Maryland is a Mid-Atlantic state in the USA and was nicknamed “America in Miniature” because this small state possesses all of the best bits of the country. From the Appalachian Mountains in the west to sandy white beaches in the east, the state of Maryland has a little of everything. Baltimore is the state’s biggest city and has many museums and historical sites.
Maryland is an extremely diverse and progressive state as it was one of the first in the USA to legalize gay marriage.
How to Get There
Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI), located 10 miles south of Baltimore and 30 miles north of Washington, D.C, is the state’s main airport. It has easy automobile access via Interstate 195, which feeds into a major highway system. Many travellers also arrive at Reagan National Airport and Dulles International Airport both located in Northern Virginia. Additionally, regional flights can be booked to Salisbury in the east, or Hagerstown) in the west.
The state of Maryland is served by several main Interstate highways and a number of other routes. Note that, Interstates 68 and 70 are the main east-west interstate highways in the state and US Routes 40 and 50 are major east-west arteries. In addition, Interstates 81, 83, 95 and 97 are major north-south routes and US Routes 219, 220, 29, 11, 15, 1, and 13 are major north-south arteries.
Maryland is well served by rail. Acela Express, the flagship Amtrak train runs hourly from Boston, New York City, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. to Baltimore as well as to the BWI Marshall Airport. The airport rail station is served by Amtrak and Maryland Area Rail Commuter (MARC) trains.
The slower Northeast Regional connects the same cities but with additional stops in between. Additionally, it also runs from several cities in Virginia. It stops in the following cities within Maryland: Aberdeen, Baltimore, BWI Marshall Airport, Cumberland, New Carrollton, Rockville, and Salisbury.
How to Get Around
Maryland Transit Authority offers bus, light rail, subway, and MARC commuter train information. In fact, Baltimore’s Metro Subway operates from Owings Mills, through Downtown Baltimore, to the Johns Hopkins Hospital. The service is provided from 14 stations and day Passes are available for unlimited daily trips on Maryland Transit Administration Metro Subway.
Light Rail: Above-ground railway operates every day in nine- to 17-minute intervals, with 32 stops. Special stops include BWI Airport, Amtrak’s Penn Station-Baltimore, and the Camden Yards sports complex.
Things to See
Ocean City, Maryland, is a quick getaway for beach lovers as soon as the temperatures heat up. Don’t forget to visit the famous Boardwalk amusement parks and about 10 miles of white sandy beaches over here.
Deep Creek Lake
Snuggled in the lush mountains of western Maryland, Deep Creek Lake is a popular four-season destination in the state of Maryland that offers a wide selection of activities from active outdoor adventures to just plain relaxing.
Currently, the capital of Maryland State, Annapolis is one of the most important historic cities in the entire USA. You can enjoy shopping, dining and the beautiful scenery of this seaport town. Tour the United States Naval Academy and St. John’s College here.
The largest city of the state of Maryland is a city of distinct neighbourhoods. It is a prime destination for all ages with world-class attractions including the Inner Harbour, National Aquarium, Camden Yards, Baltimore’s Historic Ships, Johns Hopkins and Horseshoe Casino.
This undeveloped barrier island is populated by a herd of wild horses and is a perfectly barren landscape of sand dunes and beautiful, secluded beaches.
The 300-acre waterfront destination along the Potomac River lets you dine with celebrity chefs and shop ‘til you drop to say the very least. Located in Prince George’s County, this waterfront retreat includes hotels, restaurants, retail stores, condominiums, a full-service marina, a convention centre, and commercial office space.
Antietam National Battlefield
This is a National Park Service protected area along Antietam Creek in Sharpsburg, Washington County, northwestern Maryland. Known to be the site of the bloodiest day in American history, it is now supremely peaceful, quiet and haunting.
This North Maryland town is a city with great historical value, as can be seen by its presence in the National Historic Registry. While it has a small population, the sunsets here are enduringly romantic. Do visit town’s many historic homes, galleries, and shops that have been restored to their original state. This city has Victorian charm iconic beauty making it the perfect spot for a vacation retreat and a weekend gateway.
This is a scenic Maryland harbour town about halfway along the Eastern Shore of Maryland and is known to be a perfect romantic weekend getaway destination! It is home to one of the country’s oldest Episcopal churches and the famous Honeymoon Bridge.
Best Time to Visit
Due to a variety in its geography, the weather also differs across the state of Maryland. Cities in the eastern region like Baltimore and Annapolis tend to experience hot, humid summers with mild winters while the mountainous western region sees more precipitation and many inches of powdery snow in the winter. But all in all, the best time to visit Maryland travel would be spring and fall as it’ll be less crowded (unlike summers which tend to bring heavy crowds, peak season hotel rates and soaring temperatures) and the temperatures will also be mild.
What to Eat
Local Maryland cuisine is rich and exotic. Here are some of the specialities that you need to try while visiting there:
Maryland Pit Beef- This special Maryland creation is a beef roast, minimally seasoned with salt and grilled until crispy, directly above hot charcoals. It is then, sliced into thin pink slivers, which are often raw to medium-rare and are most commonly served with horseradish and onion on a roll.
Smith Island Cake- This towering treat is famous for eight thin layers of rich yellow cake slicked with chocolate-fudge icing and is known to be state’s official dessert. The decadent cake’s rich and creamy texture makes it the perfect melt-in-your-mouth dessert.
Natty Boh- Need something to drink while you are picking crabs? The Pilsner beer National Bohemian — better known by locals as “Natty Boh” serves as the “official beer of Baltimore.” This light-and-easy quaff remains a staple with 90% of its sales coming from Maryland.
Fisher’s Popcorn-The caramel popcorn from Fisher’s aren’t supposed to be missed! It has become a vacation staple but also serves a variety of flavoured popcorn like caramel with peanuts, cinnamon caramel, butter, white cheddar and Old Bay made right before your eyes along the boardwalk.
Old Bay-This quintessential Maryland seasoning is a secret recipe that is most commonly used in seafood dishes (and everything). It’s widely believed to include mustard, paprika, celery salt, bay leaf, black pepper, crushed red pepper flakes, mace, cloves, allspice, nutmeg, cardamom and ginger. Marylanders put this stuff on almost everything, and we mean everything! In fact, if you ask anyone from Maryland about Old Bay, they will most likely share with you their favourite food item they season with Old Bay that’s ranging from popcorn to even Bloody Marys.
Steamed Blue Crab-The Chesapeake Bay crustacean is prized for its sweet, white meat and it is steamed, rather than boiled with a piquant spice mix (like Old Bay!). Prepare to get messy, since no utensils are required but your own two hands and the supplied crackers and mallets.
Crab Cakes- This fan-favourite consists of giant lumps of sweet crab meat (sauteed, baked, grilled or fried) with egg, bread, mayo, and of course, Old Bay. They are often served with a side of creamy remoulade or tartar sauce.