While beach vacations and lake retreats are enticing, summer’s best memories could be formed right at home — or close to it for those living near Annapolis, Baltimore and Washington, D.C.
Your family could get a bird’s-eye view of Baltimore from the top of a sky scraper, see the massive bells of the National Cathedral up close or get the chance to steer a tour boat while taking in the sights from the water.
“It’s learning history,” says Marsha Wise, tour coordinator for the Baltimore Heritage Corporation, of sightseeing in your own backyard. You could learn “something you might not know whether you’ve lived here your whole life or just six months.”
If you are looking for a fun and educational adventure close to home this summer, here are a few ideas to get you started. Be sure to check the websites or call ahead for times and ticket procedures.
Take a city boat tour
Cruise around Annapolis
Cruise on the Harbor Queen and listen to a narrated history about Annapolis and the U.S. Naval Academy. The boat starts in the Annapolis harbor and ventures to the Chesapeake Bay Bridge before turning back. Sometimes the captain allows kids to take the wheel. The 40-minute cruise is offered several times a day.
Cruises on the Bay by Watermark, Annapolis
Cost: $16, adults; $6 ages 3 to 11; free, ages 2 and younger.
Baltimore by boat
Depart from the harbor and pass Fort McHenry while learning about the history of the city and the significance of the fort. Kids will love the play area on the boat where they can steer from one of the wheels and pretend to be captain. The 45-minute cruise is offered several times a day. On Mondays, one child is free for every adult ticket purchased.
Cost: $19, adults; $7, ages 3-11; free, ages 2 and younger
Cruises on the Bay by Watermark, Baltimore
Washington, D.C., from the water
Pass historical monuments on the Daytime Harbor Cruise, which lasts 50 minutes. The cruise is narrated with history and fun facts about the nation’s capital. Drinks and snacks are available for purchase on the boat. Be prepared to get great pictures of the Washington Monument.
National Ferry Corporation
Click next below for spots where you can overlook at city.