15 Best Road Trips From Maryland, USA

road trips from maryland
| 7 min read

Maryland is a unique destination, that features a stunning Mid-Atlantic coastline and mountains, that gives this lovely state a colourful character. Considering the fact that Maryland is the birthplace of the United States’ national anthem, it boasts a rich history that dates back to the colonial period. There is so much to do in Maryland including exploring the Swallows Falls State Park, Washington County Museum of Fine Arts, House of Yoder and many more. If you are done exploring the charms that Maryland has to offer, the best way to spend your holiday is by enjoying road trips. Check out some of the best road trips from Maryland, USA.

1. Charlottesville, VA

Clifton Inn, Charlottesville, VA
Source: Photo by Flickr user Pauline Kenny used under CC BY 2.0

Driving three hours southwest of Maryland leads you to Charlottesville in Virginia. This city was the home of former presidents Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe, and while it may be small, Charlottesville has quite a lot of attractions that are worth coming down for. If you’re up for experiencing the hippest trends in C’ville, which is the city’s colloquial name, check out The Corner, a district of restaurants, bars, and various hangout spots. C’ville is also home to University of Virginia. Charlottesville is a relatively small city, but being a university town, you’ll always find something to do here at any time of day!

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2. Lancaster, PA

Lancaster Pennsylvania downtown
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Randolph Carney used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Popularly known as the center for Pennsylvania’s Amish Country, Lancaster is one of the best getaways from Maryland. The road trip takes a little less than 2 hours with a distance of 100 miles (161 kilometers). Originally named Hickory Town, the city belongs to the list of oldest inland towns in the States. If you’re interested in getting to know more about the Amish culture, this sure is the right place to visit. There are bookable tours revolving around the workings of the daily lives of Amish families. Some other points of interest in the city are the Central Market, Fulton Theatre, and Dutch Wonderland.

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3. Lambertville, NJ

Lambertville, NJ
Source: Photo by Flickr user Craige Moore used under CC BY-ND 2.0

Lambertville in New Jersey is one of the best road trip destinations from Maryland if you’re looking for a change of pace in a charming and vintage setting. Its streets are something like out of a postcard with its preserved Victorian houses. This picturesque little city is home to points of interest such as Lambertville Station, which is located in a restored 19th-century train depot house, James Wilson Marshall House Museum, and markets with unique finds like The People’s Store and Golden Nugget Antiques Market. The drive from Maryland will take approximately 2.5 to 3 hours.

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4. Bethany Beach, DE

Bethany Beach, Delaware - February 2011
Source: Photo by Flickr user Lee Cannon used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Missing the ocean? Make Delaware, particularly Bethany Beach, your next road trip from Maryland. This lively coastal town is popular for its long stretches of beaches with boardwalks and seaside fares. If you’ve been longing for such a wonderful setting with a strong sense of community, it’s not going to be a mistake taking the drive here. There are various events at the beach and the cultural centers in town. The town may be small but its natural beauty and the abundance of things to do attracts a lot of tourists, especially in the summer.

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5. White Sulphur Springs, WV

The Greenbrier, White Sulphur Springs, WV
Source: Photo by Flickr user John Manard used under CC BY-SA 2.0

West Virginia is one of the best getaways in the US, and when you decide to take the drive from Maryland, consider stopping by White Sulphur Springs. The drive is over 4 hours with a distance of 282 miles (454 kilometers). It is home to The Greenbrier, which belongs to the list of the most exclusive and lavish resorts in the country. This city is a place for various adventures, with attractions like Blue Bend Recreation Area, The Salt Cave and Spa, and The Greenbrier Falconry. Due to the existence of the above-mentioned luxurious resort, White Sulphur Springs is a popular destination for couples!

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6. Newport, RI

Newport RI
Source: Photo by Flickr user Kipp Jones used under CC BY 2.0

Situated on Aquidneck Island, Newport is a yacht-filled city known for sailing regatta. Most visitors from all over the world swoop in just to explore its many attractions which include The Breakers, Marble House, Cliff Walk and the Elms. In order to get the full experience that Newport offers to its visitors, it is crucial you plan your trip in a timely manner. For instance, if you want to explore the city and enjoy outdoor activities, it is best if you visit between May and September when the weather is warm. For those who love music festivals, the best time to visit is between June and August. Winter may not the best time to be visiting Newport, but is sure is one of the best road trip ideas from Maryland at any other time!

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7. Abingdon, VA

Abingdon, VA
Source: Photo by Flickr user Eli Christman used under CC BY 2.0

Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, 6 hours 15 minutes via I-81 S, covering a distance of 635.7 kilometres (395 miles), Abingdon is a pop destination in Vancouver thanks to its historic charm, artsy vibe and its proximity to attractions and outdoor activity. Some of the attractions that you will come across while you are in the area include Barter Theatre, The Virginia Creeper Trail, Abingdon Vineyards, William King Museum, Abingdon Muster Grounds and Southwest Virginia Cultural Heritage Foundation among many more. Given that most of the attractions in Abingdon are educational, it is always advised to visit the city with your kids.

