Dubbed “America in Miniature,” Maryland is more than just crab cakes and the Chesapeake Bay. As one of the original 13 colonies, it’s filled with rich history, diverse culture, varied geography, and a cornucopia of opportunities. The state is made up of three distinct regions – the Atlantic Coastal Plain, the Appalachian Mountains, and The Piedmont Plateau – offering sandy beaches to the east, mountains to the west, and bustling cities in the center. Maryland is also known as the “Free State” for its historical tradition of religious tolerance and political freedom.

Mulling over a move to Maryland?  We’re here to help. Check out our handy guide, which includes a wealth of information on the following topics:

  1. Things to Consider Before Moving to MD
  2. Top Places to Live in the State
  3. Interstate Moving Checklist
  4. Great Guys Moving Services

Great Guys Moving makes it easy & affordable to book quality Maryland moving companies. Experience a smooth transition to this great Mid-Atlantic state!

Find out how much your move costs!

Living in Maryland: What to Know Before Moving to Maryland

Making your way to “Little America?” Maryland ranks as the 9th smallest state with a landmass of 10,460 square miles. But as the 19th most populous state, with 6,042,718 residents, you can see that Maryland packs in a lot of people into a small footprint. Over 4,000 miles of the state’s tidal shoreline borders the Chesapeake Bay estuary. Maryland has earned the nickname America in Miniature for its varying climates and geography all wrapped up in one fantastic small state.

Pros and Cons of Living in Maryland


  • Job market: As the wealthiest state in America, Maryland is ranked high in economic opportunity. Many residents live here to work in the Washington DC area.
  • Diversity: Looking for a diverse cultural experience? Three of the Top 10 most diverse cities in the nation are in Maryland: Gaithersburg, Silver Spring, and Germantown.
  • Great outdoors: From the mountains of Garrett County to the sandy beaches of Ocean City, Maryland, offers a stunning variety of terrain and outdoor activities.
  • Close to major cities: The Mid-Atlantic state is only one to two hours away from NYC, Washington DC, and Philly, along with being home to Annapolis and Baltimore.
  • Northern and southern mix: Located just below the Mason-Dixon line, there’s a healthy blend of Northern and Southern culture, from accents to delicious food.
  • Bordered by multiple states: Want to visit or commute to another state? The Old Line State shares borders with Delaware, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia.
  • History: As the birthplace of the National Anthem, Maryland is a state of many firsts. These include the first railroad station, telegraph, and dental school.


  • Cost of living: Maryland isn’t exactly cheap, especially close to the Washington DC metro area. Western Maryland, however, offers greater affordability.
  • Property tax: Depending on where you lived previously, property tax in Maryland can come as a shock. On the other hand, the higher rate does come with several benefits (including higher county budgets).
  • Traffic: Maryland’s major cities deal with heavy traffic.
  • Cicadas: Usually coming out every 13 or 17 years, millions of these noisy insects have been showing up during off-season years. Consider picking up some earplugs.
  • Crime: Baltimore is at the top of the list for violent crime, drug use, and homelessness. It ‘s also one of the Top 10 most dangerous cities in the nation.
  • Weird laws: Like most states, there’s no shortage of bizarre laws. For example, you may not grow thistles in your yard. Also, males aren’t allowed to buy drinks for female bartenders.

Is Maryland a Good Place to Live?

Maryland is an amazing place to live because of its close proximity to some of the best cities on the East Coast, and it is one of the wealthiest states, enjoying the lowest poverty rate in the country. Even as a densely populated state, The Old Line State still has some amazing terrain from sandy beaches to gorgeous mountains that offer a host of outdoor activities for the whole family.

What Is Maryland Best Known For?

  • Blue Crabs: The crab is native to the North American Atlantic coasts, and is especially prevalent in Chesapeake Bay. This crab species is prized for its sweet, delicate flavor, and tender meat.
  • The Chesapeake Bay: The third-largest estuary in the world, The Chesapeake Bay starts in Havre de Grace, MD and spans 200 miles to Virginia Beach, VA. It is home to two of the largest ports in the U.S. and is an important part of Maryland’s economy.
  • The U.S. Naval Academy: Maryland has a long maritime history, so it’s no surprise that the U.S. Naval Academy was established here in 1845. Found in Annapolis, the prestigious USNA trains the next generation of US navy officers.
  • The Star-Spangled Banner: The National Anthem of the United States was penned at Fort McHenry in Baltimore.
  • Johns Hopkins University: Considered the first research university in the country, it’s School of Medicine is highly regarded as one of the best in the world.
  • Orange Crush: Ocean City is the go-to summer destination in Maryland. It’s said that the adult beverage Orange Crush was invented here in 1995.
  • Berger Cookies: This cookie is a cultural icon in Maryland. This cake-like cookie is topped with a thick layer of chocolate fudge based on a generations-old German recipe passed down from the original baker.

