Photo Credit: Eric Lynch

From great fun-in-the-sun activities to a huge array of compelling and educational attractions, Maryland is the place to be for families this summer. Whether you live in or near Maryland, or plan on being in the vicinity in June, July or August, you’ll be thrilled with the dizzying selection of activities and attractions that the Old Line State has to offer. No matter where your family’s interests lie, you’ll be able to track down things that will keep everyone happy with ease. Breathtaking thrills, fascinating historical sites, sun-kissed beaches - and much, much more - await.

Go Back in Time

From its Eastern Shore to its westernmost border - and everywhere in-between - Maryland is jam-packed with fun historical sites and attractions that are sure to thrill families-on-the-go. Check out the oldest operating lighthouse in the United States by swinging by the Concord Point Lighthouse at Havre de Grace. Since 1827, this scenic lighthouse has provided a beacon of light that has brought many a sailor back home again.

Pop culture junkies can get their fix at Baltimore’s Geppi’s Entertainment Museum. This 16,000-square-foot museum is crammed with intriguing exhibits. From Star Trek to Nintendo, a huge range of nostalgic exhibits will prompt a lot of reminiscing - and allow parents to show the kids what they played with when they were young.

Over in Edgewater, the family can be whisked away to a simpler time by exploring the fascinating Historic London Town and Gardens. This 18th century seaport is slowly being excavated by local archeologists. Guided tours help teach child what being an archeologist is all about.

Embrace the Beauty

Maryland is at its glorious best during the summer months, when its shoreline comes alive with a bounty of exciting outdoor opportunities. If there’s one place you don’t want to miss, it’s Assateague State Park. Located on the north end of Assateague Island, the park present many fun-in-the-sun activities. Make sure to check out the island’s famous Chincoteague ponies, feral horses that have roamed free for generations. The seashore is another great place to hunker down for the day.

In the western part of the state, the whole family can enjoy outdoor activities like bicycling, canoeing, kayaking and hiking by heading over to Blackwater Paddle & Pedal Adventures. This wildlife refuge is a nice change from the sometimes overdeveloped nature of having fun outdoors in the summer. Everyone is sure to have a blast in this scenic, bucolic place.

Photo Credit: Eric B. Walker

Be Thrilled at the Theme Park

The Ocean City boardwalk is one of those places that everyone should experience at least once. Families, especially, tend to love this entertaining and lively place. When visiting, kids will gravitate to the thrill rides at the Jolly Roger Amusement Park; from roller coasters to merry-go-rounds, there’s something exciting for every age to enjoy.

Families who want to combine the fun of a full-fledged theme park with the enjoyment of a topnotch water park should hightail it over to Largo. There, you’ll find Six Flags America and its abundance of first-rate roller coasters and thrill rides. Right next door, you can splash and play at Hurricane Harbor. Whether you spend one day visiting the parks - or two or three - everyone will leave with unforgettable stories.

Hit the Museums and Attractions

Baltimore is ground zero when it comes to educational and entertaining museums. The city’s National Aquarium is considered to be one of the best in the country; the Maryland Zoo is also a fine place to while away a summer day. Port Discovery brings interactive fun to children of all ages, and the Maryland Science Center in Baltimore is perfect for a rainy day, which has hands-on opportunities for learning about dinosaurs, the five senses, marine life and more.

Beyond the city, the state is teeming with great educational opportunities. Learn how fish are raised by visiting the Bear Creek Rearing Station in the western part of the state. Every step of the process is highlighted, and it is a surprisingly entertaining outing.