Although it is one of the smallest states in America, Maryland has a bit of everything. The climate, the geography, the topography, as well as the culture in this state are incredibly diverse, hence the nickname “America in Miniature”.
If you’re moving to Maryland, or to any other state, it’s vital that you do some research and learn as much as possible about the place before you relocate. This is important not only because you’ll get to know the location you’ll call ‘home’, but also because doing this will help you decide if moving to that new place is worth it or not. In this guide, we’ll tell you everything you need to know before moving to Maryland!
Pros and Cons
While no place is perfect, most of the time their ‘flaws’ are associated with positive things. For instance, on the one hand, the cost of living in a state can be pretty expensive. On the other hand, it can be one of the safest places to live in your country. Here are the pros and cons of living in Maryland:
- A variety of activities: Whether you prefer to spend your free time experiencing nature around you, or if you prefer to visit museums and the likes, Maryland has plenty of activities to offer.
- Close to major cities: Three little words: New York City. Baltimore, Maryland is only two hours away (by train) from the most popular city in the world! Oh, Washington, D.C. is just around the corner, too!
- Job market: Because of its proximity to major cities (especially to Washington, D.C.), Maryland has plenty of job opportunities for its residents.
- Beautiful beaches: Maryland is located in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States and it is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean, which means that this state has some beautiful beaches for you to visit.
- All seasons: If you want to experience all four seasons of the year, Maryland is a great place for that.
- Charming architecture: Maryland has a rich history and its architecture reflects that. You’ll find charming houses, streets, and buildings, in general, all over the place!
- Amazing cuisine: If you’re the kind of person who knows how to appreciate good food, you’ll love your time in Maryland, as the state is home to several acclaimed restaurants.
- Lack of major cities: Moving to Maryland means that you’ll basically only have one big city to choose from: Baltimore. But if you’re not one for a big city lifestyle, this won’t be a disadvantage for you.
- Lots of traffic: Considering that there are a lot of job opportunities in, and around, Maryland, the traffic in this state can be quite stressful — especially if you have to commute to D.C.
- High crime rates: While the national average for violent crime rate is 394 per 100,000 residents, in Maryland that number is as high as 500 crimes per 100,000 residents.
- Cost of living: Living in Maryland means that you’ll have to spend more money when it comes to living expenses, especially to pay taxes.
- Bay Bridge: At the same time that the Bay Bridge is loved by many, it is hated by many — especially by drivers who have to deal with hours on end of traffic on the bridge.
- Property values: Due to its proximity to Washington, D.C., house values (and property taxes) in Maryland are above the national average.
- Homeless population: While there are homeless people everywhere in the country, Maryland’s homeless population is considerably high, at a little over 6,500 homeless people in the state.
One of the original 13 colonies, Maryland has an extensive history — which includes lots of interesting facts about this state. But not all facts about Maryland are related to its history; tons of famous movies were also shot in Maryland! Here are 7 fun facts about the Old Line State:
- First balloon: Back in 1784, Peter Carnes designed a balloon and 13-year-old Edward Warren made the ascent in the ballon. That was the first time that a balloon ascension took place in the States.
- Horror forest: The iconic horror movie “The Blair Witch Project” was shot in the woods in Burkittsville, Maryland.
- Naval Academy: Annapolis, Maryland is known as the sailing capital of America, hence why the United States Naval Academy was founded in the city back in 1845.
- Land of celebrities: Some of the celebrities born in Maryland include: Anna Faris, Nancy Pelosi, Babe Ruth, and Toni Braxton.
- First female printer: Diana Nuthead became the first licensed female printer in the United States after inheriting her husband’s business.
- Meaning of ‘Maryland’: When the 2nd Baron Baltimore inherited his father’s charter, he named the new territory as ‘Maryland’ in honor of Queen Henrietta Maria (Queen Mary of England).
- National Anthem: Francis Scott Key, the author of the Star-Spangled Banner was born and raised in Maryland.
Funny State Laws
Following the rules can be quite boring, but at least we can get a good laugh at some of the weird laws that exist all over the country. Maryland has plenty of funny laws, so let’s take a look at the 5 funniest laws in the Old Line State!
- No fortune-telling: In Caroline County, it’s illegal for people to tell the future. If you’re a fortune-teller, you might want to visit another region!
