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Anne Arundel and Howard Counties

Whether you want relaxation, action and adventure or a bit of both, you’ll find a wealth of information on the limitless activities in Anne Arundel and Howard counties. Take an afternoon hike, discover the area’s history, pick your own produce, play a round of golf or simply shop. There’s something for everyone to see and do in and around the area.

Annual Events

Residents of Anne Arundel and Howard counties will enjoy a variety of annual events, festivals and community gatherings.

Anne Arundel County Fair

The Anne Arundel County Fair is held each September and features all the traditional fair fun and food. From tractor pulls to pig races to 4-H exhibits and a carnival midway, the fair is a treat for the whole family.

First Sunday Arts Festival Annapolis

The Arts Festival is held in historic downtown Annapolis on the first Sunday of every month from May to October. An art market, street fair and entertainment venue all at once, you can enjoy the arts and crafts from more than 100 regional vendors. There is live music, dance and street performers, food vendors and cafe dining. The festival is free and runs from noon to 5 p.m. every Sunday.

Maryland Renaissance Festival

The Maryland Renaissance Festival is held in Anne Arundel County in Crownsville, just outside of Annapolis. The festival is open weekends (Saturday, Sunday and Labor Day Monday), from the end of August until the end of October. The annual festival features a variety of sights and sounds that can’t be found anywhere else. Indulge in a giant turkey leg or a meatpie on a stick and enjoy the people watching.

Maryland Seafood Festival

The Maryland Seafood Festival is held at Sandy Point State Park in Annapolis. This seafood lovers’ dream takes place the second weekend in September. There is more to do besides eat, although there is plenty of that. In addition live entertainment is provided during the weekend-long event. Special events include the crab soup cook-off, import and craft beer tastings, and wine row.

Maryland State Fair

The Maryland State Fair is held for 11 days at the end of August at the state fairgrounds in Lutherville-Timonium, Maryland. The fair annually draws nearly half a million people and features horse racing, livestock shows and concerts, along with carnival rides, games and attractions.

Preakness Celebration Balloon Festival

Turf Valley in Ellicott City brightens the skies and illuminates the night as the centerpiece venue and host of the long-running Preakness Celebration Balloon Festival. This three-day festival offers spectators the chance to enjoy the wonder of hot air balloons, specialty crafts, entertainment and good food during this fun, family-friendly event.

Symphony of Lights Festival

Symphony of lights is a display of more than 70 larger-than-life, animated and stationary light creations. This long-standing, “must-see” holiday tradition benefits Howard County General Hospital.


Anne Arundel and Howard county residents enjoy a wealth of artistic endeavors, from theaters to music to dance and more.

Catonsville Dinner Theatre

5130 Greenwich Ave.
Baltimore, MD

The Catonsville Dinner Theatre features musicals and Broadway shows, as well as children’s theater, alongside fresh and delicious meals. There are regular workshops and open auditions so that the general public may try out their acting skills.

Chesapeake Arts Center

194 Hammons Lane
Brooklyn Park, MD 21225

This 58,000-square-foot arts facility houses a 752-seat and a 120-seat theater, gallery space, dance studios, ceramics lab and classrooms. It offers a variety of classes and workshops, from art to dance to music. The center also hosts performances throughout the year, with season tickets available through the website.

The Columbia Orchestra

8510 High Ridge Road
Ellicott City, MD 21043

In its fourth decade, the orchestra features the annual Young Artist Competition, biannual American Composer Competition, a free chamber music series as well as performing new and classical masterworks.

Howard County Center for the Arts

8510 High Ridge Road
Ellicott City, MD 21043

The former elementary school features two professional galleries, an intimate black box theatre, three classrooms, meeting and office spaces, a dance studio and individual artists’ studios. The center also offers classes in the visual and performing arts for children and a wide variety of dance and theater performances.

