Plan Your Cecil County Staycation
Check out Exciting Destinations Right Here in Cecil County, Maryland!
If you’re thinking about things to do on your next vacation, you already know that there are so many great places to visit in the United States. Even limiting your vacation choices to the East Coast means you can choose from hundreds, even thousands, of destinations. With so many great places to visit, it might be hard, at first, to understand why so many Marylanders choose to stay close to home. But more and more people in Cecil County and throughout Maryland are choosing to spend their vacations close to home. They’re trading in destination vacations for “staycations.”
And no wonder. Maryland offers enough exciting activities and destinations to satisfy even the most enthusiastic tourist. If you haven’t explored your own backyard, take a week (or a weekend) to travel to some of the area’s best-kept secrets. We’ve got a long list of activities and destinations for you to explore, all within Cecil County, Maryland.
Welcome to Cecil County!
Cecil County is situated on the Upper Chesapeake Bay, south of Philadelphia, and slightly northeast of Baltimore. While we’re close to two of the largest cities in the U.S., Cecil County is famous for its relaxed country vibe. But while we love nature and the Bay, our county really shines when it mixes small-town charm with some of the most exciting destinations in the Chesapeake region.
On your Cecil County Staycation, you can spend time in a gorgeous state park, see a lighthouse rides horses, or go fishing. But you can also take your pick from a variety of breweries and winery, gambling at a world-class casino, and catch exciting live music. If you want to dig into history, check out some of the areas many museums or wander through one of the many antique shops in the area.
Whether you’re looking for breathtaking views of Turkey Point Lighthouse or want to celebrate all night long, Cecil County, Maryland offers something for everyone.
Raise Your Cup – Visit a Local Brewery or Winery
If you love beer or wine, Cecil County has so much to offer. In fact, Maryland residents in Cecil County have access to several exceptional breweries and wineries. Why not build a vacation around them?
If you’re headed to Chesapeake City, make a stop at Bayheads Brewing Company. It was founded in 2016 by three small-town, hard-working guys who love brewing great craft beer. Visit the taproom to check out all the beers available. Bayheads features a full tasting bar and seating. The beer sold is made on-site, and visitors can order pints or flights to drink at the brewery. Or get a 32 oz. or 64 oz. growler to take home.
- Bayheads Brewing Company
2525 Augustine Herman Hwy
Chesapeake City, MD 21915
Elk River Brewing
When you get to Elkton, don’t pass up the Elk River Brewing Company. It’s a good looking space run by founders Brad and Jessica Carrillo. Many house beers are available on tap and in growlers. Check their website for live music dates.
Firetower Farm Brewery
Firetower Farm Brewery is not a retail space, but an agricultural co-op. The farm grows the corn, wheat, barley, and oats used in their beers. Check out their events on Facebook to see where this growing brewery will be selling next.
If you’re looking for a beer adventure in Elkton, be sure to visit Valhalla Brewing Co. They are continually exploring new styles and ingredients, which means there’s always something new brewing at Valhalla. Food, wine, and mixed drinks are also available.
- Valhalla Brewing Co.
41 Cherry Hill Rd
Elkton, MD 21921
Blue Elk Vineyard
Blue Elk Vineyard in North East offers wines from their 14 acres of vineyards. Recently renovated, they offer food, wine, ciders, and a convenient location in the center of Bohemia Overlook Waterfront Venue.
Broken Spoke Winery
If you want to bring your dog to your next wine tasting, check out the pet-friendly Broken Spoke Vineyard & Winery in Earlville. You’ll drive past the family’s animals and vineyards before arriving at the attractive tasting room, creating in an old horse barn. Wine, cheese boards, and some other refreshments are available.
Chateau Bu-De Vineyards
If you want a little bit of Europe right here in Maryland, head for the Chateau Bu-De Vineyards in Chesapeake City. This winery is on the Bohemia Manor farm, an upscale property with a handsome tasting room and pet-friendly policies in outdoor areas. This is also a popular wedding and event space, so check ahead to make sure the tasting room not closed for an event.
Dove Valley Vineyard & Winery
Dove Valley distributes their wines throughout Cecil County. Events happen at the winery, so check out their website for details. This winery does not have a tasting room on site.
