Travel has been complicated for the past year. Observing the guidelines while visiting sites, finding accommodations, and even locating places to eat was tricky. Now, visitors can enjoy unique attractions, while keeping theirGrande Vegas online casino USAplay close at hand on their phone, in a region where natural beauty, history, and a welcoming atmosphere are a fact of life.

Some Southern Maryland highlights include:

Anne Arundel County

Rural Anne Arundel County features 533 miles of shoreline and a simple, rural environment where visitors can stroll around the villages of Mayo, Galesville, and Deale or find water activities along the area’s beaches and bays. Anne Arundel is a charming region where visitors can find both a cosmopolitan atmosphere in Annapolis and the natural beauty of rural America.

One of the most popular destinations is the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center. The Smithsonian is one of America’s best-known museums where education and research are the focus. There are 20 different museums that are part of the Smithsonian. These Smithsonian museums are located in various locales in the DC area and cover exhibits on a variety of historical, natural, and cultural phenomena and includes the National Zoo.

The Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC) includes a series of trails where visitors can walk to become immersed in nature and learn about the coastal ecosystems. As part of the 15 miles of protected shoreline, visitors can explore marshes, forests, and wetlands and learn about how SERC research is aimed at leading to sustainability. The SERC programs educate through hands-on learning experiences. Programs include science talks, guided walks, canoe expeditions, encounters with and animal and vegetation life of the area, and more.

Highly suggested to sign up for the interactive virtual field trip before a genuine visit.

St. Marys County

St. Mary’s County has some of the earliest colonial sites in the nation as well as sites that display the War of 1812 and the Civil War. St. Mary’s County has plenty of outdoor recreation with historical lighthouses that highlight the area’s maritime history.

One of the most interesting sites is the Freedom Park African-American Monument which was dedicated in 2000 to teach about African Americans and African-American organizations which have made significant contributions to the St. Mary’s region. There are“Pathway through History” markers where the history of these individuals and organizations is explained as well as interpretive signs that mark challenges and milestones that have the African American community experienced, covering the era from the end of the Civil War through World War II.

The Freedom Park hosts the United States Colored Troops Memorial Monument which is dedicated to the United States Colored Troops of St. Mary’s County. Other sites of interest to Black history are the segregationist-era Drayden African-American Schoolhouse, AME churches, and an 1830s slave cabin.

Calvert County

Calvert County is the home of the Chesapeake Bay, the third-largest estuary – a body of water where salt and fresh water mix — in the world. The Bay supports more than 3,600plant and animal species, 29 species of waterfowl, and 87 species of waterbirds as well as many species of mammals and reptiles. The Chesapeake Bay includes tidal wetlands and forests.

There are a number of sites that highlight the Chesapeake Bay including the Chesapeake Beach Railway Trail that follows an old railroad rail line that has been converted to a biking/walking route, the Chesapeake Beach Railway Museum, Breezy Point Beach, the Chesapeake Beach Water Park, Calvert Cliffs State Park, the Drum Point Lighthouse, the Calvert Marine Museum, Flag Ponds Nature Park and the Bayside History Museum.

The Bruce Snake Gabrielson Surf Art Gallery and Museum display rare historical artifacts from the surfing world. Surfing legend Bruce Gabrielson collected these artifacts including an original Makaha skateboard, Dale Velzey’s original 1950’s planer and templates, signed posters from surfing legends, the Duke Stamp from both Waikiki and Huntington Beach, a set of Rick Griffin drawings and photos and paintings from surf photographers and other artists. Visits to the museum are free.

Charles County

Charles County is the home of the famous Mudd House, the house of Dr. Samuel Mudd who was arrested and convicted of treason after he treated Lincoln assassin, John Wilkes Booth. There is proof of both pro-and anti-Mudd’s involvement in the Lincoln assassination. Mudd was sentenced to life imprisonment for his role in helping Booth but he was pardoned by Lincoln’s successor, Andrew Johnson, in 1869 and released from prison. Mudd’s family has been trying to secure an acknowledgment that he was unfairly convicted for 150 years but to date, that has not happened.

The Mudd House is Samuel Mudd’s house which is open to the public as a museum that relates the events of that era. The story, as told at Mudd House, is favorable to Mudd, but it’s an interesting way to learn the history of that event. Additional exhibits include a display of farming implements of the day and Civil War History.

Prince George County

Merkle Wildlife Sanctuaryin Prince George County on the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay is a wildlife sanctuary where thousands of Canada geese spend their winter. The sanctuary is named for conservationist Edgar Merkle who introduced a goose breeding plan that was designed to bring the geese to the western shore of the Bay. Over time the geese learned that they could rest and feed on the Merkle farm which was eventually sold to the state to function as a reserve.

Another nature site in Prince George County is the Watkins Nature Center. The Nature Center displays live animals and birds including owls, hawks, amphibians, insects and reptiles. There are indoor and outdoor ponds, a squirrel gym, and a songbird feeding area. The center has six miles of easy-to-follow trails for both long and short walks.

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