20 Interesting And Fun Facts About Maryland [Explained]

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A vibrant and diverse state located on the eastern coast of the United States, Maryland is known for its rich history, picturesque landscapes, and bustling cities. The state offers a unique blend of cultural attractions and natural beauty that reflects some of the fun facts about Maryland. 

Quick Statistics And Facts About Maryland

  • Capital: Annapolis 
  • Population: 6.165 million (19th Populous State in the U.S) 
  • Land Area: 12,407 mi² / 32,134 km² (42nd Largest in the U.S) 
  • Nickname: The Old Line State
  • Abbreviation: MD 
  • Statehood: July 4, 1776 (7th U.S State) 
  • State Bird: Baltimore Oriole
  • State Flower: Black-Eyed Susan

Historical Facts About Maryland

Maryland Inspired The Writing Of The Star Spangled Banner

Francis Scott Key wrote “The Star-Spangled Banner” in 1814 after witnessing the Battle of Baltimore during the War of 1812. Held captive on a British ship, Key anxiously watched as Fort McHenry was bombarded throughout the night. When morning came, he saw the American flag still flying above the fort, symbolizing its resilience and victory. 

In awe of this spectacle, he composed a poem to honor the fortitude and loyalty of his nation. This poem was then turned into music, becoming what is now known as “The Star-Spangled Banner,” the U.S. national anthem, symbolizing patriotism and spirit here in America.

This is one of the most important American facts that continue to live a legacy today.

The Great Fire of Baltimore Destroyed 1,500 Buildings In The City

The Great Fire of Baltimore, which occurred in February 1904, was a devastating event that destroyed over 1,500 buildings in the city’s downtown area. It’s one of the more unfortunate facts about Baltimore. 

A basement fire was the cause, and the fire quickly spread and became uncontrollable in the presence of strong winds and flammable materials. The fire raged for two days, causing widespread damage and displacing numerous residents. 

Despite this tragedy, something good occurred—this event served as an opportunity for renewal. Rules for construction tightened up; more modern infrastructure was introduced; streets became larger; and downtown was entirely transformed, resulting in what is now present-day Baltimore.

Thurgood Marshall Was Born in Baltimore

Thurgood Marshall, born in 1908 in Baltimore, was a real pioneer of US history. He made history as the first African American Supreme Court Justice and was a key figure in the civil rights struggle. His noteworthy accomplishments included taking charge of the Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education case, which ended segregation in public schools.

Throughout his job, he fought for justice and equity, challenging bias against people of color via numerous court cases. 

C&O Canal Was A 19th-Century Transportation Project

The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, or C&O Canal, was a significant 19th-century venture that connected the Chesapeake Bay with the Ohio River. 

Constructed in 1850, the 184.5-mile canal played a crucial role in transporting goods, primarily coal, along its route. It utilized locks and towpaths to facilitate the movement of mule-drawn boats carrying items like lumber, grain, and agricultural products. 

However, the rise of the railroad industry led to the canal’s decline, and it stopped commercial operations. Today, the C&O Canal is a popular recreational area, offering a scenic trail for enjoying its historical and natural attractions. 

The Maryland State House Is America’s Oldest-Running State Capitol

The Maryland State House, located in Annapolis, holds the distinction of being the oldest continuously used state capitol in the United States. It was a critical part of American history, as it served as the spot for the Continental Congress in 1783–1784. In addition, it held George Washington’s famous resignation from the Continental Army. 

As a symbol of the state’s rich heritage and contributions to the nation’s founding, the State House stands as a historical landmark in Maryland. 

Cultural Facts About Maryland

Maryland’s African American Population Impacts The State’s Culture.

Maryland has a strong African American presence that strongly affects the state’s culture. Baltimore is particularly famous for its extensive African American legacy, featuring figures like Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubman. The National Great Blacks in Wax Museum and the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture give people insight into this past. 

Maryland’s African American legacy encompasses the struggle against slavery, participation in the civil rights movement, and contributions to music, art, literature, and cuisine. It is a testament to the resilience, activism, and cultural richness that continue to shape the state’s identity.

