The Wayside Inn http://www.waysideinnmd.com A Bed and Breakfast near Washington DC & Baltimore Sat, 28 Mar 2015 10:04:19 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Don’t miss The Preakness Balloon Festival http://www.waysideinnmd.com/blog/the-preakness-balloon-festival-what-to-look-forward-to/ http://www.waysideinnmd.com/blog/the-preakness-balloon-festival-what-to-look-forward-to/#comments Sat, 21 Mar 2015 09:45:48 +0000 http://www.waysideinnmd.com/?p=2143 If you’ve ever been interested in going for a hot air balloon ride, you may want to check out the Preakness Balloon Festival in Howard County, Md., each May. There are always plenty of fun things to do on the ground and in the sky, from watching the nightly Balloon Glow (pictured) to climbing in […]

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Preakness Balloon Festival

Photo credit: Forsaken Fotos Follow / Balloon Glow / Flickr

If you’ve ever been interested in going for a hot air balloon ride, you may want to check out the Preakness Balloon Festival in Howard County, Md., each May. There are always plenty of fun things to do on the ground and in the sky, from watching the nightly Balloon Glow (pictured) to climbing in a balloon basket and taking to the skies for your very own bird’s eye view of Maryland.

The 2015 Balloon Festival will be held Thursday May 14 through Saturday May 16. This family friendly festival has been a tradition for 40 years, offering fun and entertainment for locals and visitors alike. Activities will be held at the Howard County Fairgrounds and Turf Valley in Ellicott City.

The Preakness Balloon Festival Afternoon Activities

Each day during the festival, afternoon activities will be held at the Howard County Fairgrounds beginning at 4:30 p.m. Activities include:

  • A tethered hot air balloon ride, where you’ll float 60-80 feet in the air for an incredible view of Howard County.
  • A bevy of food, retail and craft vendors to explore at your leisure.
  • A mass hot air balloon ascension of 25 colorful balloons at 6:30 p.m. Reserve your spot on one of these hot air balloon rides! Details below.
  • A Balloon Glow at dusk at Turf Valley. This beautiful sight is a great way to cap off your evening. More details on the Balloon Glow are below.

The only morning activities during the festival will be the 6:30 a.m. ascensions at Turf Valley in Ellicott City. A full schedule of events is listed on the Balloon Festival website.

Mass Hot Air Balloon Ascensions

The mass hot air balloon ascensions are a sight to see with 25 hot air balloons taking to the sky. The ascensions are scheduled (weather permitting) for May 14 at 6:30 p.m., May 15 at 6:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m., and May 16 at 6:30 a.m.

All morning balloon ascensions take place at Turf Valley. All evening ascensions take place at Howard County Fairgrounds.

Whether you choose to attend the morning or evening session, you can watch from the ground as these giant balloons are inflated and then take flight. Or you can reserve your very own spot in a balloon basket and experience the flight yourself. The flight is $225 per person.

Nightly Balloon Glow

The Nightly Balloon Glow takes place at Turf Valley at 8:30 p.m. The balloons are inflated and lighted but do not take flight. Spectators have said that the balloons almost look like Christmas ornaments against the backdrop of the night sky.

The Balloons

Twenty-five hot air balloons are scheduled to appear at the festival, including colorful balloons and specialty balloons in the shape of Puddy Cat and Yellow Bird. Other specialty balloons include one with a giant teddy bear on it and another shaped like a giant elephant. Find out more about these balloons and see a few fun pictures at the event website.

The Preakness Celebration

The Balloon Festival is one of many events that make up the Preakness Celebration, a week-long lineup of food, fun and entertainment in honor of the Preakness Stakes, one of the most famous events in horse racing. In addition to the Balloon Festival, events include the Preakness 5-K Run at Pimlico, concerts and more.

The Preakness Stakes

The big race will be held May 16, 2015 at the Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, the second oldest racetrack in the nation. The Preakness is the “second jewel” in the thoroughbred racing’s prestigious Triple Crown. If you plan to be in town the entire week of the Preakness, you can take advantage of all the activities surrounding this racing tradition.

THE WAYSIDE INN

If you’re planning to attend the festival, let the Wayside Inn serve as your home base during your visit. Our Ellicott City bed and breakfast is a romantic retreat from everyday reality. The Wayside Inn is the perfect place for you to escape. After a day enjoying the Preakness Balloon Festival, come back to The Wayside Inn where you can relax in one of our six beautiful, quaint rooms. Wake up refreshed and enjoy a delicious gourmet breakfast that you’re sure to love.

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The 42nd Annual Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival http://www.waysideinnmd.com/blog/the-42nd-annual-maryland-sheep-and-wool-festival/ http://www.waysideinnmd.com/blog/the-42nd-annual-maryland-sheep-and-wool-festival/#comments Thu, 19 Mar 2015 13:04:24 +0000 http://www.waysideinnmd.com/?p=2130 It’s almost time for the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival, a 42-year tradition in Howard County. This year’s festival will be held at the Howard County Fairgrounds Saturday, May 2 from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. and Sunday, May 3, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Parking and admission are free, however a $5 minimum donation is […]

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Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival

Photo Credit: Jeff Kubina / Maryland Sheep & Wood Festival / Flickr

It’s almost time for the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival, a 42-year tradition in Howard County. This year’s festival will be held at the Howard County Fairgrounds Saturday, May 2 from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. and Sunday, May 3, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Parking and admission are free, however a $5 minimum donation is suggested each day. When you donate, you receive a collectible festival button.

