Page 23 - Baltimore County Quality of Life Guide and Business Directory
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These signature happenings draw visitors from all across Maryland and beyond.
• Maryland Hunt Cup (April in Worthington Valley) – Traditional steeplechase racing across a four-mile, 22-fence course.
• Towsontown Spring Festival (May in Towson) – One of the state’s largest outdoor festivals with four stages, children’s shows, hundreds of vendors and more.
• Maryland State Fair (Aug./Sept. in Timonium) – Known as “The 11 Best Days of Summer,” the fair draws more than a half-million visitors each year.
• Defenders’ Day at North Point (Sept. at Fort Howard) – Re-enactments and living-history presentations commemorating the War of 1812 battle that preced- ed the successful defense of Baltimore at Fort McHenry.
• Kennedy Krieger Institute’s Festival of Trees (Nov. in Timonium) – A three-day holiday extravaganza of fairyland forests, gingerbread towns and toy train gardens, in addition to more than 100 craft vendors, holiday goodies and activities.
Marshy Point Nature Center provides additional opportunities for kayaking, canoeing and bird watching.
In the northern part of the County, Gunpowder Falls State Park features a river perfect for whitewater paddling and fly- fishing. The Gunpowder’s middle stretches welcome many tubers, while hikers and bicyclists enjoy views of the river along the 21-mile Torrey C. Brown Rail Trail.
The Irvine Nature Center in Owings Mills features a green environmental education facility.
Fewer than three miles from the heart of Towson, Cromwell Valley Park comprises three former farms into a pastoral getaway with woodlands, pastures, meadows, springs and streams that are popular with hikers, dog walkers, picnickers and birdwatchers. The park abuts Loch Raven Reservoir, another favorite County spot for outdoor activities, and the Loch Raven Fishing Center rents boats to those interested in fishing or boating on the reservoir.
Accessible only by private boat, Hart- Miller Island State Park offers safe mooring, wading and a 3,000-foot-long sandy beach near the mouth of Middle River.
Numerous parks around the County’s eastern edge, such as Miami Beach Park, Merritt Point Park and Darkhead Creek Park, offer water access with fishing piers and boat ramps, and the Baltimore County Sailing Center in Essex maintains a fleet of more than 50 sailboats.
Both natural and historical resources surround North Point State Park, which boasts a wading beach, a fishing pier and hiking trails that wind through protected wildlands. North Point was the site of an amusement park in the early 1900s and was also the scene of fighting during the War of 1812 a century earlier.
Performing Arts
The County’s colleges and universities
showcase professional, faculty and student talent. Rich, year-round programing ranges from theatrical performances and concerts to festivals and lectures. Of special note are the Broadway-style shows getting rave reviews at the Cockpit in Court Summer Theater on the Community College of Baltimore County’s Essex Campus.
High schools also get in on the act by hosting student-focused arts and cultural events. As one example, the Ward Center for the Arts at St. Paul’s School in Brooklandville offers a 28,000-square-foot facility for the dramatic, vocal and fine arts.
The 550-seat Gordon Center for Performing Arts in Owings Mills hosts a variety of professional entertainment, including music, theater, dance, family programing and film.
There’s an assortment of outdoor entertainment options as well. In Cockeysville, the picnic-friendly Oregon Ridge Park hosts a summer concert series with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra; a springtime Music in the Woods program that delivers bluegrass, Irish and folk
sounds; and a summertime Hot August Blues & Roots Music Festival that sells out every year.
Towson Town Center provides mall-goers with an upscale shopping experience
that includes destination stores such as Nordstrom, Tiffany’s, Burberry and Louis Vuitton. The four-level mall, also anchored by Macy’s, features specialty shops ranging from Anthropologie to Zumiez.
Four other malls ensure convenient shopping elsewhere in the County. Security Square Mall is in the southwestern area
of the County, White Marsh Mall anchors the northeastern side of the County and Eastpoint Mall is in the southeast.
The Shops at Kenilworth have undergone
a major overhaul and now house a Trader Joe’s, along with a mix of boutiques and restaurants. The Avenue at White Marsh, an entertainment and retail destination with
a mix of restaurants, shops and movies, is based on an old-fashioned Main Street. The
 • Northern Baltimore County boasts more than 140 thoroughbred horse farms.
• More than 1,200 dining establishments operate in Baltimore County. 21

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