- Lions and movies: We’re not sure why they needed to create this law in the first place, but it’s illegal to take a lion to the movie theater in Baltimore.
- No going through pockets: In Maryland, wives are forbidden by law to go through their husband’s pockets while they’re sleeping.
- Sleeveless shirts: Another funny law in Maryland is that wearing sleeveless shirts in public parks is forbidden and you’ll pay a fine if you’re caught wearing one of them.
- 1-second kisses: Apparently, it’s illegal to kiss someone for longer than one second in Maryland!
Weather and Climate
The state of Maryland has two different climates: continental in the west and humid subtropical in the east. The latter climate is thanks to the Atlantic Ocean and the Chesapeake Bay, which are coastal areas. The average temperature in Maryland is approximately 55 °F, and July is considered the warmest month, while January has the lowest temperatures in the state. The average annual precipitation in Maryland is considerably high at 59 inches — this is enough to make the reservoirs in the region overflow.
Maryland is called ‘Little America’ (or ‘America in Miniature’) for a reason. This state has rich geography and topography, and you’ll find everything from mountains to beaches in this state. Although Maryland is known for its seashore, you can also have a lot of fun in the wilds and in the snow in this state. Here are the top natural attractions in Maryland:
- Swallow Falls State Park;
- Mountain Maryland;
- Jennings Randolph Lake;
- Crystal Grottoes Caverns;
- Assateague Island;
- Soleado Lavender Farm.
Unfortunately, there is not a place in the world that is safe from natural disasters. However, while Maryland has experienced disasters in the past, it’s not considered as dangerous as other states. According to the government of Maryland, this state has recorded less than 70 earthquakes in over 260 years. This number is significantly lower than those of the neighboring states, as some of which have experienced over 300 earthquakes in less time (Virginia, for instance). Here are other natural disasters that occur in Maryland:
- Winter storms;
Moving Prices from Major Cities
It’s an understatement to say that living in major cities can be quite expensive. Because of that, many residents end up leaving their major cities to live in a different place. Getting a new job or a promotion in a different state also plays a big part in the reason why people move from big cities. On our website, you can find a moving costs calculator that will give you estimated moving prices for free! Here are the estimated moving prices from 6 major cities to Maryland:
- San Francisco, CA to Maryland: $5202 – $8670
- Seattle, WA to Maryland: $5127 – $8546
- New York City, NY to Maryland: $1682 – $2803
- Boston, MA to Maryland: $1965 – $3276
- Chicago, IL to Maryland: $2372 – $3953
- Houston, TX to Maryland: $3375 – $5626
Housing / Real Estate
Housing prices in Maryland have been on the rise for almost a decade now. One of the reasons why houses in the Old Line State are so expensive is because of its proximity to Washington, D.C., and also because of employment opportunities in the region. The median home value in Maryland is around $335,000, which is above the national average of approximately $320,000. However, if you’re moving to Rockville, Maryland, the house price in the region is as high as $555,000. Rental prices in Baltimore, Maryland is around $1,300 — but if you’re looking for something more simple, the median rent for a studio apartment is $1,120.
Price of Living
Depending on the region you’re moving to in Maryland, the cost of living is not very different from the national average. One of the things that make living in the Old Line State slightly more expensive is the relatively significant rates for taxes, which can be almost as expensive as child care! Here are the estimated price of living in 5 different areas for a family of two adults and two children*:
Washington, D.C. metropolitan area
Baltimore/Columbia/Towson metropolitan area
California/Lexington Park metropolitan area
* All estimates were calculated using the Family Budget Calculator provided by the EPI.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the population in Maryland was around 6 million people as of July 2019. Out of that number, 51.6% are female residents and 15.9% are residents 65 years and over. In terms of gender equality, Maryland ranks #4, as it has one of the lowest income gaps by gender. The ethnical composition of Maryland is distributed in the following manner:
- White: 58,5%
- Black or African American: 31,1%
- Hispanic or Latino: 10,6%
- Asian: 6,7%
Among all fifty states, Maryland ranks #13 in education. While its Pre-K-12 education system is slightly better than its higher education system, both systems are still among the top 20 in the entire country. The high school graduation rate in the Old Line State is slightly above average, at 87.6% and the student debt at graduation is less than $1,000 above the national average of $28,650. Here are the best education institutions in Maryland:
- Urbana High School;
- Walt Whitman High School;
- Glenelg High School;
- River Hill High School;
- Severna Park High School.