Tax Rates

  • Property Tax: 1.10%. Maryland’s effective real-estate tax rate is ranked #31 in the nation.
  • Sales Tax: 6%. Maryland municipalities do not have local sales tax.
  • State Income Tax: 2–5.75%. There are eight marginal tax brackets.

Housing Market

To Rent or Buy? Well, it depends on location. For instance, Baltimore is considered the #1 city in Maryland, where it’s more affordable to buy than rent. The same goes for Western Maryland, where you can find great housing deals. On the other hand, it’s a better option to rent in cities like Columbia.

  • Median Home Value: $288,700
  • Median Rental Expense: $1,270 (1BR), $1,530 (2BR)

Cheapest Places to Live in Maryland:

  1. Brunswick
  2. Fruitland
  3. Hampstead
  4. Cumberland
  5. Thurmont
  6. Glenarden
  7. District Heights
  8. Poolesville
  9. Taneytown
  10. Greenbelt

Cost of Living

According to the Cost of Living in Maryland by BestPlaces, Maryland’s cost of living index is 124.6. This index is higher than the nationwide index average of 100.

Now, let’s utilize the Family Budget Calculator to compare the average monthly costs in two Maryland metro areas. We’ll use a family of four for this exercise (2 adults + 2 children).

Washington DC Metro Area:

  1. Housing = $1,693
  2. Food = $858
  3. Childcare = $1,762
  4. Transportation = $1,115
  5. Healthcare = $926
  6. Other necessities = $1,029
  7. Taxes = $1,412
  8. Grand total = $8,795 per month or $105,539 per year

Cumberland Metro Area:

  1. Housing = $697
  2. Food = $769
  3. Childcare = $1,077
  4. Transportation = $1,215
  5. Healthcare = $1,025
  6. Other necessities = $591
  7. Taxes = $777
  8. Grand total = $6,151 per month or $73,151 per year

As you can see, there’s quite a difference in cost of living depending on location. Cumberland and other western Maryland areas offer greater affordability compared to the rest of the state.

Weather & Natural Disasters

Despite its small size, Maryland experiences a varied range of climates. This climate diversity is due to factors such as varying elevation, types of wind, terrain, and proximity to water. Bordered by Virginia, Delaware, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and the nation’s capital, Washington DC, the state can be separated into three main climate regions: Eastern Maryland, Western Maryland, and The Piedmont.

Eastern Maryland, including cities like Annapolis, has a humid subtropical climate, which leads to milder winters and hot, humid summers. Western Maryland transitions into the humid continental climate zone. It sees four distinct seasons with hot summers and moderate to frigid winters. The Piedmont region, including areas like Frederick, is situated between the humid subtropical zone and the humid continental climate zone. This location results in cool to moderately cold winters and hot, humid summers.

Average Climate Statistics:

  1. Rainfall: 40–48 inches (highest in Oakland)
  2. Snowfall: 10–80 inches (highest in Garrett County)
  3. Sunshine: 202 days (US average is 205 days)
  4. Summer high temperature: 87°F (July)
  5. Winter low temperature: 25°F (January)

Natural Disaster – Threats & Risks:

  1. Hurricanes
  2. Winter Storms
  3. Floods
  4. Extreme Heat
  5. Drought
  6. Lightning
  7. Tornadoes
  8. Earthquakes
  9. Landslides
  10. Wildfires

Economy & Job Market

Ranked #6 in Overall State Rankings by US News & World Report, Maryland has the 26th best economy in the US. This ranking is based on several categories, including business environment (#27), employment (#16), and growth (#33). The state has a GDP of nearly $400 billion, and the median income is $39,960.