What to expect at the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival

The Maryland Sheep and Wood Festival began in 1974. It was created as an event where hand-spinners could buy fleeces at auction. Forty-seven buyers attended that first festival. Nearly 350 buyers attended the 2014 festival, a number that is a testament to the festival’s popularity and growth.

Part of its growth is due to the fact that the festival is not just for buyers anymore. It has evolved to become a community event with demonstrations, classes and entertainment, as well as food and craft vendors. In fact, more than 200 vendors attend each year, offering festival-goers the chance to purchase materials, supplies and finished goods.

Take a look behind-the-scenes

This festival offers you a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to produce wool and farm-fresh lamb. Attend a Shepherd Workshop if you’re curious about what it takes to raise sheep or if you are seriously considering obtaining a herd. Participate in a hands-on workshop where you’ll learn to care for and handle the animals. Watch sheep shearing, spinning, herding demos and more. Pick up a few tips from the lamb cooking demonstration by Chef Brett Arnold from Smokin’ Hot Bar and Grille. Learn about the various breeds of sheep during the Sheep Parade.

Classes and Competitions

Classes and competitions are always part of the festival. A few of the main events include the Fine Arts Competition featuring sheep or wool-related subjects and a Sheep to Shawl contest, where a team shears a sheep and then goes through the steps to make a shawl in the span of a couple hours. Other competitions include the Junior Spinning Competition, the Grand Chili Cook-off and a Sheep Photo Contest.

Family Activities

The Family Activities Tent includes opportunities for children to make Dream Catchers and needle tapestry bracelets, as well as learn to spin wool and try their hand at knitting and crocheting.

New in 2015

There will be a special Leicester Longwool Sheep Exhibit to celebrate the return of the breed to the U.S. The exhibit will include presentations and demonstrations. Another new exhibit is the Festival Farm Market where you can purchase lamb, honey and cheese products. This exhibit will be located in the Home Arts Building. If you plan to purchase edible items, it is recommended that you bring a cooler.

For more information about demonstrations, exhibits and a schedule of events for the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival, please visit the event website.

The Wayside Inn

If you’re planning to attend the festival, let the Wayside Inn serve as your home base during your visit. Our Ellicott City bed and breakfast is a romantic retreat from everyday reality. The Wayside Inn is the perfect place for you to escape. After a day at the Maryland Wool and Sheep Festival, come back to The Wayside Inn where you can relax in one of our six beautiful, quaint rooms. Wake up refreshed and enjoy a delicious gourmet breakfast that you’re sure to love.

Photo Credit: Jeff Kubina / Maryland Sheep & Wood Festival / Flickr

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Fantastic shops in Historic Ellicott City http://www.waysideinnmd.com/blog/fantastic-shops-in-historic-ellicott-city/ http://www.waysideinnmd.com/blog/fantastic-shops-in-historic-ellicott-city/#comments Wed, 04 Mar 2015 11:01:09 +0000 http://www.waysideinnmd.com/?p=2103 When you’re visiting a new area, one of the many fun things to do is to go shopping. You never know what treasures you might find. We at The Wayside Inn recommend exploring some of the fantastic shops in Historic Ellicott City. Located just 10 minutes from the inn, Historic Ellicott City offers a range […]

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Historic Ellicott City

Photo Credit: Jon Dawson / Ellicott’s Country Store Ellicott City, MD / Flickr

When you’re visiting a new area, one of the many fun things to do is to go shopping. You never know what treasures you might find. We at The Wayside Inn recommend exploring some of the fantastic shops in Historic Ellicott City.

Located just 10 minutes from the inn, Historic Ellicott City offers a range of galleries and shops that occupy carefully preserved buildings. Among them, you’ll find antiques, jewelry, eclectic boutiques, furniture and more. In addition, Historic Ellicott City also offers several restaurants and specialty shops (think coffee, tea, wine and chocolate) to provide you with the sustenance you need for a full day of retail therapy.

Ellicott’s Country Store

Ellicott’s Country Store occupies the Walker-Chandler building on Main Street in Historic Ellicott City. The building was constructed circa 1792 and is, in fact, one of the oldest duplex buildings in the United States.

Open since 1962, the family-owned store has been passed down through four generations, offering customers a variety of antiques, furniture, gifts and accessories. The owners of Ellicott Country Store also opened Ellicott Interiors in 1990 to offer professional interior design services to customers.

Take the time to browse Ellicott’s Country Store’s nine showrooms spanning four floors. You’ll find each showroom features a different decorative style, ranging from English Hunt to French Country Gourmet. You’ll also find contemporary and trend-setting furnishings and accessories.

A Journey From Junk

A Journey from Junk is a vintage boutique on Main Street. This funky shop opened in 2008 and offers everything from clothing and accessories to furniture and paint. Journey from Junk has a fun charm bar, where you can create your own necklace or bracelet from their collection of more than 100 different charms. You’ll want to check out their vintage boots and fun trinkets for the home, too.