Colleges / Universities
- Johns Hopkins University;
- University of Maryland;
- Towson University;
- United States Naval Academy;
- St. John’s College.
Health Care and Medical Institutions
In terms of health care, Maryland is the eighth-best state in America. It is among the top 20 states for health care access and for health care quality. The state of Maryland has an office within the Department of Health whose mission is to monitor the quality of care in Maryland — this is one of the reasons why this state is #8 in health care. The Maryland Department of Health offers health care programs for its citizens, which can be accessed through the official website. Here are the top medical institutions in Maryland:
- Johns Hopkins Hospital (Baltimore, MD)
- The University of Maryland St. Joseph Medical Center (Towson, MD)
- Anne Arundel Medical Center (Annapolis, MD)
- Suburban Hospital (Bethesda, MD)
- Peninsula Regional Medical Center (Salisbury, MD)
Tourism / Attractions
If you take Maryland’s unofficial nickname into consideration, you’ll make a pretty good guess as to why this state is called ‘America in Miniature’. From snowy mountains to sandy beaches to lovely farms and modern cities, Maryland has plenty of attractions to satisfy every potential resident. Here are the top 5 attractions to visit in Maryland:
- Fort McHenry National Monument
- The Baltimore Museum of Art
- The National Aquarium
- Ocean City Boardwalk
- Oriole Park at Camden Yards
While Baltimore is not the largest state in America, it is home to beautiful and modern cities, as well as charming, historic towns. Here are the top 5 cities in Maryland:
- Baltimore: The most populous city in Maryland, Baltimore is known as the city of neighborhoods, as it has many different districts — all of which have rich histories.
- Annapolis: The capital of Maryland, Annapolis is known as the sailing capital of the world and is home to the renowned U.S. Naval Academy.
- Rockville: One of the largest communities in Maryland, Rockville is home to important biotechnology companies and is also the region with the highest home prices.
- Ocean City: Home to the popular Ocean City Boardwalk, Ocean City is a gorgeous coastal city, often dubbed as the best place to fish Marlins in America!
- Jarrettsville: If you’re all for that rural lifestyle, you’ll love Jarrettsville and its picturesque atmosphere!
The job market in Maryland is currently one of the best in the country. The Old Line State ranks #43 in terms of the unemployment rate, meaning that it has one of the lowest rates in the country, at approximately 7,6%. Many sources indicate that the job market in Maryland benefits from the state’s proximity to D.C., considering that many residents commute between Maryland and Washington to work. The top 5 employers in Maryland are:
- Marriott International;
- Lockheed Martin;
- The Ritz-Carlton Hotel;
- University System of Maryland;
- MedStar Health.
You can look for jobs in Maryland using the state government’s official website.
Maryland ranks #26 in terms of economy, especially thanks to the employment rate in the state. There are less than 600,000 (approximately 9,5%) people living in poverty in Maryland, which is considerably below the national average (13,1%). The job growth in the state is 1,2%, which is considered the national average. The 3 largest industries in Maryland are:
- Food services.
Things to do
Maryland has plenty of activities to offer, ranging from incredible nature sightings to jaw-dropping museums and aquariums. Whether you prefer to enjoy yourself indoors or outdoors, we’re sure you’ll find the perfect pastime activity in the Old Line State. To help you get started, we have prepared a list of 8 things to do in Maryland!
- The National Aquarium in Baltimore: This attraction is perfect for all of those who love seeing the beautiful creatures that live in water — there are over 15,000 animals waiting to be watched there!
- Fells Point: If you’re all about that bohemian life, you’ll be overjoyed to visit this waterfront neighborhood in Baltimore, which has several restaurants and bars.
- Brookside Gardens: For anyone who’s looking for a peaceful and relaxing time in Maryland, the Brookside Gardens are the perfect place for that, as you’ll get to watch beautiful flowers blossoming!
- Salisbury Zoo: Zoos are always a great place to visit and connect with nature, especially if you have children. The Salisbury Zoo provides tours as well as overnighters!
- Calvert Cliffs State Park: Located in Lusby, this state park has over 10 miles of trails for you to have fun and enjoy the nature around you — including beaches, fishing holes, and fossils!
