I have lived in Maryland my whole life. In fact, I have lived within a 50 mile radius of where I grew up (give or take). And while I would love to see other places, this will always be home. I have roots here, family, friends. Perhaps in another life I would live somewhere else, but not this one.
My favorite places in Maryland:
My favorite restaurant: Schmankerl Stube
Be sure to order the pork shank, or the Kasse Schnitsel, or Sauerbraten. You have to have the spatzel and bread dumplings, and in-house made desserts. And drink a hefe-weisen for me.
Mt favorite vacation spot: Ocean City
For the last few years we have been taking family vacations to OC and it is a great place to watch the kids play and grow up right before my eyes. My husband and I have loved to stay for weekends in the off season when there aren't any crowds, but all our favorite places to eat are still open. We have stayed here and here and love to eat here and here and here and we drive up and shop here.
My favorite local vineyard: Linganore Winecellers
When the weather gets warm they have wine tastings on the weekends with live music, plenty of room to picnic and food vendors. It is a great place to set up for the day and enjoy all the wonderful wines and hang out with friends.
My favorite place to shop: Prime Outlets Hagerstown
I always find good bargains here, I especially love the Eddie Bauer outlet, Gap outlet and Carter's. You never know what kind of things you will find on sale.
My favorite place to take the kids: Catoctin Zoo
I took the kids here once and Jack has been asking to go back. It is a great alternative to going to one of the big metropolitan zoos in Baltimore or DC since I'm not yet ready to tackle such a long car ride, and a long day at one of those zoos. The Catoctin Zoo has a lot of exotic animals you wouldn't expect to see here, lions and tigers (and bears!).
May favorite places to go without the kids: Can I list ANYTHING AT ALL? I mean, I like just about anything without kids. But, seriously, I love to eat here, or shop here and here, or gosh, I actually can't think of anything else. We've got to get out more.
My favorite weekend getaway: Deep Creek Lake
We have stayed here once or twice before kids and one of these days we will go back, again, without kids. It is a great place to ski in the winter, but I'd be happy just to hang out and enjoy the quiet.
My favorite parks: Great for a family day trips: Cunningham Falls and Washington Monument State Park.
My favorite place to camp: Assateague Island
My husband swears he won't go back to camp there because of all the sand and we got stuck in a huge hurricane-like storm. But I loved it and would go back. You can build fires right on the beach! And have the beach to yourself!