27 Interesting Things Maryland is Known For (+ Famous For)

From crab cakes to Baltimore, if you’ve come wondering, “what is Maine famous for?” or “what is Maine known for?” then you’ve come to the right place!

I’ve traveled extensively around the USA, and I can tell you that Maryland has a lot to offer, whether you’re into blue crabs, wartime history, or oceanfront vacations.

It’s where Old Bay meets Fort McHenry and national aquariums meet baseball fandom. It might not be the biggest state around, but it sure packs a punch when it comes to it’s notoriety.

Whether you’re just visiting or you’re a local wanting to learn more about your state, read on to find out what foods Maryland is famous for, what people Maryland is famous for, and so many more things that Maryland is known for!

1. Crab Cakes

Maryland’s crab cakes have achieved iconic status in American cuisine.

These delectable treats are made using blue crabs sourced from the Chesapeake Bay.

The delicate blend of crab meat, seasonings, and breadcrumbs is formed into patties and either fried or broiled.

The result is a crispy exterior that gives way to tender, flavorful crab meat inside.

2. Chesapeake Bay

The Chesapeake Bay is a sprawling estuary stretching across Maryland and Virginia.

Its significance goes beyond its scenic beauty; it’s a crucial ecosystem supporting a variety of wildlife and providing livelihoods for many.

The bay’s oyster beds, seagrass meadows, and marshlands contribute to its ecological richness.

3. Pimlico Race Course

Known as the home of the Preakness Stakes, one of horse racing’s Triple Crown events, Pimlico Race Course is steeped in tradition.

This historic racetrack in Baltimore attracts thousands of spectators annually to witness top thoroughbred horses compete for the prestigious Preakness title.

4. Baltimore

The largest city in Maryland, Baltimore, is a diverse metropolis with a rich history and distinct neighborhoods.

It boasts the vibrant Inner Harbor, a bustling waterfront area with attractions like the National Aquarium and the Maryland Science Center.

Beyond the tourist spots, Baltimore’s unique character is reflected in its thriving arts scene, historical landmarks, and its contributions to American literature and music.

5. National Aquarium

Situated in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, the National Aquarium is a treasure trove of aquatic wonders.

Its exhibits showcase a dazzling array of marine life from around the world, providing visitors with immersive experiences that foster appreciation for ocean ecosystems.

6. Fort McHenry

This historic fort played a pivotal role in the War of 1812, particularly during the Battle of Baltimore.

It was during this battle that Francis Scott Key was inspired to write the words that would become “The Star-Spangled Banner,” the national anthem of the United States.

7. Johns Hopkins University

Renowned for its cutting-edge research and academic excellence, Johns Hopkins University stands as a beacon of learning.

Its medical school’s innovations have advanced healthcare, while the institution’s influence spans disciplines like science, engineering, and the humanities.

8. Crabbing and Fishing

Maryland’s relationship with the Chesapeake Bay has fostered a strong tradition of crabbing and fishing.

The state’s coastal communities rely on these industries for livelihoods and celebrate them through annual events like “Maryland Seafood Festival.”

Recreational crabbing is a cherished pastime for locals and visitors alike, fostering connections to both nature and culture.

9. Old Bay Seasoning

Old Bay Seasoning is more than just a blend of spices; it’s a flavor profile that’s synonymous with Maryland cuisine.

With its distinctive mix of herbs and spices, including celery salt, red pepper flakes, and paprika, Old Bay adds a unique kick to seafood dishes and various recipes.

10. Annapolis

As the state capital, Annapolis is steeped in history and charm.

Its cobblestone streets, colonial architecture, and the Maryland State House—the oldest in continuous legislative use in the United States—give the city a timeless appeal.

Annapolis is also home to the United States Naval Academy, a prestigious institution shaping future naval officers and contributing to the city’s maritime character.

11. Blue Crabs

The blue crab is more than just a seafood delicacy in Maryland; it’s an emblem of the state’s coastal culture.

Harvested from the Chesapeake Bay, blue crabs are a culinary treasure that symbolizes summer feasts and community gatherings.

12. Smith Island Cake

Smith Island Cake, the official state dessert of Maryland, is a layered confection that represents the state’s culinary heritage.

