Heading north on 83, take the Druid Lake Park Drive exit to Druid Hill Park. Housed within this magnificent, inner-city forest is none other than the Maryland Zoo, home to a wide variety of exotic animals, making this one of the more unique settings to view the changing season. After passing through the main gate to purchase tickets, instead of being shuttled over to the zoo entrance, take the walking path to enjoy the quiet, colorful scenery. Keep Saturday, Oct. 20 in mind as the zoo hosts “OktoBearfest” to celebrate the season with German food, festivities and fun.
Related: Best Zoos And Aquariums In Baltimore
Patapsco Valley State Park
8020 Baltimore National Pike
Ellicott City, Md. 21043
Follow Druid Hill Drive south to Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, and then take Route 40 west for about five miles to reach the Patapsco Valley State Park in historic Ellicott City. A natural oasis of vibrant colors and picturesque waterfalls greets you, complete with land and water activities. The Patapsco River allows for fishing and boating as well as hiking beautiful trails to capture interesting pictures at the top of the many cliffs. Bring along your picnic basket, but remember to help maintain and protect the area by leaving only footprints and taking only pictures.
Double T Diner
6300 Baltimore National Pike
Catonsville, Md. 21228
Enjoying the brilliant scenery can be tiring, so a two-mile drive east on Route 40 will take you to a great rest stop. If you love the diner atmosphere, take a quick break at this famous diner, serving the area since 1959. Grab any of your favorites, whether breakfasts, soups and salads, sandwiches, or surf and turf, available 24 hours a day for the perfect road trip pit stop.
Loch Raven Reservoir
12101 Dulaney Valley Road
Timonium, Md. 21131
Follow Route 40 back east until you reach the Beltway, then take 695 north for 15 miles to the Dulaney Valley Road exit. Take that road north for five miles to reach the Loch Raven Reservoir. Driving by the lush trees bordering the clear waters is simultaneously eye-catching and calming. Stop at the fishing center, stocked with fishing supplies and boats available to rent, to continue the relaxing outing. This is also the best time of year to catch glimpses of wildlife and birds in their natural habitat before winter sets in.
Related: Best Parks For Kids In Baltimore
The Grille at Peerce’s
12460 Dulaney Valley Road
Phoenix, Md. 21131
If you’re looking for a more upscale restaurant with a still casual atmosphere, continue to enjoy the rich scenery at the popular Grille at Peerce’s. Unwind with its impeccable service and indulge in delicious American classics with the backdrop of a peaceful country setting. Weather permitting, sit on the outdoor patio for great views of the changing leaves and wildlife.
Gunpowder Falls State Park
2813 Jerusalem Road
Kingsville, Md. 21087
Return to the Beltway and follow 695 east for six miles. Take Route 1 north for about eight miles to Gunpowder Falls State Park. Here is the perfect end to a day of sight-seeing nature’s beauty. View the intense colors of these protected forests on scenic trails where you can bring along your leashed pet. Trees reflect fiery and bright in the trickling creeks, painting an inspiring picture best seen in person.