Memorial Day, celebrate the last Monday in May, is a day to remember U.S. servicemen who have made the ultimate sacrifice. It is also a celebration of the freedoms for which they fought and the perfect time to come together with family and friends to honor them. There are few places better to spend May 27 this year than in Maryland. Here are some of the best Memorial Day weekend getaways in the area:
The state capital offers an unbeatable blend of history and things to do, not just on Memorial Day but all year round. The 17th and 18th-century homes in the downtown area and Thomas Point Lighthouse (one of only ten lighthouses designated a National Historic Landmark) on the shoreline give visitors a chance to touch history. However, it is hard to find a contender to beat the legendary U.S. Naval Academy as the essential place to visit in Annapolis.
Baltimore is the largest city in Maryland and packed full of Memorial Day discoveries. Every time you sing the Star-Spangled Banner you are singing words inspired by Fort McHenry, so why not visit the Fort McHenry National Monument itself? Then, wander down to the National Aquarium, Baltimore Museum of Art, and Walters Art Museum. For baseball fans, the Babe Ruth Birthplace and Museum is a must see. The charming Fell’s Point historic district is famous for cobblestone streets, antique stores and street fairs, as well as a fantastic variety of cafes and restaurants.
Chesapeake City is a tiny town (population about 700) with a lot to offer. The C&D (Chesapeake and Delaware) Canal Museum and the C&D Canal Recreational Trail attract the most visitors. Take a marine tour on the Chesapeake City Ferry, which conveniently allows bicycles. If you are a horse person instead, the Horse Country Tour allows you to see all those attractions and more astride your own horse.
We saved the best for last – there is no better place to celebrate Memorial Day than in our nation’s capital. The National Memorial Day Parade down Constitution Avenue is the largest in the country. A perennial crowd favorite is the Rolling Thunder Motorcycle Rally the day before. Featuring almost a million riders, it begins at the Pentagon and rolls through West Potomac Park. The free National Memorial Day Concert, held on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol, will be hosted by actors Gary Sinise and Joe Mantegna this year. The Arlington National Cemetery is perhaps the best place to drive home the significance of the day.