Top Industries:

  1. BioHealth & Life Sciences
  2. IT & Cybersecurity
  3. Advanced Manufacturing
  4. Military & Federal
  5. Aerospace & Defense
  6. Financial Services
  7. Energy & Sustainability
  8. Agribusiness

Top Employers:

  1. Marriot International
  2. Lockheed Martin
  3. Laureate International Universities
  4. Social Security Administration
  5. Johns Hopkins Medicine
  6. HMSHost
  7. University of Maryland Medical Center
  8. National Institutes of Health
  9. Perdue Farms
  10. University System of Maryland

Looking for work in Maryland? Here are some handy resources:

  1. Maryland.gov page: Maryland Jobs Resources
  2. Job search: Indeed, LinkedIn, CollegeRecruiter, CareerBuilder
  3. Resume help: Monster, TopResume, ResumeRobin

Traffic and Transportation

Major Forms of Transportation:

  1. Bus services (local, Quickbus, Shuttle Bug, Express, Commuter)
  2. Rail services (Metro Subway, Amtrak, Light Rail, MARC Train)
  3. Mobility services (Paratransit, Taxi Access)
  4. Air (including Baltimore-Washington International Airport – BWI)
  5. Water (Cruise Maryland, Water Taxi, Private Vessel)
  6. Purple Line (future service)
  7. BaltimoreLink
  8. Personal vehicle
  9. Ridesharing
  10. Taxi

Primary Interstate Highways:

  1. Interstate 68
  2. Interstate 70
  3. Interstate 81
  4. Interstate 83
  5. Interstate 95 (longest @ 110 mi.)
  6. Interstate 97
  7. Interstate 170
  8. Interstate 195
  9. Interstate 270
  10. Interstate 295
  11. Interstate 370
  12. Interstate 395
  13. Interstate 495
  14. Interstate 595
  15. Interstate 695
  16. Interstate 795
  17. Interstate 895

According to Best and Worst States to Drive In by WalletHub, Maryland ranks #41 worst state to drive in.. Washington, DC is the second most traffic-congested city in America, just behind Boston. Here’s a breakdown of several categories for the state: cost of ownership & maintenance (#29), traffic & infrastructure (#49), safety (#12), and access to vehicles & maintenance (#18).

Things to Do

  • Food & Drink: Obrycki’s, Hooper’s Crab House, Dangerously Delicious Pies, The Brewer’s Art, Seacrets, Flying Dog Brewery, Miss Shirley’s Café, The Abbey Burger Bistro, Peter Chang’s China Café, SPAGnVOLA Chocolatier, Artifact Coffee, Flying Dog Brewery, Flavor Cupcakery & Bake Shop, BAR, The Fractured Prune, Baltimore Farmers’ Market, The Jolly Pig, Thrasher’s French Fries, Chicken Basket, Wegmans, Pete’s Grille, Curtis’ Famous Weiners, Rec Pier Chop House, The Charmery
  • Nature & Parks: Antietam National Battlefield, Great Allegheny Passage, Swallow Falls State Park, Deep Creek Lake, Brookside Gardens, Fort McHenry National Monument & Historic Shrine, Northside Park, Assateague State Park, Great Falls Park, Tidal Basin, Baker Park, Wheaton Regional Park, Dumbarton Oaks, Centennial Park, Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, Quiet Waters Park, Annmarie Garden, Carrol Creek Linear Park, United States Botanic Garden, Ocean City Beach
  • Sights & Landmarks: Lincoln Memorial, Korean War Veterans Memorial, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Arlington National Cemetery, US Naval Academy, Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Library of Congress, US Marine Corps War Memorial, National Shrine Grotto of Lourdes, National World War II Memorial, National Mall, Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, Washington National Cathedral
  • Fun & Games: Horseshoe Casino, Urban Axes Baltimore, A Game of Rooms Rockville, Surelocked in Escape Room, Old Pro Golf, Arthur W. Perdue Stadium, AMC Courthouse Plaza 8, Bethesda Row Cinema, The Capital Wheel, Harry Grove Stadium, Prince George’s Stadium, Rocky Gap Casino Resort, Ocean City Screams Haunted House, Adventure Sports Center International, Ember Island Miniature Golf, MGM National Harbor, Leitersburg Cinemas, Live! Casino & Hotel
  • Museums: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, National Air & Space Museum, National Gallery of Art, The Walters Art Museum, National Museum of African American History & Culture, National Portrait Gallery, Newseum, National Shrine of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Baltimore Museum of Art, Calvert Marine Museum & Drum Point Lighthouse, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum of the Bible, Anderson House
  • Zoos, Aquariums, and Amusement Parks: Salisbury Zoo, National Aquarium, National Zoological Park, Inner Harbor, The Maryland Zoo, Plumpton Park Zoo, Catoctin Wildlife Preserve, Roer’s Zoofari, Catoctin Creek Park & Nature Center, The Adventure Park at Sandy Spring, Trimper’s Rides & Amusement Park, Frontier Town, Jolly Roger Amusement Park, Georgetown Waterfront Park, West OC Watersports, Adventure Park USA, Ocean City Watersports, Wield of Screams Maryland
  • Nightlife: Baltimore Wicked History Tours, Bite of Baltimore, DC Brew Tours, Illusions Bar & Lounge, Charm City Pedal Mill, Baltimore Ghost Tours, Ram’s Head Tavern Annapolis, Annapolis Tours & Crawls, BMORE Around Town, Jailbreak Brewing Company, Bobby McKey’s Dueling Piano Bar, Fager’s Island Bar, Cat’s Eye Pub, Crumbs & Whiskers, The Horse You Came In On Saloon, Red Brick Station, The Dubliner, Madam’s Organ Blues Bar, Hard Rock Café Baltimore, Sean Bolan’s Irish Pub
  • Spas & Wellness: Magdalen’s Pure Skin Care Day Spa, OC Massage, Foremost Massage & Spa, Sago Spa & Salon, Spa at Harbour Inn, Bliss Spa, Ilovekickboxing, Spa on the Avenue, The Studio, ROAM Fitness, STUDIO 1 Pilates, Hope Floats, The Spa at Rocky Gap, Regenerate Float Center, Eastern Shore Yoga, Unwind Wellness Center – Georgetown, Spa on the Boulevard, The Salt Sanctuary of Maryland, Wat Massage, Spa at Four Seasons, A Perfect Face Day Spa, SOULEX Float Spa
  • Art galleries: Annmarie Garden (Solomons), National Gallery of Art (Washington DC), Art League of Ocean City (Ocean City), Weinberg Center for the Arts (Frederick), Madame Tussauds (Washington DC), Artechouse (Washington DC), Globe Theater (Berlin), The Delaplaine Visual Arts Education Center (Frederick), MassoniArt Gallery (Chestertown), Hopkins Original Art (St. Michaels), Flashback Old Time Photos (Ocean City), Corradetti Glassblowing Studio & Gallery (Baltimore)
  • Cool & Unusual: Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death, Forest Haven Asylum, George Peabody Library, Edgar Allan Poe’s Grave, Bazaar, The Book Thing, The American Visionary Art Museum, Elijah Bond’s Ouija Board Grave, Site of Edgar Allan Poe’s Death, Crystal Grottoes Caverns, The Enchanted Forest Pine Tree Maze at Clark’s Elioak Farm, National Cryptologic Museum, Dr. Gloom’s Crypt of Curiosities, Grace of John Wilkes Booth, Vanadu Art House, Graffiti Alley, National Park Seminary

