Washington, DC – Day Trip 3 – Anne Arundel County 5

As school children from all over the nation, mostly 8th graders – before their graduation, arrive in droves to see their nation’s capital, I want to continue to share the history and places that make the whole area special. Smart visitors always look at the wider Metro area and environs. Sure, there’s important things to do downtown, but please expand your vision and visit special spots beyond that confine.

The Chesapeake Bay and the rivers flowing to it are the seminal features of the coastal plain where we find Washington, DC. People gravitate to the water, so these are places for families to go to learn and to enjoy the great choice of water-experiences.

Smithsonian Environmental Research Center
647 Contees Wharf Rd., Edgewater, MD 21037
443-482-2218.
As I mentioned last time, here you can walk the Java Trail which leads to: a re-created Piscataway Indian village (actual archeological sites are on the property, too), a tobacco plantation exhibit, early 20th-century dairy farm artifacts and a marsh walkway.

Shady Side Rural Heritage Society / Capt. Salem Avery House
West Shady Side Rd., Shady Side, MD 20746
410-867-4486
This home is a waterman’s museum on the banks of the West River. This restored 1860 home has exhibits and a workboat.

Calvert Marine Museum
Solomons, MD
410-326-2042
This facility offers Chesapeake Bay history, live otters, skates and rays along with a children’s discovery room, lighthouse (info follows) and boats. In June, you can see if they will be holding the Waterside Concert Series.
Open daily, 10 -5. Closed on major holidays. Special events are held throughout the summer.

Cove Point Lighthouse
Solomons, MD
410-326-2042
This is the oldest continuously operating lighthouse in Maryland. It is open weekdays, June-Aug.,1-4 p.m.

Chesapeake Biological Laboratory Visitor Center
PO Box 38, Solomons, MD 20688
410-326-7296
Older children and their families can enjoy the chance to explore current ongoing scientific research. This encompasses: ecosystem studies, environmental chemistry, geochemistry, toxicology and fisheries science. Laboratory tours happen on Wednesday and Friday afternoons at 2 p.m. This facility is not recommended for young children.

Back to Annapolis, Maryland, whose existence is integrated completely with maritime endeavors.

Annapolis Maritime Museum
2nd St. (at Bayshore Dr.), Annapolis, MD 21403
410-295-0104
The staff here is curating, preserving and teaching 300 years of Annapolis’ maritime history as well as what’s involved in living and working on the Chesapeake Bay.

Here’s the special gem, especially for anyone who wants to vye for the special privilege of attending “Annapolis”.

Chesapeake Children’s Museum
25 Silopanna Rd., Annapolis, MD 21403
410-990-1993
As with most Children’s Museums, this is a hands-on children space! The interactive exhibits include: Bay Windows, Waterman, Center Stage, Body Works and Express Yourself. Check online to see how well these mesh with the ages of your children.

National Aquarium in Baltimore
501 East Pratt St. Pier 3, Baltimore
410-576-3800
Especially if you do not live in a place where you can have a large civic aquarium, this is an important chance to meet exotic creatures from the Earth’s waters. Here, you can journey from the ocean to mountain streams to a rain forest tributary. Meet seahorses, sharks, piranha, tree frogs and the world’s smallest monkeys. It’s open daily except Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Well, you can’t do all of this in one day. You have to do more research to settle on just a few or make it several trips or stay over, away from DC. It’s your choice, but understanding as many ecological systems as possible helps all of us be better stewards of our precious planet. You’ll learn lots in these institutions.

Washington, DC Travel – Archived Articles

©2011 mystic at Travel Vacation Review

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