15 Best Things to Do in Towson, MD

Towson, MD
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Baltimore County is a vibrant, picturesque county in Maryland and a major tourist destination in the state.

The county's appeal mainly comes from its rich history, diverse culture, and scenic attractions.

Being one of the biggest counties in Maryland, Baltimore County is divided into various unincorporated communities, each contributing to its real progress and beauty.

Each of these communities offers many great things for visitors to discover.

One of these unincorporated communities in Baltimore County is Towson.

This charming community is nestled in the northern part of Baltimore’s city center.

Despite being part of Baltimore, Towson has its own character and beauty to stand out among other communities in the entire city.

Towson is home to the second most extensive university in Maryland and various sporting arenas.

If you find yourself in Baltimore County with much energy and free time, you should head to Towson.

You’ll be guaranteed to have a lot of fun and excitement.

Here are the 15 best things to do in Towson and nearby places to pump up your excitement:

Shop Until You Drop at the Towson Town Center

View of Towson Town Center
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Some of Baltimore city’s best shopping centers are nestled in Towson, and one of them is the Towson Town Center that features a whopping 180 stores.

You can choose from a wide array of mainstream brands, specialty shops, and dining experiences from international cuisines.

Plus, you will likely find your preferred retails wants and necessities.

View of Towson Town Center
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The Towson Town Center remains one of Maryland’s biggest indoor shopping malls.

This open-air mall opened back in 1952.

It underwent a renovation to an indoor mall in 1973 and has grown since then.

View of Towson Town Center
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You can shop at mainstream brands like Abercrombie and Fitch, Macy’s Tiffany and Co., Nordstrom, and Sephora.

You will likely spend your entire day roaming this vast shopping center.

The Towson Town Center is located at 825 Dulaney Valley Rd, Towson, and its open daily from 10 am to 9 in the evening.

View of Towson Town Center
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Travel Back in Time at the Hampton National Historic Park

Uncover rich history by visiting the Hampton National Historical Park.

It’s a well-preserved 18th century estate that once served as the most extensive private home in the United States.

The entire property has a Georgian-inspired manor house, beautifully manicured gardens, and lawns that take you back to an elitist’s lavish lifestyle in the 1820s.

The original owners of this huge property were the Ridgely family, one of the richest families in Baltimore during their time.

The manor house and its other amenities were completed way back in 1790, but today, the entire property is already considered a national treasure because of its architecture and history.

You can explore the entire property that’s already been listed as a national historic park through guided tours.

The Hampton National Historical Park is located at 535 Hampton Ln, Towson, MD.

Guided and self-tour there is available from 8:30 am to 5 pm daily.

Be Amazed By Nature at the Lake Roland

Despite being a major metropolis in Maryland, Baltimore still has a space for nature to thrive, and it’s found in Lake Roland.

It’s one of Baltimore City’s main natural attractions where locals and visitors enjoy outdoor recreation like kayaking, picnicking, hiking, canoeing, and other activities.

Lake Roland has a total land area of 503 acres.

The entire park is home to a diverse ecosystem of meadows, forests, and wetlands and home to various species of flora and fauna.

Lake Rowland is on the community limits of Towson’s southwest portion.

Watch NCAA Games at the SECU Arena

View of SECU Arena
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Hardcore basketball fans will surely appreciate the SECU Arena, Baltimore’s main sporting venue at Towson University.

It can accommodate up to 6,000 people, and it regularly hosts the city’s major sporting events such as NCAA basketball, volleyball, and other sports.

It’s the home of the Towson Tigers men’s basketball team that competes in the NCAA.

Most importantly, the SECU Arena has consistently received the LEED Gold certification for its environmentally-friendly features and programs.

If you want a VIP treatment while watching the games, you can head to its 340 club seats at one of its four deluxe private suites.

Aside from hosting big collegiate games, the SECU Arena also hosts major concerts.

Get Active at the Orokawa Family Center Y

The Orokawa Family Center Y is a health community center that incorporates spiritual health and physical activity.

