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One of the first-settled regions of America, Maryland is celebrated as America in miniature for its varied topography of coastline and mountains combined with sophisticated urbanity and rural idylls. Part of the political powerhouse of Washington falls within its boundaries, as do the Appalachian Mountains, lovely Chesapeake Bay and the massive conurbation of Baltimore with its plethora of historic landmarks, and everything the state has to offer is easily accessed by car hire in Maryland.
The most convenient pick-up and drop-off points for car rental in Maryland are the airports. There’s a good choice of eight well-known vehicle rental companies including Enterprise, Hertz, Avis, National, Dollar and Thrifty operating across the state in Washington, Baltimore, Annapolis, Salisbury and most of the smaller conurbations and towns. If you’re looking for the best available rates, compare car hire before you travel.
The major airport serving Maryland is Baltimore-Washington International Airport, dealing mainly with domestic routes. The Washington suburban areas are also served by Dulles International Airport and Ronald Reagan International Airport set just over the state border in Virginia, both of which offer a choice of European destinations. Cities and attractions in Maryland are well covered by numerous Interstate highways.
Major roads in and around the cities are kept in excellent condition, although during the snowy winter months, remote roads may experience uncleared snowdrifts and winter tyres and snow chains are advisable accessories. UK drivers can drive on their home country licenses, and should remember that America drives on the right.
Baltimore is the tourist hub of the state, with its Inner Harbour, historic Fort McHenry, a world-class zoo and a slew of museums. The historic centre of Annapolis is a don’t-miss destination, and for visitors keen on the great outdoors, there’s trekking along the Appalachian Trail, rock-climbing at Annapolis Rock and a choice of unspoiled, forested state nature parks. In summer, there’s swimming, boating, fishing and beach life along the Atlantic shores.
Maryland’s local topography results in a wide variety of climactic conditions, although most regions enjoy summer heat and deal well with winter snowdrifts. Late spring, summer and early autumn are the best times to visit if you’re planning on touring. Summer highs can reach 30ËC and lows in winter often hover well below freezing, accompanied by heavy snowfalls, and rainfall averages around 100mm per month.