Maryland, nicknamed America in Miniature, is a U.S. state located in the Mid-Atlantic region, bordering Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington, D.C. to its south and west; Pennsylvania to its north; and Delaware to its east. Other occasionally used nicknames of the state are the Old Line State, the Free State, and the Chesapeake Bay State. Its capital is Annapolis, its largest city is Baltimore, and its largest metro is Baltimore-Washington Metro Area. Its total land area is 12,407 square miles (32,133 square kilometres), one of the smallest states in terms of area; and as of the 2014 census, has a population of 5,976,407. It has the highest median household income, making it the wealthiest state in the country. Maryland was officially claimed to be named after Queen Henrietta Maria, while Catholics believe Maryland was named after Mary, the mother of Jesus, by George Calvert, 1st Lord Baltimore before his death in 1632. The state has a wide array of climates, because of the local variances in elevation, proximity to water, and protection from colder weather due to downslope winds.
What to see & do
Maryland is bountiful with attractions and plenty of leisurely and exciting activities that you will enjoy. There are plenty of places to visit, most of which are inarguably in the city of Baltimore. There’s the seven-storey National Aquarium, which is capped by a glass pyramid. It is home to 16,500 specimens of 660 species, a rooftop rainforest, a central ray pool, and a multi-storey shark tank. Visit American Visionary Art Museum (AVAM), which exhibits work done by self-taught artists (‘outsider’ art), surely an interesting and fascinating trip. There’s also Walters Art Museum, an eclectic gallery that spans more than 55 centuries of ancient and contemporary art, displays of Asian treasures, rare and ornate manuscripts and books, and a comprehensive French paintings collection. Other notable places in Baltimore include Camden Yards, USS Constellation, National Great Blacks in Wax Museum, and the Edgar Allan Poe House and Museum. Southern Maryland, on the other hand is worth visiting to see the beautiful colonial architecture in the state capital, Annapolis; and St Michaels, the loveliest little village on the Eastern Shore that earned its nickname as the 'Heart and Soul of Chesapeake Bay' because of its old Victorian houses, quaint B&Bs, working docks, and boutique shops.
How to get around within Maryland
There are several ways to navigate around the state. There are two types of buses in Maryland: the local bus (MTA) and the commuter bus (managed by private contractors, with oversight from the MTA). The former operates nearly 51 local bus lines throughout Baltimore alone, while the latter operates weekdays during morning and evening rush hours, with 25 routes at present. There’s also the MARC (Maryland Area Regional Commuter) Train Service, a commuter rail system that covers Harford County, Maryland; Baltimore City; Washington D.C.; Brunswick, Maryland; Frederick, Maryland; and Martinsburg, West Virginia. Weekend service is available on the Penn Line only. Maryland’s Light Rail trains operate at varying frequency, depending on the peak hours and destination; whereas the Metro Subway system, which has 14 stations and stretches to 15.5 miles, operates every eight minutes during rush hour, 10 minutes during the day, and 11 minutes during evenings, Saturdays, Sundays, and Holidays. There’s also a Mobility/Paratransit service offered to citizens unable to use the local bus, the Metro/Subway or Light Rail service. It is provided by the MTA via contracts with Veolia Transportation and MV Transportation.
How to get there
Maryland’s main and largest (by passenger number) airport is Baltimore-Washington International (also referred to as BWI or BWI Marshall), followed by Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport and Washington Dulles International Airport. BWI is situated approximately 10 miles (16 kilometres) south of Baltimore and 32 miles (51 kilometres) northeast of Washington, D.C. Some of the airlines that serve these airports include Air Canada Express, Alaska Airlines, American Eagle, American Airlines, American Eagle, British Airways, Condor, Delta Air Lines, Delta Connection, JetBlue Airways, Southwest Airlines, Spirit Airlines, United Airlines, United Express, US Airways, US Airways Express, and WOW Air, among others. Other ways of getting in include by train, via Amtrak trains that arrive at stations in Aberdeen, Baltimore, BWI, Cumberland, New Carrollton, Rockville, and Salisbury; by car, via numerous main Interstate highways, and a number of other routes that enter the state.