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Reconnecting with Nature: Outdoor Destinations Close to Home

Reconnecting with Nature: Outdoor Destinations Close to Home

  |     |   Things to Do

With The Beacon's convenient location between Annapolis, DC, and Baltimore, there's plenty to do each season, both inside and out. Check out these local ideas to enjoy the great outdoors and reconnect with your loved ones or yourself this summer!

Bell Branch Park

Nestled in Crofton, Bell Branch Park is a delight destination, just a short 12-minute drive from The Beacon. The park boasts a wide range of amenities, including inviting picnic areas, trails for leisurely walks, and playgrounds for the little ones to enjoy. Whether you're looking for a tranquil spot to relax or an active outing with friends and family, Bell Branch Park has something for everyone.

Piney Orchard Nature Reserve

Located just 13 minutes away from The Beacon, Piney Orchard Nature Reserve offers a peaceful oasis as you explore its well-maintained trails, ideal for leisurely strolls or invigorating hikes. Enjoy 3 public-access trails: Lone Wolf Trail (2.1mi), Piney Orchard Loop (3.2mi), & WB&A (6.1mi). All are great for birding and getting away from the hustle and bustle.

Montpelier Farm

A mere 21 minutes away from The Beacon, Montpelier Farm beckons with family-friendly attractions that promise a memorable experience. Mark your calendars for Sundays from June 5 to July 31, followed by the annual Sunflower Festival on August 12, 13, 14, 19, 20, and 21. As autumn approaches, the farm transforms into the perfect Fall Festival destination, open from September 17 to November 6. Feel free to bring your four-legged friends, but remember to keep them on a leash while enjoying the farm.

Sandy Point State Park

Sandy Point State Park, just 25-minute drive from The Beacon, invites you to bask in the sun and embrace the cool waters of the Chesapeake Bay. This splendid destination offers a pristine beach setting, perfect for lazy beach days with family and friends.  Hikers can explore scenic trails and abundant wildlife. The park is also a popular fishing destination and offers boat rentals.

Downs Park & Quiet Waters Park

Ready to soak up the sun? Embrace the summer vibes at two dog-friendly beaches along the Chesapeake Bay, a short 25-minute drive from The Beacon. Downs Park and Quiet Water Park provide idyllic settings for picnics, outdoor concerts, water activities, and events along calm waters. Both destinations offer a splendid escape to unwind and savor the sun-kissed season.

Kinder Farm Park

Immerse yourself in the charm of Kinder Farm, a delightful farm turned county park just a short 25-minute drive from The Beacon. This family-friendly destination offers an engaging array of farming activities and an opportunity to interact with adorable animals. From exploring the farm's natural beauty to learning about traditional farming methods, Kinder Farm provides an enriching and enjoyable experience for visitors of all ages.

Kayaking & SUP in Annapolis

Annapolis is surrounded by water, making it a perfect destination for kayaking or stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) enthusiasts. Head to one of the local rental shops near the city's waterfront, such as Capital SUP, where you can rent kayaks or SUP boards and explore the scenic waterways of Annapolis. Paddle along the Severn River, Spa Creek, or even venture out into the Chesapeake Bay for a memorable outdoor experience. Both Capital SUP locations are only a 26min drive from The Beacon.

National Arboretum

About 28min away, on the way into Washington, DC, the U.S. National Arboretum awaits you with its beautiful gardens and outdoor spaces. This 446-acre green oasis is a perfect place for a leisurely stroll, a family picnic, or a serene moment surrounded by nature. The Arboretum grounds are open every day of the year except for Christmas and feature gardens, wooded trails, a bonsai museum, and  frequent special events.

Kenilworth Park & Aquatic Gardens

Another gem in Washington, DC, is the Kenilworth Park & Aquatic Gardens. This unique destination boasts beautiful water gardens filled with lotus flowers and water lilies, offering a picturesque setting for nature lovers and photographers alike. An oasis tucked into the city, the park offers wildlife viewing, scenic boardwalk trails, educational programming with park rangers, and seasonal cultural events. Summer is peak bloom and the best time to fully experience the garden’s beauty.

Historic London Towne & Gardens

Step back in time at Historic London Towne & Gardens, located just a 28min drive away from The Beacon. This living history museum and gardens provide an immersive experience into colonial life along the South River. Explore the restored 18th-century buildings, stroll through the gardens, and learn about the area's rich history. It's an educational and enjoyable outdoor destination for visitors of all ages.

Patapsco Valley State Park

With over 200 miles of scenic trails, explore lush forests, hidden treasures of the past, babbling brooks, and waterfalls, Patapsco Valley State Park offers a sense of wilderness only 30mins away from The Beacon. Our team member, Kaitlyn, recommends checking out the Avalon Area of the park for a first visit. There is a playground for young adventurers, pavilions, restrooms, and easy access to cool off in the river. The beautiful, beginner -friendly 2.3mi Cascade Falls Loop Trail wanders through the forest, across streams, and past small waterfalls. Also close by is the Swinging Bridge which crosses the Patapsco River and provides access to additional trails and ruins.

With The Beacon’s convenient location, there are so many ways to get away and re-connect with nature without going far from home!

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