Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do in Odenton, MD

  • Published 2022/12/29

Odenton is a census-designated place in Anne Arundel County.

Located just 19 miles from Baltimore and 15 miles from Annapolis, it’s one of the county’s fastest-growing towns, posting an 80% growth in population between 200 and 2010.

Named after former Governor of Maryland Oden Bowie, it’s home to more than 43,000 people, serving as a business, transportation, and industrial hub in West Anne Arundel County.

The town traced its roots to 1840 when the steam-powered Annapolis and Elk Ridge Railroad was built across a farming community in what would become Odenton.

Nicknamed “The Town a Railroad Built,” it was officially formed in 1868 with the construction of the Baltimore Potomac (B&P) Railroad.

The railroads brought commercial development to the community, with tomato canneries providing livelihood to its people.

Here are the 15 best things to do in Odenton, Maryland:

Learn About Odenton’s Origins at the Odenton Heritage Society

Exterior of Odenton Heritage Society

dtcohen, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Located on Odenton Road, the Odenton Heritage Society aims to preserve and promote the town’s history and traditions.

Founded in 1989 by a small group of residents, the Society’s mission is to protect Odenton’s social, cultural, and architectural history.

At the Heritage Center’s Museum are artifacts, photos, and reading materials documenting life in Odenton from the mid-1800s to the present.

There are books about the town’s history, illustrations, postcards, and original railroad spikes.

Here you can learn how it started as a sparsely populated farming community and turned into a bustling town after the construction of railroads.

Tours are conducted by OHS members and volunteers, while souvenirs are available on-site, with proceeds from sales going to the Society’s efforts.

Go back in time and learn about this town’s beginnings at the Odenton Heritage Society.

Grab American BBQ at Hideaway

If you’re craving some good old smoked meats, Hideaway is the place to be.

Located on Odenton Road, the BBQ joint and bar offers smoked meats, burgers, and other American classics with a side of live music.

Hideaway prides itself on fresh meats smoked in pecan wood for 12 hours.

The Award-Winning Wings are twice-cooked chicken wings dry-rubbed with house blend spices, smoked for 3 hours, and flash fried to perfection.

Other must-tries are the Memphis Pulled Pork and the Texas Brisket, and if you want to get both, order the Hideaway Samplers, which also comes with ¼ rack of ribs and two chicken wings.

For burger lovers, get The Hideaway Burger—7oz. blend of ground brisket, chuck, and short rib with the perfect char.

Satisfy your BBQ cravings at Hideaway.

Watch A Hockey Game at the Piney Orchard Ice Arena

Located on Piney Orchard Parkway, the Piney Orchard Ice Arena is an indoor ice-skating and hockey rink.

It was formerly a practice facility for the Washington Capitals and is now the home of the Maryland Black Bear Junior team and the EHL Junior team.

The arena also has open skating sessions, camps, and clinics for those wanting to learn how to skate.

Its figure skating program boasts classes for all levels, from beginner to Synchro and the Production team.

If you happen to be in town during the hockey season, don’t miss a game of the Black Bears.

Otherwise, enjoy some ice-skating lessons at Piney Orchard Ice Arena’s world-class facilities.

Enjoy A Night of Bowling at Greenway Bowl

If you’re looking for a fun way to spend a night in Odenton, you might want to try bowling at Greenway Bowl.

Located on Telegraph Road, the family-owned bowling alley has 40 lanes with state-of-the-art equipment for casual and professional play.

It can accommodate birthday parties, group events, casual games, and professional tournaments.

It even has “Galaxy Bowling,” where you play with the lights off, excellent music blasting, and special lighting effects turned up.

If you’re a big group looking to have a different night out, Green Bowl has a snack bar that offers casual dining choices, including fried chicken wings, sandwiches, burgers, and subs.

There’s also a bar with a great selection of local and imported beers.

Go Back to the 80s at Wheels Skating Center

Located on Odenton Road, Wheels Skating Center is the perfect recreational spot for the 70s and 80s babies or anyone who’s into retro vibes.

The roller-skating rink has provided wholesome and safe entertainment for the locals since 1999.

You can join a public skating session while hits from the 70s and 80s and beats from current artists play in the background.

