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5 vacation spots within 50 miles of Baltimore

So I've heard the reports: vacant hotel rooms in Ocean City and empty highways on the road to Pittsburgh. Where is everyone? Staying close to home - or as it's been dubbed: the staycation. Unfortunately, the trend seems to be catching on so why fight it?

To do my part, here are five totally unoriginal, but totally worth it vacation spots within 50 miles of Baltimore. And you can get there and back on less than half a tank of gas.

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1. Taneytown - 48 miles. It's historic, picturesque and it has the terrific, former plantation turned country hotel, Antrim 1844. Plus you can venture a little further from here to Gettysburg.

2. Alexandria, Va. - 46 miles. Another historic spot, but this one has views of the Potomac. Stroll the cobblestone streets or take the new free King Street Trolley. There are too many historic sites to mention, but you can view many of them here.

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3. Havre de Grace - 41 miles. Visit the boardwalk along the Susquehanna River, tour the Concord Point lighthouse and then take a peek at the Decoy Museum. If you want to stay overnight, the I've heard good things about the Vandiver Inn, a victorian-style B&B.

4. Washington, D.C. - 39 miles. Last time you visited the Smithsonian was 6th grade. But even if you've been to the Mall a thousand times, there are so many more things to see and do. A good resource is Cultural Tourism DC, which highlights neighborhoods, arts and historic sites beyond the monuments. Several hotels are offering the "Staying Power" package, a 30 percent discount when you stay three nights.

5. Annapolis - 31 miles. We take this beautiful, historic, waterfront area for granted. Take a tour - by bus, boat or Segway, visit a spa, go shopping, sailing or stay overnight at the new Westin Annapolis, where if you stay two nights, you can get the third night free.

(Photos: Havre de Grace, Barbara Haddock Taylor, Sun Photographer; Downtown Annapolis, Amy Davis, Sun Photographer) 


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