Five fabulous fall trips

The days are shorter, the air is crisp and the landscape has turned to amber. It can mean only one thing: It's autumn in the Mid-Atlantic. And with it comes an opportune time to travel. After all, the crowds are down, prices are on the cheap and the scenery can't be beat. Just about every destination is hosting a fall celebration of some kind or another, beckoning travelers to get outdoors and enjoy the weather while it lasts.

"Fall is a delightful time to travel in Maryland. Daytime temperatures in the mid-60s to lower 70s combined with low humidity create perfect conditions for outdoor activities such as hiking and biking - with the added bonus of viewing colorful fall foliage while on the trails," says Margot Amelia, executive director of the Maryland Office of Tourism. "Additionally, fall is considered to be a 'shoulder season' in several Maryland regions so visitors can expect less crowds and lower prices at many venues while still being able to fully enjoy all the amenities." So get out and enjoy the natural beauty of the season. Try a new destination or visit an old favorite. If you can't quite decide, here are a few suggestions within driving distance from Baltimore. - Nancy Jones-Bonbrest, Special to The Baltimore Sun

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