The Chesapeake landscapes visible on this upper stretch of the Bay’s
western shore make for some sharp contrasts. As the buildings of downtown Baltimore
reach toward the sky, agricultural fields in southern Maryland stretch toward
the horizon. As low, wooded hills roll through central Maryland, swampy wetlands
spread out around the mouth of the Patuxent River.
Here, too, is the astounding maritime heritage of the Bay, on display in Annapolis,
the city that ranks both as Maryland’s political capital and America’s
sailing capital. Both of the western shore’s main cities, Baltimore and
Annapolis, serve today as key entry-point destinations for Bay visitors and
as major centers of Bay commerce, just as they have for centuries.
A great variety of Gateways can help you explore this region. State parks,
wildlife refuges, and urban greenways showcase the natural environment. Among
the historical attractions are traditional museums, working archeological sites,
Chesapeake sailing ships, Colonial architecture, and the Baltimore fort where
the events of the National Anthem unfolded.