With its multiple thin layers separated by sweet icing, the cake is a labor of love and a testament to the skill of its bakers.

13. Antietam National Battlefield

The Antietam National Battlefield preserves the memory of the Battle of Antietam, one of the deadliest battles in American history.

This Civil War conflict had far-reaching consequences, influencing the Emancipation Proclamation.

14. Maryland Terrapins

The University of Maryland’s athletic teams, known as the Terrapins or Terps, inspire school spirit and bring communities together.

Whether it’s football, basketball, or other sports, the Terrapins’ performances ignite a sense of pride and camaraderie among students, alumni, and fans.

15. NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, located in Greenbelt, Maryland, is a hub of scientific discovery and space exploration.

From studying Earth’s climate to exploring distant galaxies, the center’s contributions to space science and technology have expanded humanity’s understanding of the cosmos.

16. Baltimore Orioles

The Baltimore Orioles, a professional baseball team, have a storied history and a dedicated fan base.

Their games at Oriole Park at Camden Yards provide a classic American pastime experience, connecting generations of fans through the joy of baseball.

17. Ocean City

With its sandy beaches, lively boardwalk, and oceanfront attractions, Ocean City has been a favorite beach destination for generations.

Its welcoming atmosphere, recreational opportunities, and scenic beauty make it a place where families create lasting memories and enjoy the quintessential beach vacation.

18. Black-Eyed Susans

Maryland’s state flower, the black-eyed Susan, paints landscapes with bright and cheerful blooms.

Its golden-yellow petals and dark centers evoke the warmth of summer and add a vibrant touch to gardens, making it a beloved emblem of the state’s natural beauty.

19. Edgar Allan Poe

The renowned author and poet Edgar Allan Poe left an indelible mark on literature and Baltimore’s cultural legacy.

He spent a significant portion of his life in the city, where he wrote some of his most famous works.

Poe’s gothic and macabre tales continue to captivate readers and inspire artists to this day.

20. Calvert Cliffs State Park

Calvert Cliffs State Park is not only a natural haven of scenic beauty but also an archaeological treasure trove.

The park’s towering cliffs house fossils dating back millions of years, offering a glimpse into prehistoric life and contributing to our understanding of Earth’s history.

21. Maryland Blue Crabs Baseball

The Maryland Blue Crabs, an independent league baseball team based in Waldorf, provide a source of local sports entertainment.

Their games offer a chance to enjoy the thrill of baseball in a family-friendly atmosphere, fostering a sense of community around the love of the game.

22. National Cryptologic Museum

Located near Fort Meade, the National Cryptologic Museum unveils the fascinating world of codebreaking and cryptography.

It chronicles the history of secret communication methods, showcasing the intelligence efforts that have shaped world events.

23. Horseshoe Casino Baltimore

Horseshoe Casino Baltimore stands as a prominent entertainment destination within the city.

Beyond its gaming offerings, it hosts live performances, dining experiences, and events that contribute to Baltimore’s vibrant nightlife and entertainment scene.

24. Bethesda

A suburban town known for its affluence, Bethesda boasts upscale neighborhoods and a thriving local culture.

It’s also a hub for the video game industry, with major gaming companies headquartered in the area.

Bethesda’s blend of upscale living and technological innovation shapes its dynamic identity.

25. Maryland Renaissance Festival

The Maryland Renaissance Festival is a time-traveling adventure that immerses visitors in the sights, sounds, and flavors of medieval times.

This annual event offers interactive experiences, performances, and artisanal crafts, providing a unique opportunity to step back in time and celebrate a bygone era.

26. American Visionary Art Museum

Located in Baltimore, the American Visionary Art Museum celebrates unconventional and self-taught artists.

Its exhibitions showcase artwork that defies traditional definitions, fostering creativity and inspiring visitors to embrace their artistic spirits.

27. Patuxent Research Refuge

As a wildlife refuge, the Patuxent Research Refuge plays a pivotal role in conservation efforts and ecological research.

Its diverse ecosystems provide a haven for native species and contribute to scientific studies that inform environmental stewardship on a broader scale.

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