Maryland, one of the original 13 colonies, is located in the center of the East Coast, amidst the vast commercial and population complex stretching from Maine to Virginia.
Although small in size, there is great diversity of landscapes and ways of life they cherish, from the low-lying and water-oriented Eastern Shore and Chesapeake Bay, through the metropolitan city of Baltimore, the largest city, to the forested foothills and mountains of the Appalachians of the western foothills.
Annapolis, the state capital, is also home to the United States Naval Academy. Maryland is the leading producer of blue crabs and is known for its crab cakes.
Maryland is located in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States. It is bordered by Delaware to the east, Pennsylvania to the north, West Virginia to the west and Virginia and Washington D.C. to the south. Maryland covers an area of 12,406 square miles, making it the 42nd largest state in terms of area. It is divided into 23 counties and has a population of approximately 6 million people as of 2020.
The geography of Maryland is dominated by its Chesapeake Bay coastline which stretches for over 400 miles along its eastern border with Virginia and Washington D.C. The bay forms a large estuary which provides habitat for a variety of fish and other wildlife species, including blue crabs and oysters. The bay also provides recreational opportunities such as fishing, boating and crabbing.
The terrain of Maryland is generally flat with rolling hills in its western areas. Much of Maryland consists of coastal plain lowlands which are part of the Atlantic Coastal Plain region stretching from Massachusetts to Florida. Inland areas feature rolling hills and valleys which form part of the Appalachian Plateau region that extends from New York to Alabama.
Mountains are found primarily in western Maryland with several peaks rising above 3,000 feet including Backbone Mountain at 3,360 feet which is the highest point in Maryland as well as Hoye-Crest at 3,360 feet which straddles both Maryland and Pennsylvania on Backbone Mountain’s ridgeline. Other notable mountains include South Mountain (2,841 ft), Catoctin Mountain (2,600 ft) and Sideling Hill (2,566 ft).
Maryland has numerous rivers running through it including the Potomac River which forms much of its southern border with Virginia; Patuxent River; Susquehanna River; Choptank River; Patapsco River; Monocacy River; Severn River; Magothy River; Gunpowder Falls; Nanticoke River; Wicomico River; Pocomoke River; Sassafras Rivers among others. These rivers provide recreational opportunities such as fishing, canoeing/kayaking or simply enjoying nature along their banks or islands located within them such as Smith Island or Tangier Island off Chesapeake Bay’s Eastern Shore region for example.
With nearly 800 miles worth of shoreline along Chesapeake Bay plus numerous rivers running through it one can find a variety from saltwater marshes to sandy beaches when exploring all that coastal Maryland has to offer. In addition, there are several national parks located within its borders including Assateague Island National Seashore; Catoctin Mountain Park; Fort McHenry National Monument & Historic Shrine; Antietam National Battlefield; Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park; Appalachian Trail – Harpers Ferry Section among others. All these parks provide recreational opportunities such as hiking/biking trails, camping, kayaking/canoeing, bird watching, horseback riding etc while also providing insight into history or simply providing great views while out exploring nature.
Overall Maryland’s geography offers something for everyone whether you’re looking for activities on or around water; enjoying mountain views; exploring national parks or simply looking to explore some unique history that this state has to offer.
Cities in Maryland
Below are the top 15 cities by population in Maryland. For all cities and towns in the state, please see Maryland cities list.
Baltimore is one of the top cities in Maryland and is the largest city in the state. It is known for its rich culture, history, and vibrant nightlife. The Inner Harbor area has become a major tourist destination, with attractions such as the National Aquarium and the Maryland Science Center. The city also hosts several popular annual festivals such as Artscape and Light City Baltimore. In addition to its cultural attractions, Baltimore is home to some of Maryland’s top universities including Johns Hopkins University and Loyola University Maryland. The city also boasts a thriving business district with many Fortune 500 companies headquartered there. With its excellent public transportation system, it’s easy to get around Baltimore and explore all that it has to offer.
Annapolis is another great city in Maryland that attracts visitors from all over the world. It is known for being the state capital and for having a deep maritime history. Annapolis offers an array of attractions such as historic homes, museums, galleries, shops, restaurants, parks, and waterfront activities like boat tours on Chesapeake Bay. Additionally, Annapolis hosts several popular events throughout the year including the United States Sailboat Show and Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium’s Military Appreciation Day celebrations. With so much to do in Annapolis it’s no surprise that it continues to be one of Maryland’s top cities for tourists and locals alike.
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Counties in Maryland
The State of Maryland consists of 23 counties. They are:
- Allegany County, Maryland
- Anne Arundel County, Maryland
- Baltimore County, Maryland
- Calvert County, Maryland
- Caroline County, Maryland
- Carroll County, Maryland
- Cecil County, Maryland
- Charles County, Maryland
- Dorchester County, Maryland
- Frederick County, Maryland
- Garrett County, Maryland
- Harford County, Maryland
- Howard County, Maryland
- Kent County, Maryland
- Montgomery County, Maryland
- Prince George’s County, Maryland
- Queen Anne’s County, Maryland
- Saint Mary’s County, Maryland
- Somerset County, Maryland
- Talbot County, Maryland
- Washington County, Maryland
- Wicomico County, Maryland
- Worcester County, Maryland