Raising the Star-Spangled Banner at Fort McHenry (Baltimore, Md.): The park rangers ask visitors to help with the raising and lowering of the huge flag each day. The nooks and crannies and views keep young ones interested. Outside the fort, the sprawling waterfront park is perfect for families and picnics.
Attending the Preakness (Baltimore, Md.): If you're young and want some serious partying, check out the infield. If you actually want to see the second jewel in the Triple Crown, head for the grandstand. The race is held the third Saturday in May at Pimlico Race Course (tel. 410/542-9400). Order grandstand tickets up to a year in advance. Infield tickets are available up to the week before and are sold at area gas stations.
Rafting the Yough: The Youghiogheny (generally just called the "Yock") is Maryland's great white-water river. Its churning waters race through class III/IV rapids, with such names as Gap Falls, Bastard, Triple Drop, Meatcleaver, Lost and Found, and Backbender. The water levels are controlled by dam release, so the river can be ridden almost year-round.
Kayaking among the Cypress Trees (southern Delaware): A paddle on an early fall day in the cypress swamp of Trap Pond is a peaceful, exhilarating way to get some exercise. The changing leaves are gorgeous, the water is still warm, and most bugs are gone. Coastal Kayak offers tours.
Going to a Baseball Game: Maryland has baseball's most beautiful stadium -- Oriole Park at Camden Yards -- and the best team in the world (the Orioles, of course!). The many minor league teams are also fun, and more affordable.
Walking through 4 Centuries (Annapolis, Md.): Sailors, statesmen, housewives, and slaves have trod the brick sidewalks of Maryland's capital city since Colonial days. Visit today to see how the city has preserved its memories at the State House and Paca House, while advancing into the modern age at the U.S. Naval Academy and on the water.
Going "Downy Ocean": Head for the crowded beaches of Ocean City, Maryland (with all those restaurants, shops, and golf courses), or to the quiet public beaches of Rehoboth or Bethany, Delaware. Both have their charms. The sand is white and clean; the waves can be gentle or furious (watch for the red warning flags). The sand crabs are used to being dug up, and the sea gulls will keep an eye on your snacks. (Don't give in and feed them -- it can be pretty scary.)
Bicycling at the Delaware Shore: Grab a helmet and head onto Route 1 for a ride along flat road by the sea. Or, better yet, ride between Rehoboth and Lewes on the Junction and Breakwater Trail.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.