I live in the USA, specifically the East Coast, more specifically the state of Maryland, which pretty much no one thinks about. It's small, it flies under the radar politically, demographically it's extremely diverse, but as I've traveled I've always said I just live "outside DC". That could be anywhere! As close as Bethesda, as far as's still Maryland but those cities are worlds apart. The thing is, tons of people can't vacation like you see on Instagram, so the cultural powers that be gifted us the post-recession buzzword, "staycation". We may not be in a recession anymore (but really who knows?) but finding new adventures in your own backyard will never go out of style. I've compiled a MD-specific list of places that may also fall under the radar but could inspire you to maybe skip the crowded beach-fried food-bad drinks vibes of Ocean City and venture out on a wilderness-heavy romp instead!

Itinerary 1: "A Cultural Appreciation for Baltimore; It's not just the harbor, Hon"

Unfortunately this classic American city is dealing with a lot of modern day problems, but it's still a diamond in the rough with tons of beauty to spare. First stop should be one of the many beautiful parks but specifically (you'll find I am verrrry specific), Cylburn Arboretum.

(Photo Credit: The Baltimore Sun)

Maybe don't visit during the dead of winter, but the Japanese maples, magnolias and oaks quietly steal the show in this 207-acre city park. These twisty maples are totally Instagram-backdrop worthy as well as the beautiful mansion on the grounds that truly harks back to Baltimore's glory days.

George Peabody Library

An absolute bibliophile delight, how about this super-extra library to pass the time?

Photo Credit: Peabody Library

Over 300,000 volumes and a brightly lit skylight might just spark your idea for the Next Great American Novel, or you could spend hours perusing the stacks. Or doing other things in the stacks (kidding! kidding!) I mean, they just don't build stuff like this anymore so let's enjoy it before we're overrun by like, the "Museum of Facebook". At least this isn't built on fake news and stolen passwords!

Rawlings Conservatory in Druid Hill Park

Another beautiful spot in an otherwise meh city, or maybe it's a beautiful city in ugly city clothing. Maybe it's rubbing off on me but can you see this stunning greenhouse? Can my house look like this? Inside you'll find five different rooms with different climates that support both orchids and cacti. The grounds are amazing and fragrant as well as being, of course, super photo worthy.

Photo Credit: Rawlings Conservatory

These itineraries are designed to be quick and easy, without much planning involved. Some of the best trips are loosely planned, don't you agree?? Stay tuned...more staycation itineraries coming! As always, write in the comments if you want to see my food & hotel recommendations as well!


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