The nickname 'America in Miniature' perfectly captures Maryland: this small state possesses all of the best bits of the country, from the Appalachian Mountains in the west to sandy white beaches in the east. A blend of northern street smarts and Southern down-home appeal gives this border state an appealing identity crisis. Its main city, Baltimore, is a sharp, demanding port town; the Eastern Shore jumbles art-and-antique-minded city escapees and working fishermen; and the DC suburbs are packed with government and office workers seeking green space, and those seeking more affordable rents. Yet it all somehow works – scrumptious blue crabs, Natty Boh beer and lovely Chesapeake country being the glue that binds it all. This is also an extremely diverse and progressive state, and was one of the first in the USA to legalize gay marriage.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Maryland.

Featured videos

How one first-time hiker conquered the Appalachian Trail