It’s a perfect place for indoor activities, relaxation, and spiritual rejuvenation.

It’s equipped with modern aquatics and fitness centers and a gymnasium and spacious fitness area while its family lounge offers different activities.

This facility in Towson is the modern and upscale version of your local YMCA.

The Orokawa Family Center Y is located at 600 W Chesapeake Avenue, Towson, MD, and its open on weekdays from morning to evening.

Pay Tribute to the ‘Drag Queen of the Century’ at the Prospect Hill Cemetery

If you have more spare time to roam around Towson, you can visit the grave of Harris Glenn Milstead.

Milstead was popularly known as “Divine,” the famous drag queen who became People Magazine’s “Drag Queen of the Century.”

Milstead passed away in 1988 due to a heart attack, and his remains are buried in Prospect Hill Cemetery.

Members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexuals and Transexuals (LGBT) often visit Milstead’s grave to pay tribute to his contribution to their community and the pop culture.

Milstead became very popular when he starred in the film Hairspray.

You can visit his gravesite at the Prospect Hill Cemetery at 701 York Rd, Towson, MD.

Dine at the Towson Tavern

Despite being established in 2012, the Towson Tavern still has a historical significance in Towson.

The restaurant, known for its delectable scratch kitchen, is named after Ezekiel Towson.

He is one of the pioneers in Towson who also operates a restaurant and a hotel back in the 1760s.

The restaurant is popular for serving American favorites made from top-notch ingredients.

Diners can also choose from various seasonal menu items, including steak au poivre in brandy cream sauce, Baltimore’s famous crab cakes, and pizzas, burgers, and pasta.

The Towson Tavern also serves an extensive collection of fine wine and spirits.

This famous Towson restaurant is at 516 York Road, Towson, and it only opens from 5 pm to 10 pm daily.

Watch Football at the Johnny Unitas Stadium

View of Johnny Unitas Stadium
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The Johnny Unitas Stadium is a testament to Baltimore’s sports-crazed locals.

This beautiful stadium was named after NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Johnny Unitas of the Baltimore Colts, who passed away in 2002.

Today, the Johnny Unitas Stadium is one of the biggest and loudest football stadiums in Maryland, which can accommodate more than 11,000 people.

The stadium boasts modern amenities such as a four-tier press box, modern ticket booths, full-service concessionaires, and a field house.

It’s also where Towson University’s football, track and field, and lacrosse squads play their home game.

The stadium also hosts the NCAA divisional and regional championships.

This famous football stadium in Towson is at 7537 Auburn Dr, Towson, MD.

Score Great Finds at the Shops at Kenilworth

Aside from the Towson Town Center, another popular shopping destination in Baltimore is the Shops at Kenilworth in Towson.

It’s where most premier restaurants and shops are located.

Get to choose from more than 30 specialty restaurants and stores.

This mall first opened in 1979 and was formerly named the Kenilworth Bazaar.

Today, the Shops at Kenilworth is home to Trade Joe’s flagship store in Baltimore, South Moon Under, J.Jill, and Radcliff Jewelers.

Aside from shops and restaurants, the mall also has massage parlors, spas, and parlors.

Ultimately, the Shops at Kenilworth regularly have promotions and sales, so you’ll likely score great finds when you visit there.

The Shops at Kenilworth is located at 800 Kenilworth Dr, Towson, MD, and it opens daily from 10 am to 8 pm.

Other Things to Do Nearby

After you’ve roamed Towson, you can continue exploring the rest of Baltimore, which is teeming with wonderful attractions both natural and man-made.

Towson can be your best starting point to explore more attractions in Baltimore.

So, here are the best things to do nearby Towson, MD.

Engage in Outdoor Activities at the Loch Raven Reservoir

View of Loch Raven Reservoir
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The Loch Raven Reservoir has more than 23 billion gallons of water which supplies many parts of the United States.

However, it’s more than just a water reservoir; it’s also one of Maryland’s top outdoor recreation spots because of its beautiful trails and vast lake.

