It’s time to get away for an affordable and cheap weekend trip from Baltimore and see the world – at least, outside of Baltimore, anyway!
If you don’t have money overflowing from your wallet and in your bank accounts, you may be searching for cheap weekend getaways from Baltimore. We get it! Money shouldn’t stop you from exploring the world and experiencing exciting things. That’s where our guide to affordable trips outside of Baltimore comes in to save the day.
For each of these locations, we’ve featured free attractions (that are still popular and worth the trip!) so that you can spend money on whatever you want – a better hotel, a fine dining restaurant, or souvenirs for friends and family.
Read more about weekend trips
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Best place to find affordable activities?
- No trip is complete without taking in the sights and attractions of your destination. Get Your Guide is just the place to find the top rated activities to fill your itinerary! GYG has everything from a dolphin watching cruise to a skyway helicopter ride or even a Washington, D.C by night tour. Book your fun now!
Here's what we're covering:
- Where To Go For Cheap Weekend Trips From Baltimore
- Washington, D.C.
- Cape May
- Final Thoughts
Where To Go For Cheap Weekend Trips From Baltimore
There are more than a few recommended cheap weekend trips from Baltimore we recommend taking, but let’s start with these top four destinations to get your travel shoes warmed up!
About an hour from Baltimore, Annapolis is home to the U.S. Naval Academy, founded in 1845, and many other popular attractions. It’s one of the top day trips from Baltimore for a good reason!
This city is rich in art history with a lively cultural setting that draws in history buffs and artists from all over the world.
Things to do in Annapolis
William Paca House
Visiting the William Paca House is a must for history buffs or those that wish to learn more about how William Paca impacted local and national history.
One of the Founding Fathers, William Paca, was a signatory of the Declaration of Independence. Paca also was the governor of Maryland for three terms!
The William Paca House was majorly designed by Paca, with construction starting in 1763 and ending in 1765. The five-part Georgian mansion has been painstakingly restored to become recognized as a National Historic Landmark. Visitors can take in the historic home’s period furnishings and paintings and step outside to stroll through the two-acre colonial garden full of native and heirloom plants.
If you like testing your courage, consider their ghosts and phantoms walking tour. From vengeful colonists to ghostly sailors, this eerie tour will take you through the dark history of Annapolis through the historic district.
Great Frogs Winery
When it comes to weekend trips from Baltimore, the perfect soothing spot to enjoy wine surrounded by friends, family, and a welcoming atmosphere is Great Frogs Winery. This spectacular winery opened in 1999, established inside an old tobacco barn. The business has become an integral part of Annapolis in a rustic and artisanal setting.
This enigmatic winery is settled on the outskirts of a peninsula on the Chesapeake Bay where, if you stroll around the grounds, you may find shucked oyster shells ground into the dirt. Between walking the grounds and taking in the old farm’s soothing ambiance, don’t forget to try the winery’s handcrafted dry wines.
Great Frogs Winery takes joy and pride in making small-batch production wines crafted with care and precision to be enjoyed by locals and tourists worldwide.
U.S. Naval Academy
As the home to the U.S. Naval Academy, it’s no wonder that visiting this historic and active site is one of the top things to do in Annapolis!
Take a 90-minute tour of the grounds, visit National Historic Sites, and learn about the history of this long-running Navy training site established in 1845. In addition, the tour will guide you to the academy’s gym to learn about the training program and routine of the members of the U.S. Naval Academy. You’ll also visit the Athletic Hall of Fame, where famous graduates like David Robinson and Roger Staubach can be seen. And the tour doesn’t end there!
The U.S. Naval Academy tour will lead to the world-famous crypt of John Paul Jones to gaze upon the stunning Naval Academy Chapel and stand before the historic statue of Native American warrior, Tecumseh.
Where to stay in Annapolis
Annapolis Waterfront Hotel
Boasting a unique, one-of-a-kind scenic view, the Annapolis Waterfront Hotel stands out amongst other Annapolis hotels. This shining waterfront jewel stay is known for the best weekend getaways from Baltimore.
At Annapolis’s historic downtown center, this spectacular hotel is near top attractions like the U.S. Naval Academy, Ego Alley, the Annapolis Historic District, and Sandy Point State Park. Enjoy a prime location and other amenities like redesigned guestrooms, scenic waterfront views, the hotel’s restaurant with delectable menu items, and more!
The capital of the United States since 1790, Washington, D.C. is famous for being home to the White House, the Washington Monument, the Capitol, and many other enriching historical attractions. If you’re a history buff looking to learn and visit historical spots, then this cheap weekend trip from Baltimore is for you, as Washington, D.C. is full of attractions that are free of charge!
Things to do in Washington, D.C
The National Mall
One of the top attractions in Washington, D.C., is the National Mall. It houses many iconic historical monuments, like the Lincoln Memorial, and is situated near other favored attractions, like the Jefferson Memorial and the National Portrait Gallery.