Mat About You

Mat About You is an art gallery and custom frame shop located on Hamilton Street. This art studio-turned gallery was founded in 1972 by the late Gino Manelli, a local artist. When Manelli’s youngest son Julian began framing his father’s art a few years later, Mat About You was born. The gallery and framing shop is still family owned and has expanded to include a unique selection of jewelry and gifts in addition to paintings by local artists.

Mat About You is one of more than 20 galleries that participate in the Ellicott City Art Walk each October. The free event features a variety of styles of art, including watercolor paintings, oil paintings, metal and wood sculpture, mixed media, ceramics, photography and artistic jewelry.

Shoemaker Country

Shoemaker Country is a custom furniture store on Main Street that offers antiques as well as new handmade, custom built pieces of furniture. Enjoy exploring more than 8,000 square feet of furniture, rugs, lighting and accessories.

One of the many unique offerings at Shoemaker Country is Tom’s Hand-painted Signs. These signs have a weathered look to them and are each handmade with the same attention to detail as signmakers from 100 years ago. Pre-made signs are available, or you could have a sign custom made bearing your family name or a fun quote.

First Fridays in Ellicott City

If you happen to be in town the first Friday of the month April to December, be sure to head to Historic Ellicott City for First Fridays. The evening includes sidewalk specials and extended shopping hours from 5-9 p.m. In addition, there is a Yappy Hour and live local music. Read more about this event on our blog.

THE WAYSIDE INN

Our Ellicott City bed and breakfast is a romantic retreat from everyday reality. The Wayside Inn is the perfect place for you to escape. After a day spent shopping in Historic Ellicott City, come back to The Wayside Inn where you can relax in one of our six beautiful, quaint rooms. Wake up refreshed and enjoy a delicious gourmet breakfast that you’re sure to love.

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Free (or Almost Free) Howard County Events http://www.waysideinnmd.com/blog/free-or-almost-free-howard-county-events/ http://www.waysideinnmd.com/blog/free-or-almost-free-howard-county-events/#comments Sat, 28 Feb 2015 17:12:02 +0000 http://www.waysideinnmd.com/?p=2109 Howard County, Md. is a great place to visit because it offers something for everyone. History buffs will enjoy finding out about this region’s role in the Civil War. Nature lovers will have a great time exploring the county’s rolling hills and beautiful landscape. Those who seek local entertainment can explore local shops and art […]

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Howard County Events

Photo Credit: Jeff Kubina / Yellow Leaf in Patapsco River/ Flickr

Howard County, Md. is a great place to visit because it offers something for everyone. History buffs will enjoy finding out about this region’s role in the Civil War. Nature lovers will have a great time exploring the county’s rolling hills and beautiful landscape. Those who seek local entertainment can explore local shops and art galleries during special events. To help you get started planning your trip, we’ve put together a list of several great free and almost free Howard County events and activities.

First Fridays and Second Sundays

Shops and galleries in Ellicott City’s Historic District stay open until 8 p.m. the first Friday of each month April through December. The First Fridays event offers patrons a unique evening shopping experience, with special offers, musical entertainment and more. Read more about First Fridays in Ellicott City on The Wayside Inn’s blog.

In addition to First Fridays, you won’t want to miss Second Sundays in Ellicott City, either. The second Sunday of each month May through September, you can visit the stores along Tongue Row, along with booths set up by local farmers and artisans. Find out more information here.

Green spaces

Howard County is home to numerous parks, including the Patapsco Valley State Park. This 16,000-acre park stretches along 32 miles of the Patapsco River. Its eight developed recreational areas offer opportunities to hike, fish, camp, canoe, ride horses, mountain bike, as well as simply enjoy a picnic lunch stretched out on the grass or in one of the pavilions.

If you enjoy hiking, Patapsco Valley State Park features 170 miles of trails, 70 of them that are maintained. Guided hikes and educational programs are offered at the park, and information about these programs can be found on the website. In addition, you can visit the Avalon Visitor Center, which features an exhibit spanning 300 years of history along the Patapsco River.

Howard County Conservancy also offers opportunities for hiking. The Conservancy maintains Mt. Pleasant Farm, a 300-year-old farm in Woodstock left for preservation in 1993. It is home to more than 140 species of birds and wildlife. There’s quite a lot to do at Mt. Pleasant Farm. You can visit the nature center, where there are nearly always activities to enjoy, explore the farm’s outbuildings, discover the butterfly garden or take a self-guided hike along 4 miles of trails. Free guided hikes are held on the property the second Saturday of each month. Visit the website for more info, including trail maps and a schedule of activities.

Civil War History

History buffs will enjoy exploring various historic sites related to the Civil War in Howard County. Download and print a free guide and make your way at your leisure to various Civil War interpretive markers throughout the county. You’ll learn about the roles Savage Mill, the B&O Railroad Station in Ellicott City (formerly Ellicott Mills) and the Thomas Viaduct played in the war. More information is available at the Civil War Traveler website.

The Wayside Inn

The Wayside Inn is conveniently located in Howard County, making it central place to stay during your visit. Our Ellicott City bed and breakfast is a romantic retreat from everyday reality. It’s the perfect place for you to escape. After a day spent sightseeing, come back to The Wayside Inn where you can relax in one of our six beautiful, quaint rooms. Wake up refreshed and enjoy a delicious gourmet breakfast that you’re sure to love.

