St. Mary's City, Maryland's first state capital, is one of the nation's oldest communities. It is located 80 mi/130 km south of Baltimore. Historic St. Mary's City is an outdoor history museum where one admission fee will admit you to the State House of 1676, a tobacco plantation and the Maryland Dove, a replica of a ship that brought early settlers to Maryland. Excavation of artifacts continues on the grounds. Visitors can watch the archaeologists work via a television monitor set up in a tent near the dig site.
About 10 mi/16 km south of town is Point Lookout State Park, the site of a notorious Union POW camp during the Civil War and now a much more pleasant recreational park.
We highly recommend a visit to the Calvert Cliffs State Park (about 15 mi/9 km north of St. Mary's City). These beautiful, reddish-yellow cliffs along the Chesapeake Bay are loaded with Miocene fossils. If you find them on the ground, they're yours; if you dig and get caught, you'll be fined.
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