Hunt Valley in Baltimore County, Maryland, was once a land filled with shady hills.
The McCormick Company moved into the area in 1962, and the city has then been known for its business district with its impressive roster of new businesses, industrial parks, and corporate centers.
As this once-rural area increasingly turned into a suburb, there are still places here that would remind you that you're in the countryside.
Aside from its well-known fox hunting, Hunt Valley is also known for its springtime horseracing events—such as the annual Hunt Cup—and frequent races at nearby Shawan Downs, the “horse country” with nearly 150 horse farms.
Hunt Valley still has a lot to offer even if you're not the suite-and-tie type in this business-like city.
Here are the best things to do in Hunt Valley, Maryland:
Gain Tech-Knowledge at System Source Computer Museum
Bob Roswell and Maury Weinstein founded and opened ComputerLand, a predecessor to System Source, in 1981.
Since technology development was prominent in the early 1980s, some of their inventory became obsolete before it was even sold; the museum now houses a vaulted basement filled with vintage tech.
System Source has since become home to an extensive collection of devices, a computer museum that displays technology from the inception of calculating.
If you ever find yourself in Hunt Valley, you can visit the System Source Computer Museum at Clubhouse Road every weekday or weekend by appointment.
Indulge in Pop Culture Goods at Diamond International Galleries
Currently 27 years in operation, Diamond International Galleries on Gilroy Road continues to headquarter an almost-limitless array of comics, drawings, and antique toys, among many other pop culture finds.
Founded in 1994, the gallery officially opened its doors on January 27, 1995.
It was initially created to promote and educate the public about pop culture collectibles and help collectors find the items they're interested in.
As the market continues to shift, so does DIG’s focus.
Handing over the exhibit space to their sister company, Geppi’s Entertainment Museum last 2006, they now focus on the sales and marketing of vintage to current pop culture collectible items.
Some pop culture collectibles that Diamond International Galleries buy are Disneyana, Westerns, superheroes, coins, and statues.
They also provide professional auction services that specialize in selling pop culture collectibles and memorabilia aside from the current international sales, which can also be found on internet platforms such as Amazon and eBay.
Unwind at Delta Hotels
Enjoy the elegance and sophistication of the only full-service Marriott hotel in the area, Delta Hotels Baltimore Hunt Valley.
This pet-friendly hotel has floor-to-ceiling windows in each guestroom and suite appointed with elegant décor and amenities like plush bedding and complimentary WiFi.
This campus-like environment can offer you a relaxing escape from the dynamic city of Baltimore.
Have a quick bite at their Café 245 with the well-known Starbucks coffee, or enjoy the Polo Lounge & Bar with a signature handcrafted cocktail in hand.
Delta Hotels Baltimore Hunt Valley on Shawan Road also has an indoor and outdoor pool perfect for a quick swim.
Have a Happy Beer Day at the B.C. Brewery
The first self-serve beer wall in Maryland is in Hunt Valley!
Founder and owner Rich & Sarah Mak created a fun, cool place where you can gather whenever you're exploring the area.
The B.C. Brewery on Gilroy Road offers a wide variety of beer that is perfect for any celebration or just for a fun night out with friends, may it be a pour from the bartender, self-serve wall, or their to-go fridge.
But don't worry, because they offer more than just beer—they have a full food menu to appease your appetite.
B.C. Brewery also hosts events such as trivia nights, open mics, and live music.
If you're conscious of your beer intake, fret not, as Maryland’s first 100% Gluten Free Beer, Cider, Seltzer & Beer/Wine Hybrid is available here.
Shop and Explore the Hunt Valley Towne Centre
Offering an outstanding combination of more than 55 great retail shops, quality restaurants, and top-notch services, Hunt Valley Towne Centre is a great destination for you to visit.
Experience a great time at Regal Cinemas with its 12-screen stadium-style seating that displays the latest shows.
Join Hunt Valley’s regularly hosted fun-filled activities throughout the year, including Friday Night Concert Series every summer, community events, holiday programs, and more.
Indulge in different kinds of fare at the center’s over 20 restaurants, eateries, and coffee shops.
Hunt Valley Towne Centre on Shawan Road is the perfect place to stroll, dine, and shop on a lovely day.
Pamper Yourself at Spa in The Valley
Why not treat yourself to a nice wellness or beauty package while on vacation at Hunt Valley?
Salon by Debbie’s Spa in The Valley is an award-winning full-service day spa that offers the latest and most luxurious beauty and wellness care.
Transforming your world is a part of their mission, and making you feel good with their wellness package is their specialty!
From basic hair care services to energy balancing, their industry-leading artists, bodyworkers, and estheticians will provide you with a complete range of services.
Spa in The Valley on Shawan Road offers a nice retreat after a day of touring.
Have a Staycation and Indulge in Luxury at Avalon Hunt Valley
Enjoy all of Hunt Valley Towne Centre’s amenities daily at Avalon Hunt Valley.
Avalon Hunt Valley provides you with everything for luxury living, such as a modern kitchen, landscaped courtyards, and even pet-friendly amenities.
This apartment complex by Avalon Communities will elevate your apartment living.
Avalon Hunt Valley on Shawan Road is perfect for long-haul holidays and extended vacations with family and friends.