Potomac River Jazz Club

3608 35th St. NW
Washington, D.C. 20016

The club sponsors concerts and works to preserve, encourage and promote the playing and appreciation of traditional jazz.


Learn about the Maryland’s history and cultural contributions by visiting any one of the many local museums and historic sites.

Annapolis Maritime Museum

723 Second St.
Annapolis, MD 21403

Dedicated to the maritime heritage of Annapolis, this museum houses the last remaining oyster packing plant in the area and features their “Oysters on the Half Shell” exhibit. It provides access to Chesapeake Bay with the Cap’n Herbie Sadler Waterman’s Park, a picnic deck with fishing piers, and a small beach for boat launching and canoeing. There are a variety of both permanent and rotating exhibits to enjoy.

Benson-Hammond House

7101 Aviation Blvd.
Linthicum, MD 21090

This 19th-century farmhouse is on the National Register of Historic Places. It contains period rooms, a museum and a museum gift shop, and is open to visitors March through December from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and noon to 3 p.m. Sunday with free admission for members of the Historical Society.

B&O Railroad Museum: Ellicott City Station

2711 Maryland Ave.
Ellicott City, MD 21043

Completed by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad in 1830, the Ellicott City station is the country’s oldest surviving railroad station and the terminus of the first 13 miles of commercial track ever laid.

Ellicott City Firehouse Museum

3829 Church Road
Ellicott City, MD 21043

At the intersection of Main Street and Church Road, the county’s first firehouse contains a wide array of fire apparatus, model toys and a visual history of Howard County’s Volunteer Fire Department.

Galesville Heritage Museum

900 Main St.
Galesville, MD 20765

Depicting more than 350 years of history, the Galesville Heritage Museum showcases local agriculture and maritime history. The museum was the home of schoolteacher Carrie Sanks Weedon and was built in the 1880s. It has many artifacts, memorabilia, and shows videotaped interviews with local residents.

Hammond-Harwood House

19 Maryland Ave.
Annapolis, MD 21401

Step back into colonial times with a visit to the Hammond-Harwood House. With some of the finest displays of colonial furniture and crafts, it is also home to one of the largest collections of paintings by Charles Wilson Peale. It is open Tuesday through Sunday with seasonal events and group tours available.

Heritage Orientation Center

8334 Main St.
Ellicott City, MD 21041

The Heritage Orientation Center was the county’s first court records building and is now home to a unique collection of exhibits on 18th- and 19th-century milling techniques, the floods of Ellicott Mills and the Ellicott family.

Historic London Town and Gardens

839 Londontown Road
Edgewater, MD 21037

This historic landmark sits on the South River, near Annapolis. The 23-acre site features reconstructed colonial buildings, the William Brown House, and ongoing archaeological investigations of the area. There are gardens, a visitor’s center and pavilion, with school and group tours available, as well as bookings for weddings or family events.

Howard County Historical Society Museum & Library

8328 Court Ave.
Ellicott City, MD 21043

The society offers exhibits, research and educational programs on the history of Howard County and Maryland. Free organ concerts also occur several times a year.

Thomas Isaac Log Cabin

8394 Main St.
Ellicott City, MD 21043

One of the earliest Ellicott City dwellings is now an 18th-century living history site.

U.S. Naval Academy

52 King George St.
Annapolis, MD 21402
Visitor’s Center: 410-293-8687

The U.S. Naval Academy offers guided tours through their Armel-Leftwich Visitor Center as well as commercial tour services. Displays at the Visitor’s Center include a sample Midshipman’s room, a model of the USS Maryland and an exhibit of the life of Revolutionary War hero John Paul Jones.


Anne Arundel and Howard counties maintain regional, community and neighborhood parks containing sports facilities, recreation areas for picnics, and scenic outdoor trails for hiking and exploring. Nearly all the public parks feature playground areas, as well as several stand-alone playgrounds. Check your community’s parks and recreation listings to see more of what your local area has to offer.

