Baltimore County Office of Tourism, 23 W. Chesapeake Ave., Towson, (410) 583-7313.
Ballestone Manor House, 1935 Back River Neck Road, Essex, (410) 887-0218. This museum in a historic house features American decorative arts from the late 18th to late 19th century.
Boordy Vineyards, 12820 Long Green Pike, Hydes, (410) 592-5015. Tours of Boordy's vineyards and the 19th-century barn where the grapes are turned into vino are offered on the hour. You get to taste some wine too. Woo-hoo!
Castle at Maryvale, 11300 Falls Road, Brooklandville, (410) 252-3528. Used in the 1997 Clint Eastwood film Absolute Power, this castle was built in 1917 and modeled after England's Warwick Castle. It's got a library, great hall, solarium, and terrace, all filled with antique furnishings.
Catonsville Historical Society, 1824 Frederick Road, Catonsville, (410) 744-3034, by appointment. The society is home to 18th- and 19th-century antiques and historical exhibits.
Fire Museum of Maryland, 1301 York Road, Lutherville, (410) 321-7500. This great collection of antique firefighting apparatus includes more than 40 firetrucks dating from 1804.
Heritage Society of Essex and Middle River, 516 Eastern Blvd., Essex, (410) 574-6934, by appointment. Now now, no jokes. Visitors to this heritage society can see a 1920 firehouse, lots of archives, and some old jail cells.
Maryland State Police Museum, Building G, Maryland State Police Headquarters, 1201 Reisterstown Road, Pikesville, (410) 486-3101. Located in a circa-1816 building first used as a federal arsenal, this museum contains artifacts, photographs, equipment, and other memorabilia pertaining to the history of the state police.
Oregon Ridge Nature Center, 3555 Beaver Dam Road, Cockeysville, (410) 887-1818. Home to wildflowers, birds and other wildlife, and iron-ore ponds.
Maryland Arts Festival, 8 p.m. Fridays-Sundays June 16-July 29, Center for the Arts, Towson University, Osler and Cross Campus drives, (410) 830-2787. Six weeks of professional theater, dance, music, and art.
Towson Area Fourth of July Parade, 10:30 a.m. July 4, (410) 832-2190. This annual event features bands, military units, floats, and a National Guard flyover.
Pomeranian Show, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. July 4-6, Sheraton Hotel, Towson, (410) 879-1459. Presented by the American Pomeranian Club and the Pomeranian Club of Greater Baltimore, this show pits pooches from all over North America against each other to see who is the prettiest and the best behaved.
Baltimore Regional Toddler Fair, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. July 8, Montessori School, Lutherville, (410) 321-8555. Kids participate in activities and pet miniature ponies while adults examine the children's goods and services of more than 30 exhibitors.
Morris Meadows Recreation Farm, 1523 Freeland Road, Freeland, (410) 329-6636. This campground has 250 sites, a full-hook-up RV campground, tent sites, and cabins.
SPORTS & RECREATION
Loch Raven Fishing Center, 6 a.m.-6 p.m. daily, Towson, (410) 887-7692. The center offers canoe and boat rentals, plus it sells licenses so you can catch fishies from those boats.
Longview Golf Course, 1 Cardigan Road, Timonium, (410) 887-7735. This 18-hole golf course is PGA-affiliated.
Rocky Point Golf Course, 1935 Back River Neck Road, Essex, (410) 887-0215. Situated alongside the Chesapeake Bay, the longest public golf course in Baltimore County (yeah, they're bragging) includes 10 water holes.
Timonium Race Course, Maryland State Fairgrounds, 2200 York Road, Timonium, (410) 252-0200.
Hunt Valley Mall, 118 Shawan Road, Cockeysville, (410) 785-3770. Mall shopping on the north side of town.
Owings Mills Town Center, 10200 Mill Run Circle, Owings Mills, (410) 363-7700. Mall shopping on the west side of town.
Towson Town Center, 825 Dulaney Valley Road, Towson, (410) 494-8800. Mall shopping on the north side of town, but not as far north as Hunt Valley. The inane parking garage here might make the trip up to Hunt Valley worthwhile though.
812 Park Ave.
Baltimore, MD 21201