BALTIMORE (October 6, 2015) – Take a ride along the winding scenic byways in Maryland, nationally recognized for breathtaking landscapes, historical charm and local culture.
The America’s Byway’s program features 150 scenic byways throughout the United States, designated by the U.S. Department of Transportation, each unique in its path. Six of America’s Byways make their way through the state of Maryland and serve as gateways to the American experience. Varying from the urban Historic Charles Street in Baltimore to the bayside Chesapeake Country Scenic Byway, these roadways stretch across all regions of the state, offering authentic travel experiences that reveal both natural and man-made beauty.
“Driving through the heart of Maryland is one of the best ways to discover what our state is really about—from its historic landmarks to its colorful autumn beauty,” said Liz Fitzsimmons, Executive Director of the Maryland Office of Tourism. “The America’s Byways program takes travelers to places that are uniquely representative of the American experience and culture.”
The Federal Highway Administration has published the list of the six official byways crossing Maryland online, four of which are located entirely within the state of Maryland, giving insight into the state’s rich history and the part it has played throughout the building of America.
- The Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway captures the culture of family farming and life on the Chesapeake that Tubman grew up in and commemorates everyone—black and white, enslaved and free—involved in the Underground Railroad.
- The Chesapeake Country Scenic Byway celebrates the working life of Maryland through its farmers, watermen, and merchants, taking visitors to historic Chesapeake Bay towns.
- The Religious Freedom Byway is often a spiritual pilgrimage for visitors, incorporating many of the nation's oldest churches, the site of the first Roman Catholic mass held in English-speaking America and Maryland's colonial capital, St. Mary's City.
- A jaunt along Baltimore’s Historic Charles Street allows travelers to experience 400 years of urban transformation, linking the Inner Harbor and its attractions to an eclectic mix of urban and suburban neighborhoods.
The Historic National Road and the Journey Through Hallowed Ground Byway are multi-state experiences. The Historic National Road was the nation's first federally funded interstate highway and it traces 200 years of American history in Maryland beginning in Baltimore and ending in Grantsville. The 180-mile Journey Through Hallowed Ground byway corridor from Gettysburg, PA to Monticello, VA holds more historic sites than any other byway as the roadway played an active role during the Revolutionary War and the Civil War.
In addition to the America’s Byways program, The Maryland Office of Tourism partnered with the Maryland State Highway Administration to develop the Maryland Scenic Byways program, which features carefully mapped driving routes into areas rich with beauty, history and culture. Maryland’s 18 designated byways stretch across every region of the state from the beaches of the Eastern Shore to the mountains of Western Maryland and range from day trips to longer excursions. A map and guide can be found online.
About Maryland Tourism
The Maryland Office of Tourism is an agency of the Division of Tourism, Film and the Arts within the Maryland Department of Commerce (formerly the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development). Visitors to the state spent more than $15.4 billion on travel-related expenses in 2013. During 2013, the Maryland tourism industry also generated $2.1 billion in state and local taxes, and provided 138,682 jobs for Maryland residents.