Maryland Carolina U.S. Route 1
Bordering Pennsylvania, the upper Chesapeake Bay region is the connection between rural farmlands and picture perfect waterfront towns. Black-eyed susans line roadways and crab cakes mark restaurant menus. U.S. Route 1 heads through Baltimore, a city with dozens of vacation options no matter the season.
Start in the harbor. Baltimore’s Inner Harbor is at the heart of everything. Starting with Harborplace, a dynamic shopping, dinning and entertainment complex that includes -The Gallery, Light Street Pavilion and Pratt Street Pavilion. (www.harborplace.com)
Use the history connection. The first bloodshed of the Civil War occurred in Baltimore near the President Street Station. The 1849 train station – one of the oldest in the nation – houses a permanent exhibition that addresses Baltimore during the Civil War. The Maryland Historical Society, the state’s oldest cultural institution, oversees the Baltimore Civil War Museum and the new Fells Point Maritime Museum. (201 W Monument Street, 1(410) 685-3750 or www.mdhs.org)
Serve as a powder monkey. In Baltimore’s harbor sits the USS Constellation, 1400 ton, 179-foot sailing sloop, built in 1854. It is the only remaining Civil War-era naval vessel and all-sail warship built by the Navy. Open to the general public for tours, drills and re-enactments are conducted frequently. Popular with youngsters, ten years and older, a unique interactive tour that depicts the lives of the young boys who served as powder monkeys. The young “recruits” on tour will discover how boys ages 11 to 18 lived and worked in President Lincoln’s Navy. (Pier 1, 301 East Pratt Street, 21202. 1(410) 539-1797 and press 3 or www.historicships.org)
Remember Francis Scott Key? Fort McHenry provides visitors with a variety of ways to experience history. Beginning with a film that makes the patriotic connection with Frances Scott Key and ‘The Star-Spangled Banner” to the interpretive programs and living history presentations, the Revolutionary War becomes real. (End of East Fort Avenue, Baltimore, 21230. 1(410) 962-4290 or www.nps.gov/fomc/index.htm)
Swim said the mother fishy. Watch the antics of dolphins or view mysterious movements of sharks and sea turtles as well as thousands of other aquatic animals at the National Aquarium. More than 10,000 creatures dwell in naturalistic habitats created within the complex. In addition to the around-the-world aquarium showcase that displays the uniqueness of the oceans, the aquarium also offers “Immersion Tours.” No one gets wet but participants do meet with expert guides and learn about behind the scenes. (501 East Pratt Street, Baltimore, 21202, the anchor to Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. 1(410) 576-3833 or www.aqua.org)
Touch and try. The Maryland Science Center stimulates and cultivates the awareness, interest, and understanding of science for all ages with hands-on exhibits on science – times ten. It also is the location of the Davis Planetarium where visitors may search for constellations, or travel deep into space with the original productions. The 50-foot dome showcases hundreds of images and special effects that mix with more than 8500 stars to create a virtual window on the cosmos. (601 Light Street Baltimore, 21230. 1(410) 685-5225 (planetarium), 1(410) 545-5960 or www.mdsci.org)
Ball three, strike two. Oriole Park at Camden Yards is the home of the Baltimore Orioles. Camden Yards. (1(410) 685-9800 or http://baltimore.orioles.mlb.com) Discovery: Nearby is the birthplace of George Herman “Babe” Ruth Jr., born on February 6, 1895. The Babe Ruth Museum and Baseball Center, pays tribute to one of the most famous baseball athletes of all time. (216 Emory Street, 21230. 1(410) 727-1539 or https://baberuthmuseum.org/)
Connect with future kids. Baltimore’s Port Discovery, a kid powered discovery center, ranks among the top 12 children’s museums in the world. This is new age fun for kids and those that want to be kids again. It offers three floors of interactive fun for all ages. Most innovative is the Kid Club, where children can make their own digital music and movies, edit digital photos, and even play with Sparky, Port Discovery’s very own robotic Sony Aibo™ dog. In addition, Port Discovery has the Kid Club Communicator (KC²), a handheld, wireless device designed to add a digital spin to Adventure Expeditions. KC² guides children through the exhibit, provides a history of Egypt, keeps track of clues and even calculates points earned. (35 Market Place, 21202. 1(410) 727-8120 or www.portdiscovery.org)
Go back to the 3rd Millennium B.C. for a bit. The Walters Art Museum is one of only a few museums worldwide to present a comprehensive history of art from the third millennium B.C. to the early 20th century. Walk through an ancient castle; stare at suits of armor or admire an eight-story tapestry; gaze at Egyptian mummies. The Walker is loaded with one-of-a kind treasures. From a collection of ivories, to spectacular illuminated manuscripts and rare books, it is an inspiring place to visit. (600 North Charles Street, Baltimore or http://thewalters.org)
Anyone see a raven? The Baltimore Poe House and Museum celebrates the literary genius of Edgar Allan Poe, who died in Baltimore in 1849. The house, a small 2 ½-story brick duplex, where he once lived is now open as a museum. It contains a variety of items believed to belong to the celebrated author. (203 Amity Street in West Baltimore. 1(410) 396-7932 for a 24-hour touch-tone with hours and events or www.eapoe.org)
Talk with the animals. Enjoy animal encounters of the best kind at the Maryland Zoo, home to more than 2,000 animals – including 1,200 exotic birds as well as chimpanzees, warthogs, elephants, and leopards. Daily programs include Keeper Encounters, EdZOOcation classes, and behind-the-scenes tours. Ride the zoo train or stroll the grounds observing the inhabitants. One of the most popular places within the complex is the eight-acre children’s area where tikes can groom goats, slide from a tree, jump from lily pad to lily or pretend to be a bird in a nest. Discovery: The zoo is home to the largest colony of African black-footed penguins in the United States. (Druid Hill Park, Baltimore, 21217. 1(410) 366-LION or www.marylandzoo.org
U.S. Route 1 bisects Washington DC disguised as it is in many cities by local street names. The list of things to see and do in the area is endless. The best advice is to acquire a list from your KOA Kampground host, an expert in the area. Crossing the Potomac, U.S. Route 1 is once again recognized by its own name as it weaves through the city of Alexandria.
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