By Crystal Morris

Photo Credit: Frederick Community Website

New Market, Md.

New Market Town Office
39 West Main Street
New Market, Md.
40 Miles West of Baltimore, Off Route 70

Located just outside Frederick, New Market is a small town that packs a lot of charm. Often known as the Antiques Capital of Maryland and with more than 30 shops, there is sure to be something for everyone. Boutiques like The Hunting Doll offer one-of-a-kind jewelry and accessories. There is also a wide range of unique antique stores including the Thirsty Knight, which specializes in antique steins, goblets, and saucers for the beer aficionado or simply a collector of historic drinking goods. The New Market General Store sells a variety of custom-made furniture and gourmet gifts, and best of all, a mouthwatering selection of candy, fudge and soft serve ice cream. If a more upscale dining experience is what you are after, check out Morgan’s American Grill. Be sure to call before heading to New Market, since many of these great little shops are only open on the weekends.

Photo Credit: Sandra Mu/Getty Images

St. Michaels, Md.

St. Michaels Business Association Inc.
P.O. Box 1221
St. Michaels, Md. 21663
71 Miles from Baltimore, Down Route 50 East

There is so much to enjoy in St. Michaels, you won’t believe you are only an hour and a half away. A well-preserved historic charm coupled with a recent shift to tourism makes this town a big favorite on the Eastern Shore. Take it all in while you view the area from the Hooper Strait Lighthouse at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum.  Even better, try boating and fishing activities to get a great feel for the bay culture. On the Selina II Charter Boat, you can do anything from private sailing lessons to beer and wine tastings. Fishing, kayaking, and canoeing are all popular. Back on dry land, stop your stomach from grumbling and enjoy some good eats. Carpenter Street is said to have a tasty burger and great beer selection, while St. Michaels Crab and Steak House has delicious seafood specialties served up on the waterfront. Shopping on the island is also a must. Stop in Flying Fred’s Pet Boutique or enjoy year-round holiday cheer at The Christmas Shop. You can’t squeeze in everything in one day, but you will definitely be back to St. Michaels for a day trip.

Photo Credit: Pennsylvania Dutch Country Welcome Center

Lancaster County, Pa.

501 Greenfield Road
Lancaster, Pa. 17601
I-83 North to U.S. 30 East, 77 Miles

If you have lived in the Baltimore area for quite some time and you have never ventured out to Lancaster, take a day to go there soon! The shopping, museums and delicious food are just as great as the scenic landscape. Take a drive around the country roads in Lancaster County and fill up your basket with fresh produce. Once you arrive downtown, you can’t pass up a trip to the Central Market, where you can find jams, jellies, baked treats and pickled goods among other things. The Pennsylvania Dutch sausage will go great with the fresh produce. At the Lancaster Quilt and Textile Museum, you can see how this intricate art form influenced fashion and be inspired to make one of your own. Shop for some home goods at one of the many Amish specialty stores and shops like Art and Glassworks gifts and stained glass. Enjoy a farm tour at Eastland Alpacas or a buggy ride from Abe’s before stopping at Stoud Brewing Company. Enjoy fresh schnitzel from the restaurant, and wash it down with one of their German style brews after your tour. If you need a souvenir to take away from Lancaster County, grab a shoofly pie, the classic Amish dessert, before hitting the road.

Crystal Morris is an aspiring graphic designer and graduate student living in the Baltimore area. Her creative work and ramblings can be found at