Some notable attractions in the National Mall include the Lincoln Memorial, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, the Constitution Gardens, the Korean War Memorial, and the Washington Monument, the world’s tallest obelisk. While visiting the National Mall in Washington D.C., you can observe the immense impact of each historical point that these monuments and attractions represent.
On this guided tour of the National Mall and National Gallery, an expert local guide will highlight hidden gems and points in the history of each monument, including the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument. In addition, the tour will take guests past the White House to see the famous “George Washington” painting by Gilbert Stuart and the painting “Self Portrait” by Vincent Van Gogh.
Library of Congress
The largest library in the world and the oldest federal cultural institution in the nation, the Library of Congress features dazzling Gilded Age architecture and millions of photographs, books, manuscripts, films, audio recordings, and newspapers in its collections.
This structure acts as the main research arm for the U.S. Congress and the infrastructure of the U.S. Copyright Office. The Library of Congress’s world-class staff is prepared to assist first-time visitors, researchers, professors, or curious onlookers to discover your desired findings in the Library’s encompassing collections.
Surround yourself with impressive interior designs, an intellectual atmosphere, and a world of information at this stunning free attraction in Washington, D.C. But to get the most out of the Library of Congress, we recommend this guided tour. With insider knowledge and engaging trivia, you’ll be able to learn more about the capital of the United States while taking in other famous attractions like the trademark Capitol Building.
National Gallery of Art
The National Gallery of Art is another visit for artists and curious minds that offers an outstanding experience.
In this spectacular gallery, you will find world-class pieces from famed artists like Leonardo Da Vinci. Peer at the National Gallery of Art’s collection of over 150,000 photographs, paintings, prints, and sculptures, spanning from different points in time and history.
The National Gallery of Art is one of the most revered art museums in the world. Its honed collection includes collections from the Italian Renaissance to the late medieval period. So prepare to be amazed at the stunning pieces availed at the National Gallery of Art!
For even more opportunities to explore the nation’s capital, check out some of our top activity recommendations:
- DC Monuments by Moonlight Tour by Trolley
- Best of DC Plus US Capitol and National Archives Reserved Entry
- Arlington National Cemetery Guided Walking Tour with Changing of the Guards
- DC in a Day: 10+ Monument Stops & Seasonal Potomac River Cruise
- Smithsonian Museum of Natural History – Private Guided Museum Tour
Where to stay in Washington, D.C.
Beacon Hotel & Corporate Quarters
Only minutes from Washington, D.C.’s top attractions, Beacon Hotel & Corporate Quarters offer a comfortable stay for leisure and business. This premier boutique hotel emanates a welcoming atmosphere, desirable accommodation, and exceptional hospitality for an unrivaled and affordable stay in Washington, D.C.
Famous for its beaches, Cape May holds the title of the first seaside holiday destination in America. The scenic beach town offers a range of attractions to enjoy outside of Baltimore.
You’ll find Cape May just the trip you need for weekend getaways from Baltimore. Cape May is lined with historic and picturesque Victorian cottages and walkable streets that make traveling through this welcoming town a pleasure.
Experience Cape May from the water on an Island Sunset Cruise! This 2 hour guided cruise allows you to take in the marine wildlife with a sunset background with included snacks.
Things to do in Cape May
Washington Street Mall
Cape May’s Washington Street Mall is the perfect place to do it if you like shopping or buying souvenirs!
One of the top attractions of Cape May, the Washington Street Mall, is closed to vehicular traffic, making it a leisurely, stress-free stroll of the area’s luscious gardens, historical markers, and shops. It offers a nostalgic step to experience Cape May as the locals do. The streets are lined with local shops, boutiques, fine-dining restaurants, and eateries waiting to be explored.
Don’t forget to buy souvenirs to take home from your trip!
Jersey Shore Alpacas Farm & The Cape May County Park & Zoo
Cape May offers intriguing attractions away from the tourist traps, and the Jersey Shore Alpacas Farm has got to be the best of them!
This small farm offers free tours to get up close and personal with the twenty or so alpacas that call Jersey Shore Alpacas Farm home. Each alpaca has a unique personality, making it easy to connect to these fluffy creatures.
If you want to see more animals, consider the Cape May County Park & Zoo, which offers free admission year-round to see over 550 animals on the zoo’s 85 acres.
And the opportunity to observe nature’s inhabitants doesn’t stop at the Jersey Shore Alpacas Farm or the Cape May County Park & Zoo! This beachside town presents spectacular opportunities to join dolphin-watching cruises. So enjoy a delicious continental breakfast while spotting dolphins playing and jumping out of the water for an unrivaled experience in Cape May!
Emlen Physick Estate
The only Victorian house museum in Cape May, the Emlen Physick Estate offers guided tours of the first and second floors of the historic structure.
The Emlen Physick Estate reflects on the Physick family during the Victorian era. The 18-room mansion built in 1879 is an example of this period’s style, culture, and social norms and how all of these have changed compared to the present day.
