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State Bucket List: Maryland

10. Tailgate at a Ravens Game

10. Tailgate at a Ravens Game

Baltimore

The Ravens have had a strong showing in general under head coach John Harbaugh, including a Super Bowl ring in 2013. The tailgating culture is strong here, not just in the official lots, but also around the area.  The old Staples lot comes recommended by fans.

(image via aukirk, CC)

9. Biking Along the C & O Canal

9. Biking Along the C & O Canal

The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal starts in Cumberland and runs along the Potomac River, tracing the borders of Virginia and West Virginia down to Washington, D.C. The canal is no longer being used, and since being drained, trees have started to reclaim much of it, which only adds to the beauty of the ride. If you feel like starting in Pittsburgh, you can actually ride all 330 miles down to D.C. without dealing with car traffic.

(image via ncindc, CC)

8. Ocean City Boardwalk

8. Ocean City Boardwalk

The Ocean City Boardwalk was built by the city's hotels back in 1902 to help their guests walk around the beach. It has since grown into a thriving entertainment district with a great view of the ocean. Here you can ride Ferris wheels and roller coasters; eat fries, popcorn, and ice cream; or rent a bike and ride around enjoying the beach.

(image via labyrinthx-2, CC)

7. Fell’s Point

7. Fell’s Point

Baltimore

Fell's Point is a waterfront neighborhood just north of the harbor in Baltimore known, historically, as a harbor for privateers, a fancy word for "legally-sanctioned pirate." The neighborhood is on the National Register of Historic Places, as well as being named one of the American Planning Association's "Great Places in America." Fredrick Douglass called the neighborhood home, and architecture from his lifetime is still proudly on display.

(image via Iracaz, CC)

6. Historic Annapolis

6. Historic Annapolis

At one point, Annapolis was the capital of the United States. The brick sidewalks saw the footsteps of Washington and Jefferson, and four signers of the Declaration of Independence had their homes right here among the rest of the gorgeous 17th- and 18th-century architecture. There's also a gorgeous waterfront, including a dead-end canal called "ego alley" where you can watch boats sail by just to show off.

5. L.P. Steamers for Maryland Crab

5. L.P. Steamers for Maryland Crab

Baltimore

Named for the Locust Point neighborhood in which it sits, L.P. Steamers is a local legend when it comes to seafood. The crabs are the highlight, but they'll also steam or fry just about every shellfish out there. Washing it down with $2 beer down doesn't hurt, either. They credit their success to what they learned from their mothers' cooking.

(image via ojbyrne, CC)

4. Ladew Topiary Gardens

4. Ladew Topiary Gardens

Monkton

Harvey Ladew was a socialite and fox hunter who taught himself to garden. He created 15 separate gardens here, each with its own theme—be it a color, or a scene shaped from topiary, or a specific plant that he loved. Ladew's family was already wealthy, so he put his time into honing his legendary wit and beautifying the space around him. He started his work in the 1930s, and the garden continues to delight people today.

(image via sneakerdog, CC)

3. Assateague Island Wild Horses

3. Assateague Island Wild Horses

Assateague Island is instantly recognizable to horse lovers—this picturesque place off the coast of Delmarva is home to one of the few herds of wild horses in the country. Those horses were popularized by the books of Marguerite Henry, which have been captivating children since the 1940s. Even without the horses, the woods and beaches of the island are beautiful. From four-wheelers to kayaks, there are plenty of ways to explore them.

(image via m01229, CC)

2. Ellicott City’s Historic Downtown

2. Ellicott City’s Historic Downtown

Ellicott City was founded in 1772, and much of its historic downtown area is carved out of the solid granite hillside. The downtown is well-preserved, charming, and vibrant enough to support wine bars, matcha cafes, coffee shops, and pubs all in the same area. The entire downtown hosts a “Girls’ Night Out” every 3rd Thursday. Look for pink flags in front of businesses.

(image via Scott Saghirian, CC)

1. Antietam Battlefield Luminaries

1. Antietam Battlefield Luminaries

Sharpsburg

The Civil War took nearly as many American lives as every other war before or after it combined, and the Battle of Antietam was the most terrible day of the entire war. Every year in December, the Antietam National Battlefield is lit with 23,110 luminaries—one for every soldier killed, wounded, or missing. You can drive through the area yourself or take a guided bus tour of the largest memorial illumination in the country. 

(image via Facebook)