Cruise Maryland’s Historic National Road
Experience the Road that Built a Nation
A new three-day itinerary highlights the Maryland portion of the Historic National Road Scenic Byway. An All-American Road and National Scenic Byway, the National Road connects six states and covers more than 872 miles, from downtown Baltimore, Maryland, to Vandalia, Illinois.
The mid-Atlantic region is rich with transportation history. Participants can think of the byway as a living museum, telling the story of expansion to the West and the creation of Main Street America as we know it today. The tour includes a bit of railroading history, historic bridges and aqueducts, the C & O Canal, and even a dog sledding demonstration. A step-on guide accompanies groups as they travel each day on the byway, pointing out original mile markers, toll houses, and historic sites. Participants also enjoy dining in original inns and taverns that have continually served travelers for the past two hundred years. In addition, the byway connects seven Main Street communities that offer unique architecture, shopping, and attractions.
Begin you tour in Baltimore, Maryland, the easternmost terminus of the byway that connects the Chesapeake Bay to the Mississippi River. Tour the B & O Railroad Museum, indulge on popular Maryland steamed crabs with a local brew, visit Fort McHenry, then depart for historic Ellicott City. Spend the evening on the byway and enjoy a barbecue dinner, along with musical entertainment.
Depart for historic Frederick, Maryland, home to a fifty-block historic district; visit the gravesite of Francis Scott Key; and tour the National Museum of Civil War Medicine. Have dinner in one of the original inns that have been serving travelers since the early 1900s.
In the afternoon, visit the classic pike town of Boonsboro, home to the future National Road Museum and famous author Nora Roberts.
Stay overnight in Cumberland, Maryland, home to Mile Marker 0. Cumberland marks the location of the federally funded portion of the National Road, which began in 1811.
Start the day by visiting the Allegany History Museum, take a ride on the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad, and tour the Thrasher Carriage Museum. Head for Grantsville, view barn quilts and the Casselman River Bridge, and enjoy dinner at the famous Penn Alps.