Maryland's geography ranges from looming mountains to lolling beaches, and it is decorated by homes that are as diverse as the land. Those seeking to purchase foreclosed properties have no shortage of options. Recently built three-bedroom townhouses are available at bargain prices. Newly vacated mansions offer ample space both indoors and outdoors, while smaller ranch-style houses hold excellent rehabilitation potential.
Maryland holds many options for recreation, from metropolitan sightseeing to outdoor fun. The eastern portion of the state is peppered with inlets from the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean, so sailing and fishing are prevalent pastimes. A popular catch is the Maryland blue crab, one of the hallmarks of the state. The western portion of Maryland is more mountainous and wooded, making it conducive to activities like hiking, hunting, skiing and rock climbing. Cities like Baltimore, Bethesda and Annapolis offer unique cultural, dining and shopping experiences. Sports are also a popular activity for Marylanders. Many residents are enthusiastic supporters of Maryland's professional sports organizations. Jousting is Maryland's official state sport, but, perhaps unsurprisingly, it is not commonly practiced. The slightly less medieval sport of lacrosse is Maryland's official team sport, and it is extremely popular in the area.
Maryland was first settled by Europeans in 1634. It was one of the original 13 colonies that formed the United States during the Revolutionary War. No major skirmishes occurred on Maryland soil during the Revolution, but it was the site of many conflicts during the Civil War, including the Battle of Antietam. After the Civil War, Baltimore became a hub of cultural, academic and industrial development in the state. Other parts of Maryland were largely agricultural. In fact, farming and rural life continue to be significant parts of Maryland's economy and culture. Today, Maryland is home to a diverse collection of people. Its allures range from lush forests and quiet miles of fields to pulsing cities and world-class research centers.