Introduction

Tucked in the suburban sprawl northwest of Baltimore and Washington, DC, you'll find a few parks and towns that are memorable reminders of the region's original beauty and its longtime importance as a commercial and transportation hub. Highlights include historic spots along the Potomac River, now bordered by the popular C&O Canal towpath trail, and small towns that have maintained their pretty historic districts. Many of these spots – sometimes far-flung – have been tied together by the state along themed byways. Check out www.visitmaryland.org for details about the drives before exploring the region. If your kids are demanding roller coasters, drive east toward Annapolis for a Six Flags theme park.