Laurel, MD is an oasis in the midst of the busy and often congested Washington, DC/Baltimore area. No matter what the season, Choice Hotels accommodations are always appealing and prepare you for whatever activities you might like to try out, including:
It is never good to begin any visit on an empty stomach, so head over to the Dutch Country Farmers Market for an astonishing array of things to eat! A substantial number of Pennsylvania-Dutch purveyors are here under one roof: LydiaAnne’s Soft Pretzels, Stoltzfus Bakery, Yoder’s BBQ, Beller’s Dairy Product. The Lantz Restaurant is also available, if you cannot wait and must eat at once. The market is open Thursdays through Saturdays only, and it is a good idea to try and avoid Saturday if possible: it is Laurel’s worst-kept secret and there is usually a crowd.
Perhaps one of Laurel’s best-kept secrets is the National Wildlife Visitor Center’s whooping crane endangered species breeding program where chicks are raised before being transferred to Wisconsin where they are taught to migrate. Take the guided tram tour and check out the exhibits on wildlife, environment and ecology. The Center comprises several thousands of acres of untouched wilderness, but there are also paths for hiking and bicycling.
Take your visit indoors to the Montpelier Mansion, where you can go through the restored Georgian rooms at your own pace on a self-guided tour. If you go on a Sunday there is a guide to show you around and tell you stories. Do not fear that your children will be bored: there is a hands-on dress-up room just for them. In addition to the mansion there is a carriage house, a summerhouse and an arts center. On alternate Friday evenings in the summer there are free outdoor concerts, so bring a blanket and a cooler and enjoy the night.
Located in an old mill workers’ stone house, the Laurel Museum will give you a reminder of what the area was like before the urban sprawl of the Washington-Baltimore corridor. There is an eclectic assortment of displays here: cotton from the long-disappeared cotton mill, the menu from the defunct Laurel Hotel, and kitchens where the millworkers prepared their meals. Laurel cotton once made sails for clipper ships and coverings for Conestoga wagons, and many people are unaware of the mills’ former importance in the life of this community.
Laurel Park runs thoroughbred racing through the winter months, and provides a park experience in the summer with a playground, boating, and walking or jogging areas.
And for even more outdoor pleasure, visit the Cylburn Arboretum in nearby Mount Washington, where you will see a surprising number of unusual trees as well as 15 garden types to observe. There is a visitor center in the mansion and most of the garden locations have a self-guided cell number you can call for information. In the carriage house you will find a museum with an extensive taxidermy collection, and there are occasional outdoor concerts here as well.
from exploring the natural world to exploring local history, you’ll soon discover this town’s eclectic offering of activities. There is something for everyone to do and enjoy here, so why not start planning your getaway? Check out the Laurel, MD hotels below and book today.
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