September is here which means Fall weather is right around the corner. This is the perfect season for outdoor activities because it is not too hot nor too cold. The weather is just right, which means it is a good time to get out and enjoy time with family and friends, surrounded by nature and beautiful hiking trails in the BWI region without the smoldering heat of summer or the bitter chill of winter.
Whether you are looking to take a long walk in the park before dark or a refreshing stroll along a sandy beach, there is something for the entire family to enjoy within a stone’s throw of BWI. Here are a few affordable places to unwind, have fun, and experience nature.
Who said trails were only made for walking? The BWI Trail at Dorsey Road comes with a three for one special. Some people are into feathered birds, others metal birds. If you are looking for the metal kind you will have a front-row seat as you watch planes and other aircrafts landing and taking off at the Thomas A. Dixon Jr. Aircraft Observation Area.
On any given day, you will meet a beautiful array of people and animals, pets and wildlife, sharing the 12-mile BWI Trail. You will encounter cyclists, skaters, skateboarders, joggers, and runners passing and greeting walkers young and old. Even if you just want to find a park bench to catch up on some reading, you can. Or maybe the children want to play and make some new friends; if so, they will enjoy a day at Friendship Park, the onsite playground. Have a sweet tooth? You can even grab a snowball with a marshmallow on top from the park’s vendor while the weather is still warm.
Fort Smallwood is the one-stop-shop for outdoor fun, plus it doubles as a piece of United States’ history. Once serving as a seacoast defense gun battery and barracks, Fort Smallwood is now a fully functioning recreational park. For all of the feathered bird watchers, the Bill Burton Fishing Pier is the perfect place to observe many species of birds or cast a line into the bay. Fort Smallwood also features a year-round boat ramp for anyone looking to spend their day on the water and beach access for others wanting to spend their day in the water. If you are more of a land-body, there are plenty of walking trails, volleyball courts, and picnic areas available. Even the children can let loose and blow off some steam at the children’s playground.
*Daily Vehicle Parking Fee: $6.00 per vehicle
If you enjoy fishing as a pastime, the overlook deck at Lake Waterford is the place to be. It is also the perfect place to watch the geese and other waterfowl flock and float about in the 12-acre lake. With various nature trails that run along the water and deep into the beautiful 180-acre woods, you can always go for an adventurous hike. There is a boundless playground for children to run and be free in as well. The park also features tennis courts and even basketball courts if you want to get in a quick pickup game or a round of HORSE.
Winter is swiftly approaching, and while these places will be open for the season, you want to enjoy them all while it is warm. Pick one of these spots and plan a day of outdoor fun in the sun. Let us know on Facebook (@experiencebwi) or Instagram (@experiencebwi) about all the good times you had.
Blog written by Egypt English.
Whether you’re here for business or pleasure, the Arundel Mills Entertainment District has what you need to forget your busy schedule! From Maryland’s largest outlet mall and one of the state’s favorite casinos to tons of things to do with the whole family, you’re likely to find a little something for everyone in the Arundel Mills District.
Maybe you’re in the BWI Region on business. Maybe you live nearby and want to let loose for a night without the little ones in tow. Whatever the reason, you’re in the right place!
Spend the night in one of Live! Hotel’s new, plush rooms before heading downstairs to catch a world-class act in their event center. There’s a good chance a nationally-recognized band will be performing at Live! Center Stage at the same time. If you’re feeling lucky, head over to Live! Casino (open 24/7) and try your hand at more than 200 live-action table games, including a Poker Room; up to 4,000 of the latest slot machines; and two high limit rooms.
If you want to let your inner child out, check out Dave and Buster’s. Bowling, anyone? If you prefer, head to Cinemark’s Egyptian 24 for a movie, or enjoy a host of dining options at Arundel Mills Mall’s dining pavilion.