It’s the best place for hiking, jogging, biking, boating, kayaking, or canoeing.

View of Loch Raven Reservoir
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Visitors also cast their lines to catch fish like trout, northern pike, walleye, largemouth, and smallmouth bass from the Big Gunpowder Falls River.

While hiking, you’ll come across different species of flora and fauna.

View of Loch Raven Reservoir
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Interestingly, Loch Raven Reservoir was once a popular sight for Unidentified Flying Object (UFO) in the 1950s.

Loch Raven is located 6.2 miles north of Towson, about 14 minutes drive.

View of Loch Raven Reservoir
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Be Amazed by the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen’s Architecture

Cathedral of Mary Our Queen’s Architecture
Farragutful (shifted & cropped by Rabanus Flavus), CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

More than an important spiritual center for Catholics in Maryland, the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen is a man-made marvel rarely found in the United States.

The church nestled at 5200 North Charles Street in Baltimore has a vast structure completed way back in 1959.

The cathedral has a magnificent Gothic design with art deco accents and used limestone, while its floor plan follows the classical east-facing cruciform that will put you in awe.

Cathedral of Mary Our Queen’s Architecture
Farragutful, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

In addition, the cathedral features have two stone-carved arks and a dove which was brought by the first Catholic settlers that migrated to the New World back in the 1600s.

Lord Baltimore and Cecil Calvert were onboard the ships that carried the stone carvings, who founded the colony and offered religious liberty to their inhabitants.

This famous cathedral in Baltimore is at 5200 N. Charles St. Baltimore, MD, or a 10-minute drive north of Towson.

Roam Around the Natural History Society of Maryland Museum

This museum in Maryland has more than 200,000 natural history specimens ranging from fossils, artifacts, and other pieces.

The group behind the museum’s operations, the National History Society of Maryland, is a private non-profit group formed way back in 1929.

The group’s ultimate goal is to inform the public about natural science and its importance.

The specimens found in the museum have been discovered dating back to the 1800s to the present day.

Self-guided tours and group tours are available for you to choose when you’re planning to visit this museum located at 6908 Belair Rd #1122, Baltimore, MD.

It’s a 14-minute drive southeast of Towson via I-695 W.

Visit Maryland’s Largest Fire Museum

View of Maryland’s Largest Fire Museum
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The Fire Museum of Maryland is considered the most extensive facility in the entire state and the United States.

It’s situated in Lutherville, about 3.5 miles north of Towson in Baltimore.

The museum is one of the best institutions for preservation, reservation, and interpretation of urban fire service history in the United States.

Founded back in 1971, the museum has a vast collection of top-notch hand engines, steam-powered, and horse-drawn vehicles used for firefighting back in the early 1900s.

You can explore multiple exhibits featuring different firefighting equipment, artifacts, and memorabilia used during the Great Fire of Baltimore in 1904.

You can have a self-guided tour or join an educational tour with other visitors.

​The Fire Museum of Maryland is located at 1301-R, York Rd, Lutherville-Timonium, MD, and it’s open on Saturdays from morning to afternoon.

Hike Along the Cromwell Valley Park/ Willow Grove Nature Center

View of Cromwell Valley Park
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This vast open space in Towson covers more than 460 acres of woods, orchards, open fields, gardens, and hedgerows which is a perfect opportunity for hiking and other outdoor activities.

Its diverse composition makes it a thriving area for wildlife.

The Cromwell Valley Park/Willow Grove Nature Center is where you’ll find the great horned owl, meadow voles, deer mice, rabbits, and red-tailed hawks that freely roam in the area.

You’ll also come across red foxes and white-tailed deer, both abundant in the area.

A hike there will surely make you captivated by nature.

Parkville MD’s park and nature center are roughly four miles northeast of Towson.

Final Thoughts

Towson is a thriving community within a metropolis.

The attractions and exciting things to do in Towson speak for itself why you should visit this place one day.

This post about the 15 best things to do in Towson, and its nearby places is already a great start for your travel adventure because you’re guaranteed to find more.