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April is my absolute favorite month of the year, especially in Baltimore and the DMV area. The weather is finally consistently beautiful, and the trees are in full bloom. People just seem happier as the end of the seasonal depression cycle wanes off. With that said, here are a few affordable and fun spring activities to add to your list this month: 

Visit the Cherry Blossoms at the Tidal Basin in DC 

I cannot emphasize enough how beautiful the Cherry Blossoms are in DC. My freshman year at Loyola, I spent every weekend in April in DC and it was the best thing I could have done. The Cherry Blossoms should honestly be on everyone’s bucket list, but if you’re in the Baltimore area, grab your friends, buy your $7 MARC train ticket at Penn Station and head up to the National Mall to see the Cherry Blossoms in full bloom! 

Go for a drive at Topgolf 

Topgolf is a driving range chain restaurant perfect for grabbing some friends and spicing up your weekend. There are two Topgolfs in the DMV area, both about an hour from Baltimore, and the price is fully dependent on when you choose to go. For example, Tuesdays before 5pm, you can grab a bay for $13 an hour, whereas on weekends after 5pm a bay is almost $50. But note, a bay is good for up to 6 people and once that price is split, it’s relatively cheap to hit some golf balls, socialize (safely) and grab a bite.  

Take a daytrip to Annapolis 

Only a 45 minute drive from Baltimore, Annapolis is the perfect place for a weekend daytrip. With colorful streets and a scenic water’s edge, it’s a great place to walk around and explore. There are a number of parks and hiking trails around the state’s capital, but the city is also rich in history, perfect for those interested in learning more about the state and nation. 

Rent bikes in DC and ride on the National Mall 

DC has so much to offer and when the weather’s nice it’s unbeatable. There are public bike stations all around the city, most of which are also located on the National Mall, and you can rent them by the hour for a couple bucks. You just need to park them when you’re done at another bike station. But this is a perfect activity for the Mall because you can go for a quick bike ride and stroll into one of the countless museums nearby. I’ve been meaning to get down to Artechouse, located a bit south of the Washington Monument. 

Homework and chill at Sherwood Gardens or Patterson Park 

To my Loyola students, Sherwood Gardens is the hidden gem you need. It’s about a ten minute walk from the main campus and it is perfect for relaxing and catching up on some homework outside. A little known secret, the park is in full bloom with daffodils, tulips and azaleas during April. Grab a blanket or towel, a frisbee and some friends, some homework and have yourself a day! If you’re off campus and closer to the Inner Harbor, check out Patterson Park, another great spot to enjoy a sunny day! 

Brunch in Fells Point 

Even though I’m living in Baltimore, I haven’t been able to get to Fells enough. For those of you who are unfamiliar, it’s a part of Baltimore on the water around the Inner Harbor home to some of the best restaurants, stores and activities. I’d recommend grabbing a bite at Bond Street Social or Barcocina. If you’re feeling really impulsive, get a tattoo or piercing at Saints & Sinners or visit the Baltimore Tattoo Museum, or maybe even get a psychic reading at Psychic Readings by Angela. 

Soak up the sun at Longwood Gardens 

I grew up going to the New York Botanical Gardens in the Bronx during the spring and ever since I’ve been a sucker for botanical gardens and parks. Longwood is about an hour drive from Baltimore in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania. There are fountains, flowers and food (although I’d recommend packing your own picnic) and it’s simply breathtaking. There are indoor and outdoor sections to the garden with outstanding architecture and floral arrangements, perfect for a spring day. 

Stroll the streets of Georgetown 

Georgetown is its own little village and it’s absolutely gorgeous. If you find yourself in DC, Georgetown’s campus is a great place to explore along with the countless restaurants and cobble-stone streets around. There are a number of museums and parks like Tudor Place and the Dumbarton House that are also great spots to check out. 

Have yourself a beach day 

If you’re in Baltimore, you’re probably thinking… “what beach?” Well, there are a couple of options here: Rehoboth Beach in Delaware is about a 2 hour drive from Baltimore. Ocean City, MD is about a 3 hour drive. This definitely sounds like a trek, but if you’ve been craving a beach day, this might be your best bet. You can grab some Cookout on your way in Salisbury, MD. The closest alternative is North Point State Park, about 30 minutes southeast of Baltimore. This is a great fishing spot, but no sand like Rehoboth and Ocean City. 

Take a hike 

There are a number of places you can get outside to hike around. If you’re on Loyola’s campus, check out the Stony Run Path right next to Newman and Royal Farms. This trail runs up past the FAC by the Cathedral and ends right around R House. I’d recommend grabbing a smoothie at Smoothie King and checking it out! Other hikes in Maryland include Patapsco Valley State Park, Annapolis Rock, and the Cascade Falls Trail.  

There are so many more things to do in and around Baltimore! I hope these help with planning out how to spend the rest of spring!  

Nicole is a senior at Loyola University Maryland studying political science and communications. When she's not studying, she's probably planning her next radio show with WLOY Loyola Radio, hitting the gym or going on an adventure somewhere in Baltimore with her friends!