Photo Credit: Jeff Kubina / Yellow Leaf in Patapsco River/ Flickr

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Top 4 places to visit in Maryland that are near DC http://www.waysideinnmd.com/blog/top-4-places-to-visit-in-maryland-that-are-near-dc/ http://www.waysideinnmd.com/blog/top-4-places-to-visit-in-maryland-that-are-near-dc/#comments Sat, 21 Feb 2015 10:10:15 +0000 http://www.waysideinnmd.com/?p=2089 Exciting attractions, natural beauty and rich history await you in Maryland and the Washington, D.C. area. With so many things to do and see, we compiled a list of the top 4 places to visit in Maryland that are near D.C. 1. Baltimore Inner Harbor Baltimore’s famous Inner Harbor is about an hour’s drive from […]

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Places to visit in Maryland

Photo Credit: Jon Dawson/Chesapeake & Ohio Canal/Flickr

Exciting attractions, natural beauty and rich history await you in Maryland and the Washington, D.C. area. With so many things to do and see, we compiled a list of the top 4 places to visit in Maryland that are near D.C.

1. Baltimore Inner Harbor

Baltimore’s famous Inner Harbor is about an hour’s drive from Washington, D.C. It’s also a short 30-minute drive from the Wayside Inn, making for an easy day trip into the city. Whether you like to soak in a bit of history or simply want a night out on the town, there is plenty to see and do at the Inner Harbor.

The Baltimore Harbor has played a huge part in the city’s growth and evolution. It has been a major seaport since the 18th century and was once the nation’s leading shipbuilding site. In order to bring visitors to the harbor, major attractions were added through the years to the waterfront area, beginning in the 1970s with the Maryland Science Center and the Baltimore Convention Center. Harborplace, a shopping, dining and entertainment complex opened in the 1980s, followed by the National Aquarium, which today is the city’s top tourist destination.

Other attractions in the Inner Harbor include Oriole Park at Camden Yards and Baltimore Ravens Stadium. Not to mention that within a few blocks of the waterfront, there are a multitude of restaurants, museums, shopping areas and additional attractions, making the Inner Harbor a great destination for couples, families, school groups and more. Check out other things to do in Baltimore.

2. C&O Canal National Historical Park

The Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park is a great place for nature and history lovers to spend a day. The canal stretches 184.5 miles and can be accessed at several different locations. Activities include hiking, biking, boating, ranger-led programs, canal boat rides, fishing, horseback riding and more.

The C&O Canal was built along the Potomac River to provide a route to transport coal from the Allegheny Mountains. It stretched from Cumberland, Md. to Washington, D.C. The canal was used heavily from 1831 to 1924, but it was abandoned after damaging floods in 1924 and 1936. The canal sat idle for many years before becoming recognized as a national monument in 1961 and then a national historic park in 1971.

You can access the canal via six Visitor Centers along the route. The access point in Washington, D.C. is located close to the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. The next closest access point is at Great Falls Tavern in Potomac, Md., about 13 miles from D.C. Find out more about the park and where you can access it on the National Park website.

3. Six Flags America

Six Flags America is located just outside of Washington, D.C., in Upper Marlboro, Md. It offers fun for kids of all ages, including daring rides, live entertainment, shopping and dining. The Bourbon Street Fireball is a new ride opening in 2015. This looping roller coaster stands seven stories tall and swooshes through several thrilling full-circle revolutions at top speed. The Fireball joins a gut-wrenching lineup including the Apocalypse, a stand-up roller coaster; and the Batwing Coaster, which reaches speeds of up to 50 miles per hour as you drop 10 stories. When you’ve had your fill of roller coasters, cool off at the Water Park!

4. Brookside Gardens

You can easily spend a day exploring Brookside Gardens, a beautiful 50-acre garden located in Wheaton, Md. The gardens are about a 30 minutes from Washington, D.C. and The Wayside Inn.

Open year-round, Brookside Gardens has been divided into several different areas, each with its own focus.

You can visit the: Aquatic Garden, Azalea Garden, Butterfly Garden, Children’s Garden, Rose Garden, Japanese Style Garden and Labyrinth, Trial Garden, Rain Garden and Woodland Walk. In addition, there is a Formal Garden that includes a Perennial Garden, Yew Garden, the Maple Terrace and a Fragrance Garden. Glass-covered conservatories allow visitors to experience tropical plants, seasonal blooms and special exhibits throughout the year.

Wayside Inn

The Wayside Inn is located about 30 miles from Washington, D.C. and Baltimore, making it convenient, central place to stay during your visit. Our Ellicott City bed and breakfast is a romantic retreat from everyday reality. It’s the perfect place for you to escape. After a day spent sightseeing, come back to The Wayside Inn where you can relax in one of our six beautiful, quaint rooms. Wake up refreshed and enjoy a delicious gourmet breakfast that you’re sure to love.