Maryland Has A Strong Bond With Its Crab Culture

Maryland’s crab culture is deeply ingrained in the state’s culinary traditions and cultural identity. The blue crab is an iconic symbol, with Maryland-style crab cakes and steamed crabs seasoned with Old Bay seasoning being beloved foods in Maryland.

Crab cakes are known for their emphasis on pure crab meat and minimal fillers, while steamed crabs with Old Bay provide a distinct and flavorful experience. 

Maryland’s appreciation for crabs extends beyond the plate, with crab feasts and gatherings fostering social connections and designating the “Maryland Blue Crab” as the state crustacean, further showcasing this cherished seafood delicacy’s cultural significance and pride.

Maryland Boasts A Robust Equestrian Culture

Many people in Maryland love horse racing, and the state is proud of its horse racing culture. Every year, Baltimore’s Pimlico Race Course hosts the Preakness Stakes, a major event that marks the second part of the Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing. Fans and spectators flock to the racecourse for this special occasion to see these graceful creatures compete on the track.

The Chesapeake Bay, Maryland’s Largest Estuary, Holds Huge Cultural Significance.

The Chesapeake Bay is the largest estuary in Maryland, and it has huge importance for the state’s culture. Its waters have great recreational opportunities like fishing, boating, and more. Its abundance of crab, oysters, and other seafood delicacies has also greatly contributed to the state’s cuisine.

In addition to its practical benefits, its picturesque views have been immortalized in artwork, literature, and music, giving a glimpse into how precious they are to this region. This majestic body of water carries symbolic value for Marylanders; it blends practicality with beauty to become an integral part of their history.

Baltimore Is The Biggest City And Has An Engaging Cultural Scene

Baltimore is well-known for its impressive art, music, and literary heritage. The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Baltimore Museum of Art, and Walters Art Museum are legendary establishments that provide entertainment for citizens and visitors. It’s also the birthplace of noted writer Edgar Allan Poe. 

People can also enjoy theater performances, dance shows, and cinema screenings or take part in cultural festivals like Artscape to experience a bit of everything this city offers. 

Simple Facts About Maryland For Kids

Maryland Is Known As “Little America.”

The state’s famous reputation as “Little America” is due to its remarkable range of landscapes, from mountains and beaches to sand dunes, farmland, and forests. For travelers, this diversity has to be one of the most exciting facts about Maryland.

The West region has the Appalachian Mountains, which offer fantastic views for adventurers. Eastward lies Maryland’s coast on the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean, with awe-inspiring Maryland beaches and dunes. 

Further inland are rich farmlands and hilly countryside, while wooded areas can be found in the center and western sections. All these beautiful terrains demonstrate why Maryland is rightly known as a miniature version of our nation’s geographical abundance.

The National Aquarium In Baltimore Draws 1.5 Million People Annually To View Its Remarkable Habitat

Featuring over 750 species of aquatic life swimming in 2,200,000 gallons of water, guests can witness fish, sharks, dolphins, turtles, and seahorses up close and personal. 

In addition to providing an entertaining experience for both young and old alike, the exhibitions create a greater understanding of protecting marine ecosystems and the significance of conservation. With its spectacular showcase of marine life and dedication to conservation education, this has become one of America’s most-visited attractions.

Assateague Island Is Renowned For Its Wild Chincoteague Ponies

Every year, millions of visitors travel to the island to observe these untamed creatures in their natural habitat. In addition to the ponies, there are numerous beaches, marshes, dunes, and various wildlife that enthusiasts of nature can explore and enjoy. 

Activities such as birdwatching, hiking, camping, and beachcombing offer a chance to savor this magical place’s serene environment. It’s one of the most amazing facts about Maryland for nature lovers. 

Preserved as part of the Assateague Island National Seashore area, it remains an admired destination, with its untouched beauty ensuring a truly unforgettable experience.

Accident, Maryland Was Really An Accident

One of the most amusing Maryland facts has to be this crazy coincidence that stood through time. In the 1770s, two different surveying teams that did not know each other’s existence decided that the same area was desirable for settlement in the Appalachians. 

This highly unlikely event originated with Accident, Maryland, and its unique name. Today, this small town serves as a reminder of a funny twist of fate that happened centuries ago and has been recognized throughout history.

