Daytripping: Maryland attractions you never heard of like the Mermaid Museum

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Photo by Eddie Applefeld

For this feature something a little different. Yes, I will have a few restaurants but also Maryland attractions I bet you either never heard of or never visited. If I’m wrong you can let me know.

But first, let’s take a quick look at three restaurants. We’ll begin at Tutto Fresco, 5 Bynum Rd, Forest Hill. Open seven days for lunch and dinner, family-owned, seats 50 inside with a few tables outside, plenty of free parking, seasonal specials, catering and opened January 2020…….443-567-5356

Maria’s (Photo by Eddie Applefeld)

Now let’s swing around to Reisterstown and Maria’s, 31 Main Street. Open seven days for lunch and dinner, a brunch menu, adjacent parking, private room upstairs, locally owned, a separate carryout entrance (with alcohol),  great-tasting lamb chops, and homemade rice pudding……410-777-9707

Our last restaurant stop is Salsa Grill, 6644 Security Blvd, Woodlawn. Open seven days with lunch and dinner, plenty of free parking, opened at this location in 1993, offering Peruvian and Maryland specialties and yes try the crab cake…….410-265-5552

Okay, now comes these little heard of attractions. They were brought to mind by an article I read in Baltimore Magazine. We’ll start at Peace Park, 18400 River Rd, Poolesville. It has 65 acres of walking trails and meditation gardens. The focal point is a 35-foot structure representing the mind of Enlightenment. Dogs are welcome….301-710-6259

Here we go to Berlin Maryland and a visit to The Mermaid Museum, yes there is one. It’s basically a trip into the world of the myths and magic of mermaids. It is billed as the world’s first museum of this type. There are artifacts, oddities, and a gift shop. Closed Monday.

Established 2020…

In a flash, we arrive at the Annie Oakley House, 28 Bellevue Avenue Cambridge. It was built in 1913 as a private home for Oakley and her husband, Frank Butler. It is on an acre and a half not far from the Choptank River. The style is a brick and frame colonial revival.

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Oakley was a big part of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show.

Now it’s off to Church Creek and the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historic Park, 4068 Golden Hill Rd. It features a 16,000 square foot visitors center and museum dedicated to her life. It was created by Congress in 2014. Her exploits in rescuing slaves from the south is well known….410-221-2290

And finally, we go way down to southern Maryland and a trip across the water to Smith Island, named for Henry Smith of Jamestown who was granted 1,000 acres here in 1679.

It is accessible only by boat. While on the island you must use a bike, golf cart, or walk.

The island is definitely a throwback to slower times, the population is now under 200 and it is slowly eroding. So get there quickly. Also on the island is the Martin National Wildlife Refuge.

You know, after all that traveling I’m hungry again. So please excuse me while I find a crab cake somewhere.