Maryland’s important place in American history, its diverse geography, and large population make it one of the most unique places in the country to live. But don’t just take it from us—here’s 20 of the best reasons why Maryland is an amazing place to call home!
1.) It is one of the original American colonies. George Calvert received a royal charter for the land that would later become Maryland from King Charles I. George’s son, Cecil Calvert, would then found the Maryland colony in 1632, one of the original 13 American colonies. He named it after Henrietta Maria, the wife of the king.
2.) It has numerous historic sites for history buffs. Maryland’s long ties to America’s past are present throughout the state with something for those interested in just about any aspect of American history. Maryland is home to the Antietam National Battlefield, the home of Clara Barton founder of the Red Cross, the home of abolitionist and statesman Frederick Douglass, Bucktown Village Store where Underground Railroad activist Harriet Tubman first defied oppression, the Civil War sailing ship the USS Constallation, Fort McHenry, Fort Frederick, and so many more.
3.) It is the birthplace of "The Star-Spangled Banner". Maryland and the nation’s history are forever intertwined, and that fact is never more apparent than with the “Star-Spangled Banner” – our National Anthem. The song originates from the poem “Defence of Fort M’Henry” written by Francis Scott Key as he watched the bombardment of Fort McHenry by British ships in Baltimore Harbor during the War of 1812.
4.) It has some of the nation’s most important historical cities. Annapolis and Baltimore each spent time as the U.S. capitol. Annapolis is where the Continental Congress signed the Treaty of Paris ending the Revolutionary War. In fact, Maryland is home to a wealth of cities and towns with historical significance, such as Frederick, Old Elliot City and St. Mary’s City.
5.) It has that flag. Maryland has a flag as historic and diverse as the state itself. It is the only state flag to feature family crests. The flag bears the arms of the Calvert and Crossland families. The Calverts being Maryland’s founders and Crosslands being the family name of founder George Calvert’s mother.
6.) It has the Ravens and Orioles. Whether its homeruns at Camden Yards or touchdowns at M&T Bank Stadium, rooting for the home team is the perfect way to feel state pride and tailgate in Maryland’s four distinct seasons.
7.) It has The Preakness. On the 3rd Wednesday of May each year, the Pimlico Race Course roars to life with The Preakness. Not only is it a breathless race between horse racings finest, but The Preakness is also the second race in the Triple Crown.
8.) It has a Six Flags. If you are a fan of roller coasters, look no further than Maryland’s Six Flags America. With coasters that have names like Apocalypse and Mind Eraser, you know you won’t leave disappointed.
9.) It has four distinct seasons. Maryland doesn’t pretend when it comes to the four seasons of the year – it truly has them all. A hot summer, a balmy autumn and its beautiful colors, a snowy winter and a vibrant springtime are things Marylanders can always count on.
10.) It has something for all lifestyles. National Geographic Magazine called Maryland “America in Miniature” due to the variety of landscapes found here. In the west, you’ll find the Blue Ridge and Appalachian mountain ranges. The north is known for its rich farmland. The east is dominated by sandy beaches, estuaries, salt marshes and numerous tiny islands. And let’s not forget the city of Baltimore for those who enjoy the pace of big city life.
11.) It is in the middle of other popular destinations. Speaking of Baltimore, Maryland’s location is ideal to visit and experience the rich culture of many other great U.S. cities. Washington D.C., the nation’s capital, is only an hour drive away. Even cities like Philadelphia and New York City can be a fun day trip.
12.) It has an active, outdoor lifestyle. Maryland has over 50 state parks for those into hiking, running, biking, swimming, fishing, boating, or just taking in the scenery and getting a breath of fresh air. Living in Maryland, one thing is for sure, you’ll want good shoes and a sense of adventure.
13.) It has the Chesapeake Bay. The Chesapeake Bay comprises 1, 726 miles of Maryland’s shoreline. It got its name from the Algonquian’s who called it Chesepiook, meaning "Great Shellfish Bay." And there is no better description as the bay is home to an abundance of blue crabs, oysters and clams. But the bay is also a place to find fun and adventure with charter boats, paddleboard and kayak rentals, sailboat races, boardwalks and waterfront bars, historic harbors, forts, and shipwrecks, and more.
14.) It has those blue crabs. Out of all the things Marylanders have to boast about, they boast the loudest about their crabs. The Chesapeake Bay has been the largest blue crab harvest for the last century. Nowhere is the blue crab fresher or as delicious and abundant as Maryland. Don’t forget the Old Bay!
15.) It has clean beaches. Not only are Maryland’s beaches on the Atlantic coast known for their beauty, but they have been ranked as some of the nation’s cleanest. In a survey of bacteria levels in beach water, Maryland ranked 4th lowest in the nation.
16.) It has the National Aquarium. As if Maryland didn’t already have enough for sea lovers, The National Aquarium is right here in Baltimore. Guests can see 17,000 specimens of sea life in the aquarium’s more than 2,200,000 gallons water.
17.) It has world-class public schools. Maryland’s public school system finishes at or near the top of the nation year after year. Maryland high schools led this year’s 2015 Best High Schools rankings by U.S. News with 28.9 percent of its eligible schools earning gold and silver medals, which denotes above average scores by students on advanced placement tests. Maryland is a place that gets its youth prepared for college better than any other state.
18.) It has top-notch healthcare. Maryland’s Johns Hopkins Hospital ranks as the third best hospital in the nation and ranks in the top 5 for 10 different specialties.
19.) It is affordable. Maryland has a lower average cost of living for its urban areas than those of its neighbors. It also boasts the nation’s top median household income and its second lowest poverty rate.