B&A Trail Park

51 W. Earleigh Heights Road
Severna Park, MD 21146

Stretching from Jonas Green Park in Annapolis to Dorsey Road in Glen Burnie, this extensive park has a gazebo, horticultural gardens, picnic areas and public restrooms at the ranger station and visitors center.

Cedar Lane Park

East Entrance: 10745 Route 108
West Entrance: 5081 Cedar Lane
Columbia, MD 21044

Cedar Lane boasts one of the most popular sports complexes in the county, with two sand volleyball courts, two bocce courts, four tennis courts, several basketball courts, two lighted synthetic turf fields, two lighted ball diamonds as well as a pair of natural turf multipurpose fields.

Centennial Park

North Entrance: 9801 Old Annapolis Road
South Entrance: 10000 Route 108
East Entrance: 4800 Woodland Road
West Entrance: 4651 Centennial Lane
Ellicott City, MD 21042

Award-winning for natural design and sensitivity to nature, this 337-acre park features a 54-acre, stocked, man-made lake, and a variety of wildlife such as white-tailed deer, beavers, foxes, turtles, herons and many other bird species. A 2.6-mile paved pathway meanders around the lake and connects to 7.3-miles of interconnecting paved pathway linked to surrounding neighborhoods.

Downs Park

8311 John Downs Loop
Pasadena, MD 21122

Downs Park sits on Chesapeake Bay and has a variety of activities available on 236 acres. There are more than five miles of both paved and natural trails, a playground, handball courts, ball fields and basketball courts. The park also has three large pavilions that may be rented by private parties.

Fort Smallwood Park

9500 Fort Smallwood Road
Pasadena, MD 21122

This 90-acre park offers a playground area, picnic areas, horseshoe pits and volleyball courts. Visitors can explore the historic gun battery and old barracks, walk on the beach or check out the Bill Burton Fishing Pier.

Kinder Farm Park

1001 Kinder Farm Park Road
Millersville, MD 21108

Kinder Farm Park consists of 288 acres of natural and recreational activities. There are walking and biking trails, picnic areas and two large pavilions that can be rented by larger groups. The park has a playground and a new visitor’s center that showcases farming artifacts from the 1930s and has a meeting room available for various functions.

Quiet Waters Park

600 Quiet Waters Park Road
Annapolis, MD 21403

Quiet Waters Park has more than six miles of paved trails that meander through hardwood forests and beautiful scenery. There is a multi-level children’s playground, the South River promenade, scenic overlook and picnic areas. The park also has a visitor’s center and cafe.

Rockburn Branch Park

East Entrance: 5400 Landing Road
West Entrance: 6105 Rockburn Branch Park Road
Elkridge, MD 21075

Explore 7.4 miles of trails that wind through scenic woodlands, freshwater marshes and stream valleys, and search for crayfish, minnows, water striders and dragonflies along the way. Or play almost any sport on the 10 ball diamonds, two multipurpose synthetic-turf fields, two basketball and four tennis courts, three multipurpose fields — two mini and one regular — an 18-hole disc golf course and two playgrounds.

Savage Park

8400 Fair St.
Savage, MD 20763

The Historic Mill Trail, Wincopin Trails and Savage Loop Trail offer different lengths and terrains for hikers and bikers of various skill levels. And the park’s recreational areas include five ball diamonds, two basketball, four lighted tennis and two volleyball courts, a pair of horseshoe pits, a picnic pavilion, a mini-soccer field, a multipurpose field and a playground.

Schooley Mill Park

12975 Hall Shop Road
Highland, MD 20777

Wildlife thrive in meadows maintained in a natural state to allow for food, cover and nest sites. This hidden gem is a peaceful place to relax and enjoy nature or peer into a stream for minnows, crayfish, frogs and turtles. And don’t forget the 4.6 miles of trails, three ball diamonds, two basketball and four tennis courts, two multi-purpose fields, an indoor facility and an equestrian ring.

