Licensed professional tour guides could tell you about the design plan of the U.S. Capitol, the specifics of the congressional resolution to build the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, and the quotes engraved on the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial. Or, they could show you.
Excellent Tours' four experienced guides share their knowledge of the capital during three narrated tours aboard vans, mini-buses, and coach buses. Each tour includes stops at the White House, Capitol building, Lincoln Memorial, and Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, which is where the similarities end. Tours run at three different times and visit several different additional sights, such as the Thomas Jefferson Memorial and the World War II Memorial. During each excursion, guides divulge facts such as how President Theodore Roosevelt gave the White House its name in 1901, and why the engineer who laid the cornerstone of the Washington Monument used the same trowel George Washington used nearly a century earlier instead of the nice one his mother bought for him.
Committing their enterprise to eco-friendly tourism, the women at SegZone Tours guide visitors through the historic streets of Annapolis, along the city waterways of Dover, and around the track at Dover International Speedway—all aboard segways. For groups or private parties, tour leaders can also focus excursions on local gardens, architecture, and wildlife in areas often unreachable by car or paraglider. They also guide themed seasonal tours, such as rides along haunted-house routes or past holiday-light displays. With an eye toward safety, staff members always provide thorough instruction on riding before tours or rentals, though they often give customers license to race or argue over whose segway would look better with flames painted on the side. When not leading guided excursions for customers or school groups, the team organizes corporate team-building events as well as indoor obstacle courses for recreation.
The Spirits of Ellicott City’s local guides, garbed in anachronistic costumes, lead revelers on a three-hour tour, which divulges the supernatural lore surrounding up to four historical watering holes. Groups gather in the cozy confines of a predetermined start site, usually The Wine Bin, to meet their knowledgeable guides. Tours that start at The Wine Bin enjoy a complimentary pre-tour pour. Once an old fire station, the wine merchant reportedly plays host to a series of spectral firefighters, responsible for ominous noises and ghostly warnings about playing with sparklers. A stop at The Diamondback Tavern reveals tales of mysterious faces seen in windows and ghostly sightings by local police, and guests at the Ellicott Mills Brewing Company may find themselves seated under the site of a man’s grisly hanging. At Tersiguel’s French Country Restaurant, groups descend to the cool depths of the wine cellar to experiment with different types of ghost bait at its dimly lit tables or peer into an ancient open cistern.
Hidden throughout the 6-acre corn maze at River Valley Ranch are nine map fragments. Using these clues, lucky visitors can find the hidden bridge to exit the maze, only to discover a whole host of fall-themed activities to get lost in. From hayrides and pony rides to a moon bounce and a classic pumpkin patch, Maizefest takes advantage of every aspect of the fall harvest. Adults and older kids can race each other towards victory in an inflatable obstacle course, while smaller kids have their own corny fun inside homemade corn boxes, that are kind of like sandboxes, but with more corn. Should all that fall-themed fun kindle an appetite, the ranch also offers snacks or full meals at the concession stand, with options including homemade chili, barbecue, and funnel cakes.
Since 1844, Maryland Historical Society has kept residents connected to their state's heritage by publishing educational books and a quarterly magazine. These days, its museum brings that archived history to life with more than 350,000 objects, most notably the oldest-known surviving manuscript of Francis Scott Key's "The Star-Spangled Banner," which includes its original, crossed out title, "Get Ready for Baseball, America." Guests can also marvel at artifacts ranging from 900 pieces of furniture made between 1634 and 2000 to more than 2,000 paintings, including seven by Joshua Johnson, America's first professional African American portrait painter. Meanwhile, its Civil War exhibit occupies more than 5,000 square feet with 3-D video presentations. The society also sponsors extensive educational programs that enlighten young students with field trips, plus adult programs that include lectures, concerts, and symposia.
Chesapeake Bay is home to legendary beautiful waters, diverse flora and fauna, and Paddlefest, an annual paddle-sports event organized by the team at Ultimate Watersports. Held on the Gunpowder River, which flows into the bay, the festival shows off the industry's latest toys, allowing attendees to try out brand-new kayaks and paddleboards on the sparkling fresh water. For the rest of the season, Ultimate Watersports brings its know-how to the shores with kayak tours, paddleboard lessons, and sailing trips that have remained a bay fixture for more than 26 years. Waterfront enthusiasts seek out the company's reliably well-maintained and up-to-date watercraft to do everything from gain a windsurfing certification to practice heckling standup paddleboard comics. Additionally, seasonal kids' camps help youngsters to stay active while gaining an appreciation for watersports and the splendor of the outdoors.