We’re nearing the end of summer, and what better way to welcome fall than by taking in some of Maryland’s best outdoor attractions. In this issue of Daytripping Around Maryland, we visit Howard and Montgomery Counties, two pockets of the Baltimore-Washington, D.C. suburbs known as much for their scenic sights as they are for their shopping/dining hot spots.
Leave Your Phone at Home and Take the Scenic Route Through MoCo
We started out in Montgomery County, where we stopped at Butler’s Orchard. Pick raspberries now or apples in the fall. At the end of this month (September 25), Butler’s will kick off its 41st Annual Pumpkin Festival where the flavor of fall includes picking your own pumpkin, taking a hayride or getting in on the tractor pull (new activity for 2021), roaming around in the a-maize-ing, twisted corn maze, and of course visiting the farm’s barnyard buddies. And if those activities don’t suit you, take a gander at the pumpkin cannon for $4/shot, or even go on a pony ride or get your face painted. Trust us when we say this: There’s an activity for everyone. (photo credit: flickr: smyoon315)
If you want something a little less pumpkin-y and a lot more spooky, head 40 minutes west of Butler’s to Markoff’s Haunted Forest. Since the early 90s, the Markoff brothers have been spooking fright fest lovers with creative, dramatic, and terrifying haunts lurking in their woods. It’s like Blair Witch meets A Quiet Place. And in case you were wondering, the Haunted Bus does still exist and is found in a different spot each year. Go find it this year, tickets are already on sale and Markoff’s Haunted Forest has new COVID-19 policies to protect spooksters of all ages.
Hiking the 5-mile Billy Goat Trail is unlike anything you'd expect to find so close to Washington, DC. Parts of the trail are somewhat strenuous—you'll scramble over rocks and there's one fairly steep climb—but the scenic views along the Potomac River make it worth the effort!
Roughly 5 miles, the Billy Goat Trail follows a path between the C&O Canal and the Potomac River near Great Falls.
Head back into Rockville, and mix haunt and hot pot. St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Rockville is the final resting place of the “tragic king and queen of the Jazz Age,” F.Scott Fitzgerald and his wife Zelda. Known for being American royalty in the roaring 20s, Fitzgerald and his wife were perfect reflections of the characters in his novels. Still, their humble shared gravesite also “reflects the subtle despair that ran through their lives.”
When you’re done paying homage to the prolific writer, head over to KPot Hot Pot & BBQ to spice things up with tasty Korean BBQ. And when you’re ready, not even five minutes from KPot is Harvest, House of Cannabis in Rockville. Harvest has several deals, including 22% off for Veterans every day, 20% off your entire purchase if you’re a cannabis industry worker every Monday, and a wisdom discount of 10% for any patient 65 years or older. And if that’s not enough, Harvest is currently “harvesting goodness” by allowing customers to round up to the nearest dollar where proceeds will go to the ASPCA and animals in need.
Fall in Love with in Historic Ellicott City in Howard County
Antique stores, art galleries, boutique shops, and picturesque Northeast mill town. Historic Ellicott City in the fall feels like home, even if it’s your first time visiting. About a half hour or hour away from Montgomery County (depending on traffic), Historic Ellicott City offers plenty of festive activities that are COVID-19-friendly.
If you need an excuse to visit, mark September 18 on your calendar for the 8th Annual Main Street Music Fest from noon to 8 p.m. With 5 outdoor stages and 5 indoor venues, Main Street Music Fest is hosting 40+ of the best indie artists from across the Mid-Atlantic. Enjoy dozens of eateries and craft artisan vendors, as well as boutique wines and Jailbreak Brewing Co. local craft beers.
While you’re there, fall in love with the eclectic community of artists, shop keepers, restaurants, and welcoming residents. Speaking of welcoming, nine minutes away is Greenhouse Wellness, where their approach to cannabis is to match every client with a member of its greenhouse concierge team. Greenhouse Wellness is currently operating curbside to ensure staff and patient safety—wait time is less than 2 minutes! New patients get 25% off first purchase during the month of September!* Take advantage by ordering through weedmaps! Every day, Veterans get 25% off, Seniors get 10%, and students (with valid ID) get 10% off! (No deal stacking discounts with daily deals)
And if you’ve still got music on the mind, Merriweather Post Pavilion is 12 miles south of Historic Ellicott City. Don't miss the Outlaw Music Festival on September 24 featuring Willie Nelson and a whole lineup of amazing artists! Be prepared to either show proof of full vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test. While some performers are requiring this, this COVID-19 policy will be in full effect starting on October 17.
Zen Leaf has officially launched its Patient Appreciation Days**, where each month patients get 25% off of everything in store— including Crabcakes & Cannabis apparel. This month, Patient Appreciation Day will be on Tuesday, September 21. Zen Leaf also has Tahoe Alien Pax Pod & Select Pax Devices for $40, and a Pax Pod Sale where all Rythm Pax Pads are $45 each.
Remedy has a new MMCC patients exclusive, where patients will get up to $200 worth of credit over the course of five visits if they show their MMCC doctor receipt within 30 days of certification. Starting Labor Day Weekend (and on every Saturday in September), Remedy is hosting Super Sweet Saturdays, featuring $10 off 1g Shatter, 25% off culta, cleaf, and grassroots concentrates, $25 for 3.5g grape pearls and lemon OG kush, among other sweet deals.
If you’re headed back to MoCo or the DC area, stop by Herbiculture in Burtonsville.
As always, have fun, enjoy the scenery, and every now and then, turn off your GPS and get lost. Let us know if you find any great hidden spots along your way!
Check out our other daytrips:
- Part 1: Northwest Baltimore & Baltimore County
- Part 2: North/Northeast Baltimore
- Part 3: Ocean City
- Part 4: The Mountain Side of Maryland
* September New Patient Promo offer only available to new patients who have not previously purchased from Greenhouse Wellness. No deal stacking. Promo ends 9/30/21.
**Some Restrictions Apply - No Loyalty Points Can Be Used on 9/21
**Order Must Be Picked Up Same Day For 25% Off Special**No Pickups Or Deliveries Will Be Facilitated Next Day With 25% Off*