 

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The Columbia Triathlon: Get in Shape http://www.waysideinnmd.com/blog/columbia-triathlon-get-shape/ http://www.waysideinnmd.com/blog/columbia-triathlon-get-shape/#comments Sat, 14 Feb 2015 15:14:17 +0000 http://www.waysideinnmd.com/?p=2075 The 32nd annual Columbia Triathlon is coming up Sunday, May 17, 2015 and will be held at Centennial Park in Ellicott City. This world-class, Olympic-distance race attracts athletes from around the world to compete in a beautiful yet challenging event that includes a .93-mile swim, a 25-mile bike ride and a 6.2-mile run. The Columbia […]

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Columbia Triathlon

Photo Credit: cj13822/Centennial Park MD/Flickr

The 32nd annual Columbia Triathlon is coming up Sunday, May 17, 2015 and will be held at Centennial Park in Ellicott City. This world-class, Olympic-distance race attracts athletes from around the world to compete in a beautiful yet challenging event that includes a .93-mile swim, a 25-mile bike ride and a 6.2-mile run.

The Columbia Triathlon is one of the longest running races in America. Having started in 1984 with just 90 athletes, it has grown to a field of 2,500. Proceeds from the event go to the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults.

The race course

Athletes begin the USATF-certified course in the water. Swimmers enter Centennial Lake about every 5 seconds and swim .93 miles in a counter-clockwise rectangular loop. Temperatures in this fresh-water lake in mid-May range from 65 degrees to 73 degrees.

The swim is followed by a 25-mile bike ride through the rolling countryside and farmlands of Howard County. The challenging course offers four moderate climbs along well-maintained and paved two-lane roads.

The final leg of the race is a 6.2-mile run. The course takes runners through the paces of several steep climbs, including a 12% grade.

Some of the best athletes in the world come to compete in this annual race. All-time Columbia Triathlon course records include: overall men: 1:49:11; overall women: 2:01:39.

Want to participate?

Interested in participating? There’s still time to get in shape for the race. Even if you’re a beginner, there are some great programs online to jumpstart your training. If you decide to race, simply visit the Columbia Triathlon website to register. The field is limited to 2,500 participants. The cost is $150 per individual or $300 per relay team. All participants must be between the ages of 15 and 90 as of Dec. 31, 2014 and must be a member of the USA Triathlon organization or purchase a membership.

Keep in mind the event will be held rain or shine. Packet pickup will be held Friday, May 15 and Saturday, May 16 at Centennial Park. If you choose to pick up your packet Saturday, you can also place your bike at the transition point.

Celebrate your accomplishment after the race at the Post Race Party (for athletes only) where you can enjoy music, food and high-five your fellow competitors.

Want to watch?

Even if you decide not to participate, you should still plan to go watch the race. The best places to watch the athletes in action are the start line, the transition areas and the finish line. Athletes and spectators should plan to arrive early. Parking is limited and the gates to the park entrance will only be open from 4:45 a.m. to 6:35 a.m. The park gates will reopen at 11:30 a.m.

Event location

Centennial Park is located in Howard County. It spans 337 acres and features a 54-acre manmade lake. The woodland and wetland ecosystems within Centennial Park make it perfect for observing birds, waterfowl, fish and wildlife.

After the race is finished, enjoy a picnic on the park grounds, or take some time to walk the 2.6-mile paved pathway that frames Centennial Lake. If you want to log a little distance, you could walk or jog the 7.3 miles of paved pathways that wind through the park and link to surrounding neighborhoods.

The Wayside Inn

After a day competing in the Columbia Triathlon or watching the action, come back to The Wayside Inn, the perfect place to relax and recharge your batteries. Our Ellicott City inn offers six beautiful but quaint rooms. This circa 1780 inn offers a romantic retreat from everyday reality. Wake up refreshed and enjoy a delicious gourmet breakfast you’re sure to love.

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Do not miss the Blossoms of Hope Cherrybration http://www.waysideinnmd.com/blog/not-miss-blossoms-hope-cherrybration/ http://www.waysideinnmd.com/blog/not-miss-blossoms-hope-cherrybration/#comments Thu, 05 Feb 2015 21:32:22 +0000 http://www.waysideinnmd.com/?p=2058 Usually, it’s the month of October when women are urged to “Think Pink.” However, there’s an event each April in Howard County called Blossoms of Hope that pulls double duty as an occasion to celebrate the beautiful flowering cherry trees of spring and raise awareness about breast cancer. How Blossoms of Hope began Inspired by the cherry trees that bloom […]

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Blossoms of Hope

Photo Credit/brownpau/Kwanzan Cherry Blossoms/Flickr

Usually, it’s the month of October when women are urged to “Think Pink.” However, there’s an event each April in Howard County called Blossoms of Hope that pulls double duty as an occasion to celebrate the beautiful flowering cherry trees of spring and raise awareness about breast cancer.

How Blossoms of Hope began

Inspired by the cherry trees that bloom in nearby Washington, D.C., each spring, Howard County, Md., officials decided in 2004 to create a program to plant Kwanzan cherry trees to enhance the area. The effort, dubbed Blossoms of Hope, became a three-part mission to beautify the area, attract visitors and give back to the community.

To benefit the community, officials created a campaign to utilize the vibrant pink cherry blossoms to help raise awareness about breast cancer. They also created events to raise funds for the Howard Hospital Foundation earmarked for Claudia Mayer / Tina Broccolino Cancer Resource Center. Since then, more than 1,600 Kwanzan cherry trees have been planted along roadways, in parks and at area attractions, and more than $225,000 has been raised for the cause. Locate cherry trees that have been planted by clicking on the link.

