Maryland, a state with cities, coastline, and mountains, is well known for its largest city, Baltimore. This mid-Atlantic state is the wealthiest in the U.S., with most of its population clustered in the suburbs around Washington, D.C. A little bit northern, a little bit southern, Maryland straddles the line between two distinct national cultures, and it does so with ease.
In Baltimore, the World Trade Center is a top attraction, where visitors can enjoy a panoramic city view from the observation deck. Other must-sees include the Inner Harbor with its many shopping and eating options, National Aquarium with its rainforest on the top floor and Washington Monument, prominent feature of the city seal. History buffs enjoy Fort McHenry, the star-shaped fort where Francis Scott Key penned the national anthem “The Star-Spangled Banner” during the War of 1812 and Federal Hill, discovered by Captain John Smith in 1608. Other places to visit include Fells Point, Camden Yards-Raven’s Stadium, and the Baltimore Aquarium.
South of Baltimore is Annapolis, Maryland’s capitol city. A seaport on the Chesapeake Bay, Annapolis is home for the United States Naval Academy. Located on the grounds is a museum with its famous Gallery of Ships and 50,000 artifacts of the navy’s history. Other top area attractions are Maryland’s State House, the only state house to have the distinction of serving as national capitol, and the Willa Paca Gardens, a two-acre, 18th-century garden in the heart of the city. On Chesapeake Bay’s "Eastern Shore," the historic towns of Chestertown, St. Michaels, Cambridge, Ocean City or Assateague Island beckon visitors to enjoy sandy beaches, saltwater taffy, and Maryland’s famous crab cakes.
Venturing westward travelers will find Antietam National Battlefield in Sharpsburg, a national park preserving Civil War history. Green Ridge State Forest in Western Maryland offers camping, boating, fishing, hiking and biking. Previously the state’s largest apple orchard in this famous apple-producing region, the park provides scenic overlooks and places to rest and relax along the banks of the Potomac River.
Other things to do in Maryland include driving through the countryside on the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad byway, stopping at the Surratt House Museum in Clinton to learn more about John Wilke’s Booth, and riding the Maryland Rail Trail in the Appalachian Mountains.