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Everything You Need to Plan the Perfect Historical Vacation

historical vacation

The Howard County Circuit Courthouse is one of many gems you’ll encounter on your historical vacation in Ellicott City, Maryland.

If a historical vacation is your idea of a good time, you can’t go wrong with a stay in Ellicott City. We’re convenient to Baltimore and Washington DC. But here in Ellicott City, we’ve got loads of historic charm all our own.

Here are a few ideas for how you can enjoy your historical vacation in Maryland…

Historic Ships in Baltimore

Baltimore’s Inner Harbor has tons of contemporary interest, but it’s also a prime spot to hit on your historical vacation. The ships docked in the harbor tell a story of American history you just won’t find anywhere else. The USS Constellation is one of the crown jewels in the Inner Harbor.

The museum at the USS Constellation includes Pier 1’s Museum Gallery, where you’ll learn the Constellation’s history through artifacts and personal effects that belonged to the ship’s crew. You can also pick up a complimentary audio tour wand that’ll inform you about the ship and life aboard as you tour. Uniformed crewmembers aboard the Constellation can answer questions and provide that authentic ambiance.

The B&O Railroad Museum

The B&O Railroad Museum is a two-location deal. You can view a large portion of it in Baltimore, but you should also make time to visit the station in Ellicott City.

The Mount Clare station is considered the birthplace of American railroading. Not surprisingly, the museum and station are a U.S. National Historic Landmark. The Ellicott City Station is the oldest surviving railroad station in America. By visiting on your next historical vacation, you’ll be standing in the original terminus of the first 13 miles of commercial railroad in the country.

Spooky History

Whether or not ghost stories are considered history, they’re certainly legend, and they add a spooky under-girding to the verified history in places like Ellicott City and Baltimore.

You can take various ghost tour in both Baltimore and Ellicott City. Check out our Baltimore ghost tour blog post and our Ellicott City ghost tour blog post for details.

Howard County History

The Howard County Historical Society Museum tells the story of the region’s history from before European settlement to recent events through its collection of objects. From mills and businesses to homes, Native Americans to today’s diverse population, the railroad to the automotive age, the Museum of Howard County History is a must-see for any historical vacation in the area.

Collections and exhibits include: the Ellicott Family, Patapsco Female Institute, militaria, textiles, local agricultural implements, objects of everyday life, Native American tools, Enchanted Forest,
Prohibition era bottles, and HCHS Founder Alda Hopkins Clark’s personal collection.

Outdoor History

If you’re a history buff and you also love the outdoors, the place to go is the Patapsco Heritage Greenway. The Patapsco River Valley is one of the earliest parts of our country that was explored and settled. Captain John Smith himself explored the Patapsco River in 1608, and settlers started calling it home in the 1690s.

The Patapsco Heritage Greenway exists to protect the valley and tell its story. Experience it through biking, rock climbing, bird watching and more.

You can learn more about the area’s fascinating story on the Patapsco Heritage Greenway website.
We’d love to host your next historical vacation at Ellicott City’s historic Wayside Inn. Don’t forget to download our free area vacation guide to help you plan your stay!