If you don’t know how to roller-skate, it’s never too late to learn!

Wheels Skating Center also offers group bookings for summer skating camps for all ages.

It’s an excellent venue for retro-themed parties with its well-maintained floor and great music.

For serious skaters, there’s a pro shop in the center that carries a wide array of skates and accessories.

Enjoy Craft Beer and Good Food at Buck Murphy’s Bar & Grill

Looking for a chill spot where you can have good food and craft beers?

Buck Murphy’s Bar & Grill is the place to be.

Located on Mt. Vernon Avenue, the local neighborhood basement bar serves classic American pub dishes and a great selection of draft beers.

Try the Fribs—1/4 rack of ribs smoked in pecan wood for hours, then quickly deep-fried to seal all the flavors.

Another must-have is the Cubano sandwich made with slow-smoked pork and lightly toasted Cuban bread.

And, of course, you’ll have to pair your food with a pint of cold draft beer.

Buck Murphy’s has a rotating menu of beers, so check out the menu for what’s available.

Grab Greek Food at Perry’s Restaurant

If you’re craving some gyros or other Greek food, you might want to drop by Perry’s Restaurant, located on Annapolis Road.

Established in 1971 by Cypriot Prodromos Miliotis, the family-friendly restaurant has been serving authentic Greek dishes with an American twist.

Enjoy casual dining with some live music on select days.

Perry’s is known for its sandwiches, subs, and wraps, but the absolute crowd favorite is the Gyros, which can either be lamb or chicken served with house-made tzatziki.

Another favorite is the Chicken Athenian which comes with chunks of tomatoes and feta cheese.

There’s also the Stuffed Grape Leaves which is beef, rice, and herbs wrapped in grape vine leaves and topped with a unique creamy lemon sauce.

Buy Fresh Seafood from The Crab Galley

Located on Odenton Road, The Crab Galley is a small takeout-only counter serving fresh, steamed, fried, and stuffed seafood.

The family-owned and operated seafood market and the kitchen is best known for its lump crab cakes and crab cake sandwich.

You can buy fresh or steamed crabs by the dozen, while steamed shrimps are sold in pieces or pounds.

Alaskan King Crab, Snow Crab, and Dungeness Crab legs are sold at market price.

Salmon cakes and fired oysters are both crowd favorites, and soft-shell crabs are lightly battered and fried to perfection.

The Crab Galley also has a wide selection of fish like tilapia, cod, white bass, and flounder that you can buy both fresh and cooked.

Pair Craft Beer and Brock Oven Pizza at Crooked Crab Brewing Company

Located on Telegraph Road is a local micro-brewery called Crooked Crab Brewing Company.

It’s known for its locally crafted beers and brick oven pizzas.

Founded by Earl Holman, Alex Josephs, and Daniel Messeca in 2018, it was the first brewery in Anne Arundel County.

Crooked Crab crafts an impressive selection of ales, lagers, and meads, including the award-winning IPA and sour ale series.

The 14,000-square-foot brewery has two spacious taprooms: The “New Space” has 20 taps and a pizza kitchen where you can order freshly made pizzas to pair with your beer and the “OG Taproom” which has 16 taps and a 10-foot projector screen.

Watch out for themed events and quiz nights, such as Trivia Wednesdays.

Try Mamma Roma’s Cannoli

Located on Piney Orchard Parkway, Mamma Roma is a family-run Italian restaurant serving pizzas, pastas, New York-style pies, and wines.

Established in 2005 by brothers Rino and Bruno, the restaurant has served dishes inspired by recipes from generation to generation since the 1950s.

Mamma Roma is famous for the Cheesecake Cannoli that has just the right amount of sweetness to cut the richness of the mains.

But before going to dessert, try the Penne Alla Vodka served with a unique vodka sauce or the Penne Alla Lucifero in a spicy marinara sauce.

The Chicken Parmigiana is also a must-try and the Lobster Ravioli.

For pizza lovers, make sure to have a slice of Sicilian-style pizza, Mamma’s Triple Combo, or the NY-style White Pizza.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Learn About Cryptology at the National Cryptologic Museum

Welcome sign of National Cryptologic Museum

Coolcaesar at en.wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Just a 9-minute drive from Odenton on Colony Seven Road in Annapolis Junction is the National Cryptologic Museum.

