Maryland — Overview
Maryland is located on the eastern side of the US on the beautiful Chesapeake Bay. The state is bordered by Virginia, West Virginia, Washington DC, Pennsylvania, and Delaware. It is known as the "Free State" because it was one of the first to ratify the Constitution. It is a popular vacation destination for its unique blend of sea, mountain, rural, and city, and offers something everyone can enjoy. There are beaches, historic sites, nature reserves, and activities for all seasons!
The state is divided into five regions, the Capital (closest to Washington DC and a commuter hub), Central Maryland (home to Baltimore and Annapolis), the Eastern Shore (Assateague Island and Ocean City), Southern Maryland (Chesapeake Bay), and Western Maryland (the mountains and Deep Creek Lake).
The Chesapeake Bay area is one of the popular beach getaways on the eastern coast of the US, home to quaint bed and breakfasts, Maryland’s famous crab cakes and excellent seafood with parks and outdoor activities galore. Maryland is also home to big cities, which offer great attractions and have interesting histories. A stop in Baltimore, Annapolis and Gaithersburg is worthwhile.
Booking accommodations in advance is strongly recommended during Maryland’s peak summer season when hotel prices skyrocket, especially on weekends. Many people from neighboring states come to Maryland for a quick getaway. A large number rent vacation homes, but there is plenty of demand for hotels and bed & breakfasts as well. Camping and RVs are also popular and a cost-effective way to see Maryland.
The largest airport in Maryland is Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall, located just south of Baltimore. There are two smaller regional airports that offer commercial flights to Hagerstown and Salisbury. However, Ronald Reagan National Airport is located just across the border in Virginia, and offers excellent domestic connections. The vast majority of visitors arriving to Maryland by car come via I95 from Washington DC or New York or I70 in the west. The MARC train provides rail service to Maryland and beyond.
Exploring by car is easy as the state has an excellent road network. Car rental is readily available, but needs to be booked in advanced during the peak summer months and weekends. There are many scenic drives in Maryland, but two that are particularly beautiful are the Chesapeake Country Byway, which meanders through the coastal area and wetlands, and the Historic National Road, which runs by the Maryland countryside.
- Explore the well-preserved Cumberland Historic District
- See the wild horses on Assateague Island
- Hike the Appalachian Trail or part of it
- Hike or bike the Allegheny Highlands Trail, further along the C&O Canal
- Enjoy whitewater rafting in one of the premier manmade courses in Deep Creek
- Relax on the Chesapeake Bay, eat crab cakes and have a clam bake
- Go see the Baltimore Ravens or Orioles play – eat a hot dog, drink a beer and soak up the atmosphere at an all American sporting event
- Pick up a bargain at the outlet mall