Turkey Point Vineyard
Turkey Point Vineyard in North East offers wines and gifts in its tasting room. This casual winery has a tasting room and limited seating. The tasting area also has a full gift shop.
Make Cecil County’s Great Outdoors Part of Your Staycation
Make the Most of Cecil County’s Natural Splendors. When you’re planning a Staycation in Cecil County, don’t forget to spend time in our forest, near our rivers, or on the bay. If you enjoy the outdoor life, there are so many options. Sometimes our residents forget how lucky they are to have so many natural attractions and so many ways to enjoy them.
If you’re planning a staycation, it makes sense include some of these attractions on your itinerary.
Any Maryland resident will tell you that horse breeding and horseracing are a major part of our state’s history and play a significant role in Maryland’s economy. Most people in Cecil County have driven by sprawling horse farms or know people who make their living working with horses. But while many residents are familiar with horse racing, not all of us have taken the time to enjoy horseback riding.
Luckily we have an excellent stable right here in Cecil County that offers horseback riding for all types of riders. Fair Hill Stables in Elkton, MD is nestled within the Fair Hill Natural Resource Management Area. They offer trail rides that meander through the nearby forest. And can accommodate all riding skill levels, including first-timers.
The Elk Neck State Park
Elk Neck State Park is near North East, on a sprawling peninsula situated between the Chesapeake Bay and the Elk River. This 2,370-acre state park has something for everyone, including campsites, cabins, and sandy shorelines.
The park is divided into four areas. Want to take your boat on the water? Want to go fishing? The Rogues Harbor Boat Launch Facility is where boaters can find public access to the Elk River and fishing piers.
Want picture-perfect vistas and stunning seascapes? Then visit the Turkey Point Lighthouse is at the southern tip of the peninsula.
If you’re looking for places to spend the day swimming or kayaking, head for the public beaches at the North East Beach Area and Picnic Shelters at the western end of the park.
If you want to set up camp or rent a cabin, you’ll want to go to the east side of the peninsula to The Elk River Camping Area, IN addition to campsites, is home to a nature center that teaches visitors about the plants and wildlife found in the park.
Fishing in Cecil County
With so much water surrounding us, Cecil County residents are bound to love fishing. If you live or work in our area, but can’t find the time to fish, take advantage of the area’s bountiful resources during your Staycation. Remember that a Maryland Angler’s License is required for all fishermen 16 years of age and older. A Maryland Trout Stamp is required to possess or keep trout. Consult your Maryland Fishing Guide for additional information.
If you’ve got your license and your fishing gear ready to go, here are some of the area’s best fishing spots. None of these areas are run by organizations or offer websites or phone numbers, so it pays to spend a little time upfront to research the best times and places to drop your line along these waterways.
Big Elk Creek
Anglers can test their skills on Big Elk Creek, which is a stocked, put-and-take trout stream. It travels the entire length of the Fair Hill property. As this video shows, the fishing is usually pretty good at Big Elk Creek in Cecil County.
Howards Pond and Principio Creek
Howards Pond in Elkton and Principio Creek (also called Bay Creek and Bay Head Creek) near Perryville are also popular fishing spots and are usually well-stocked.
Saltwater Fishing and Crabbing
With so much access to saltwater, you may be tempted to try your hand at saltwater fishing or even crabbing. Pier fishing is a great way to start. None of the areas offer websites or phone numbers. Some are run by the townships. Again, it pays to spend a little time upfront to research the best times and places to drop your line.
If you want to check out saltwater fishing and crabbing from piers, Cecil County offers many options, including:
Charleston Stone Wharf Fishing Pier
414 Water Street
Charlestown, MD 21914
(Note: this is a free fishing area, which means you do not need a license to fish here.)
Elk Neck State Park: Rogues Harbor
Turkey Point Road (MD 272) & Rogues Harbor Road
North East, MD 21901
Perryville Community Park
100 Marion Tap Parkway
Perryville, MD 21903
Make a Visit to Hollywood Casino the Highlight of your Staycation
Food, Entertainment, and Gaming at One Exciting Location!
If you live in Cecil County, Maryland, you may be used to a more relaxed lifestyle and a slower pace. But there’s no shortage of glamour and excitement when you visit the Hollywood Casino in Perryville. The Hollywood Casino may be located in a region famous for lighthouses and history, but it’s is a world-class destination. We offer a wide variety of food, drink, and entertainment options, including hundreds of slots and some of the best table games around. We even have an off-track betting facility with great amenities and large screen TVs to make sure you’re right in the middle of all of the racing action.
