Sure, you can go the traditional route and take in the Baltimore Museum of Art or the Maryland Historical Society or the Walters Art Gallery, but why not head off the beaten museum path and check out something really different? Here are some options:
B. Olive Cole Pharmacy Museum, 650 W. Lombard St. Hours: by appointment. Free. Phone: (410) 727-0746. Named for one of the first female graduates of the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy, the facility includes a replica of a 1900 vintage pharmacy and a variety of rare objects, including apothecary jars, mortars and pestles and root grinders.
Glenn L. Martin Aviation Museum, Room 115, Hangar 5, Martin State Airport, Middle River. Hours: 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays, except holidays. Special tours can be arranged. Free. (410) 682-6122.
Great Blacks in Wax Museum, 1601 E. North Ave. Hours: 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, noon-5 p.m. Sunday. Admission: $5.50, $5 college students (with ID), $3.50 students 12-17, $3 children 2-11. Phone: (410) 563-3404.
Havre de Grace Decoy Museum, Market and Giles streets, Havre de Grace. Hours: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily; closed major holidays. Admission: $2, $1 senior citizens and children (under 8 free). Phone: (410) 939-3739.
Historical Electronics Museum, 1745 W. Nursery Road, Linthicum adjacent to BWI Marriott). Hours: 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday. Admission: Free; memberships available. Phone: (410) 765-3803. Founded in 1973, the facility documents the history of communications, including radio, the phonograph, radar and clandestine countermeasures.
Lacrosse Foundation and Hall of Fame Museum, 113 West University Parkway. Hours: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays; 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturdays in lacrosse season only (March-June). Admission: $1 students. The facility houses the Maryland-soaked history of what it calls "America's first sport," with a variety of artifacts from the 1700s to the present.
The Museum of Menstruation, in New Carrollton, Prince George's County. Hours: By appointment. Phone: (301) 459-4450, curator Harry Finley. More than 1,000 ads and other representations covering the history of the subject.
Museum of Baltimore Legal History, in the Clarence M. Mitchell ++ Jr. Courthouse, Calvert and Fayette streets. Hours: noon-1 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and by appointment. Free. Phone: (410) 962-2820. "We get a lot of people who are doing jury duty," says U.S. bankruptcy judge James F. Schneider, curator of the museum established in October 1984.
U.S. Naval Academy Museum, 118 Maryland Ave., Annapolis. Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays. Free. Phone: (410) 293-2108. A rich collection of fine ship models and a variety of other memorabilia and artifacts tell the history of the floating service.
Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art, 9095 Schumacher Drive, Salisbury. Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Saturday, noon-5 p.m. Sunday. Admission: $4, $3 students and seniors (65 and older), $2 children in grades K-12. Phone: (410) 742-4988.
Washington Dolls' House and Toy Museum, 5236 44th St. N.W. (near Wisconsin and Western avenues). Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, noon-5 p.m. Sunday. Admission: $3, $2 seniors (65 and older), $1 children 14 and under. Phone: (202) 244-0024. Open for more than 20 years, the facility includes a collection of antique dolls, dollhouses, toys and games.
Navy Memorial Museum, Building No. 76, Washington Navy Yard, (901 M. St. S.E., Eastern Market Metro stop). Hours: 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. weekends and holidays. Free. Phone: (202) 433-4882. The official museum of the U.S. Navy includes the 25-ton deep sea research vessel Trieste and a variety of other exhibits.