17 Best Things to Do in Baltimore County, MD

Baltimore County, MD
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Baltimore County is one of the most populous counties in the state of Maryland, making it a haven for all sorts of touristy activities.

What you should first know is that Baltimore County is actually separate from Baltimore City, so this list will not cover the attractions of the famous city.

Even without Baltimore City, the county has loads of attractions that range from regional parks to all sorts of indoor amusement centers.

The county is comprised of several census-designated communities, so expect a lot of underrated attractions here that’ll be a treat to experience.

To get you started, check out this list of the best things to do in Baltimore County, Maryland.

Experience the Chesapeake Bay at North Point State Park

The waters of North Point State Park
boothy443, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

When visiting Baltimore County, it’s a no-brainer to experience the world-famous Chesapeake Bay as it’s situated right along this majestic body of water.

One of the most popular places to enjoy the bay is at North Point State Park, located in the community of Edgemere.

This is a fantastic place to explore because of its huge wetlands that’s home to a lot of wildlife, most especially migratory birds.

A short pier at North Point State Park
Ben Felps, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

North Point State Park also has sandy beaches, fishing piers, and a visitor center where you can learn more about its ecology.

Easily a must in any Baltimore County itinerary, don’t miss out on North Point State Park.

Wooden bench at North Point State Park
Nicolas Raymond from Bethesda, Maryland, USA, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Go Swimming at Gunpowder Falls State Park Hammerman Area

Gunpowder Falls State Park Hammerman Area is one of the most beautiful spots in Baltimore County, famous for doubling as a city park where many locals host a variety of events and celebrations.

It’s situated right at the bayfront of Chesapeake Bay, so this is another stellar place to enjoy its waters.

In fact, swimming is one of the most common things to do in Gunpowder Falls State Park, especially during the summer months.

While its beaches are definitely its main attraction, you can also do picnics at Gunpowder Falls State Park Hammerman Area as it’s sprawling with beautiful greenery all throughout.

You can find this gorgeous recreational area in the community of Middle River.

Take Photos at Dundee Creek Marina

Going to a coastal county like Baltimore isn’t complete without visiting at least one gorgeous marina for photo opportunities.

While there are dozens found on the eastern section of the county, Dundee Creek Marina is arguably one of the best.

It has a beautiful aesthetic because of its pretty dock where small boats blend perfectly well with the harbor.

This is also a great boat launch as it’s not too crowded, making it a great place to begin your kayaking journey.

Dundee Creek Marina is also located at Middle River, and is just a few miles away from Gunpowder Falls State Park Hammerman Area.

Go Sightseeing at Loch Raven Reservoir Park

The waters of Loch Raven Reservoir Park
Christian Hinkle / Shutterstock.com

Loch Raven Reservoir Park is a great place to do some sightseeing while being close with nature.

It’s one of the biggest bodies of water in Maryland, making it a great all-rounder for all sorts of water activities such as fishing and boating.

Loch Raven Reservoir Park also has stellar aesthetics year-round—it’s a beautiful place to just go trekking and experience the scenic beauty of its flora and fauna.

Because of its sheer size, this also makes for a great biking area if you want to cover a lot of ground quickly.

The reservoir can be accessed through the community of Hampton.

Aerial view of Loch Raven Reservoir Park
Christian Hinkle / Shutterstock.com

Spend a Relaxing Day at Rocky Point Park

If you want more beach experiences during your trip, Rocky Point Park in Essex is another no-brainer to visit.

Featuring fine sand at the tip of the county facing Chesapeake Bay, Rocky Point Park is one of the best places to relax by the sea.

Many people go here, but the vibes are chill and serene because of how big the beach is.

It’s also one of the best family-oriented destinations in Baltimore—cookouts, barbecues, and picnics happen here all the time.

With such a great communal atmosphere, Rocky Point Park is both a fun and relaxing way to enjoy Chesapeake Bay.

