Growing up, you always dreamed about leaving Maryland. You wondered where you’d go and all the places you’d see; you romanticized the idea of dropping everything and getting away—until you did. Sure, you probably love your new state, but nothing will ever replace good ol’ Maryland in your heart. Raise that bold, patterned flag high and embrace memories of the motherland.
1. Extreme Seasons
Sometimes it’s too hot; sometimes it’s too cold; sometimes it’s both in one week. Once you’ve moved away from these unusual weather patterns, you begin to feel a strange, unexplainable longing to experience them once again.
2. Your Choice of Theme Parks
Whichever direction your GPS takes you, Marylanders have easy access to fun. Six Flags America is in-state, and other great parks are just a short drive. Choose from Hershey Park, Kings Dominion, Busch Gardens, and (best of all) Six Flags Great Adventure. Kingda Ka, you and your outrageous views of the curvature of the Earth are sorely missed. Good luck finding that anywhere else.
Okay, maybe this does not come as a surprise, but it deserves a shout out, anyway. Why are you so far, my dear lemon cream pie Blendini?
4. The Amish Market
This wonderful establishment is technically called the “Dutch Country Farmer’s Market.” Frankly, though, there is no time to be politically correct when the line to experience pretzel log heaven is so long. Save me a spot!
5. Renn Fest
Sure, other states have their Renaissance Festival, but no one does it like Maryland. Tucked away in no-man’s land, ye olde, dusty event is like nothing else on this earth. Dress up in ye best medieval garb, slog down some beers, ride ye ancient elephant, and fill up on prehistoric-looking turkey legs. You always felt dorky dressing up with your family, but now you’re dreaming of a ticket home this August!
6. Fresh Seafood
Maryland is not Maryland sans amazing seafood. Living on the Bay has its perks: mainly, fresh oysters, rockfish, and crabs. You know the difference between a Maryland blue crab and everyone else’s creepy, alien-looking stone crabs.
P.S. If a girl can’t pick her own crabs, she’s too young for you, bro. (Fine, I can’t pick crabs).
7. Crab Cakes
You have seen Maryland crab cakes advertised in your new home state, but you know this is an evil lie, hell-bent on breaking your crab-cake-loving heart.
8. The Chesapeake Bay
Yes, the water is questionable—dirty, cold, and smelly—but that never stopped you from diving in! (Even though your bestie got pink eye after swimming there in 9th grade).
9. The Chesapeake Bay Bridge
This seems redundant, but living on the Bay doesn’t mean you are anywhere near the bridge; it is another entity in itself. Whether you are terrified or excited to cross it, the Bay Bridge holds a special place in each Marylander’s heart. Where else can you get such astounding views of the Bay?
10. Ocean City
Let’s be honest with ourselves: even if you move to a gorgeous, tropical island, Ocean City will always and forever hold a special place in your heart. Remember high school when you would let the big, brown waves wash over you, while trashy beach-goers blasted the Top 40 Countdown on a crackly FM radio? You will return one day. There is no shame.
11. Assateague Island
Ocean City’s subtler, classier cousin, Assateague Island is a totally different world. Calm, natural, and beautiful, the island is a venue to escape the real world. Warning: when the ponies are hungry, they will poke their humongous noses into your cooler and snatch your sub.
12. Having DC at Your Doorstep
If you’re from the DMV, DC is just part of who you are. A quick Metro ride brings you into the nation’s capital. You most likely took this for granted growing up. You ponder, “Why didn’t I take advantage of this while I could?” While people in nations across the planet only dream of seeing the glorious White House and the astounding Washington Monument in all their glory, you rode by without glancing up from Instagram.
13. Disneyland on the Beltway
Maryland natives know exactly what I’m referring to. There are no words to describe the excitement you felt the moment you first laid eyes on this castle, as a child. When your parents explained to you that it was not Disneyland, however, your heart sank into your little stomach (and you’re not sure it’s ever returned).
14. Having the Mountains in Your Backyard
One of the greatest treat of living in Maryland is that the mountains are never far. If you haven’t experienced a cool, crisp day atop the vibrant Appalachian Mountains during October, then you just haven’t lived.
Word to the wise, take a trip during the fall—Hagerstown, Poolesville, Frederick, it doesn’t matter. You’ve got to get there.
15. Not Really Being Northern or Southern
Maryland is the only state on the East Coast with this dilemma: we aren’t really from the north or the south. Technically, Maryland is below the Mason Dixon Line, but try explaining that to someone from Georgia. Like the forgotten middle child, Marylanders just don’t exactly fit in up north, down south, or out west. Luckily, that doesn’t matter; we will always be comfortable with who we are, wherever we are. Maryland pride runs deep.