Where to stay in Cape May
Le Voyageur – a Red Collection Hotel
Nearby to the Wildwood Crest Beach and boardwalk, Le Voyageur, a Red Collection Hotel, is a smoke-free hotel offering exceptional service. Enjoy free WiFi and the outdoor swimming pool near some of the best attractions of Cape May and Wildwood, New Jersey!
The site of the United States’ first National Road, Cumberland, Maryland, is the second largest city in Maryland. Cumberland is second in size to the port city of Baltimore, hence the city’s nickname, “The Queen City.” It’s also one of the most popular day trips from Baltimore!
Full of music, art, and historic charm, Cumberland presents a boatload of opportunities to learn, explore, and experience why the city is famed for its appeal.
Things to do in Cumberland
Rocky Gap State Park
Rocky Gap State Park is located in a rugged mountain gap, perfect for all adventurous outdoor lovers. It stretches across 3,000 acres, teaming up with the popular resort Rocky Gap Casino Resort for a luxury stay surrounded by the great outdoors.
The campground at Rocky Gap State Park provides plenty of space to hitch up a tent or bring the camper for a weekend full of nature and wilderness. Nearby is a nature center, trail access points, a private swimming beach, and a store to grab emergency snacks.
Go on a hike, dip in the water for a swim, adventure the park, and spend time with loved ones at Rocky Gap State Park for a fun weekend getaway from Baltimore!
Western Maryland Scenic Railroad
Embark on a one-of-a-kind trip on the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad!
This scenic train ride takes its passengers from Cumberland to Frostburg. You’ll witness the change of scenery as the train speeds through the Allegheny Mountains in vintage passenger cars as the massive steam locomotive chugs along.
On the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad is an opportunity to participate in Moonshine Dinner Trains, The Polar Express Train Ride, Murder Mystery Dinner Trains, and more for a uniquely exciting experience!
Settled in a repurposed two-story barn established in 1812, 1812 Brewery is the first and only farm brewery in Allegany County, Maryland.
Family-owned and operated, the craft brewery and brew house personify their passion and appreciation for outstanding beer. And on the brewery’s 190 acres, you can sit back and appreciate the finer things with great beer to sip on.
Where to stay in Cumberland
Rocky Gap Casino Resort
The perfect hotel surrounded by wild nature in Rocky Gap State Park, Rocky Gap Casino Resort affords plenty of opportunities to explore, including the casino, two restaurants, deli, Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course, fitness center, pro shop, spa, conference center, Bonkerz Comedy Club, and more!
If you want to enjoy fresh air and hike in Rocky Gap State Park, settle down for a massage at the spa, or live in luxury for the weekend, Rocky Gap Casino Resort is the ticket!
When it comes to find cheap weekend trips from Baltimore, plenty of exciting options are waiting for you.
From Cumberland to Cape May and on, the road is open with loads of fun and cherished memories waiting on the other end. So bring your camera and snacks, and prepare for a weekend you’ll never forget!
Yes! Washington DC Tourism offers a couple different pass options based on what you are looking to get into. Check out their page to learn more!
Whether you are looking for family friendly, date night, or seasonal fun, WMSR offers an array of excursions. In the winter, they offer rides capturing snow-covered mountains with a full breakfast. The Frostburg Flyer excursion will give you a true blast from the past. While they also offer dinner and murder mystery train rides!
Admission fees are based on residency. Maryland residents can expect a $2-4 fee while out of state visitors will be charged $4-6. But that’s a small price to pay for the type of adventure you can get into in its 3,000 acres. If you just can’t stay away, be sure to check out the admission passes!
Travel Resources For Your Next Trip
If you’re in the process of planning your trip and putting together your itinerary, these are genuinely the best resources that the Going Awesome Places team stands by 100%.
Airport Parking: You’ll need a spot to leave your car at the airport so why not book a spot at a discount. Use code AWESOME7 to get at least $5 off at Airport Parking Reservations or Park Sleep Fly packages.
Hotels: Our go-to is Booking.com because they have the best inventory of properties including hotels and B&Bs. The exception is Asia where Agoda always has the best prices. TripAdvisor is also useful for reviews and bookings.
Vacation Rentals: Airbnb is the market leader but you’d be surprised how you can find cheaper deals on the lesser-known VRBO.
Travel Insurance: Learn how to buy the best travel insurance for you. This isn’t something you want to travel without.
- Insured Nomads – Popular insurance provider for frequent travelers and comes with great coverage and special perks.
- RATESDOTCA – Search engine Canadians looking for the cheapest insurance including multi-trip annual policies.
- SafetyWing – A perfect fit for long-term nomads.
- Medjet – Global air medical transportation.
- InsureMyTrip – Best for seniors, families, and those with pre-existing conditions.
If you need more help planning your trip, make sure to check out our Travel Toolbox where we highlight all of the gear, resources, and tools we use when traveling.