Maryland often gets lost between the US capital, Washington, DC, and the quiet coastline of Delaware, but there’s nothing discreet about this state. Most visitors flying to Maryland see more of the Baltimore airport than they do this coastal state, but Maryland is worth sticking around. Just think crab cakes and Chesapeake Bay and you’ll be hooked on Maryland.
Maryland is home to Annapolis – the sailing capital of America – and the bustling city of Baltimore. Take a flight to Maryland and visit the home of the Baltimore Orioles before enjoying a nice Sauvignon Blanc and a bucket of oysters. Maryland has an array of wineries and of course, an array of Naval officers, waiting to greet travellers at every port.
While taking in the scenery, don’t forget the important role Maryland played in US history. A major player in the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, Maryland is one of the most patriotic states in the Union. Whether the flight to Maryland is intentional or a quick stop on the way to bordering cities and states, take a moment and enjoy the sovereignty of the “Free State.”
Maryland has a generally moderate climate. July is the warmest month with average temperatures in the upper 20s (Celsius) and into the 30s in Baltimore. Summers are humid and have thunderstorms. Winters are snowy and moderate in the east and south, but cold in the western mountains. January, the coldest month, has average temperatures in the minus figures (about minus six), but Baltimore rarely goes below freezing.
Throughout the state, summer is the high season for flights to Maryland. Baltimore, Annapolis, and the Atlantic coast resorts see substantial crowds in summer and through October when the fish are biting and the weather is better for boating. Wilmington and the Brandywine Valley have festivals and events year-round.
Baltimore is also very busy in mid to late May for the Preakness, the second race in the Triple Crown.
Western Maryland attracts visitors year-round, though spring may be a bit chilly. Summers are cooler here, the autumns splendid, and winters beautiful with cross-country skiing.
The weather is milder and less humid in fall and the crowds and prices more manageable. Baltimore is also pleasant in early May.
Winter brings cross-country skiing in the western part of the state, particularly the Deep Creek Lake area.
Maryland has buses to most cities and towns. The best way around the Chesapeake Bay is by boat. Outside the cities you need a car or bicycle for extensive exploration. Cycling is good on the eastern shore where the roads have wider shoulders and less travel. The state tourism office has maps of the most scenic and safest bike routes through the state.
If you are driving, try to avoid the Baltimore Beltway (I-695) during rush hour, from 7am-9am and 3pm-6pm.
If you are in Baltimore near the harbour, you can walk almost everywhere or take a water taxi. If you travel from the Inner Harbour north, taxis are plentiful and advisable. Bus and light-rail service is limited downtown but excellent to the suburbs.
Annapolis has walking tours; the historic district in particular is easier to walk than to find parking.
(prices quoted are from London)