Hollywood Casino in Perryville has such great food, drink, and entertainment options that it regularly draws people in from hundreds of miles away. But this local treasure is also the perfect destination for Cecil County folks looking for a fun time, nearby, at any time of night or day.
Located immediately off I-95 at Exit 93, Hollywood Casino Perryville is conveniently situated for its many visitors from Baltimore, Philadelphia, and Delaware. But we’re most convenient to our friends and neighbors in Cecil County. We love locals! And we’re open 24 hours day 365 days a year, so it’s always a good time to visit Hollywood.
GUESTS MUST BE 21 YEARS OR OLDER to enter the casino, restaurants, and shops. Persons under age 21 are not permitted on the casino floor or in restaurants or shops.
What to Expect At Hollywood Casino in Perryville
Are you ready to have the time of your life at Hollywood Casino in Perryville? At our beautiful Perryville property, our hundreds of employees work day and night to make sure that every part of our facility is clean and safe. It’s also ADA compliant and offers plenty of free parking.
Hollywood Casino offers gaming options for every skill level and experience level. Whether this is your first time or you’re a seasoned gambler, our casino has the gambling option that’s right for you.
If you’re not familiar with table games, have fun at the slots. We offer more than 800 slot machines, with a great mix of penny slots and high payoff machines. Penny slots are just that. You enter a penny to play so that you can play 100 times for only one dollar. If you want to up the stakes, move on to some of the higher pay machines. The general rule of thumb is, the more you must pay into slots, the higher the big payouts. Of course, slots are indeed a game of luck, so wins are never a sure thing.
If you prefer live table games, we’ve got the game for you. Our live table games include some classics like Blackjack, Craps, Poker, and Roulette. We also offer Spanish 21, Three-Card Poker, and Ultimate Texas Hold’Em. We sometimes host tournaments for table games. Check our website and sign up for our Club Hollywood Card to ensure you’re notified of upcoming events.
If you’re not into slot machines and table games, then our new Off-Track Betting area is for you. We designed it to meet the needs of Maryland horse and racing fans. It’s an exciting space filled with large screen TV’s and areas to sit and watch the races. Our horseracing facility makes sure you’re always where the action is.
Tips for First-Time Gamblers
If you’ve never been to a casino before, it can be intimidating. There are many games to choose from, and it’s hard to know where to start. But if you keep these tips in mind, you can have a great time on your first trip and might even want to make the casino one of your regular spots for a day out.
- Gambling Tip #1: Know Your Limits
When it comes to gambling, you need to know your financial limits. We recommend that you give yourself a budget before you walk in the door and stick to it. Decide what you can afford to lose before you start playing, and never gamble with money you can’t afford to lose. After all, you set aside money other types of entertainment such as movies, golf, or dinner with friends. Set aside funds for your casino trip in the same way.
- Gambling Tip #2: Study Up on Gaming Rules
While slots are pretty easy to learn, if you want to play table games, it may take more effort. Many gamblers prefer table games because they require skill, strategy, a good understanding of your fellow players.
As with any activity, you’ll have much more fun if you know how to play the game before you place a bet. Understanding the table game you choose to play will also improve your odds of winning.
If you want to learn more, many books, websites, and online videos are available that explain the rules. These resources may also provide tips for gambling strategies. Once you learn the basics of a table game, it’s time to play. For your first games, it’s smart to start small, and wager conservatively. Not only are you are playing against the house, you’re also playing against other players. By starting slow, taking your time to learn, and watching the strategies and habits of other players, you gain a better understand the dynamics of the game. With practice, you’ll not only get more comfortable with rules, you’ll understand how other players at the table considerably impact your chances of winning or losing.
- Gambling Tip #3: Take Advantage of the Club Hollywood Card
If you want to get the most out of Hollywood Casino, make sure you sign up for our loyalty program. Signing up for the Club Hollywood Card is fast, easy, and free. When you become a part of the Club, you can start qualifying for A-list rewards and star-studded benefits. Use your card whenever you play to make sure you’re getting maximum benefits, including comp points that can be redeemed at our bars, restaurants and Rodeo Drive. You can also qualify for SLOTPLAY bonus offers. You may be entered into sweepstakes, and of course, you’ll get all our special offers mail and emailed to you.