The museum is affiliated with the National Security Agency and showcases the history of cryptology from the 16th century to the present.

Housed in the former Colony Seven Motel, it has an unclassified library that contains declassified Enigma messages, files of leading American cryptologist Herbert Yardley, and books on how to crack the Data Encryption Standard.

Display in the National Cryptologic Museum

Daderot, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

The museum’s collection is divided into four major groupings: Early Cryptology, which showcases cryptologic history from the 16th century up to World War II; Cold War/Information Age which covers the period between the Cold War and modern computers; Information Assurance highlighting satellite technology; and Memorial Hall which contains the NSA Hall of Honor.

If you’re an avid cryptology fan, a stop at the National Cryptologic Museum is a must.

Exhibit in the National Cryptologic Museum

Daderot, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Feel Like a Formula 1 Driver at Crofton Go-Kart Raceway

Located in Gambrills, just 8 minutes from Odenton, is Crofton Go-Kart Raceway.

The raceway has half a mile of asphalt track with 27 turns where you can drive Formula 1-style Go-Karts.

Go-Kart Raceway has 44 Go-Karts with 6.5hp Honda Engines that drivers of all ages can enjoy.

Drivers must be at least eight years old and 54 inches tall to drive alone; otherwise, there are Double Karts that can take a child passenger and an adult driver.

The raceway can host office and birthday parties and offers special rates for group bookings.

Vending machines and a picnic area are available for use, so you can enjoy some light snacks after a full day of driving.

Experience a Royal Banquet at Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament

If you want to feel like a royal, Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament is here to fulfill those dreams.

The theater has multiple locations nationwide, but one is located on Arundel Mills Circle in Hanover, just a 12-minute drive from Odenton.

Housed in a replica of an 11th-century castle, Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament features staged medieval-style games, including jousting, sword-fighting, horsemanship, and falconry.

Enjoy the two-hour tournament while feasting on a four-course royal banquet.

Depending on the package you avail, you can have a framed group photo to remind you of the trip. Otherwise, there’s a gift shop where you can buy merchandise and souvenirs.

Go Wildlife Watching at Patuxent Research Refuge – North Tract Visitor Center

Trail at Patuxent Research Refuge

ForestSeasons /

If you’re looking for some nature adventure, just a 10-minute drive from Odenton is the Patuxent Research Refuge – North Tract Visitor Center on Bald Eagle Drive in Laurel.

Patuxent Research Refuge was established in 1936 to protect wildlife and wildlands through research.

The 13,000-acre refuge has forests, meadows, and wetlands home to thousands of rare wildlife species.

The waters of Patuxent Research Refuge

Nicole Glass Photography /

Its North Tract has a 25-mile trail for walking, biking, and horseback riding.

Spot deep-forest songbirds, including the Scarlet Tanager, and see various species of vascular plants during your hike.

If you’re lucky, you might even see a bald eagle feeding on the refuge.

Aerial view of Patuxent Research Refuge

Nicole Glass Photography /

Join Rising Sun Inn, Historic Tavern and Museum’s Tea & Tour

A 10-minute drive from Odenton is Rising Sun Inn, Historic Tavern and Museum on Generals Highway in Crownsville.

The Inn was originally built in 1753 by prominent tobacco grower Edward Baldwin as a farmhouse for his family.

It was turned into an inn by his son Henry in 1785 after the Revolutionary War.

It played an important role in Anne Arundel County’s history, having served as post office, stagecoach stop, and tax collector’s stop.

Today, you can join Rising Sun Inn, Historic Tavern and Museum’s Tea & Tour program, where you will be taken into a guest tour after and an afternoon tea, finger sandwiches, and sweets.

Final Thoughts

Odenton has come a long way from its beginnings as farmland.

Thanks to railroad developments, it’s now one of Anne Arundel County’s leading business and industrial hubs.

Whether you’re looking for local eats, nostalgic activities, or historical adventures, this community has it all for you.

So, what are you waiting for?

Pack your bags and try the best things to do in Odenton.

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