- Mallows Bay: If you’re a fan of the supernatural, you can’t miss the opportunity to visit Mallows Bay and explore the shipwrecks in the region.
- Maryland Scenic Byways: When you get to Maryland, you might want to take a shortcut to your destination using one of the 18 scenic byways scattered across this charming state.
- Canal Place: Music lovers will be delighted to visit the picturesque Canal Place and watch concerts by local bands as well as by renowned artists. On top of that, you can also bike along the beautiful canal!
For more things to do in Maryland, you can check the Office of Tourism’s website here.
Transportation in Maryland is managed by the MTA (Maryland Transit Administration), and has over 80 lines in the Baltimore-Washington area alone. The public transport system also counts with rail lines and subways. Here are the top means of transportation in Maryland:
|Local Bus||Regular fare: $1.90 Student fare: $1.40 Senior: $0.90|
|Ride On||Regular fare: $2.00 Student + Youth ages 18 and under: Free Senior: $1.00|
|MARC Train (Penn Line)||Regular fare: $5.00 – $12.00|
|MARC Train (Brunswick Line)||Regular fare: $5.00 – $13.00|
|Delmarva Community Transit||Regular fare: $3.00 Senior: $1.50|
|MTA Light Rail||Regular fare: $1.90|
|MTA MobilityLink||Regular fare: $2.10|
|STS Bus||Regular fare: $1.00 Students + Children: $0.50 Senior: $0.50|
Crime and Safety
While Maryland is among the top 15 states for corrections, with an incarceration rate of 329/100,000 residents (the national average is 450/100,000), the Old Line State still has a crime rate that is above the national average. Property crime rates are below average, but the violent crime rates of 500 per 100,000 residents are considerably above the national average of 394/100,000. Overall, the state of Maryland ranks #22 out of 50 states. As of 2020, the 5 safest cities in Maryland were:
- Ocean Pines
- Mount Airy
Acquire a New Driver’s License
When you move to a new state, there is a lot of paperwork that must be dealt with. But one of the first things you have to do is get a new driver’s license. Different states have different procedures regarding this process, but new residents usually have between 30-60 days to obtain a driver’s license in a new state. Here’s what you have to do to acquire a new driver’s license when you move to Maryland:
- Organize your documentation (you can check the required documents here);
- Don’t forget to bring your current driver’s license;
- Pay the fees ($65.00 – $72-00);
- Fill in the required forms;
- Pass the vision test;
- Set an appointment at a local Maryland MVA (Motor Vehicle Administration) office.
If you need more information, you can check the MVA’s website here.
Road Safety, Highways, and Routes
Unfortunately, road accidents are becoming increasingly common all over the country, and not only in specific states. The statistics for car accidents (fatal or not) in Maryland have been on the rise for the past few years, according to the benchmark reports that are released by the Maryland Department of Transportation. Still, the state has implemented road safety programs in an attempt to decrease these accidents, and these programs are having positive effects: according to the Maryland Highway Safety Office, the number of fatal crashes in the Old Line State decreased for the first time in a long time in 2018. Here are the main highways, routes, airports, and ports in Maryland:
- Baltimore-Washington Intl. Airport
- Martin State Airport
- Thurgood Marshall Airport
Highways and Routes
- US 40
- US 50
- US 301
Ports and Harbors
- Port of Baltimore
- National Harbor in Maryland
- Inner Harbor
Maryland’s nickname ‘The Old Line State’ is a reference to the soldiers who fought during the Revolutionary War. Judging by that information, one can already tell that this state has a rich history — and the several museums across Maryland can prove just that! Here are 7 museums you can visit in Maryland:
- Port Children’s Discovery Museums
- Washington County Museum of Fine Arts
- African Art Museum of Maryland
- Baltimore Museum of Art
- National Museum of Civil War Medicine
- U.S. Naval Academy Museum
- Annapolis Maritime Museum
For more information on the many museums available in Maryland, you can check the state’s official website here.
In the end, is moving to Maryland worth it?
