Cabot is credited with being the first European to explore Maryland and that region of North America in the year 1498. Settlements began to spring up in the north and south shortly after, but King Charles I did not grant access to the area until 1632. People began arriving a couple of years later, and the colony developed an economy based on tobacco.
Articles of Confederation, which helped shape the United States, were ratified by Maryland as the 13th state. When the Constitution established a more substantial structure for governing, it became the seventh state to ratify the document in 1788.
As the economy began to change in Maryland, many plantation owners freed their slaves. In 1860, it was still a slave state, but over half the population was free.
Here are some of the best things in Maryland today:
Best: Endless outdoor activities
It's no wonder Maryland is an oasis in the Mid-Atlantic region since over 40% of its land is covered in trees. If you enjoy outdoor activities, Maryland has endless expeditions for you to discover! Thurmont, a community in Maryland, offers many of the possibilities that untamed beauty provides. The town is situated between Catoctin Mountain and Cunningham Falls so that hiking opportunities can fill an entire day.
The island of Assateague is also home to a large herd of wild horses. You will not want to miss horseback riding with a variety of horses if you love horses! With so many state and national parks in such a small area, Maryland has earned the nickname "America in Miniature."
Best: Mouth-watering food options to choose from
When you move to Maryland, you will be able to enjoy excellent food options. You can find delicious fresh seafood here when you want oysters on the half shell, lobster rolls, or fresh crab. There are several nationally recognized chefs and restaurants in the state, so you can enjoy an excellent meal with your family or friends. Baltimore is home to a growing number of craft breweries, and the cocktail scene is flourishing. There are even several ethnic restaurants for you to try.
Although filled with great things, there are some drawbacks to living in Maryland. Check out these worst things you may expect in the state:
Worst: Crime rate is increasing
Because of a spike in violent crime, Baltimore ranked third among the most dangerous cities in the United States. During that year, the homicide rate in the community reached its highest level ever per capita. There have been numerous incidents involving drugs and are concentrated in neglected areas of the city, but that doesn't mean they don't impact the rest of town or the state.
If you live in Maryland, you'll need to take precautions to ensure your safety. Make sure your steering wheel is locked and that valuables are kept out of your car. Walking alone at night in an unfamiliar area is not a good idea either. A few programs are attempting to address this issue, but more work needs to be done.
Worst: They have weird "blue laws."
Maryland's blue laws differ from those in other parts of the United States. On Sundays, you must go to a restaurant or a bar to purchase alcohol if you want to have fun. To have something prepackaged to enjoy at home or a tailgate party, you will need to have enough supplies ready the day before.
Except for Howard, Montgomery, and Prince George Counties, these laws also apply to car dealerships. Unless local ordinances or regulations permit it, even professional sports teams cannot play a game before 1 p.m. on a Sunday.
Can't get enough of Maryland? Here are more fun facts about this magnificent state:
- Annapolis was the site of the founding of the United States Naval Academy in 1845.
- In 1830 the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Company built the first railroad station in Baltimore.
- During revolutionary times Rockville was known as Hungerford's Tavern, the name of its most familiar landmark. In 1774, the tavern became one of the first calls for independence from British rule.
- The Basilica of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary is a masterpiece and one of the finest 19th-century buildings in the world. The basilica is the first cathedral in the United States. Baltimore represents the first Roman Catholic diocese.
- Fort Meade near Laurel became a base because a train engineer delivering soldiers to Meade knew only one Meade, the one in Maryland. He was not aware of Fort Meade, Florida. The confusion happened so often a second base was in Maryland in an attempt to avoid the mess.
- America's national anthem was by Francis Scott Key, a Maryland lawyer. It is believed Key wrote the anthem on September 14, 1814, while watching the bombardment of Fort McHenry in Baltimore Harbor.
- The University of Maryland opened the first dental school in the United States.
- Babe Ruth attended Saint Mary's Industrial School and was born in Baltimore.
- Other Major League Ballplayer besides "The Babe" born in Maryland include Cal Ripken, Jr., Billy Ripken, Lefty Grove, Frank (Home Run) Baker, Harold Baines, Al Kaline, Denny Neagle, and Jimmie Foxx.
- The Skipjacks, the only commercial sailing fleet in North America, are based on Tilghman Island.