The Ouiji Board Had Its Beginnings In Baltimore 

The Ouija Board, a popular and controversial tool associated with spiritualism, began in Baltimore in 1890. Helen Peters created it initially and referred to it as the “Egyptian Luck Board.” Demand was so high that she and her investors had to establish several factories to keep up. 

Parker Brothers eventually acquired the Ouija Board’s rights in 1966, ensuring its status as a cultural phenomenon. From its humble origins in Baltimore to its acquisition by a major game company, the Ouija Board’s history reflects its enduring presence in American popular culture. 

Useful Facts About Maryland For Travelers

Baltimore’s Inner Harbor Is A Bustling Waterfront In The Downtown 

The Inner Harbor has something for everyone, with attractions such as the National Aquarium and the Maryland Science Center providing opportunities to view marine life, observe interactive exhibits, and tour vessels like the USS Constellation. Enjoy numerous dining options, from seafood to international food, as well as shopping options. 

With its beautiful views and recreation spaces accompanying its already exciting atmosphere throughout the year with events and festivals, it is an ideal spot for sightseeing or outdoor activities.

Maryland’s Rich History Comes Alive Through Its Historic Sites

History geeks will love this exciting fact about Maryland; there are so many historically significant sites to check out. 

Fort McHenry in Baltimore is remembered for inspiring the iconic ‘Star-Spangled Banner’ and displaying the legacy of the War of 1812. Antietam National Battlefield near Sharpsburg stands as a reminder of a major battle during the American Civil War, with meaningful monuments and memorials to honor its history. 

Annapolis, which serves as the state capital, houses spectacular structures from the 18th century, such as the Maryland State House and the United States Naval Academy. Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad State Park on the Eastern Shore commemorates an important abolitionist’s struggle for freedom. 

Maryland Offers Many Great Outdoor Activities For All Nature Lovers

With a range of parks and hiking trails, including a portion of the Appalachian Trail, hikers can experience stunning vistas and serene forests. Assateague Island National Seashore presents beautiful beaches, wild horses, and camping options on the Atlantic coast. 

Water activities abound in Maryland’s waterways, such as boating and fishing in the Chesapeake Bay and the Potomac River. Wildlife and nature preserves, like Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, provide birdwatching and wildlife spotting opportunities. 

Maryland Offers Convenient Transportation Options For Travelers

Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI) is the major airport connecting Maryland to domestic and international destinations. The state’s extensive highway network, including Interstate 95, Interstate 70, and Interstate 270, allows for easy exploration of different regions. 

Commuter rail services, such as the MARC train system, provide convenient travel within Maryland and to neighboring areas. Baltimore Light RailLink is a great resource for efficient intra-city travel. Subways and buses stretch throughout the metropolitan area, providing access to each corner of the state with ease and convenience. 

You Have To Try The Seafood In Maryland

Maryland is renowned for its outstanding seafood, particularly blue crab. It is one of the best Maryland facts for visitors, particularly for foodies! You can relish the distinctive and delectable flavors of Maryland-style crab cakes, boiled crabs, and various fresh seafood specialties in coastal restaurants and fish markets. 

Blue crabs are well-known for their savory meat, making them an extraordinary gastronomic treat. Moreover, Maryland-style crab cakes made from lump crab meat are a must for seafood enthusiasts. 

Discovering More Fun Facts About Maryland

Maryland presents a treasure trove of unique experiences, fascinating history, and breathtaking nature. From its fascinating origin stories to the stunning landscapes and outdoor adventures on offer, this state makes for a great travel destination. 

Add in the irresistible allure of Maryland’s famous seafood and the ease of transportation options, and you have the recipe for an unforgettable adventure. So, whether you’re a history buff, an outdoor enthusiast, or a curious traveler, you are bound to uncover more interesting facts about Maryland as you explore this beautiful state.


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Welcome To NomadsUnveiled
This is Rax. For over a decade, I have traveled to over 60 countries - from a budget backpacker to a business traveler, expat and then a digital nomad. You can find insights and perspectives from myself and other world travelers that will inspire your journey of discovery.

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