free tour at the United States Naval Academy. Enjoy nature, history, and art without spending a dime!
How can I find more information about these free attractions?
Free things to do in Maryland, Discover more about these free attractions by visiting their official websites, contacting the local tourism office, or exploring online travel guides. You can also follow their social media pages for updates and special events. Engage with local communities for insider tips and recommendations.
What precautions should I take while visiting these free attractions amid the COVID-19 pandemic?
Free things to do in Maryland, To ensure a safe visit amid the COVID-19 pandemic, consider checking the attraction’s website for any specific guidelines or restrictions. Additionally, wear a mask, practice social distancing, and maintain good hand hygiene. Stay updated on the latest safety recommendations from health authorities.
Are there any free camping sites in Maryland?
Free things to do in Maryland, there are free camping sites in Maryland. Some options include Green Ridge State Forest, River State Forest, and Elk Neck State Park. Each offers beautiful natural surroundings and varying amenities for a unique camping experience.
In conclusion, Free things to do in Maryland, Maryland offers a wide range of free attractions and activities that are worth exploring. From historical sites and museums to beautiful parks and seashores, there is something for everyone to enjoy without spending a dime.
Whether you’re interested in history, nature, art, or simply taking a stroll in the park, Maryland has it all. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to experience these wonderful attractions and make memories with your loved ones. If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to comment below. Happy exploring!
Ferona Jose is a passionate travel writer and blogger at Travelistia. She has traveled throughout Europe, Asia and the Americas. Her writing focuses on cheap travel destinations, travel experiences, cultural insights, and travel hacks.