Deep Creek Lake, Maryland

We made a pact at the end of the boating season last year that this summer we would take a trip together. The catch? We wanted to trailer our boat, spend time on an inland lake, have lots of activities to choose from and eat some delicious food.

One of my husband’s friends at work suggested Deep Creek Lake, Maryland and we started our research. It took us about a half hour to realize that this 4 hour drive from the Cleveland area of Ohio would be absolutely perfect and we got to planning!

WHAT we did:

Hit the Water:
Not a boat owner or don’t want the hassle of trailering your boat? NO PROBLEM. Deep Creek Lake offers many different boat rentals! We saw so many rented pontoon boats and families just zipping around. At 3,900 acres, this is the largest freshwater lake in all of Maryland and the water itself is very calm! The only waves you really experience are from other boaters having a great time. We took our tube and GUNNED it. Hilarious and so much fun!

One thing we would consider doing next year would be to rent a water trampoline! Because we didn’t have one this year, we simply launched ourselves off the boat into the water and spent the day swimming in the cool, clean water.

You can also rent kayaks, paddleboards, canoes, etc. if that is more your speed.

Note: Deep Creek Lake State Park has a boat launch that is open 24 hours a day. We paid $25 a day to leave our trailer there so we didn’t have to ditch it at our rental.

Went for a Hike:
The views at Swallow Falls were simply stunning! We were shocked at the size of the waterfall at Muddy Creek! The best part is that you could take your shoes off and head into the water and explore. We went rock jumping and climbing and had the best time. We even saw some locals with bathing suits swimming!

The hike itself had a very clear path and we all agreed that our parents (late 60’s/early 70’s) would be able to manage it. The forest was LUSH and green and it felt like we were on a movie set at times. Gorgeous! We would all highly recommend it!

Wisp Resort:
I don’t believe it is possible to write a post about Deep Creek Lake, Maryland without mentioning the Wisp Resort. There is just so much to do! In the summer the resort has a mountain coaster, archery lesson, flying squirrel canopy tour, disc golf, gem mining and more. We could not WAIT to do the mountain coaster and it surely did not disappoint. You get to regulate your own speed but we just let it RIP!

Note: Wisp Resort has many ski in/ski out properties that you can rent through the winter season! Literally the slopes are right outside your door!

Where to Eat:

Trader’s Coffee House: We had coffee and breakfast bagel sandwiches here. SO delicious!

Canoe on the Run: This was our “go to” daily coffee shop because it was located very close to our rental. It was great!
Deep Creek Donuts: Just trust us…this is a “must do” if you are planning a visit to DCL. The donuts are made FRESH…as in right in front of your face and you get to customize right on the spot!

Dutch’s at Silver Tree Restaurant: So good we ate there TWICE. We loved the dinner so much that we went back for lunch the following day. Every single thing we ate was outstanding…so outstanding that we bought matching t-shirts HA!
Ace’s Run Restaurant & Pub: Great spot for lunch. My husband and I split this MASSIVE burger (a signature menu item) and a salad and we were so full that we split dinner that night too! 
Uno Pizzeria & Grill: Wide variety of menu items and a welcoming staff. We had salads, sandwiches and ribs (all were good!).

Firewater Kitchen & Bar:  Great food but even better cocktails! The atmosphere here was stunning with the lake and mountains all around you.
Honi Honi Bar: They might not serve food but they do serve stiff drinks and nightly live music.
Lakeside Creamery: A must if you like ice cream!

Note: We made it a point to pretty much stick to restaurants we could get to by taking our boat. Every one of these restaurants had docking and was just a short walk. 

Other Things Worth Mentioning:

For this trip…we DID NOT WANT TO COOK. AT ALL. We were so happy that our husbands were on board and they took us out for every breakfast, lunch and dinner. BUT! If we had wanted to cook, there were a few local grocery stores nearby that were well stocked. 

The people in Deep Creek Lake, Maryland are kind and they truly care to make sure you have a great time. We loved chatting with the locals and talking with our servers at restaurants. It is such a unique place!

The weather felt like a less humid version of Florida! We went at the beginning of August and the weather was looking iffy every day but we only experienced small pop-up storms that would come and go. 

Where We Stayed:

We definitely thought about staying at the Wisp Resort but we ultimately decided that an Airbnb would be better suited for us this time. There are SO many rental properties in the area that they can be filtered to your specifications. They have waterfront, pet-friendly, luxury properties, etc. available.

The two big property managers include Railey Properties and Taylor-Made Deep Creek Vacations and Sales. For our trip, we booked a Railey Property through Airbnb. We would not stay in our exact location again so we won’t share details about the house we rented BUT we will certainly be returning to Deep Creek Lake!

Additional Considerations:

Deep Creek Lake, Maryland is a super unique destination because there is so much to do across all four seasons. Located in western Maryland, the area was perfect for summer BUT in the winter the mountains become coated with snow and it is great for skiing. We are already considering a trip this winter to go back!

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