Visitor Information Center, St. Mary's County Chamber of Commerce, 28290 Three Notch Road, Mechanicsville, (301) 884-5555.
Historic St. Mary's City, (301) 862-0990. To commemorate and preserve the heritage of Maryland's first capital, 800 acres of St. Mary's City is an outdoor history museum with exhibits and replicas. Also see the continuous archaeological excavations, the Margaret Brent Memorial Garden, and a visitors center with a gift shop (surprise!) and guided tours.
Patuxent River Naval Air Museum, Route 235 and Shangri-La Drive, Lexington Park, (301) 863-7418. The folks at the Patuxent River Naval Air Museum are proud to run the nation's only museum commited to naval-aviation research, development, testing, and evaluation. The grounds display 17 full-size aircraft, and inside are 1,300 models, a rubber airplane, and the first radar. The proximity of the Chesapeake Bay highlights Maryland's important role in U.S. naval aviation.
St. Clement's Island, routes 5 and 242, Colton's Point, (301) 769-222. A cross on St. Clement's commemorates the landing of the first Maryland colonists in 1634 (quick--name their ships) and the first Roman Catholic mass held in America--the island's history goes that far back. Take a water taxi out and visit the Potomac River Museum, which is full of exhibits and historical artifacts, plus take the kids to the adjoining Schoolhouse Children's Museum for a midsummer history lesson. The museum also offers a county store, resource library, and gift shop. (It was the Ark and the Dove. It's only, like, the history of your own state, people.)
Potomac Jazz and Seafood Festival, July 14, St. Clement's Island, routes 5 and 242, Colton's Point, (301) 769-222. The name says it all, and that's plenty.
Camp Merryelande Vacation Cottages, St. George Island, (800) 382-1073, www.campmd.com. The cottages offer the easy life: AC, a full kitchen, cable. If you'd rather rough it, pitch a tent on one of the campsites. Merryelande is on the water, so boating, fishing, swimming, and sailing are all available (a public boat ramp is one mile away).
With a name like St. Mary's, you know this county must have plenty of B&Bs. Here are some:
Bard's Field of Trinity Manor, Ridge, (301) 872-5989.
Brome-Howard Inn, St. Mary's City, (301) 866-0656.
Myrtle Point Bed and Breakfast, California (not that California), (301) 862-3090.
St. Michael's Manor, Scotland (not that Scotland), (301) 872-4025.
SPORTS & RECREATION
AMA Pro National Motocross , 1 p.m. June 17, Budds Creek Motocross Park, Budds Creek, (301) 994-9555, www.buddscreek.com. Your dad will appreciate this Father's Day motocross race even more than the self-portrait you made out of macaroni last year. This year's AMA 125/250 Pro National Competition is expected to draw 20,000 fans, so you and Pop will have plenty of company.