Schools and Universities

According to USA Today’s Geographic Disparity: States with the Best (and Worst) Schools, Maryland ranks as the sixth-best in the nation. The state is also home to notable liberal arts colleges, acclaimed research universities, and a top federal military academy. Check out the top picks below:

Top MD Colleges:

  1. Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore)
  2. University of Maryland – College Park (College Park)
  3. Loyola University (Baltimore)
  4. St. John’s College (Annapolis)
  5. The University of Maryland – Baltimore County (Baltimore)
  6. United States Naval Academy (Annapolis)
  7. Mount St. Mary’s University (Emmitsburg)
  8. Hood College (Frederick)
  9. Towson University (Towson)
  10. St. Mary’s College of Maryland (St. Mary’s City)

Top MD Public School Districts:

  1. Howard County Public Schools (Ellicott City)
  2. Montgomery County Public Schools (Rockville)
  3. Worcester County Public Schools (Newark)
  4. Carroll County Public Schools (Westminster)
  5. Frederick County Public Schools (Frederick)
  6. Calvert County Public Schools (Frederick)
  7. Harford County Public Schools (Bel Air)
  8. Queen Anne’s County Public Schools (Centreville)
  9. Washington County Public Schools (Hagerstown)
  10. St. Mary’s County Public Schools (Leonardtown)

How to Become a Maryland Resident

To qualify as an official resident, you must either establish a permanent domicile or, if your permanent home is located somewhere other than the state, maintain an abode in Maryland for longer than six months of the tax year (183 or more days).

To qualify for in-state tuition, a student must meet nine points of criteria for at least 12 consecutive months before the applicable term or courses.