Tour the Hampton National Historic Site

A mansion at Hampton National Historic Site
EWY Media / Shutterstock.com

While most of the historic attractions can be found in Baltimore City, the county has a bit of historical remnants as well, best seen at Hampton National Historic Site.

Located in Hampton, this historic site features a gorgeous Georgian-style mansion with beautiful gardens all throughout.

This is a great place to do some strolling while learning the rich history of the county during the 19th Century.

Trail at Hampton National Historic Site
EWY Media / Shutterstock.com

Tour guides are available here, which will be extremely helpful in navigating and understanding the mansion once you appreciate its interiors and furnishings.

Easily one of the best photo opportunities in Baltimore County, the Hampton National Historic Site is a must-see.

Structures at Hampton National Historic Site
EWY Media / Shutterstock.com

Take the Family to Gwynn Oak Park

Gwynn Oak Park is one of the most well-rounded parks in the county, found in its namesake neighborhood.

The park is perfect for kids—there are tons of ducks here scattered throughout its numerous ponds, and there are playground facilities as well.

For the grown ups, Gwynn Oak Park has an abundance of jogging trails that lets you experience the surrounding nature of the park.

This is also one of the closest attractions to Baltimore City, so it’s a great stopover if you’re planning to visit all the attractions in the city.

Perfect for respite or for recreation, Gwynn Oak Park is one of the most versatile additions to your itinerary.

Go Hiking at Soldiers Delight Natural Environment Area

If you want a rugged experience in Baltimore County, few can compare to the austere experience that Soldiers Delight Natural Environment Area offers.

It’s both a beautiful and challenging spot to test your love for nature—it’s prominent among locals for having lots of insects because of how untouched it is from urbanization.

The aesthetics of the place make it worth it, however—the nature area has an abundance of forests, prairies, and other terrains.

Depending on your visit, the aesthetic changes as well—during winter, it’s snowclad which makes it seem almost like an entirely new place.

To hike Soldiers Delight Natural Environment Area, visit the community of Owings Mills.

Go on a Shopping Spree at Hunt Valley Towne Center

Shops at Hunt Valley Towne Center
https://www.flickr.com/photos/aukirk/ Au Kirk, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Found in Cockeysville, Hunt Valley Towne Center is one of the most-visited shopping malls in Baltimore County.

Attracting tens and thousands of people weekly, this is a big part of the urban tourism of Baltimore County.

You’ll find boatloads of shops here, ranging from local ones to the giant chains you often find.

Some of the most popular spots here are Wegmans, Regal Hunt Valley, and HomeGoods.

There are also lots of restaurants and cafes here, with Iron Rooster being one of the most popular within Hunt Valley Towne Center.

Take the Kids to Hyper Kidz Baltimore

If you’re traveling with children or toddlers, taking them to Hyper Kidz Baltimore in Owings Mills might be a good idea.

It’s a great treat for the little ones—the place is sprawling with tons of slides and other fun amenities for them to wick off some pent up energy.

It’s also a fantastic place to meet new friends along the way, as it’s extremely popular in Baltimore County.

The energy of the place is great, accentuated by bright lights and vibrant music.

So if you want to treat your kids, Hyper Kidz Baltimore is a no-brainer to visit.

See What’s Brewing at Maryland State Fairgrounds

Daytime view of Maryland State Fairgrounds
Scott218, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Maryland State Fairgrounds is an amazing spot to visit in Baltimore County because there’s always something new that’s happening.

One of the most common and exciting events here are their RV shows; you’ll be able to see state-of-the-art RV trucks here which is a treat to the eyes.

There’s also the Maryland State Fair—obviously, this is a ton of fun because of the rides and various competitions and entertainment shows.

Beyond that, Maryland State Fairgrounds also host festivals like wine and art, along with sporting events.

A place that has something for everyone, don’t forget to check out what’s brewing in Maryland State Fairgrounds in the community of Timonium.

Practice Your Aim at GUNTRY

If you’re traveling with a lot of grown ups, GUNTRY is another attraction in Owings Mills that’s a great way to spice up your itinerary.