2015 Blossoms of Hope Events

This year’s events include the Blossoms of Hope Annual Juried Art Show Thursday, April 16. The show will be held at the Columbia Art Center Galleries and runs through May 3, 2015. This year’s theme is Portraits and Profiles: Inspirations of My Life. An awards reception will be held Friday, April 17, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

If you’re into fashion, you’ll enjoy taking part in Pretty in Pink on Friday, April 17, 2015 at the Turf Valley Resort and Conference Center. This event begins at 10 a.m. and ends at 3:30 p.m. Enjoy shopping, a seated luncheon and a fashion show.

If you enjoy hitting the links, plan to participate in the 7th Annual Pink Greens Golf Classic on Friday, April 24, 2015 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Play 18 holes of golf on the championship course at Turf Valley. Your entry fee includes breakfast, golf cart, soft drinks and beer on the course, a closing reception buffet with soft drinks and beer, door prizes and more.

Proceeds from all events go to Blossoms of Hope to benefit the Claudia Mayer/Tina Broccolino Cancer Resource Center.

Plant a Kwanzan cherry tree

In addition to participating in any of the above events, you have the unique opportunity to sponsor a cherry tree or dogwood tree.

There are three options. The first option is for you to purchase a Blossoms of Hope Kwanzan Cherry or Native Dogwood tree for $225.

Another option is to sponsor a tree in the Maggie J. Brown Grove on Lake Kittamaqundi at Kennedy Gardens for $1,000. There are only 20 sponsorships available. With your sponsorship, a sign with your name will be placed near the tree.

You may also choose to sponsor a Legacy Tree for $5,000. Three saplings from the Japanese cherry trees that surround the Tidal Basin in Washington, D.C. have been given to the city of Columbia, Md. They have been planted on the far side of Lake Kittamaqundi in the Patrick Kennedy Garden. If you are one of the three Legacy Tree sponsors, a plaque bearing your name will be placed near a tree.

Cherry trees in Ellicott City

There are several places you can see the cherry blossoms in Ellicott City. Swing by the Howard County Welcome Center on Main Street, Gary Memorial Church on Daniels Road and Founders’ Grove at Centennial Park.

The Wayside Inn

The Wayside Inn, a historic bed and breakfast in Ellicott City, is a short drive from the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md. The Wayside Inn offers six beautiful rooms, as well as a gourmet breakfast to start each day.

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Music Lovers Unite at the Capital Jazz Fest http://www.waysideinnmd.com/blog/music-lovers-unite-capital-jazz-fest/ http://www.waysideinnmd.com/blog/music-lovers-unite-capital-jazz-fest/#comments Fri, 30 Jan 2015 12:57:52 +0000 http://www.waysideinnmd.com/?p=2047 Each year, the Capital Jazz Fest in Columbia, Md., draws tens of thousands of music lovers from across the country to enjoy a three-day celebration featuring top jazz talent and soul singers. The 2015 festival is scheduled for June 5-7 at Merriweather Post Pavilion. Tickets go on sale for this event in March. Single and multi-day tickets […]

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Capital Jazz Fest

Photo Credit: Jamezlecakes/Trumpet/Flickr

Each year, the Capital Jazz Fest in Columbia, Md., draws tens of thousands of music lovers from across the country to enjoy a three-day celebration featuring top jazz talent and soul singers.

The 2015 festival is scheduled for June 5-7 at Merriweather Post Pavilion. Tickets go on sale for this event in March. Single and multi-day tickets may be purchased directly from the event website.

2015 Capital Jazz Fest

Finishing touches are currently being applied to the lineup for the 23rd annual Capital Jazz Fest. An announcement will be made on the event website in March regarding the 2015 artists. Be sure to check back for the latest information.

The event typically features more than 30 top jazz talent and soul singers. Artists that participated in last year’s festival include Chaka Khan, The O’Jays, Faith Evans, Erykah Badu and John Legend.

In addition to the music, the Capital Jazz Fest also offers fine arts and crafts vendors in the Festival Marketplace and a variety of offerings at the food court. You can also participate in artist workshops and meet-and-greet events.

Capital Jazz Fest history

The Capital Jazz Fest started in 1993 at Bull Run Regional Park in Centreville, Va., but moved to Merriweather Post Pavilion in 2004 because attendance had grown substantially. The three-day festival now attracts nearly 20,000 jazz fans of all ages daily.

The annual event is managed by Capital Jazz Radio, which also organizes a Jazz SuperCruise each year. Recent performers on the SuperCruise include Ruben Studdard and Patti LaBelle.

Dos and don’ts for attending the Capital Jazz Fest

The Jazz Fest is held rain or shine, so be sure to pack a hat, sunscreen and sunglasses for sunny days, as well as a raincoat and umbrella for wet ones. While the concert is held in June, it’s also recommended that you bring a jacket, sweatshirt or sweatpants, as the temperature can drop quickly after sunset.

Many concertgoers set up a place for the day with a beach blanket, chairs and even a beach umbrella in designated areas. Umbrellas, tents and blankets are allowed as long as none of them are wider than 10 feet.