Buy Your Garden Needs at Valley View Farms
From a small roadside produce stand in the 1960s, Valley View Farms has grown into one of the largest, most-complete garden centers in the mid-Atlantic region.
Gardeners from all over the region visit this place every spring to get their hands on a complete selection of trees, shrubs, vegetables, flowers, and plants.
You can also find aquatic plants and different types of fish here for your water garden.
Other planting accessories, such as trellis, soil, and even furniture for your patio, are also available.
Once the fall season comes, Valley View Farms on York Road becomes a holiday wonderland with decorated trees and light displays.
You can also start shopping for your holiday presents from its International Christmas Shop which features ornaments and gifts from around the globe.
Other Things to Do Nearby
Outside of Hunt Valley, there are more places you can visit that will not take more than a 30-minute drive.
Here are some of them:
Watch the Waves of Aquatic Treasures at the National Aquarium
National Aquarium in Baltimore, Maryland is a nonprofit organization with a mission to conserve the world’s aquatic treasures–they are in pursuit of a vision to change how humanity cares for the ocean planet.
With thousands of fishes, birds, amphibians, reptiles, and mammals, the aquarium has consistently been ranked as one of the top three in the nation.
Explore dozens of unique aquatic habitats and award-winning exhibits here such as the Atlantic Coral Reef, Amazon River Forest, and the Blacktip Reef.
You can also enjoy exciting activities, such as an overnight stay at the aquarium, a guest diver program, and dolphin training sessions.
National Aquarium is a fun destination for both kids and adults.
Plan Your Escape at Breakout Games
Choose your escape at Baltimore’s number one escape room, Breakout Games located in Columbia, which is an 11-minute drive from Hunt Valley.
At Breakout Games, immerse yourself in a five-star entertainment room with family, coworkers, or friends.
You can search for clues together and solve puzzles, but make sure to accomplish your mission and escape before the time expires!
Do you think you and your team can escape?
Get to Know Sports Legends at the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame and Museum
Established in 1957, the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame and Museum at Sparks. Maryland honors the history and legends of lacrosse.
Having moved to the USA Lacrosse national headquarters in 2016, they have had a new array of interactive exhibits.
Located within the USA Lacrosse headquarters, the National Hall of Fame and Museum is a three-story, 45,000-square-foot building was named in honor of the Hall of Fame coach Richie Moran.
The National Lacrosse Hall of Fame and Museum also features the Crum Family Education and Training Center.
You'll also find lockers with the equipment and uniforms of the most recent NCAA champions and Tewaaraton winners.
Appreciate Wildlife at The Maryland Zoo
Nestled in Druid Hill Park, The Maryland Zoo is a 135-plus acre campus that lets visitors experience personal animal encounters and instills empathy and lifelong support for the conservation of wildlife and places.
It features different animals such as lions, penguins, and elephants.
There are also small creatures such as rabbits, tortoises, and birds.
The Maryland Zoo is also home to some of the critically endangered species such as Addra Gazelles, Red Ruffled Lemur, and Waldrapp Ibis.
You'll also get to see near-threatened species as well such as the Southern White Rhinoceros, Plains Zebra, and Mexican Redknee Tarantula.
Get an Ace at Pine Ridge Golf Course
The Baltimore Municipal Golf Corporation (BMGC) successfully manages and develops five classic golf courses in Baltimore: Pine Ridge, Mount Pleasant, Clifton Park, Forest Park, and Carroll Park.
With the majestic view of Loch Raven Reservoir, the golf course of Pine Ridge, which is only a 17-minute drive from Hunt Valley, is one of the most scenic in the area.
Golfers and enthusiasts can take on the challenge of this play area and spend some time on the putting green.
Several PGA and LPGA tournaments have been hosted at Pine Ridge Golf Course, including the second professional tournament win of Nancy Lopez.
Be One with Nature at Oregon Ridge Nature Center and Park
If you're in the mood to reground yourself, this 1,100-acre park at Cockeysville filled with wildflowers, animals, and archaeology sites is where you should go.
A five-minute drive from the center of Hunt Valley will get you to Oregon Nature Center and Ridge Park.
This is a great spot to go on long walks or even hiking since it has many well-marked trails.
It also hosts various festivals as part of its educational and fun family activities.
Take a Walk at Torrey C. Brown Rail Trail
Hikers, joggers, and bicyclists are welcome to this 19.7-mile stretch of land that follows the former Northern Central Railway in northern Baltimore County.
The Torrey C. Brown Rail Trail is named after the third secretary of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.
It's one of the best hiking and biking trails in the Mid-Atlantic region, as it allows more than 20 miles of flat travel on the crushed-stone surface with a few access points.
Along the Torrey C. Brown Rail Trail, you can enjoy amenities such as park benches, drinking fountains, and portable restrooms.
Other facilities are also available such as a small art gallery, shops, and hotels.
Hunt Valley is truly more than just a business district.
The activities mentioned above are just a few of the best things to do in Hunt Valley.
As it continues to thrive, there’s no denying that people can expect more from this once-rural area.
With all the activities and amenities in the city and nearby, your stay in Maryland would surely be worthwhile.