It’s a firing range that’s renowned for world-class facilities—GUNTRY has steadily made a reputation as one of the best in the industry.

The firing lanes are modern and spacious, allowing you to really practice and immerse yourself in the sport.

GUNTRY also has a lot of complementary amenities, such as a simulation room, cafe, and shop among other things.

Guided with world-class professionalism and service, GUNTRY is a great all-around place for all things guns.

Visit the University of Maryland, Baltimore

Admin building at University of Maryland, Baltimore
Scott218, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The University of Maryland, Baltimore is an iconic educational institution not just in the state, but in the entire country.

Being that it’s a state university, this is both a powerhouse of a school and a haven for touristy activities.

There’s a lot to see here because the campus is huge—the University of Maryland, Baltimore houses a sculpture park, performance art theaters, libraries, sports complexes, and several plazas among other things.

The grounds of University of Maryland, Baltimore
Baltimore Heritage from Baltimore, MD, USA, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

The architecture and landscaping here is also beautiful, so it’s a great place to just go sightseeing and take photos with friends or family.

Located near the community of Arbutus, try including this beautiful university to your itinerary.

A building at University of Maryland, Baltimore
Baltimore Heritage from Baltimore, MD, USA, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Bike Through Torrey C. Brown Rail Trail

Torrey C. Brown Rail Trail is a fun way to experience the several unincorporated communities and census-designated places in Baltimore County.

It stretches quite far, making this a fantastic way to enjoy biking in the county.

It’s also situated near the sprawling creeks and other forests found in Baltimore, so you won’t have a shortage of scenic views here.

Besides that, Torrey C. Brown Rail Trail is also brimming with history—you can spot some historical markers and a bit of reading materials here.

To access the rail trail, visit the community of Parkton.

Explore Prettyboy Reservoir Park

The waters of Prettyboy Reservoir Park
Jon Bilous / Shutterstock.com

If you don’t mind venturing far up north in Baltimore County, you may want to try exploring Prettyboy Reservoir Park.

Just a few minutes from the community of Hereford, Prettyboy Reservoir Park is another huge nature attraction in the county.

It has tons of nature trails that’s perfect for wildlife observation; you can find a lot of old and huge tortoises and turtles here for example.

The sheer size of Prettyboy Reservoir Park also makes it a great option for camping—many locals bring their RVs here.

There’s more to see here, so consider adding it to your itinerary if you’re raring to do an outdoor adventure.

Aerial view of Prettyboy Reservoir Park
Jon Bilous / Shutterstock.com

Do All Sorts of Activities at Lake Roland

Lake Roland is one of the many smaller bodies of water in Baltimore County.

It’s found south of Ruxton, making it another bordering attraction with Baltimore City.

While the lake itself opens up a lot of opportunities for fishing and boating, there’s more to see here.

There’s a dog park called Paw Point Dog Park, and there’s a nature center to check out as well.

To top it all off, you can traverse the loop around Lake Roland via bike thanks to its well-kept trails.

Traverse the Rock Formations at Double Rock Park

Aerial view of Double Rock Park
Christian Hinkle / Shutterstock.com

If you’re a fan of bouldering and technical hiking, Double Rock Park is a great place to be.

Found in Parkville, this nature spot in Baltimore County features all sorts of terrains.

You’ll experience wet rocky streams, scenic woodlands, and snowy fields if you visit during the winter season.

While it may sound daunting, make no mistake—Double Rock Park is family-friendly and is even a popular spot to bring large dogs.

It’s also a haven for photography, just be on the lookout as there are plenty of critters like snakes here!

Final Thoughts

Baltimore County may not include the world-famous Baltimore City, but it’s still packed with tons of amazing attractions.

Specializing in nature parks, reservoirs, and beaches, the county and its several communities are a haven for outdoor lovers.

Even if you’re not into the outdoors, plenty of other attractions like the Hampton National Historic Site and Rocky Point Park give you incentive to explore the area.

So, if you’re visiting this part of the state, don’t forget to check out this list of the best things to do in Baltimore County, Maryland.

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