Western Regional Park

14800 Carrs Mill Road
Woodbine, MD 21723

This 190-acre park covers a rich, scenic countryside, and features four grass multipurpose sport fields, two lighted synthetic-turf fields, tennis and basketball courts, a playground, eight ball diamonds, three of which are lighted. And the Gary J. Arthur Community Center at Glenwood and the library are only a stone’s throw away.

Worthington Park

8170 Hillsborough Road
Ellicott City, MD 21043

Dogs and their owners can run and bark without a leash in this park. Areas include regular, small, timid or elderly, fenced for rent and agility trails. Training is also available. Visit the website for seasonal information.


Arundel Mills Mall

7000 Arundel Mills Circle
Hanover, MD 21076

With more than 200 stores, a food court and a theater, the Arundel Mills Mall meets all your shopping needs. Visit one of the many specialty clothing retailers, retail outlets or off-price retailers for the latest fashions and great bargains.

Historic Savage Mill

8600 Foundry St.
Savage, MD

This renovated 1822 textile mill houses 80 specialty shops, antiques centers, artist studios, galleries and restaurants.

The Mall in Columbia

10300 Little Patuxent Parkway
Columbia, MD 21044

The two-level shopping, dining and entertainment destination features 200 retailers, five department stores, four restaurants and a movie theater.

Westfield Annapolis Mall

2002 Annapolis Mall
Annapolis, MD 21401

Enjoy shopping at major retailers such as Nordstrom and Pottery Barn, or eat at one of the 16 restaurants. The Westfield Mall has more than 240 stores, a variety of dining choices and a movie theater.

Sports and Recreation

Whether you’re looking to take in a game or cool off with a trip down a waterslide, Anne Arundel and Howard counties offer a variety of recreational opportunities.

Annapolis Rowing Club

2801 Solomons Island Road
Edgewater, MD 21037

The Annapolis Rowing Club has both competitive and recreational rowing. There are programs for all skills levels, sport rowing competitions and classes available.

Chesapeake Beach Water Park

4079 G Stinnett Ave.
Chesapeake Beach, MD 20732

Have a “cool” time splashing around on one of Chesapeake Bay’s eight water slides, or hang out at the kids’ activity pool or lagoon. A great place for family time or parties, the park also has swim lessons, a restaurant and rents private cabanas.


This region features some of the best golf courses in Maryland. A variety of public and country club courses are available in Anne Arundel and Howard counties, including the 18-hole Annapolis Golf Club, a semi-private course open year-round, the Golf Club at South River, with 14 bridges over water and valleys, and Eisenhower Golf Course, the region’s first public course. Cattail Creek Country Club has a short, unusual course with many surprises, including one hole that was dynamited through a rock wall. Night Hawk Golf Center features a nine-hole par 3 course and driving range, in addition to mini golf, a batting cage and driving range. For a full list of public and private courses in Maryland and the surround areas, visit

The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore

1876 Mansion House Drive
Druid Hill Park
Baltimore, MD 21217

Visit Maryland Zoo’s state-of-the-art African penguin exhibit, with more than 50 penguins, or watch polar bears cavort in and out of the water from a Tundra Buggy like those used in the Arctic. Visitors can learn about exotic animals from around the world or even those in your own backyard.

National Aquarium in Baltimore

Pier 3
501 E. Pratt St.
Baltimore, MD 21202

Explore the world-famous Inner Harbor and its fascinating aquatic life.

Six Flags America

13710 Central Ave.
Bowie/Mitchellville, MD 20721

The amusement park features more than 100 rides, games, shows and attractions plus Hurricane Harbor Waterpark.

Terrapin Adventures

8600 Foundry St.
#50 New Weave Building
Savage, MD 20763

This outdoor adventure center features a climbing tower, zipline, giant swing, a high ropes course, guided adventure tours, team building, a day camp and special events.


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