Criteria for in-state tuition:

  1. Rent, own, or continuously occupy living quarters in MD
  2. Have a substantial portion of personal property in the state
  3. Register all vehicles in the state of Maryland
  4. Pay MD income tax on all taxable income
  5. Register to vote here (if registered)
  6. Have a Maryland driver’s license (if licensed)
  7. Not receive public assistance from another state
  8. Legally able to live permanently and w/o interruption in MD
  9. Rebut the presumption of being in MD primarily for education

Moving to Maryland DMV

Acquiring a new driver’s license:

After moving to Maryland, new residents have 60 days to apply for an MD driver’s license. Commercial drivers have 30 days to transfer their commercial driver’s license (CDL).

Steps to getting a new license:

  1. Establish Maryland residency
  2. Visit the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) MVA branch office
  3. Provide proof of age/identity, social security number, residential address
  4. If the license is expired (one year or longer), must take knowledge and skills tests
  5. Pass vision test (vision requirements)
  6. Surrender out-of-state driver’s license
  7. Pay applicable driver’s license fees
  8. Wait for new license to be delivered by mail (4–7 days)

Vehicle registration:

New residents of Maryland have 60 days to title and register out-of-state vehicles. If you don’t register your vehicle within that period, you may be subject to a citation and won’t be eligible for a tax credit on titling tax you paid in another state.

To register, visit an MVA branch office or mail in documents. Submit the following: 1) Proof of ownership 2) Application for Certificate of Title 3) Insurance information 4) Maryland Safety Inspection Certificate 5) Additional information (if applicable): proof of vehicle’s value, lease agreement / proof of monthly lease payments, lien information, lien release, or power of attorney. 6) Applicable fees.

To qualify to vote, you must:

  1. Be a US citizen and legal Maryland resident
  2. Be 18 years or older by the next general election
  3. Not be under guardianship for mental disability
  4. Not be convicted of selling or buying votes
  5. If a felon, have completed the sentence

You may register to vote online, by mail, or in person. Every voter in Maryland is eligible for absentee voting. The state also permits no-excuse early voting.

*NOTE: Maryland restores voting rights to felons upon completion of their sentences.

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Best Places to Live in Maryland


Population: 20,000
Median Home Value: $89,000
Region: Western Maryland

Wedged between Pennsylvania and West Virginia, Cumberland is tucked away in a bucolic valley of Allegany County. 52% of residents are homeowners, and the public schools are above average.

Home to a developing downtown and arts scene, Cumberland is a place of rich history, wholesome people, and outdoor adventures. Surrounded by the Appalachian Mountains, there is an assortment of biking and exploring trails. If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, this small city fits the bill.

Cumberland is less than 20 minutes away from the college town of Frostburg, home to Frostburg University, and La Vale, which offers shopping and dining options. The city is also less than an hour east of Deep Creek Lake, a renowned vacation destination, and two hours southeast of Pittsburgh. On the downside, the community has struggled with unemployment and drug use.

  • Top public schools are Parkside Elementary School, Cash Valley Elementary School, West Side Elementary School, Cresaptown Elementary School, and John Humbird Elementary School.
  • Top private schools are Bishop Walsh School, Lighthouse Christian Academy, and Beginnings – Montessori Preschool & Kindergarten.
  • As for higher education, Cumberland is home to Allegany College of Maryland.

Offering the charm of a small town with a much bigger footprint, Cumberland is a good choice for folks looking for affordable housing, simple living, and natural beauty in Western Maryland.


Population: 40,300
Median Home Value: $138,700
Region: Western Maryland

Located in Washington County, Hagerstown is one of the most affordable cities in the state. Some 61% of residents rent and the public schools are above average.

As with Cumberland, Hagerstown has a long history, dating back to 1776. Many buildings from the Civil War era still stand, lending a nostalgic and historically significant vibe. The city has since developed into a major hub of transportation. It’s also a cultural hotspot, home to art galleries, museums, the Maryland Symphony, the Maryland Theatre, and the 50-acre Hagerstown City Park.

Hagerstown does have its issues. Like its neighbor in Allegany County, the community has dealt with rising unemployment, crime, and drug use.

Have kids?

  • Top public schools include Barbara Ingram School for the Arts, Fountaindale Elementary School, North Hagerstown High School, Washington County Technical High School, and Paramount Elementary School.
  • Top private schools include St. Maria Goretti High School, St. Mary Catholic School, Hagerstown Children’s School, and Truth Christian Academy.
  • Hagerstown is also home to Hagerstown Community College, Award Beauty School, and Purdue University Global – Hagerstown Campus.

Offering a small-town vibe with a rich history and affordable living, Hagerstown is a great commuter city to the Baltimore or Washington DC area – ideal for history buffs and folks looking for an alternative to the more costly cities to the east.


