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Visitor’s Guide to The University of Maryland Campus

The University of Maryland campus is the largest university campus in the state as well as the Washington, D.C. area. The grounds span 1,250 acres and houses twelve schools and colleges that serve to educate over 41,000 students each year. Whether you’re checking out UMD for the first time or are visiting your favorite Terp during the academic semester, you’ll find plenty to keep you busy.

Visitors to the University of Maryland College Park campus can tour the University’s historic buildings, stroll through one of the many campus gardens, enjoy a delicious bite to eat, or attend a Terrapin sporting event. Regardless of what you choose, one thing’s for sure – you won’t be bored at the University of Maryland. Here are a few campus favorites to add to your itinerary.

The Visitors Center at The Hotel at the University of Maryland

No matter the reason for your trip to campus, your first stop should definitely be the Visitor Center. The Visitor Center is conveniently located at The Hotel at University of Maryland, and will be an excellent resource for all things to do near the University of Maryland.

University of Maryland Arboretum & Botanical Garden

The University of Maryland campus includes 15 unique gardens as well as a host of champion trees and shrubbery. Collectively, these are known as the UMD Arboretum and Botanical Garden. Each season on campus comes with its own unique appeal.

Find blooming witch hazel in the wintertime, colorful tulips in the spring, prairie flowers in summer months, and vibrant crepe myrtles towards the end of the year. Twelve different academic courses engage in hands-on learning in the community gardens, helping the University generate awareness for conservation and preservation of the natural environment.

McKeldin Mall

This Mall is a nine-acre area in the center of the University of Maryland campus and is flanked on the east and west by the University’s Main Administrative building and the McKeldin Library. Along the north and south borders of McKeldin Mall you’ll find several academic buildings and many departments within.

The mall is named after Theodore McKeldin, the former Governor of Maryland, and is the largest academic mall in the United States.

McKeldin Mall

Jim Henson Statue & Kermit the Frog

Situated within the Henson Memorial Garden, which includes a series of curving hedges and flowering shrubbery, you’ll find the Jim Henson Memorial statue. The statue was dedicated in 2003 and depicts Jim Henson, a UMD alum, and his beloved Kermit the Frog, sitting atop a red granite bench. Since their creation the garden and memorial have become a popular spot for snapping photographs on campus.


Home to Terrapin Athletics, within the XFINITY Center  you’ll find several gymnasiums, including a stadium with seating for nearly 18,000 Terps fans to experience UMD basketball games and gymnastics meets. Twenty suites are available for an upgraded viewing and entertainment experience, if one desires.

Within the halls of the XFINITY Center, visitors can learn about the history of UMD athletics as they stroll through the Terrapin Walk of Fame. Finally, the Terrapin Team Store, located just inside the lobby has everything you’ll need to show off your Maryland pride.


Memorial Chapel

Erected to honor those who lost their lives serving in the U.S. Armed Forces, Memorial Chapel was constructed in 1952. Just before noon each day, the carillon plays the UMD alma mater, “Hail, Alma Mater,” and the iconic steeple can be seen from all over campus.

In 2010, a garden featuring a labyrinth and walk of remembrance, was created to provide a spot for quiet reflection in the wake of the September 11th and Virginia Tech tragedies. Memorial Chapel is also a popular wedding venue due to its three beautiful chapel options and gorgeous grounds.

University Of Maryland Chapel

University of Maryland Golf Course

The UMD Golf Course is a full-service, year-round operation. The Golf Shop offers equipment, apparel, and accessories for both members and the general public, and is open 7 days per week.

Students can take advantage of special rates for lessons, clinics, and tee times. The golf club hosts a tournament throughout the spring and summer, which is open to anyone who maintains a USGA handicap at UMD.  The University of Maryland Golf Course is a must for any golf lover visiting the area.

McKeldin Library

The McKeldin Library, located on the McKeldin Mall, is one of eight libraries on the University of Maryland College Park campus. It is the main branch of the UMD library system, and within the seven-story building you’ll find the University’s General Collection, the 90,000-volume East Asia Collection, a collection of Government documents, special events rooms, the undergraduate writing center, and Footnotes Café.

McKeldin Library

Washington Quad

Redesigned in 2008 to reflect a sustainable outdoor “living room,” the Washington Quad provides a beautiful location to study, play, and relax and is a favorite among students who live on campus.

