Maryland, United States

About Maryland

Maryland is located in the Mid Atlantic region of the United States, with borders on Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia to its south and west; Pennsylvania to its north; and Delaware to its east. Maryland is a nexus of life sciences research and development, with more than 350 biotechnology companies located there, making Maryland the third-largest nexus in this field in the United States. Maryland is bounded on its north by Pennsylvania, on its west by West Virginia, on its east by Delaware and the Atlantic Ocean, and on its south, across the Potomac River, by West Virginia and Virginia. The mid-portion of this border is interrupted on the Maryland side by Washington, DC, which sits on land that was originally part of Maryland. The Chesapeake Bay nearly bisects the state, and the counties east of the bay are known collectively as the Eastern Shore.

Maryland Tourism and Recreation

Attractions include parks, historical sites, and national seashore (Assateague Island). Annapolis, the state capital, is the site of the US Naval Academy. On Baltimore's waterfront are monuments to Francis Scott Key and Edgar Allan Poe, historic Ft. McHenry, and many restaurants serving the city's famed crab cakes and other seafood specialties. Ocean City is the state's major seaside resort, and there are many resort towns along Chesapeake Bay. The Office of Tourism promotes such historical attractions as the Civil War, War of 1812, and National Road. It also is expanding investment in multi-cultural tourism, sports marketing, and nature tourism. There are 19 state parks with camping facilities and 10 recreation areas.

Maryland Climate

In the summer, it can be hot in the east and mild in the west. In the winter, it can be moderate in the east, and very cold in the west mountains. Maryland's climate varies from place to place because in the Eastern part of Maryland, the usual temperature in the winter is about 40°F. The central part is cooler and the western part is the coldest. It can reach to about -35°F. Severe weather is common in spring and tornadoes are rare.

The climate in Maryland is somewhat diverse, varying according to altitude and proximity to water, and the state experiences four distinct seasons. Summertime (usually July and August) can vary from mild to hot, with the highest temperatures on average occurring in July, ranging from 85°F to 89°F (29°C to 32°C). Summer tends to also be the wettest time of year, with plenty of thunderstorms in July and August, which bring increased humidity between August and October, though nights tend to be cooler. Winters are cold, with snow heaviest in the mountain regions in the west, and January is the coldest month averaging between 20°F and 25°F (-7°C to -4°C). In Baltimore humidity averages about 60 percent between February and April and 75 percent from August to October.

Maryland Transportaion

Maryland's Interstate highways include I-95, which enters the northeast portion of the state, goes through Baltimore, and becomes part of the eastern section of the Capital Beltway to the Woodrow Wilson Bridge. I-68 connects the western portions of the state to I-70 at the small town of Hancock. I-70 continues east to Baltimore, connecting Hagerstown and Frederick along the way. I-83 connects Baltimore to southern central Pennsylvania (Harrisburg and York, Pennsylvania). Maryland also has a portion of I-81 that runs through the state near Hagerstown. I-97, fully contained within Anne Arundel County and the shortest one- or two-digit Interstate highway outside of Hawaii, connects the Baltimore area to the Annapolis area.

Maryland's largest airport is Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (formerly known as Friendship Airport and recently renamed for Baltimore-born former and first African-American Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall). The only other airports with commercial service are at Hagerstown and Salisbury. The Maryland suburbs of Washington, D.C. are also serviced by the other two airports in the region, Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport and Dulles International Airport, both in Northern Virginia.

Amtrak trains, including the high speed Acela Express serve Baltimore's Penn Station, BWI Airport, New Carrollton, and Aberdeen along the Washington D.C. to Boston Northeast Corridor. In addition, train service is provided to Rockville and Cumberland by Amtrak's Washington D.C. to Chicago Capitol Limited. MARC commuter trains, operated by the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA), connect nearby Washington, D.C., Frederick, Baltimore, and intermediate towns.