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8. Fayetteville, NC

TheMarketHouse FAY
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Gerry Dincher used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Home to Fort Bragg, Fayetteville is a beautiful city in Cumberland County in North Carolina. It takes 5 hours 30 minutes via I-95 and covers 556.8 kilometres (346 miles). Everything that this city has to offer will amaze you, from the beaches to the countless attractions, be it historic, cultural, military or artsy, you will find it all here. Some of the attractions include Cape Fear Botanical Garden, Fantasy Lake, Water Park, Clark Park Nature Centre, Fascinate-U Children’s Museum, and Museum of the Cape Fear among others. As you explore all that the city has to offer, make sure you try out the street food, it’s just amazing.

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9. Northhampton, MA

Northampton MA 10
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user AlexiusHoratius used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Northampton is a must-visit destination for all visitors coming to the US especially the LGBT community if you do not visit you will miss out on a lot. The city is located about 6-hour drive via I-95 N from Maryland. It covers a distance of 585.5 kilometres (363.8 miles). The town is known as a musical, educational, artistic hub as well as an equivalent to mecca for the LGBT community. Some of the attractions you will come across are The Botanic Garden of Smith College, Skinner State Park, Look, Memorial Park, Norwottuck Rail Trail and Smith Collage Museum of Art among others.

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10. Charlotte, NC

Fourth Ward, Charlotte, NC, USA - panoramio
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user James Willamor used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Another city you cannot afford to miss out on while you are in Maryland is Charlotte. About 6 hours and 35 minutes by road through I-95 S and I-85 S, it is a 692.3 kilometres (430.2 miles) drive. This is the place you want to be if you want to enjoy a unique shopping experience, discover different cultures, marvel at the stunning architecture and discover major museums. Additionally, the city is also the most preferred spot for auto racing. It features racing schools, speedways and of course the NASCAR hall of Fame. There is a lot to discover in Charlotte, come and enjoy it all.

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11. Knoxville, TN

Knoxville TN skyline
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Nfutvol used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Located on the banks of River Tennessee in eastern Tennessee, Knoxville is not one of the favourite tourist destinations in the US but nevertheless it boasts several attractions worth checking out. Some of the sites that will make you fall in love with this city include Zoo Knoxville, Ijams Nature Centre, Sunsphere, Knoxville Museum of Art, Market Square, World’s Fair Park and Forks of the River Wildlife. In addition to the attraction sites, new visitors cannot stop marvelling at the 19th-century building which houses mostly shops and restaurants. Note it takes about 8 hours via I-81 S by car if you are on a road trip starting in Maryland.

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12. Cincinnati, OH

Main Street, Cincinnati, OH
Source: Photo by Flickr user Warren LeMay used under CC0

The city of Cincinnati is a beautiful one located on the banks of the Ohio River. It is home to three major sports teams including the Cincinnati Bengals which participates in the National Football League, FC Cincinnati of the Major League Soccer and the Cincinnati Reds who play in the Major League Baseball. Apart from being a sports hub Cincinnati also boasts other important attractions such as Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden, Cincinnati Art Museum, Krohn Conservatory and many more attractions. It takes 8 hours 30 minutes by car via I-70 W.

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13. Lexington, KY

Lexington History Center - Lexington, Kentucky - DSC09088
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Daderot used under CC0

Known as the Horse Capital, some of the features you should expect to find include horse farms, horse racetracks and most importantly, Kentucky Horse Park, where you will find the International Museum of the Horse and Hall of Champions which features so many equine breeds. Besides horses, you can also check out Keeneland Association Inc, Raven Run Nature Sanctuary, The Arboretum State Botanical, and Fort Boonesborough. It is almost a 9 hours’ drive via I-79 S covering 885.5 kilometres (550.2 miles).

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14. Chautauqua, NY

Chautauqua, New York
Source: Photo by Flickr user henrys54 used under CC BY-ND 2.0

Located in Western New York, Chautauqua is the destination of choice for those who are looking for entertainment, adventure and to discover history. Most visitors come here to experience its natural beauty which is highlighted by the five lakes including Chautauqua Lake and Lake Erie. These lakes are the perfect destination to enjoy boating and fishing. Other activities you can indulge in while you are here include skiing, snowmobiling and other winter recreational activities or discovering the National Comedy Centre and Chautauqua Institution. It is a 6 hours 30 minutes’ drive through I-83 N, covering a distance of 556.5 kilometres (345.8 miles).

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15. Cape Lookout, NC

29 Lighthouse Cape Lookout NC 8376
Source: Photo by Flickr user bobistraveling used under CC BY 2.0

This is a very popular destination especially among those who love hiking, camping, beachcombers or anyone who appreciate nature. The site features an amphitheatre, a meeting hall, an RV dump station, 13 rustic yurts, camping areas and approximately 35 full-hookup sites. Please note that access to the beach may be difficult sometimes, especially during the winter when the weather forces the closure of parts and sometimes the whole camping ground. It is almost an 8 hours’ drive from Maryland via I-95 S. Cape Lookout is certainly one of the best places to road trip from Maryland.

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Enjoy road trips from Maryland

Exploring Maryland can be fun, however when you are done strolling through the highlights that the state has to offer you may run out of ideas on what to do with your extra time. Check out some of the best road trips from Maryland.

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Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
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Irene Mwikali is a graduate student in Kenya who has a passion for travelling and exploring the world. Currently, her love for travel has taken her to several destinations including South Africa,...Read more

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