Capital City: Annapolis
Maryland on the Mid-Atlantic, nicknamed America in Miniature, has a little bit of everything: both sea and mountain, urban and rural, historic and modern. It ranges from some of the nation's most densely populated areas around Washington, D.C., to bucolic rural areas in the east around the Chesapeake Bay and Eastern Shore, and in the Appalachian Mountains in the west. Baltimore is the state's biggest city, with literal boatloads of tourist attractions around its Inner Harbor; Annapolis, with its historical maritime charm, is its capital.
» Geography and Climate
The state crosses many different geographical zones, from the low, sandy barrier islands of the Atlantic Coast to the fertile, lowlands of the Chesapeake Basin, which rise into the foothills of the Piedmont, and eventually the rugged terrain of the Appalachian Mountains. Maryland has been called "America in Miniature" because of the great difference of landscape one can experience in such a small area.
The climate of Maryland varies as much as its topography. The lower elevation Atlantic Coastal Plain, which surrounds the Chesapeake Bay and includes the major cities of Baltimore, Annapolis, and Salisbury has a mild subtropical climate, with hot, humid summers and cool winters with very little snow. As one moves away from the Bay and higher in elevation, the climate becomes more continental, with milder summers and colder winters including the major cities of Hagerstown and Cumberland. In the mountains of the west summers are cool, and winters can be very cold with heavy snows. The mountains protect the eastern half of Maryland from much of the harsh winter weather experienced in the Great Lakes region.