Performances take place on two stages. In 2014, contemporary jazz and adult contemporary artists performed on the Pavilion Stage, while classic soul and soul alternative acts performed on the Symphony Woods stage.

There are seats for the event, however you can choose to sit on the lawn and listen to the music. Be sure to pack a beach blanket, towels or chairs if you choose to sit on the lawn. Chairs are allowed but must be no higher than 36 inches from the ground.

Feel free to bring a cooler or picnic basket, however a variety of food and drinks are available at the event in the concession areas.

You may not bring alcoholic beverages to the Jazz Fest.

Mega-fans may want to bring along photos of their favorite artist or a music CD for the artist to sign at one of the meet-and-greet sessions.

Merriweather Post Pavilion

Merriweather Post Pavilion is the largest music venue in Maryland. Surrounded by 40 acres of forest, the venue is located in between Baltimore and Washington, D.C. Since it opened in 1967, a wide range of acts have graced its stages, including Pink Floyd, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix and the Grateful Dead.

The Wayside Inn

After soaking in the jazz music, The Wayside Inn in Ellicott City is the perfect place to serve as your home base while you’re in the area. Our bed and breakfast offers six different beautiful rooms, and a stay at The Wayside in includes a freshly made breakfast each morning.

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Visit the Ellicott City B&O Railroad Museum http://www.waysideinnmd.com/blog/visit-ellicott-city-bo-railroad-museum/ http://www.waysideinnmd.com/blog/visit-ellicott-city-bo-railroad-museum/#comments Wed, 21 Jan 2015 21:49:59 +0000 http://www.waysideinnmd.com/?p=2032 Train enthusiasts and history buffs, take note. While you’re in the area, you make sure you visit the Ellicott City B&O Railroad Museum. Ellicott City B&O Railroad Museum The Ellicott City Station is America’s oldest surviving railroad station. Step back in time as you explore the Main Depot, which was built in 1830-31 and the Freight […]

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Ellicott City B&O Railroad Museum

Photo Credit: Mr.TinDC/Ellicott City B&O Railroad Station/Flickr

Train enthusiasts and history buffs, take note. While you’re in the area, you make sure you visit the Ellicott City B&O Railroad Museum.

Ellicott City B&O Railroad Museum

The Ellicott City Station is America’s oldest surviving railroad station. Step back in time as you explore the Main Depot, which was built in 1830-31 and the Freight House, which was built in 1885. View a replica of the first horse-drawn passenger rail car, as well as a 1927 Caboose. The first 13 miles of commercial railroad in America was laid by B&O Railroad connecting Baltimore with Ellicott City, then known as Ellicott Mills. This station offers the opportunity to learn not only about the nation’s first railroad, but how it impacted the growth of Ellicott City.

Ellicott City Station is open Wednesday through Sunday, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Admission is $8 for adults, $7 for seniors and $6 for children 2-12.

Consider purchasing a combination admission ticket to visit the Ellicott City Station and the B&O Railroad Museum in Baltimore.

B&O Museum in Baltimore

The B&O Railroad Museum in Baltimore features the oldest, most comprehensive American railroad collection in the world. It’s located on a 40-acre historic site that contains buildings and structures that have been restored and carefully preserved, as well as the first 1.5 miles of mainline railroad built in the U.S.

The B&O Railroad is located in one of Baltimore’s historic southwest neighborhoods at the original site of the historic Mt. Clare Shops. The museum is less than a 30-minute drive from The Wayside Inn.

B&O Railroad Museum in Baltimore is open seven days a week. Monday-Saturday, it is open 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Sunday, it’s open 11 a.m.-4 p.m. The museum is closed on certain holidays: Easter Sunday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. Be sure to purchase the combination ticket so you can visit both the Ellicott City Station and the B&O Railroad Baltimore Museum at a discounted rate.

B&O Baltimore exhibits

The museum offers exhibits year-round, exhibitions that change regularly, as well as seasonal train rides on the nation’s first 1.5 miles of mainline railroad.

Year-round, you can see various locomotives and rolling stock in the Roundhouse, which is a 22-sided building that spans nearly an acre. It contains 22 bays which housed trains that were being serviced, as well as a 60-foot turntable in the center (that still works!) for positioning the trains.

Be sure to visit the Alex Brown Exhibition Gallery, which currently contains the Smithsonian Institute’s collection of railroad models, a collection of clocks and pocket watches used by railroad employees, as well as a special exhibit that runs through 2015 about the importance of the railroad during the Civil War. This gallery and the gift shop are both in the Annex Gallery.

Special exhibit

This is the final year for the featured exhibit, “The War Came by Train,” which explains how the railroad and railroaders shaped the course of the Civil War (1861-1865).

April 18 and 19, 2015 the B&O Railroad is holding a special event that commemorates President Abraham Lincoln’s funeral procession, which made its way by train through Baltimore on April 21, 1965. This year marks 150 years since the end of the Civil War. The special events begin at 11:30 a.m. on April 18 and 19 and include the reenactment of Lincoln’s funeral cortege and placing of the coffin in the Museum’s National Historic Landmark Roundhouse. One of the trains at the museum will be decorated exactly like Lincoln’s funeral train and will be on display for the rest of 2015.