The more you play at Hollywood, the more points you earned. With enough points, you’ll be upgraded to the Celebrity card. This card has all the benefits of the Club Hollywood Card and also entitles you to free valet parking, access to the Celebrity line at Player Services, special gift cards and events, a 15 percent discount at Rodeo Drive Gift Shop, private VIP events, and bonus earnings during sweepstakes and promotions.
- Gambling Tip #4: Smile for the Cameras
Security cameras are just about everywhere in most casinos, and ours is no exception. These cameras serve many purposes, including protecting our visitors. They help us ensure gaming is conducted legally and can be used for resolving disputes with visitors regarding shuffles or payouts.
If you want to take photos, remember restrictions apply to ensure fair games and to protect the privacy of patrons. If you want to take a selfie after a big win, ask the casino manager or floor boss first so they can help you find the appropriate area. And remember; while there are many cameras throughout the property, it’s still important to watch your personal belongings.
- Gambling Tip #5: Winnings are Taxable
If you’ve won money at Hollywood Casino, congratulations! Remember that gambling income is taxable. To make taxes a bit easier, we offer a convenient win/loss statement online. You can also request a paper copy of this form during your visit.
Don’t Forget About Good Food and Good Drink!
No matter what time of day you visit Hollywood Casino, there’s lots of great food and drink options. Want to make a morning of it? Start with hot coffee and a signature breakfast special or pastry at the Greene Turtle Express. When it’s time for lunch, you can choose between the Greene Turtle Sports Bar and Grille or the Greene Turtle Express. Whether you want to sit down and dine or grab and go, you’ll find a great selection of tasty sandwiches, crunchy salads, as well as other tasty menu items that change regularly.
Once dinner time rolls around, it’s time to spend an evening with friends! Start your evening off right with The Greene Turtle Sports Bar and Grille. The culinary team is ready and waiting to serve you. Choose from a selection of fantastic pasta, fresh seafood, sizzling steak, and other popular entrees.
Want to get together with friends to watch the big game? No matter which sport you love, you can find it on one of our screens at our popular sports bar and grill. With free parking day and night, it’s always a good time to visit Hollywood. Grab a drink, order a basket of wings, and hang out with sports fans who love your team as much as you do. While good dining is important, many of our guests want to get back to gaming. That’s why the Green Turtle Express is designed for grab and go eating, so you’re never too far from the excitement.
Hollywood Casino also offers The Encore Room, an exceptional private event space with catering. When it’s time to gather together with friends or colleagues for meetings or parties, we’ve got the perfect space for you. We even have A/V resources, including TVs, microphones, and wireless access to make your event perfect.
Want to see great, live bands on your Staycation? Hollywood Casino has free, live entertainment every Saturday. When you want to catch some of the best performers in the area, come to Hollywood Casino in Perryville.
With so many things to do, and so many times to do them, the Hollywood Casino in Perryville is the perfect destination for your next Maryland Staycation.
Looking for Something Old? Check out Cecil County Antiques
Local antique shopping can a fun and rewarding part of your next staycation. Local antique dealers often specialize in regional antiques, making local shopping especially satisfying. And when you shop at antique shops in Cecil County, you’re supporting the friends and neighbors that make our region such a great place to live and work.
If you’ve never shopped for antiques before, there are a couple of tips to keep in mind to make your trip more enjoyable.
- Tip #1: Don’t Complain About Prices
While it’s tempting to voice your shock at the price on some items, it’s smart (and polite) to keep your opinions to yourself. You’ll only annoy the shop owners, which will make it harder to bargain.
- Tip #2: Bargaining is Allowed
While bargaining is common, don’t be surprised if the shop owner won’t budge on price. Their willingness to bargain is based on lots of factors, including how valuable the item is, how long they’ve owned the item, and even how much business they’ve had that month. Don’t be afraid to ask for a better price, but don’t be insulted if they don’t accept your offer.
- Tip #3: Pay What It’s Worth to You
Unless you are purchasing antiques as an investment, don’t get too worried about whether you’re (slightly) overpaying on any item. Pay what it’s worth to you. Antiques are valuable to some, and worthless to others. It’s part of the appeal.
