Roadside America: Maryland
It’s been far too long since I’ve shared some roadside attractions! I’ve got seven new places for you to check out in Maryland, and I recommend sticking around for the last one. It’s pretty crazy! If you’re itching for more cool and unusual places, browse the tag from past posts. And be sure to check out Roadside America to find local attractions in your area.
Attraction: Bromo Seltzer Arts Clock Tower
This is one of the best things to look at downtown. It’s gorgeous on its own, but it also lights up at night in different colors. Usually purple (like many things in Baltimore, for The Ravens), but sometimes you’ll see blue or red too. The inside of the tower is used for a variety of things, but the fact that art studios are inside this gorgeous piece of architecture is pretty rad. It can be seen from many places downtown, but it intersects Eutaw and Lombard Streets. A great view of the tower can be seen from the top of the Marriott garage. There’s some good street parking on Redwood Avenue, and if you’re on foot you can also see the hopscotch crosswalks directly below the tower.
Attraction: Tiny Church (For Geese)
Location: Glen Burnie
It’s funny that this was just added to Roadside America, because I was actually planning on adding it myself but I didn’t have to! Glen Burnie is the city you’d GPS if you were trying to find my house. I’m showcasing all the places on Roadside America in Glen Burnie today. It’s not the coolest place, but it’s not the worst either. This mini church is connected to a larger property on the side of a road across the street from a discount liquor store and liquidator shop. It’s completely out of place, which makes it even cooler. There’s a moat around the church and geese are always all over the circular island as well as the adjacent field.
Attraction: Giant Crash Test Dummy
Location: Glen Burnie
I think Maryland is one of the only states that doesn’t use the term “DMV”. We call ours the “MVA”, but don’t worry it’s the same hellish experiences as the rest of the United States. This giant yellow crash test dummy stands prominently in front of the Glen Burnie MVA, reminding you to buckle up. It’s on the side of Ritchie Highway and there’s a ton of places to park across the street. I hung out in the Krispy Kreme parking lot, for example.
Attraction: Horse Drawn Steampunk
This horse and carriage is pretty interesting. It’s just in a front yard on the corner of a street back in a neighborhood off Route 1. I temporarily parked on the side street since there’s no stopping on the main road. The horses are life size, and this is just fun to look at. Fun activity: explain what Steampunk is in 140 characters or less.
Attraction: Trompe L’oeil Bridge Mural
There are a lot of fun things in downtown Frederick, like this mural that makes the concrete look like its growing ivy. Make sure that you realize you need to go under the bridges to find these murals. They run all along the creek across Carroll Street. It intersects Patrick Street, so just find some street parking and take the ramp and/or stairs down a level. It’s really fun to walk under the bridge. Gorgeous, even in the snow.
Attraction: Giant Rotted Molar Sculpture
Location: Glen Burnie
This is the closest roadside attraction to my front door. When I was a kid this was a dentist office, then it turned into an ice cream parlor, and now it’s a dentist again. The giant molar on top of the building never changed, though. When I was a kid it was Dr. Gallagher, and he had some insane commercials on local television. That’s a treasure in itself. 1-800-Doctor-G. There’s a lot out front, plus it’s next to a Target and Walgreens.
Attraction: Spook Hill
The last attraction I’m sharing today is arguably the coolest. The Blair Witch Project was based on events that happened in Burkittsville, Maryland. This place is legitimately scary. I had never been there before this trip, but about six to ten miles outside the town line my entire body started feeling weird. I felt very heavy, my calves tingled, and all of a sudden I felt extremely sad. It was sudden, and it was different from a depression or PMS kind of sad. It was this strange, aching for humanity that I couldn’t place. I wanted to cry.
Spook Hill is a road on an incline. You pull your car up to the base of the hill, set it in neutral, and release your foot from the brake. Your car is going to move. If you drive, you know that even an automatic transmission car barely moves in neutral. My car started rolling immediately and fast. It went up to 11 MPH and that was before I resumed control to go downhill. All of my electronics started acting strange while I was there, and I just had a generally weird vibe for the duration of the trip. It’s terrifying and fascinating. See video footage below.