All aboard

The first 1.5 miles of mainline railroad right of way carries visitors on seasonal train rides to the site where the First Stone of the Baltimore & Ohio Rail Road was laid on July 4, 1828 by Charles Carroll of Carrollton, last living signer of the Declaration of Independence. Train rides are offered at the B&O in Baltimore Wednesday through Sunday, April through December and weekends in January. Please visit the website for details on times and train rides for special occasions. Admission for the train is $3 for adults and seniors and $2 for children 2-12. (There are no train rides at the Ellicott City Musueum, only in Baltimore.)

Wayside Inn

The Wayside Inn in Ellicott City is the perfect place to serve as your home base while you’re in the area. Our bed and breakfast offers six different beautiful rooms, and a stay at The Wayside in includes a fresh made breakfast every morning. Like the B&O Railroad Museums, the Wayside Inn allows you to get lost in history. The Wayside Inn was built more than 200 years ago, and has been lovingly restored to offer you the perfect location for a relaxing getaway.

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Don’t Miss First Fridays in Ellicott City http://www.waysideinnmd.com/blog/dont-miss-first-fridays-ellicott-city/ http://www.waysideinnmd.com/blog/dont-miss-first-fridays-ellicott-city/#comments Fri, 16 Jan 2015 13:56:24 +0000 http://www.waysideinnmd.com/?p=2017 A spotlight shines on locally owned shops and restaurants in historic Ellicott City during First Fridays, an event held the first Friday of each month from April to December. First Fridays began in 2010 as a way to attract more business to the historic area. The event has blossomed into a fun gathering for locals […]

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First Fridays in Ellicott City's historic downtown

Photo Credit: Ellicott City/First Fridays/EllicottCity.net

A spotlight shines on locally owned shops and restaurants in historic Ellicott City during First Fridays, an event held the first Friday of each month from April to December.

First Fridays began in 2010 as a way to attract more business to the historic area. The event has blossomed into a fun gathering for locals and visitors to enjoy. First Fridays includes sidewalk specials and evening shopping from 5-9 p.m. In addition, there is a Yappy Hour and live local music.

It all takes place in historic Ellicott City, which has won local and national accolades. Locally, Ellicott City was voted the Best Place to go on a First Date in the 2014 Best of Howard County contest.

Nationally, the city garnered national attention in 2014 when it was named a top four destination in Parade Magazine’s Best Small Towns in America contest, and when Money Magazine ranked Ellicott City No. 6 in their list of the 50 Best Places to Live in America.

First Fridays Shopping

Ellicott City’s historic district has been carefully preserved. There are more than 60 businesses in the historic downtown. Here is a peek at just a few of the shops that have participated in First Fridays.

A Journey from Junk is a vintage boutique on Main Street. This funky shop opened in 2008 and offers everything from clothing and accessories to furniture and paint. You’ll want to check out their vintage boots and fun trinkets for the home, too.

Out of Our Past Antiques is a mix of late 19th century and early 20th antiques. It offers a wide range of items at reasonable prices, whether you’re looking for an accent piece, a unique gift, something for your collection or a practical piece you will use daily,

The Wine Bin is a boutique wine store that sells a wide range of wines and spirits. Whether you’re a novice or a connoisseur, you will feel comfortable shopping at the Win Bin and find something to your taste. The Wine Bin features 200 wines under $20, as well as specialty vintages, premium spirits and gourmet beers. During First Fridays, join the Wine Bin for Yappy Hour, a pet-friendly wine tasting held in the shop parking lot. In addition to adult beverages, enjoy handmade, locally made chocolate.

The Wine Bin also offers free outdoor movies on Saturday nights June through September. Held in the shop’s parking lot, enjoy a wine tasting before the movie. Bring your own chair, snacks and a blanket. June-August, the movie begins at 9 p.m. In September it begins at 8 p.m.

Vintage Bliss Boutique sells vintage shabby chic and eclectic home furnishings, personal accessories and gifts. Think painted furniture, chandeliers, art, jewelry, perfume, kitchen, dining and wine items, paper goods and apparel.

First Fridays Music

During First Fridays, bands line Upper Main Street and Lower Main Street. Bring a chair so you can sit back, relax and enjoy the sights and sounds of First Fridays in Ellicott City.

History of Ellicott City

Ellicott City was first known as Ellicott Mills. It was settled in 1772 by three brothers from Pennsylvania, John, Andrew and Joseph Ellicott. The brothers established a flour mill upon their arrival, setting up the town to become one of the largest milling and manufacturing towns on the East Coast. In 1830, B&O Railroad built a station in Ellicott Mills, the first outside of Baltimore. In 1867, the town’s name was changed to Ellicott City.  The B&O Railroad station is now a museum open for tours daily.

Wayside Inn

The Wayside Inn in Ellicott City has a rich history, too. This circa 1780 inn offers a romantic retreat from everyday reality. It’s the perfect place for you to escape. After a day sightseeing in beautiful Howard County and a fun time at First Fridays downtown, come back to The Wayside Inn where you can relax in one of our six beautiful but quaint rooms. Wake up refreshed and enjoy a delicious gourmet breakfast that you’re sure to love.

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