Leaving aside the fact that Maryland has some of the most expensive tax rates in the country, this state is one of the best states you can move to in the Mid-Atlantic region. Birthplace to the national anthem, Maryland ranks #6 among all fifty states in general terms. That means that this state is the sixth-best state for education, health, economy, crime, infrastructure, and opportunity. While the median household income in Maryland is above the national average, this state also has a booming job market, especially in the Baltimore region — which means you can easily find a job once you get settled. Moving to Maryland is especially worth it for those who want to live in modern yet picturesque towns.
How to Move to Maryland
If you’ve made the decision of moving to Maryland, we’ll be more than glad to help you get started on this journey. You can check our moving guides as well as our moving blog to get all the information you might need. For now, here are 10 tips to help make your moving process as smooth as possible!
- Plan Ahead: The first thing you need to do before making the big move is to plan ahead. Organize all the documents you may need, estimate how much money you have, and download our moving checklist to help you plan!
- Downsize: Let’s be honest: you probably don’t need half of the things that are thrown around in your basement or in the garage. If you want to save money, we recommend that you downsize before you look for a mover!
- Get moving quotes: Nobody wants to go over their budget, and the best way to ensure that it doesn’t happen is to get as many moving quotes as you can in order to find the best price possible. You can use our moving costs calculator to help with that.
- Book movers: Now that you’ve got quotes from the moving companies in your region, it’s time to book the best mover for your needs.
- Visit your new area: We know that visiting your new area might not be possible, especially if you’re moving across the country. But it’s certainly recommended that you follow this step in order to avoid problems in the long run.
- Start packing: Packing is probably one of the most time-consuming aspects of the moving process — and that’s why we recommend that you start organizing and packing your belongings into boxes as soon as you possibly can.
- Create an Essential box: Once you get to your new location, you’ll want to find your essential items more easily — that’s why you should create an essentials box with all the important items you’ll need when you get to your new home.
- Say your farewells: After the bureaucratic steps of hiring movers and packing your stuff are over, it’s time for a more emotional aspect of moving: saying farewells. You might want to start doing this early on in the process in order to avoid forgetting to visit anyone before you leave.
- Get some rest: Before the big day, it’s really important that you get some rest. If you’re moving by car, you’ll want to have energy left for the drive. And you’ll also need the energy to get settled in once you arrive at your new home.
- Enjoy the move: While this last one is not exactly a ‘step’ in the process of moving, we can’t leave this tip out. Moving is an especially important moment in our lives as it represents the beginning of a new chapter. Don’t forget to enjoy the move and to think positive throughout the entire process!
Moving Services to Help You Relocate to Maryland
When we’re about to move to a new place, one of the first things we do is to search online for movers near us. But then, as we do that, we realize that relocating is not just about hiring the best moving company within our budget; it’s also about hiring the moving company that offers the moving services that we’ll need! Below, we explain the top moving services that’ll help you move to Maryland!
- Furniture transportation: The first service is also the most common one. Most moving companies will offer furniture transportation services, so all you gotta do is choose the best one for you.
- Residential movers: Some movers only work with commercial moving, and won’t offer residential moving services. If you’re moving to a new home, and not to a new office, it’s important to keep this in mind.
- Piano transportation: While some pianos are smaller than others, this instrument is pretty large and heavy, in general. Moving a piano requires more careful and time-consuming work, that’s why some movers don’t offer this service.
- Art and antique movers: Similarly to pianos, art and antique pieces require more attention and care during the moving process, so you’ll have to find movers specialized in moving art and antiques.
- Hot tub movers: If you’re not moving to a long distance, it may be more economical to bring your hot tub with you rather than buying a new one. If that’s the case for you, you might want to look for a mover that offers hot tub moving services.
- Pool table movers: Following the previous example, moving a pool table to your new area can be less expensive than buying a new one. Not all moving companies offer this service, so it’s important that you ask your mover if they move pool tables to a new location.
- Office movers: If you’re moving both your home and your office to Maryland, look for a moving company that specializes in office/commercial moving.
- Long-distance movers: Let’s say that you’re moving to Maryland from California, for instance. That’s a pretty long distance and not all moving companies do that. If you’re moving to a place that is far from your current home, make sure you’re hiring a long-distance mover.
- Last-minute movers: Life is unpredictable, so we never really know what’s going to happen next. Maybe you were supposed to move in two weeks but now you’ll have to move tomorrow! If that’s the case, some moving companies offer last-minute services — but it comes at a certain price, so beware of that.