While the state of Maryland is definitely on the smaller side size-wise, it is certainly not small by any means when it comes to its historical importance. Counted among the original 13 colonies, this state played an important role in the American Civil War. Situated within easy reach of the nation’s capital, Washington D.C., it is a favored getaway destination for many. Located largely on the banks of the Chesapeake Bay, this compact state has plenty to offer you. From informative museums to plenty of green spaces to historic landmarks, Maryland has something to offer everyone. Baltimore and Annapolis are two of the most popular tourist destinations in this charming state. Here is a compilation of some of the best historical places in Maryland, USA.
1. Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine
This stunning star-shaped fort which withstood the onslaught of the British navy during the Battle of Baltimore was also the inspiration for “The Star-Spangled Banner”. Enjoy a self-guided tour of this beautiful fort which also hosts special events throughout the year. In the summertime, you will get to see captivating musket, drill, and artillery demonstrations.
Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine
Address: 2400 E Fort Ave, Baltimore, MD 21230, USA
Opening hours: 9am - 4:45pm (daily); 9am - 5:45pm (During summer)
Price: 15 USD
2. Edgar Allan Poe's grave
While it is well-known that Edgar Allan Poe was a versatile and renowned writer, it is lesser known that he was originally buried in an unmarked grave. It was years after his passing that he got a tombstone and an engraving. Today, this grave is a must-visit spot for literary fans and history buffs alike.
Edgar Allan Poe's Grave
Address: 17 N Church St, Westminster, MD 21157, USA
Website: Edgar Allan Poe’s Grave
3. The Washington Monument
Credited as the first monument built in honor of the first President of the United States, this features on the National Register of Historic Places. This rugged stone tower was first erected in 1827 and it sits within Washington Monument State Park. You can reach the monument by using a segment of the Appalachian Mountain trail that runs through this park. The park also has a visitor center and a museum with interesting displays.
The Washington Monument
Address: Washington Monument State Park 6620 Zittlestown Road, Middletown MD 21769
Website: The Washington Monument
Opening hours: Apr - Oct: 8am - Sunset; Nov - Mar: 10am - Sunset
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4. St. Mary’s City, St. Mary’s County
This erstwhile colonial town is credited with being the first capital of the state of Maryland. Experience life as it was in the 17th century when plantations were aplenty and livestock-keeping was the norm. It is a renowned archeological research area having seen over 200 digs over the past three decades that have uncovered notable discoveries such as a fort, a Jesuit chapel, and various artifacts among others. The Historical Archeology Field School is also located here.
Historic St. Mary’s City
Address: 18751 Hogaboom Ln St. Mary’s City, Maryland
Website: Historic St. Mary’s City
Opening hours: 10am - 4pm (daily), (closed for winter from Jan - Mar)
Price: 6 - 10 USD
5. William Paca House & Garden
This elegant Georgian mansion dates back to the late 18th century and it was built by William Paca who was among one of the signatories on the Declaration of Independence, besides being an erstwhile governor of Maryland. This national historic landmark, situated just a block from the Naval Academy, has been lovingly restored to its former glory and offers guided tours. It is also a popular spot for various events and weddings.
William Paca House & Garden
Address: 186 Prince George Street, Annapolis, MD 21401
Website: William Paca House & Garden
Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 10am - 5pm; Sun: 12pm - 5pm
Price: 5 - 10 USD
6. Antietam National Battlefield
Now under the purview of the National Park Service, this is the site of the bloodiest battle during the American Civil War. Set at the Appalachian foothills, this site is close to the Potomac River. The visitor center has museum exhibits related to the war while the Antietam National Cemetery is located adjacent to the battlefield.
Antietam National Battlefield
Address: 5831 Dunker Church Road, Sharpsburg, MD 21782
Website: Antietam National Battlefield
Opening hours: 9am - 5pm (daily)
Price: 5 - 10 USD
7. Banneker-Douglass Museum and Cultural Center
This museum, named after prominent African American anti-slavery advocates, uses a community-based approach in building up its collection and also when initiating public programs or organizing exhibitions. It offers guided tours for groups of five or more on pre-arrangement and hosts a range of interesting temporary exhibitions. The permanent exhibit on African American history in the state is an extremely popular one.
Banneker-Douglass Museum and Cultural Center
Address: 84 Franklin St, Annapolis, Maryland 21401
Opening hours: Tue - Sat: 10am - 4pm (closed Sun - Mon)
8. Colonial Annapolis Historic District
Located in the state capital, this historic district is designed in the European style. With plenty of 18th-century buildings dotting the skyline of this historic area, there are many tours that you can choose from. Renowned landmarks such as St John’s College, the Naval Academy, William Paca House and Garden, and Artisan’s House are all situated here.
Colonial Annapolis Historic District
Address: Main Street, Annapolis, MD 21401
Website: Colonial Annapolis Historic District
Opening hours: 24/7
9. Maryland State House
This is the oldest state capitol and it has been functional since 1772. It has the distinction of featuring the largest wooden dome in the United States that has been built without nails. The building is home to the Maryland General Assembly and it also has the offices of the Governor as well as the Lieutenant Governor.
Maryland State House
Address: 100 State Circle, Annapolis, Maryland 21401
Website: Maryland State House
Opening hours: 9am - 5pm (daily)
10. B & O Railroad Museum
Chronicling the adventure of railroading in the region, this interesting museum is a great way to enhance your knowledge. There are different scale models available here including one that the children can climb on. Hop aboard a train for a ride along a historic mile. The museum hosts a range of annual events including special celebrations for children.
B & O Railroad Museum
Address: 901 W Pratt St Baltimore, Maryland
Website: B & O Railroad Museum
Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 10am - 4pm; Sun: 11am - 4pm
Price: 12 - 20 USD
Explore Maryland's historic sites
These are but a few of the historical places in Maryland that you are likely to come across. There are plenty more well-known and not so well-known landmarks and attractions that you can explore depending on the time you have in this beautiful state.
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