The State of Maryland is located in the mid-Atlantic region of the United States. Various nicknames including “Old Line State”, “Free State”, and “Chesapeake Bay State” recall historic and other aspects of Maryland. Maryland is a major hub of American life science research and houses over three hundred biotechnology firms as well as a number of prestigious academic and other research institutions.
Also known as “America in miniature,” Maryland hosts a variety of geographic regions ranging from sandy sea-grassed dunes in the east, to low bird-filled marshlands near the bay, gentle rolls of forests around Piedmont, and pine groved mountains in the western areas. Chesapeake Bay, which almost cuts the State in half is the destination for almost all the state’s waterways and continues to be a major focus point of economic life.
Hove Crest on Backbone Mountain in the southwest part of Garret County is the highest point at just over 1,000 meters. In a curious quirk of nature, Maryland has no natural lakes. This is so because Ice Age glaciers did not reach that far and so did not carve out any suitably deep recesses. As a result, all large bodies of water are man made, the largest being Deep Creek Lake in western Maryland.
The state’s climate is as varied as its topography, depending on proximity to water, elevation and protection from down slope winds. The eastern region, which is characterized by flat, sandy soils, enjoys a humid sub-tropical climate with hot summers and short mild winters. The Piedmont Mountains mark the transition point to the subtropical highlands, where summers are still hot, but winters are much colder with heavy snowfalls. Elevated areas further to the west in the subtropical highlands have cooler summers and frequently snowy winters.
Although being near the Atlantic coastline makes Maryland vulnerable to tropical cyclones, the buffers provided by the outer banks of North Carolina and the Delmarva Peninsula keep the risk below category three. The State averages approximately 25 thunderstorm days a year, during which six tornados may strike.
The Ocean City Boardwalk in Ocean City, Maryland has been voted among the Top 10 attractions in America by both Travel Channel and USA Today. It is perfect for the family looking for a fun outing. Early morning bike rides along the Boardwalk are especially popular as they combine talent spotting with healthy exercise along the ocean frontage. Eateries ranging from burger and hot dog stands to upper class seafood restaurants abound, where parents may tarry while the kids chill out on ferris wheels and roller coasters.
St Clement’s Island at Colton’s Point is where the first settler ships landed in the mid-seventeenth century. There is a great deal more to see than the forty-foot memorial erected in their honor. Picnicking and hiking on the 40-acre island are popular pastimes, as are visits to a fascinating historical museum where you can learn all about the early colonists.
St Mary’s City, which was founded in the year 1634, is a destination in itself, being both a pioneer of religious tolerance and the place where women first demanded the right to vote.