For even more dining options, trek on over to Live! Casino & Hotel where David’s will greet you with a host of favorites. In the mood for a juicy steak? The Zagat-rated #1 steakhouse, The Prime Rib, offers a superb fine dining experience. Live! Casino’s culinary delights don’t end there. Experience Bobby’s Burger Palace, by celebrated chef Bobby Flay; The Cheesecake Factory®; Phillips® Seafood Express; the multi-station Live! Buffet; Morty’s Delicatessen, a traditional New York-style deli; and Luk Fu, serving authentic Asian cuisine. Two new eateries include 8 at Luk Fu, featuring sushi and sashimi; and En Vivo, offering classic varieties of soft tacos and pupusas.
If shopping is more your speed, Maryland’s largest outlet and values retail shopping destination is sure to please. With more than 220 stores and restaurants, Arundel Mills Mall features favorite name brands as well as local boutique vendors – in one convenient location.
If you’d like to top off Arundel Mills’ family-friendly events with a real crowd-pleaser, treat you family to Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament. Experience the pageantry and excitement of a royal court of old at an electrifying show, complete with heroic knights exhibiting thrilling swordplay and astounding athletic feats on spirited horses.
Enjoy a “hands-on” feast as an evening of horsemanship and falconry unfolds before you. Medieval Times is sure to keep you and the kids entertained. If the show puts you in the mood for a challenge, test your skills at Mission Escape Rooms. With a new location at Arundel Mills, Mission Escape Rooms uses riddles, puzzles, moving pieces and hidden objects to help kids of all ages escape from a room.
In the mood for an artsy getaway? Look no further than the BWI and Arundel Mills Region! After settling in at your hotel, pop over to the Inner Harbor for some art and cultural enrichment. The American Visionary Art Museum, the Crystal Moll Gallery and the Robert McClintock Gallery are worth exploring. All of them host innovative artists in captivating settings.
Just outside the city in northern Anne Arundel County, you’ll find the Chesapeake Arts Center, featuring events, the creations of local artists, performances, classes and more! It’s your opportunity to experience art that draws its inspiration from the Chesapeake Bay and the local community, breathing life into the BWI Region.
Experience world-class art at Live! Casino & Hotel. Their one-of-a-kind collection features works by Andy Warhol, Jennifer Steinkamp, Charlie Ahn, and others. As collectors and art enthusiasts, Suzie and David Cordish believe the arts bring people together and enlighten the experience of Live! Casino & Hotel. Because the new hotel has ample wall space, the art displayed at Live! Casino & Hotel creates a delightfully unexpected gallery for visitors to enjoy. The casino’s Live! Center Stage is a premier performing arts venue. Be sure to catch a comedy show or a concert here!
Take a short drive to Annapolis’ Arts District. It’s flooded with restaurants, art galleries, and performance art studios. Head down to Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts for a wide range of arts programming for individuals of all ages, including galleries, classes, a theater and artists in residence. If you want to discover your bliss, wander the streets and let the art find you! A fascinating display of sculptures, murals and other public art showcasing Annapolis’ rich history awaits the creative at heart. Top off your day with a delicious dinner in the “maritime district” of Annapolis, Eastport. The Maritime Republic of Eastport’s Restaurant Row on Severn Avenue features a host of delicious dining options.
Travel to Washington, DC, to see world-renowned museums, awe-inspiring galleries, and rich culture. Check out the 29th Century church with its colorful exterior in the Southwest Waterfront neighborhood. Visit the renowned National Gallery of Art and its breathtaking sculpture garden. Take in pop culture at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery.
Pilsners, Stouts, IPAs – Oh My! If your taste buds are tingling for local Maryland brews, look no further than the BWI and Arundel Mills Region.
The first stop is Guinness Open Gate Brewery and Barrel House. Opened in 2018, it’s the first Guinness brewery on American soil since 1954. Their outdoor space is filled with community tables, games and a lawn space shaped like a Guinness glass. During the summer months, a food truck and outdoor bar serve guests listening to local musicians performing on the patio. Inside, brewmasters take pride in their craft, and ambassadors for the Irish staple are happy to help you discover the perfect brew. The taproom serves pub fare, at least four brewed-in-Maryland beers, as well as classics imported from Dublin and some experimental brews. Guided tours are available. If you like, you can add a flight tasting to your tour. You can even bring the kids – since children of all ages are welcome throughout the grounds. Sláinte!
