Roads and Traffic
Lots of people live here, and we all drive cars! Having two major cities gives us 'opportunities' to have heavy traffic. To get around, remember that I-95, US Route 1, and US 295 connect the Washington Beltway (I-495) and the Baltimore Beltway (I-695). I-70 leads west from Baltimore. Route 29 extends from Washington (it's 16th Street past the White House) through the center of the state and dead-ends at I-70. I-97 goes from Baltimore to Annapolis, and connects to US Route 301 which heads south of Washington into Virginia. And I-83 leads due north from Baltimore. Oh, and Route 50 goes east from Washington, through Annapolis, and heads for Ocean City!
Wear your seat belts. Put your cell phone down (hands-free is ok). Watch the speed limits. Find the radio stations with the traffic reports (FM 103.5 in Washington and central Maryland; AM 1090 in Baltimore). Have patience!
Baltimore's system is limited to light rail from Owings Mills on the northwest to Linthicum on the south, and to buses. MARC, the state-sponsored railroad, runs commuter lines between Baltimore and DC, and between Brunswick, north of Frederick, and DC. The Washington Metro system is more developed with light rail and underground routes. A number of areas in greater central Maryland have commuter bus services from park-and-rides. Greyhound and Bolt Bus (as well as other discount bus companies) have pick-up spots in both cities.
Airports with Flights Everywhere
With Thurgood Marshall BWI International Airport southwest of Baltimore, Reagan International on the east edge of Washington, and Dullas International in Virginia (with shuttle service to each), it's easy to fly anywhere.
BWI is especially popular because it is a hub for Southwest Airlines and its affiliated AirTrans. The airport is very accessible, and has an excellent record for on-time flights. It also has an absolutely civilized rental car facility, with specific shuttle buses from the airport. An Amtrak station is located there as well.
Smaller, regional airports are located in Frederick and Ocean City.
American Railroads Started Here
Railroad buffs from all over the world come to Maryland to see the B&O Railroad Museum, with its huge roundhouse filled with historic trains, in Baltimore, and the smaller Ellicott City Railroad Museum where the storied race between the Tom Thumb locomotive and the horse-drawn carriage ended.
Today, modern trains still use the Thomas Viaduct,in Elkridge, and many other bridges and tunnels dating from the 1800s.
Passenger service for Amtrak is available at Baltimore's Penn Station, the BWI Airport station, and Washington's Union Station. Commuter rail for MARC has a number of stations from north of Baltimore to Washington, and from north of Frederick to Washington.