Maryland is home to the best crabs in the world, great sports teams and beautiful landscapes. Plus, its position right next to our nation’s capital allows residents all the perks of Washington D.C. without the large price tag. And, as one of the 13 original colonies, Maryland is steeped in history. At one point in time, two of Maryland’s biggest cities, Baltimore and Annapolis, were dubbed our nation’s capital. Also note: The mysterious Edgar Allan Poe called the Old Line State his home before he was buried in Baltimore and wrote nevermore.
- When choosing the perfect time to move to Maryland, consider that the most pleasant weather is in the spring and fall. Summer can be hot and humid and winters can be icy.
- If you are moving to an apartment building, check to see whether there are specific days for moving in as some buildings don’t allow moves on weekends. You also may need to reserve a freight elevator or arrange access to a special delivery area behind your building.
- If you’re not a resident of Maryland, but temporarily in the state fulfilling your military obligations, visit the Drivers in the Military page for some helpful information.
Change your address online. To make your move from California to Maryland easier, consider changing your address online. It is easy to do, inexpensive, and will ensure that your mail arrives to your new home with you.
Cities and Metro Areas
Maryland is not a large state, but it does break down into a few distinct regions. The eastern shore is the Atlantic coast of Maryland, which features beaches, small towns and larger cities. The Chesapeake Bay area is known for sailing, seafood and southern-style hospitality.
Check out the Maryland Tourism guide to the eastern shore to get a feel for the area and the counties there. Maryland is more than just an appendage of Washington, D.C. The waterfront in downtown Baltimore has emerged as a tourist destination, and is home to many restaurants, shops and big-time sports teams. The Baltimore Ravens football stadium and the Baltimore Orioles Camden Yards baseball complex are modern and conveniently located at the Inner Harbor. The city of Annapolis has its charms as well, and plays host to the US Naval Academy. If beaches your thing, Maryland’s eastern shore is known for its beaches, including Rehoboth, Bethany and Ocean City.
Commuting between Maryland and Washington, D.C. can take a large chunk out of your day if you don’t think about location. Consider a neighborhood near a metro line that is also accessible to your job. The Red Line makes a U-shape south into D.C. and north into Maryland and passes through the popular towns of Bethesda, White Flint, Grosvenor, Twinbrook, Rockville, Shady Grove, Silver Spring and Takoma Park. The Green Line metro cuts diagonally towards the north and east of D.C. and has stops in Prince George’s Plaza, College Park and Greenbelt.
Living in a metro-accessible neighborhood allows you maximum freedom to explore the city without the hassle of driving and parking.
Cost of Living
The cost of living in Maryland is higher than in many other parts of the country, but salaries are often higher as well. To get a better sense of what the cost of living in Maryland might be for you, check out the cost of living calculator at Payscale.com.
Although the recent housing crises caused home prices to drop, they remain higher than in other cities and states where unemployment levels are higher. The cost of living in Maryland for either buying or renting a home or apartment varies by neighborhood. Homes or apartment buildings that are within walking distance of a metro stop are more expensive than those that are less accessible to the metro.
Highways and Public Transport
Public transportation is widely used and very accessible. If you are moving to Maryland and work in or near Washington, D.C., consider buying a house that is relatively accessible to a metro station. Biking is extremely popular as well, and some Maryland residents ride their bikes to a metro stop for a car-free commute.
Check out the D.C. metrorail website to get a sense of the Metro network, which lines serve which areas, fares and schedules. Each metro line has a color. The Red Line makes a U-shape south into D.C. and north into Maryland, while the Green Line cuts diagonally towards the north and east of D.C.
If you are moving to Maryland near D.C., you will become intimately familiar with the Washington, D.C. Beltway. Also known as interstate 495, this multi-lane monster highway goes through parts of Maryland and Virginia and forms a circle around Washington, D.C. Traffic routinely slows to a crawl during the morning and evening rush hours, and even a minor accident or bad weather (including rain) makes things worse. If taking the Beltway is in the cards for you, bring your patience (and an audio book).
The main airport in Maryland is the Thurgood Marshall Baltimore-Washington International (BWI). Maryland residents in the Washington, D.C. area also use these nearby airports, both located in northern Virginia:
Only Dulles and Baltimore handle international flights. Depending on where you are in Washington, D.C., allow about an hour (at least) to get to any of these airports by car, but all are also accessible by public transportation if you factor in extra time. See the links to the airport pages for more information.
The weather is Maryland is mid-Atlantic mild. Spring and fall are the most pleasant seasons, but the perfusion of flowering trees in the spring can cause sneezing, watery eyes and a runny nose to allergy sufferers. Summer can include hot and humid weather. September ushers in more mild temperatures and the humidity starts to drop. Fall is usually mild to cool, and winters are generally tolerable. You can expect to see a few snowfalls at this time of year.
If you moving to Maryland with school-age children, you should know that the public schools in Montgomery County and Howard County consistently rank among the best in the country, and most high schools offer some sort of advanced placement classes and international baccalaureate programs that can be used to earn college credit.
Notable Private Schools: Our Lady of Good Counsel High School is a coed school with a strong reputation for athletics as well as academics. Bethesda, Maryland, located in Montgomery County, is home to the lower school grades of Sidwell Friends School, a Quaker School attended by presidential daughters Chelsea Clinton and Malia and Sasha Obama. For more information about private schools in Maryland, check out the Association of Independent Maryland Schools.
Current school rankings (elementary, middle and high schools), campus and district zoning/location maps, information and reviews are available online for parents moving to Maryland.
Many government resources for moving to Maryland can be found online at Maryland.gov. More detailed information is provided and managed at the county level; select yours from the left-hand drop-down menu on the site.
- The Maryland Department of Transportation’s MVA website has all you need to know about getting a driver’s license after moving to Maryland.
- Getting a driver’s license when moving to Maryland registers you to vote in the state. Your local polling place will likely be a church or school in your neighborhood. If you opting not to get a Maryland driver’s license, you can register to vote with the board of elections in your new county of residence.
- For specific details on trash and recycling services, visit the website of your new county of residence before moving to Maryland.
- Find your local United States Post Office online.
- The Maryland government website includes links to any tax-related questions you might have related to moving to Maryland. The site includes tax information for individuals and for businesses.