Maryland is a Mid-Atlantic state that's defined by its abundant waterways and coastlines on the Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Ocean. Its largest city, Baltimore, has a long history as a major seaport. Fort McHenry, birthplace of the U.S. national anthem, sits at the mouth of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, home to the National Aquarium and Maryland Science Center.
Maryland is a state in the Mid-Atlantic region, bordering Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia to its south and west; Pennsylvania to its north; and Delaware and the Atlantic Ocean to its east. The state's largest city is Baltimore, and its capital is Annapolis. Among its occasional nicknames are Old Line State, the Free State, and the Chesapeake Bay State. It is named after the English Queen Henrietta Maria, known in England as Queen Mary, who was the wife of King Charles I.
Sixteen of Maryland's twenty-three counties, as well as the city of Baltimore, border the tidal waters of the Chesapeake Bay estuary and its many tributaries, which combined total more than 4,000 miles of shoreline. Although one of the smallest states in the U.S., it features a variety of climates and topographical features that have earned it the moniker of America in Miniature. In a similar vein, Maryland's geography, culture, and history combine elements of the Mid-Atlantic, Northeastern, and South Atlantic regions of the country.
Cities and metro areas Maryland
Most of the population of Maryland lives in the central region of the state, in the Baltimore metropolitan area and Washington metropolitan area, both of which are part of the Baltimore–Washington metropolitan area. The majority of Maryland's population is concentrated in the cities and suburbs surrounding Washington, D.C., as well as in and around Maryland's most populous city, Baltimore. Historically, these and many other Maryland cities developed along the Fall Line, the line along which rivers, brooks, and streams are interrupted by rapids and/or waterfalls. Maryland's capital city, Annapolis, is one exception to this pattern, since it lies along the banks of the Severn River, close to where it empties into the Chesapeake Bay.
The Eastern Shore is less populous and more rural, as are the counties of western Maryland. The two westernmost counties of Maryland, Allegany and Garrett, are mountainous and sparsely populated, resembling West Virginia and Appalachia more than they do the rest of the state. Both eastern and western Maryland are, however, dotted with cities of regional importance, such as Ocean City, Princess Anne, and Salisbury on the Eastern Shore and Cumberland, Frostburg, and Hancock in Western Maryland. Southern Maryland is still somewhat rural, but suburbanization from Washington, D.C. has encroached significantly since the 1960s; important local population centers include Lexington Park, Prince Frederick, and Waldorf.