Get Out and Explore Baltimore and DC!

June 5, 2019, Department, by National Recreation and Park Association

2019 June NRPA Update Leisure tours Active Outings 410

Baltimore, also known as Charm City, is a city of firsts. It was the terminus of America’s first federal highway, the National Road, and the place where philanthropist Johns Hopkins endowed the nation’s first research university. It is where operations for the country’s first railroad — the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad — began, and home to the first telegraph message, sent by Samuel Morse. With each of these firsts comes an expansive history, ready to be explored.

The Baltimore Local Host Committee invites you to discover the city’s rich history and culture through several Off-Site Institutes, for which CEU credits will be offered, and Leisure Tours and Activities. Following are a few examples of the off-site opportunities:

The Road to ‘The Star Spangled Banner’
Return to September 1814 to retrace the steps of the Maryland troops and militia as they fended off a British invasion — a battle commemorated in our national anthem. Our informative tour will start on the Chesapeake Bay at North Point State Park, just a stone’s throw from the site where the British ground troops first landed. Then, we’ll continue to the North Point State Battlefield before finally arriving at the Fort McHenry National Monument. As we retrace this historic event, we will discuss the value of public-private partnerships in meeting the many challenges of preserving and maintaining historical structures, sites and landscapes.
Speakers: Robert Bailey, historic planner, Maryland Park Service; Steven McCoy, central regional manager, Maryland Park Service, Department of Natural Resources

Hidden Gems: Baltimore’s Public Gardens
Begin by visiting two community gardens that are part of the City Farms Program, which provides residents with the opportunity to grow and preserve their own food. Then, visit the Howard Peters Rawlings Conservatory in historic Druid Hill Park to see the second-­oldest glass conservatory in America, the Palm House, opened in 1888. Several tour options will be available, including a behind-the-scenes operation tour. Finally, visit Cylburn Arboretum for lunch, followed by tours of the tree collections, stormwater management infrastructure, themed gardens, a historic mansion and greenhouses. Learn about conservation, historic structures and water management on this public garden tour.
Speakers: Harold McCray, city farms coordinator; Melissa Grim, chief horticulturist, Baltimore City Recreation & Parks

Leisure Tours and Activities include the following – some of which are offered on multiple days:

  • Inner Harbor Kayak Tours
  • Gwynns Falls Trail Bike Tours
  • A Day in Annapolis
  • Golf Tournament
  • D.C. Monuments by Moonlight Tour
  • Sunrise Yoga & 5k Fun Run/Walk
  • Fishing on the Chesapeake Bay
  • Discover D.C. in a Day
  • Jones Falls Trail/Maryland Cycle Track Bike

For more information about, and to sign up for, Offsite Institutes and Leisure Activities and Tours, visit Please select the sessions during the conference registration process. Once you have registered, you can also go back and add on one of these special sessions by logging into the registration site and modifying your record. 

Note: NRPA Annual Conference Registration is not required to attend a Pre-Conference Workshop, Offsite Institutes or Local Host Leisure Tours and Activities. Course registration is separate from NRPA Annual Conference Registration.