Travel southeast to the Crooked Crab Brewery in Odenton, Maryland. Three Maryland natives saw a need for the first local brewery with brewmasters from Anne Arundel County. Crooked Crab Brewery hosts 12 taps year-round, changing every few months to experiment with the seasons. The space provides activities for adults and kids, including a giant chalkboard wall and board games. Local musicians perform a few nights a week. Since opening in 2018, Crooked Crab has partnered with local food trucks to provide a fun dining option. Don’t miss trivia night every Wednesday! Tours are available. Just ask the brewmasters behind the bar! #getcrooked!
While you’re at it, you may want to check out two of the predominant breweries in Maryland. Towards Baltimore, the family-owned Heavy Seas Brewery has been brewing in Maryland since the 1980s. Taste their award-winning favorites – including Loose Cannon and Cutlass – in their taproom. Take a tour of the taproom and receive a souvenir pint glass and beer sampling!
Finally, don’t forget to check out Jailbreak Brewing Company in Laurel, Maryland. The microbrewery is known for producing great tasting ales. While enjoying your brew and some house-made pub favorites from their new kitchen, you’ll see the brew team hard at work creating the next batch of golden goodness!
If you have time to play, the BWI Region is your perfect home base for exploring Washington, DC, Annapolis, and Baltimore. A major hub for Southwest Airlines, BWI Thurgood Marshall makes it easy to convene regional, national and international meetings and events in the BWI Region. If you book a room at one of the many BWI and Arundel Mills area hotels that offer shuttle service to Amtrak, MARC train and Light Rail service, you’ll be able to take full advantage of your leisure time when work is through.
Getting into DC is a snap. Simply take the hotel shuttle to BWI Airport’s MARC train station and board a train to Union Station. Once at Union Station, DC’s entire metro system is at your disposal. The Red Line provides easy access to the National Mall, home of the White House, the Capitol building, Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, and the Smithsonian Museums. Change to the Green Line to explore the Southwest Waterfront – home of the new and trendy Wharf. The Orange Line will take you to George Washington University and the ever-popular Georgetown Waterfront.
If you’ve set your sights on Baltimore, head north on the Light Rail line from BWI Airport to Charm City’s Inner Harbor. It’s home to the National Aquarium, Science Center and Fort McHenry, a national monument and historic site that played a pivotal role in defending Baltimore from British invasion during the War of 1812. A short walk east takes you to Camden Yards at Oriole’s Park and M&T Bank Stadium, home of the Baltimore Ravens. For some history and culture, stroll a few blocks north to Mount Vernon. Don’t miss the Walters Art Museum, Washington Monument, and the George Peabody Library. As the sun sets, Mount Vernon’s nightlife takes center stage at a host of bars, restaurants, and clubs with a style and energy that will keep you coming back for more.
If you want to get out on the water, a visit to America’s Sailing Capital is a must. Located just 15 miles from the BWI Region, Annapolis is the gateway to North America’s largest estuary, the Chesapeake Bay. Take a public sail, cruise the Annapolis harbor, kayak or people-watch at Ego Alley. Then, tour the U.S. Naval Academy, visit the oldest State House in continuous legislative use, check out the home of a Declaration of Independence signer – or simply stroll the brick-lined street of the Museum without Walls that features more 18th-century brick buildings than any other city of comparable size in the nation. If you work up an appetite, Maryland’s capital city is home to dozens of restaurants serving the bounty of the Chesapeake Bay.
Explore the BWI Region by soaring to new heights with Monumental Helicopters. The custom rides provide a ski-high view of Annapolis and Baltimore. Choose the tour that includes both cities in a single flight. It highlights the Chesapeake Bay, waterfront mansions, Baltimore’s Fort McHenry, the Inner Harbor, and several historic neighborhoods. The grand finale is an exciting flight over the BWI Airport runway.
