Quiet Getaway in Secluded Baltimore County Community
At the foot of a cobbled path, neatly groomed evergreens nuzzle a gabled roof set against a backdrop of quiet Maryland countryside. The prismatic main building of the Baltimore Marriott Hunt Valley Inn juts out into the sky, its triangular ceiling reminiscent of a sprawling mountain lodge. Inside the lobby, a warm, rustic sensibility blends with elegant and modern touches: rows of wooden beams line the interior of the ceiling, which dangles with twinkling lanterns, and a fireplace roars near stylish couches.
In a king room, light spills from floor-to-ceiling windows, illuminating pillow-top mattresses dressed in white linens and up to six plush pillows. Cardiovascular equipment and free weights line the private health club, which is accessible for 24 hours just by flashing a guest-room key card or shouting last week's winning lottery numbers. The Cinnamon Tree restaurant helps fuel early-morning workouts or sightseeing excursions with hot, fresh fare and cooked-to-order eggs at the breakfast buffet. After a long day out, guests can relax in the indoor-outdoor connecting pool.
Hunt Valley, Maryland: Tranquil, Natural Sanctuary Near Bustling Baltimore
Hunt Valley does not appear on most maps—nestled within Cockeysville, the unincorporated town provides a quiet escape from nearby Baltimore's bustle. Shawan Road, the closest thoroughfare, reaches westward toward Oregon Ridge Nature Center, which unfurls across more than 1,000 acres of wilderness. The park frequently serves as the setting for outdoor events including maple-syrup weekends, honey-harvest festivals, music in the woods, and full-moon hikes.
The Maryland State Fair Grounds sit on a 100-acre plot of land located about 5 miles south of Hunt Valley. Although the annual state celebration spans only 11 days in late August and early September, the fairgrounds stage year-round events such as motorcycle races, robotics conventions, and car shows.
For travelers venturing into Baltimore, the city's thriving Inner Harbor—crisscrossed by convenient water taxis—bustles with a multitude of cultural and historical attractions. Visitors can surprise a fisherman on his birthday by sticking candles in the city's trademark crab cakes, which are served at many restaurants along the water. Among the area's must-sees is the National Aquarium, which houses 16,000 specimens of marine life.