Beautiful coastlines on the Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Ocean
From the marble stoops of it s row houses to the saltwater byways and rural flatlands of the Chesapeake, Maryland offers an appealing mix of historic sites and placid coastal towns.
Baltimore a major city is a venerable old port has never looked better now that its Inner Harbor has been magnificently rebuilt. Shopping pavilions, lush parks, inviting restaurants, a modern office buildings mingle with historic sites along Baltimore's age - old waterfront.
The city's star attraction is the National Aquarium in Baltimore, home to more than 5,000 marine creatures in a variety of briny habitats. Fish of astonishing beauty and size swim in vast tanks, inches from the rapt gaze of visitors. Dolphins frolic in the Marine Mammal Pavilion.
Moored nearby is a far older attraction: the U. S. Frigate Constellation a priceless naval relic and the oldest warship continuously afloat.
Tours of the restored vessel are offered. A few blocks down the harbor, in the restored neighborhood of Fells Point, is a collection of some 350 well-preserved Federal buildings. Guarding the harbor's entrance is Fort Mchenry, above which Francis Scott Key saw, by" the rockets' red glare,' the Star - Spangled Banner still waving after an 1814 British attack.
Baltimore also boasts a wealth of museums, including Walter's Art Gallery, with a Renaissance treasure-house of fine art. Among its most interesting pieces is the mysterious Ruben's Vase, carved from one piece of agate around A. D 400. Owners have included Byzantine emperors. French kings, and the painter Ruben's; yet it has disappeared for centuries at a time.
Today it is worth millions of dollars. The Babe Ruth Birthplace, in the row house where Ruth was born; traces the exploits of the Babe, the Baltimore Orioles, and other Maryland big-timers.
Nearby, the B&O Railroad Museum site of the nation's first passenger train station, delights rail fans with its collection of antique cars and locomotives.
The Maryland Historical Society, housed in an elegant 1846 mansion, displays collections from four centuries of Maryland life, including its treasured jewel, he original "Star-spangled Banner' manuscript. You can also tour Carroll Mansion, home of Charles Carroll, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, and Homewood, where his son lived. also of note is Benjamin Latrobe's Basilica of the Assumption, the country's first Roman Catholic cathedral, dedicated in 1821.
Ellicott City thirteen miles west of the B&O Railroad Museum in Baltimore is a second monument to early railroad history. Ellicott City was the destination of Tom Thumb, America's first steam engine, which first puffed from Baltimore's in 1830. The terminal is now the B&O Railroad Station Museum, with a restored waiting room, ticket office, and model railroad display. Many of the stone buildings in town are home to antique shop and restaurants.
Frederick; this handsome city, laid out in 1745, has played host to a number of important episodes in America history. But the incident for which it is best known--a woman's bold defiance of Confederate general Stonewall Jackson, remembered wistfully in "Barbara Frietchie," John Greenleaf Whitter's poem -- may be mostly myth. The house from which the 95-year-old patriot was said to have waved a Union flag a confederate troops marched past has been rebuilt as the Barbara Fritchie House and Museum. Frederick also has many impressive period structures; among them is Schifferstadt, a stone farmhouse built in 1756 in Colonial German style.
Sharpsburg one mile north of Sharpsburg at Antietam Creek, the 41,000--man Confederate army under Gen. Robert E. Lee, fresh from victory at Manassas, met head-on the 87,000 strong Union forces of Gen. George B. McClellan. The result was the bloodiest day of the Civil War, with some 23,000 soldiers killed or wounded. More than 4000 men fell along a road that would forever b known as Bloody Lane. At Antietam National Battlefield, maps, interpretive signs, and monuments document the immortal battle.
Yes, lets not forget the Capital Washington D.C. the capital of the United States , center of international influence, treasury of monuments and museums. It was Pierre L'Enfants's challenge, in 1791, to design a city that would be a magnificent symbol for the burgeoning nation. A French-born engineer, L'Enfant devised a street plan after culling ideas from maps of various European cities, most notably Versailles; like the spokes of a wheel, across a grid of irregular rectangular blocks. This created circles, triangles, and squares at intersections where monuments and fountains could be placed.
Today the city's handsome skyline remains free of high rises and is softened by the tens of thousands of trees planted in the 1870s and early 1900s. It's a particularly glorious place in the spring, when sprays, of pink and white cherry blossoms seem to temper the edges of this high-powered city.
Most of Washington's attractions within walking distance of one another are near the panoramic greens of the Mall, one of the oldest federal parks in the country. To many Americans, the Mall is sacred ground, leading to such famous landmarks as the Jefferson, Lincolin, and Vietnam Veterans memorials, the Washington Monument, and the White house. The U.S. Capitals tumultuous past reflects the country's own: burned by the British in 1814, it was rebuilt and later capped by a 335-foot-high dome during the Civil War.
A good bet if you're pressed for time is the Smithsonian Institution, the world's largest museum complex, where you can easily walk from one attraction to the next. Visit the National Air and Space Museum to see the Wright brothers' Flyer and Charles Lindbergh's Spirit of St. Louis. The national museums of America History and Natural History have an eclectic range of exhibits, from the original Star Spangled Banner to the Hope Diamond.
There's no categorizing some of the city's other notable attractions. The Library of Congress, open to everyone, has among its 30 million books an original Gutenberg Bible , from 1450. Visit the basement museum in Ford's Theatre, where the gun used to assassinate Lincoln is on exhibit. See a show at the Warner Theatre, an exquisite Roaring Twenties movie palace with a marble and gold-leaf grand lobby, The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum honors the victims of World War ll Nazi atrocities. And don't forget the National Archives, where original copies of the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution are displayed.