Included in Your Online Relocation Package for Anne Arundel County, Maryland - Home of Fort George G. Meade, NSA, Northrop Grumman, BWI, and the U.S. Naval Academy.
In the unlikely event you run out of things to do in Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Annapolis, and even your own neighborhood in Anne Arundel County, Maryland, the possibilities for day trips and weekend getaways are many, when you live in this area. Boredom is simply NOT an option for anyone relocating to work at Fort Meade, NSA, Northrop Grumman, BWI, the U.S. Naval Academy or anywhere else in this area.
I could rarely get away for an extended time during the busy summer months when my children were small, so I often loaded them into the car and took off to the ocean, the mountains, an amusement park, or historic city not far from home, when I had a free day or two.
OUR #1 DESTINATION - OCEAN CITY, MARYLAND
It is precisely 2 hours east from my driveway in Crofton to a parking space within a block of the Atlantic Ocean around 57th street in Ocean City. Many of the hotels have public rest rooms that can be accessed from the beach, and there are plenty of eateries along the boardwalk. Sometimes, we arrived at the beach by 10 a.m. and were ready to head back by 4 p.m. to be home when my husband got there after work - and other days we stayed to enjoy the boardwalk at night, walking or taking the bus from the area we usually park down beyond 1st Street to the rides and games.
Of course, most of the day was spent enjoying the surf, sand, and people-watching; building sand castles, walking along the beach, or playing frisbee. My children were never too young or too old to enjoy one of these day trips to the ocean.
I'm looking forward to an opportunity to do this again with the grandkids, but Larry and I still enjoy our relative proximity to the ocean, even as empty-nesters! Just last month, that's where I headed with "the girls" for a weekend stay at an Oceanfront hotel to work on scrapbooks. And there's no shortage of events scheduled throughout the year: Coming up in March, for example, are the OC Hot Rod & Custom Car Show the Home, Condo & Garden Show, and the St. Patrick's Day Parade and Festival. Larry and I have even been known to drive to Ocean City and back, just for dinner.
By the way, Ocean City is a great vacation destination for the whole family, too - no reason to limit your visits here to day trips, if you can afford the time and pricetag to rent a condo or stay at a hotel for a week or more. Some local folks even buy a second home at the beach, so they can get away year-round.
P.S. - There's a Prime Outlet located between Anne Arundel County and Ocean City. You may want to allow time for a stop there, on your way home.
AMUSEMENT PARKS - THE KIDS' FAVORITE DAY TRIPS
PARAMOUNT KINGS DOMINION, "Virginia's premier themed amusement park", is exactly two hours south of Crofton, near Richmond. That's another favorite of ours, even though Six Flags is located about a half hour from Crofton. I guess Six Flags is just too close to home to feel like an adventure.
Paramount Kings Dominion offers family rides like a carousel, thrill rides including a fabulous collection of roller coasters, and kids rides for toddlers. This year, their 14th roller coaster will open - DOMINATOR, a 4,210 coaster that will be the longest floorless coaster in the world, and have the largest roller coaster loop. Yikes!
Live shows are offered several times a day - from a 60's song and dance extravaganza to Dora the Explorer(TM) Sing-along Adventure, Backyard Circus, and Hot Island Rhythms. Guest artists appear, too, but Kings Dominion has not yet announced their 2008 appearance calendar.
You can Download a High Resolution Park Map to see for yourself what's available for you to enjoy at Kings Dominion.
HERSHEY PARK, a little over 2 hours from Crofton, is another major amusement park you'll want to check out, when you're living in Anne Arundel County. They, too, will have a new roller coaster this year, the FAHRENHEIT. Roller Coaster lovers will have to try out both (the FAHRENHEIT and Kings Dominion's DOMINATOR) and let me know what you think.
Hershey Park has other rides, too - kiddie rides, family rides, and the Boardwalk, with water rides. Hershey, Pennsylvania has other things to offer, as well, including a free tour of the Hershey Chocolate Factory, ZooAmerica, the Hershey Museum with its exhibits about the origins of chocolate and the candy empire founded by Milton S. Hershey, Hershey Trolley Rides, Hershey Theater and even Hershey Park Golf.
There are strolling bands in the park, Hershey's Characters, and big-name entertainment, too. One factor could sway us toward Hershey Park over Kings Dominion, and that is the weather - 2 hours south at Kings Dominion is probably warmer than home in Anne Arundel County, whereas 2 hours north at Hershey Park is probably cooler on a warm day than it is at home.
Whatever your choice, you'll have a great time - I can almost guarantee it. And there's enough to do in this area, that you could easily choose to make this a weekender instead of a day trip. (You can download a Printer Friendly Map, if you'd like to see an overview of Hershey Park.)
COLONIAL WILLIAMSBURG, VIRGINIA -
Even though Colonial Williamsburg is just three hours from Crofton, it always feels like that is pushing the limit for a day trip. For that reason, our visits to "The World's Largest Living History Museum" usually involve an overnight stay. Besides, there is so much to see and do that it's hard to fit in everything - especially if you plan to include a stop at the nearby Williamsburg Pottery Factory. (That's not something the kids will enjoy, but any shoppers or decorators in the family certainly will!)
You will enjoy walking around Colonial Williamsburg's 300-acre Historic Area at your own pace, exploring the hundreds of restored, reconstructed and historically-furnished buildings. Your imagination will be helped along by costumed hosts and hostesses, as well as re-enactors of colonial craftsmen at work, military parades, and even servers at the restaurants.
Of course, none of the buildings are air-conditioned, so I wouldn't make this trip in the midst of a heat-wave. But it's a great spring or fall outing, if your kids are old enough to appreciate these wonderful history lessons - especially if you've never lived on the East Coast, and your family may be a little rusty on this era of our nation's history.
This is a MUST-DO trip, when you're living in this part of the country, even if you only do it one time.
The Wiliamsburg Pottery Factory is a side-trip that has nothing to do with Historic Williamsburg, but it is something I always enjoyed (since I was in the neighborhood). One idea that worked for me is to bribe your kids to behave while there, by offering a day or a few hours at nearby Busch Gardens.
Relocating to Anne Arundel County will expose you to opportunities you can't imagine. From the Ocean to the mountains, from the farmland to the cities and suburbia, Maryland truly is "America in Miniature". Yet there is no one holding a club over your head saying "You gotta do this" - You may choose to focus on activities closer to home. And that's fine. I just want you to know what's here waiting for you, when you relocate to Anne Arundel County, Maryland.
Around the Maryland Beltway - Places to visit, closer to home.