Some say all roads lead to the water in Annapolis, and that means endless on the water opportunities! Take a cruise of the Annapolis harbor or a public sail on the Chesapeake Bay. Book a private charter; rent an electric boat; canoe, kayak or stand up paddleboard to your heart’s content. Ride the water taxi to get somewhere – or just because it’s fun! Learn to sail or captain your own powerboat – or just hang out at City Dock (aka Ego Alley) and watch the people. Whether you book a dinner cruise for a perfect date night, lock in on a narrated overview of the Annapolis Harbor and U.S. Naval Academy or cruise up Spa Creek for a peek at some of Annapolis’ most beautiful homes, the water’s a great way to get to know the people and the history of Annapolis.
Arundel Golf Park near BWI Airport offers outdoor fun for all ages. Its temperature-controlled driving range is a state-of-the-art practice facility that operates in all kinds of weather. Enjoy a relaxing day of mini-golf with friends, or host your private party or corporate event in the picnic area. Work up some no sweat adrenaline at Terrapin Adventures – on their ropes course, zip line and giant swing before getting a kayaking workout. The outdoor adventure park packs in a day of fun for everyone.
There’s no shortage of scenic parks in Anne Arundel County. Kinder Farm Park offers picnic tables and grills throughout the park, two large outdoor pavilions for rent and a large playground and tot-lot ideal for children of all ages. The park has a 2.8-mile paved perimeter trail and several miles of natural trails. The park’s farm animals are owned and cared for by the Kinder Farm Park 4-H Livestock Club. These include chickens, turkeys, geese, cows, pigs, goats, and sheep. From May through August, Downs Park, Hatton-Regester Green, Historic London Town & Gardens, and Quiet Waters Park host outdoor concerts for the whole family to enjoy.
A can’t miss is the BWI Trail. The 12-mile paved course circles BWI Airport starting at the Thomas A. Dixon Observation Area. Stop and take in the scenic views of BWI Airport found along the trail. Rent bicycles and ride the entire loop for a morning workout!
After checking into your hotel in the BWI region, head over to Arundel Mills Mall and experience the new show with Her Majesty, The Queen at Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament. Dine like royalty as you watch jousting, sword fighting, medieval games and more. Try your skills at the new Mission Escape Rooms, or rack up your prizes at Dave & Busters! Discover games with international consequences at the nearby National Cryptologic Museum. The National Security Agency’s primary gateway to the public traces the history of code-making and code-breaking from the 1500s to the present day.
Stay in Baltimore to catch and Oriole’s baseball game at Camden Yards. Get to know sharks and other creatures of the sea at the National Aquarium, and brush up on your dinosaur trivia at the interactive Maryland Science Center. There are lots for the young and young at heart to enjoy at the Port Discovery Children’s Museum, and at the nearby Maryland Zoo in Baltimore’s Druid Hill Park. Ever fed a giraffe? Now’s your chance! After a long day on your feet, enjoy a leisurely meal aboard a dinner cruise of the Inner Harbor.
Take a quick trip down the road to Maryland’s capital, Annapolis. Now’s your big-time chance to get out on the Chesapeake Bay! Whether you and your kids rent paddleboards, canoes, kayaks or electric boats – or you sit back and relax aboard a sailing cruise, harbor tour or water taxi ride – don’t miss the opportunity to create a memory that will last a lifetime. If history is a family affair, join a walking tour of the city known as a ‘museum without walls’. Poke your head inside the Maryland State House to see the original copy of George Washington’s resignation speech. The Banneker-Douglass Museum showcases significant contributions Maryland’s African-American community has made to our nation, and the Annapolis Maritime Museum tells the story of the lives of watermen and the Chesapeake Bay.
Another option is to head to Washington, DC. Our nation’s capital is a wonderful playground for kids to learn about America. There’s no shortage of Smithsonian Institution museums. Be sure to check out the National Memorial Park, home of the Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, and Jefferson Memorial. Grab a quick lunch from one of the many food trucks that line the streets before heading to the National Zoo or taking a duck tour, an aquatic city tour your kids – and you – will love!