Maryland has varied charms. Baltimore can boast of Johns Hopkins University, the charming Inner Harbor, and occasionally successful sports teams. The Orioles play baseball at the first retro ballpark in the USA, Camden Yards, which was constructed in 1992. The Eastern Shore has fishing and isolated barrier islands full of wildlife, along with popular beach resorts. Western Maryland has many state parks and forested areas, including Catoctin Mountain and Cunningham Falls, near long-time presidential retreat Camp David. The C&O Canal (which stands for Chesapeake and Ohio) and Great Falls Park offer excellent opportunities for hiking, not to mention boating, near the nation’s capital.
You can get health-conscious cafe fare such as lentil samosas and flax-infused drinks in Bethesda, just north of the D.C. line. Silver Spring, also right by D.C., has macrobiotic food, Kosher pizza, and an African restaurant named after Roger Miller, and nearby Takoma Park is worth visiting just for its vegetarian Korean restaurant. Gaithersburg has organic baked goods and wonderful Chinese food. College Park has vegetarian Asian restaurants and an on-campus food co-op, Ocean City has organic juices and raw vegan food, Annapolis has restaurants that use organic, local, sustainable ingredients, and Frederick has organic, local food with inventive drinks. The Baltimore area has many offerings, from organic coffee and baked goods in Towson, organic Ayurvedic and raw food (plus wi-fi) at a bookstore, upscale vegan cuisine and other items at a city art museum, and organic Caribbean-Asian-American fusion near Baltimore’s zoo and JHU. Despite Baltimore’s reputation as a rough place, culture and fine food can definitely go hand in hand in Charm City.