Ready to try your hand at “Antiquing?” Here are some great places in Cecil County to get started. Store hours change frequently, so it pays to double-check before making a day of it.
Antique Shops in Cecil County, Maryland
Uniquely Odd Thrift Shop
14 Commercial Plaza
Elkton, MD 21921
5 & 10 Antique Market
115 South Main Street
North East, MD 21901
Gene’s Bittersweet Antiques
320 Old Zion Road
North East, MD 21901
Mary L. Martin Postcards
4899 Pulaski Highway
Perryville, MD 21903
Elkton Antique Mall
222 South Bridge Street, #10
Elkton, MD 21921
239B S. Bridge Street
Elkton, Maryland 21921
Visit Local Historical Sites & Museums
If you love Maryland, you’ll enjoy learning about the people, places, and history that make it so unique. Museums in Cecil County tend to be small, non-profit, and volunteer-run. They depend on visits and support from neighbors and the community to patronize their museum and to keep them viable.
The museums listed here may have limited or seasonal hours or may be open only on certain days. Be sure to check their website or Facebook page before planning your day. Many offer private tours upon request. To get a complete list of museums, and their hours, visit the Museum page on the Cecil County website.
Learn The History of Cecil County at Museums
The Bainbridge Museum
This museum examines the history, life, and training of the men and women who attended the U.S. Naval Training Center at Bainbridge from World War II until the 1970s. You can spend a day walking around this large government facility. Exhibits exist throughout.
Portside Grille Building
600 Rowland Dr.
Port Deposit, MD 21904
Cecil County Farm Museum
This living history museum was created to preserve and promote the rich farming heritage of Maryland. Exhibits and events are designed educate as well as preserve some of the important local features the county’s agricultural past.
820 Appleton Road
Elkton, MD 21921
Historical Society of Cecil County
The Historical Society is housed in a handsome historic home in downtown Elkton. The staff is dedicated to documenting, curating, and sharing the history of the region and regularly hosts historical exhibits.
135 E. Main St.
Elkton, MD 21921
The Sheriff John F. DeWitt Military Museum
John F. DeWitt, the only Sheriff in the history of Cecil County to be elected for four consecutive terms, started collecting military memorabilia when he was eleven. His collection is on exhibit at the Historical Society of Cecil County and honors the Cecil County veterans of all wars.
At Historical Society of Cecil County
135 E. Main St.
Elkton, MD 21921
Mount Harmon Plantation
Mount Harmon is a 200-acres tidewater plantation that is a museum with a nature preserve with a nature trail and a stunning waterfront setting. Tours of the 18th-century manor house showcase a colonial kitchen, smokehouse, and period rooms. The staff at the Carriage House Education & Discovery Center hosts guided and group tours and holds seasonal events.
600 Mt. Harmon Road
Earlesville, MD 21919
Paw Paw Museum
Despite the name, this museum is not dedicated to paw paws. Instead, it focused on the rich history of Port Deposit, Maryland. The original name of the museum’s 1821 structure, the Paw Paw Building, accounts for the unusual name.
98 North Main
Port Deposit, MD 21904
Perryville Railroad Museum
Located in a historic train station, this handsome museum honors the railroad men of Perryville, past and present. Also serving as the area’s modern-day MARC station, the collection features railroad pictures and memorabilia from different time periods of Perryville history. The
Perryville MARC Train Station
The Rodgers Tavern was an early stop for travelers and tavern keepers who journeyed through Perryville between 1740 until 1880. The old stone home with period décor is open to the public on selected days.
259 Broad Street
Perryville, MD 21903
The 107 House (Tory House)
The 107 House, also known as the Tory House, is one of the oldest homes in the area. Build around 1750, this home was an early Charlestown landmark. The lower level of this two-story, federal-style structure features a restored colonial tavern kitchen. Open to the public on select days.
343 Market Street
Charlestown, MD 21914
Upper Bay Museum
This museum is dedicated to documenting and preserving the lifestyle of the watermen and hunters of the Upper Chesapeake Bay. It’s filled with hunting, boating and fishing artifacts native to the area. They also house a boat-building school. Hours vary by season.
219 North Walnut
North East, 21901