The University of Maryland’s first storm water irrigation system was implemented on the Quad by the SustainableUMD program. This irrigation system collects rainwater from the surrounding buildings and directs it to a drip irrigation system for the nearby plant beds.

Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center

The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, or simply “The Clarice,” is home to the Schools of Music, Theater, and Dance & Performance Studies. Within the building are six performance venues including the Dekelborum Concert Hall which seats over 1,000 guests.

Additional spaces, such as the 3,800 square foot Grand Pavilion, are often the location or workshops, lectures, or receptions. Guests can take a guided tour of The Clarice to learn about the building’s history as well as current academic programming.

Insomnia Cookies

What originated as a dorm-room based, late-night cookie delivery service has become a nationwide craze. Not only will Insomnia Cookies deliver warm, delicious, cookies right to your door, but they also have walk-in retail hours every day of the week.

Whether you’re ordering a 12-pack for late night snacking, or picking up a Cookie’wich for an afternoon bite, no visit to the University of Maryland campus would be complete without one of these sweet treats. Don’t worry If you can’t get your fill while you’re in town – because they ship their cookies, too.


Testudo Statues

You’ll find seven statues of The Official Maryland Terrapin, Testudo, throughout campus. University of Maryland students believe the bronze statues bring good luck, so you’ll often see them pass by before an exam, interview, or big game, just to give Testudo’s nose a little rub.

During finals week, the Testudo statue outside of the McKeldin Library is covered in offerings from students hoping for good grades on their exams. Other statues can be found on field at the football stadium, in front of the Football Team House, at the Alumni Center, inside the Stamp Student Union, on the west side of Van Munching Hall, and at the XFINITY Center.


University Book Center

When you visit a college campus you simply must make a trip to the student bookstore, and UMD has a great one. Located in the Stamp Student Union, the University Book Center has everything you need to show your Terrapin pride AND get your study on. Check out official University of Maryland merchandise from top brands as well as a variety of gifts for every age and occasion.

The Observatory

The University of Maryland Astronomy Observatory was built as a component of the Department of Astronomy in 1964. Almost immediately after its completion, non-academic programs were created and made available to the general public.

The Observatory holds Open Houses on the 5th and 20th of every month, which consists of a group or public session that includes a short lecture, tour of the observatory, and observation if weather permits. Visit the Observatory’s website for details on parking and logistics.

Getting Around Campus

Despite the fact that all of these things to do near the University of Maryland are either on or close to campus, you’ll still need to find ways to get around. There are several transportation options to consider while you’re in town.

Driving and Parking on Campus

As is common on many university campuses, parking can be a bit tough. UMD’s parking page goes into the details, but as a visitor, here’s what you need to know if you plan to park on the University of Maryland campus: Parking lots labeled with black signs are unrestricted after 4:00 PM on weekdays and all weekend. Otherwise, you’ll want to park in a visitor lot, garage, or on-street space. Visitor parking costs $3/hour with a daily maximum of $15.

Shuttle UM

The UMD Department of Transportation Services runs Shuttle UM, which has 23 fixed routes that wind through the University of Maryland campus and surrounding neighborhoods. Some shuttles require student ID, and some routes are only available at certain times of the day, so make sure you check the Shuttle UM site prior to travel. For added convenience, Shuttle UM participates with the NextBus app to provide real time arrival information for each active bus at any given time.

Bike and Scooter Rental

The University of Maryland campus has a fleet of rentable pedal bikes, electric-assist bikes, and scooters, provided by VeoRide. To rent a bike or scooter, you’ll download the VeoRide app on your mobile device and locate the desired vehicle.

Simply pair your Bluetooth to the vehicle and use the displayed QR code to initiate the unlocking process. Once you have your bike or scooter, you’re good to go. Just leave it at any designated parking area on campus or in the surrounding neighborhoods once you’re done. Bikes and scooters cost $1 to unlock and $0.15 per minute.

Book Your Stay at The Hotel at the University of Maryland

When it comes time to call it a night, you don’t have to go further than The Hotel at the University of Maryland. The campus’ main entrance is located directly across the street from our front door, and we have everything you need for the perfect UMD visit.

Our indoor pool, spa, and state of the art fitness center will help you unwind following your campus adventures, and after spending the night in one of our luxuriously appointed guest rooms you’ll wake up refreshed and ready for another day at The University of Maryland.


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