Population: 39,300
Median Home Value: $420,000
Region: Central Maryland

Situated along the Chesapeake Bay, less than 30 miles east of Washington DC and south of Baltimore, Annapolis serves as the capital of Maryland. This small city has been consistently ranked as one of the Top 20 coastal cities to live in America.

Known for its tasty crab cuisine and an array of water activities such as sailing, kayaking, paddle boarding, and fishing, Annapolis is a diverse city brimming with over 350 years of history. The community is home to a historic downtown filled with lovely shops, museums, and art galleries. On the downside, housing prices are a bit steep.

Hotly contested as to whether it’s a suburb of Baltimore, Annapolis is nonetheless close to several acclaimed universities, including Johns Hopkins University, Loyola University, and the University of Maryland. It’s also home to one of the top federal military schools, the United States Naval Academy (USNA), and the third-oldest college in the nation, St. John’s College.

  • Top public schools serving the Annapolis area include Chesapeake Science Point Public Charter School, West Annapolis Elementary School, Rolling Knolls Elementary School, Hillsmere Elementary School, and Annapolis High School.
  • Top private schools include St. Mary’s High School, St. Mary’s Elementary School, St. Martin’s Lutheran School, Book of Life Academy, and Alpert Family Aleph Bet Jewish Day School.

With a quintessential East Coast charm, Annapolis offers high diversity, great commuting, fantastic foodie scene, abundant nightlife, rich history, and a community perfect for raising a family.


Population: 63,200
Median Home Value: $837,400
Region: Central Maryland

As one of the top suburbs of Washington DC, Bethesda is certainly a posh community. The city is one of the wealthiest and most educated, and it ranks among the Top 25 best places to live in the nation.

Home to top healthcare, tech, investment companies, and many government offices, Bethesda offers topnotch public schools, shopping, entertainment, and cuisine. It also hosts several festivals and events throughout the year. Coupled with a thriving job market, scenic surroundings, and amazing infrastructure, it’s easy to fall in love with the area. As for drawbacks, you may have already balked at the median home value of $837,400. Needless to say, it is expensive to live here.

  • Top public schools: Walt Whitman High School, Walter Johnson High School, Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School, Bannockburn Elementary School, and Burning Tree Elementary School.
  • Top private schools: Holton-Arms School, Landon School, Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart, Rochambeau French International School, and St. Bartholomew School.
  • Top college: DeVry University – Maryland.

If it’s within your means, Annapolis is a fantastic DC commuter community to raise a family.


Population: 103,200
Median Home Value: $346,000
Region: Central Maryland

Another central location between Washington DC and Baltimore, Columbia is ranked as the fifth-best city to raise a family in America by Niche. The city offers several selling points: it’s one of the safest in the US, has highly rated schools, and high diversity. 67% of residents are homeowners and tend to be liberal.

Known for being a gorgeous community, Columbia is also famously dog-friendly and offers an assortment of awesome trails and parks. The city is clean, surprisingly cozy, yet does not feel overcrowded. Considered one of the most effectively planned communities anywhere, Columbia offers leading amenities, close-knit neighborhoods, a booming downtown, and a prime location for Maryland businesses.

  • Top public schools: River Hill High School, Centennial High School, Atholton High School, Burleigh Manor Middle School, and Clarksville Middle School.
  • Top private schools: International Connections Academy, Atholton Adventist Academy, Columbia Academy Elementary & Middle School, Brookfield Christian School, and Love of Learning Montessori School. 
  • Top colleges: Howard Community College, Lincoln College of Technology – Columbia, and University of Phoenix – Maryland.

Are you looking for one of the best places to raise kids in the United States, plus, a quick commute to either Baltimore or DC? Columbia should be your top choice.


Population: 71,400
Median Home Value: $284,400
Region: Central Maryland

Last but not least, on your tour of Central Maryland, we have Frederick. The city of about 71,000 is in Frederick County, about 50 miles northwest of Baltimore. Offering a prime location for exploration and opportunities of all kinds, Frederick is one of the most affordable cities in the state. 55% of residents own their homes, and public schools are highly rated.

Part of the Baltimore-Washington metro area, Frederick has been a major crossroads that offers easy access to both the natural splendor of Western Maryland and historical & cultural diversity of the Piedmont Plateau and Eastern Shore. Dubbed a “hip and historic” destination, the city offers an eclectic blend of art galleries, historic sites, bars & restaurants, museums, shops, and idyllic parks.

  • Top public schools: Oakdale High School, Orchard Grove Elementary School, Oakdale Middle School, Yellow Springs Elementary School, and Frederick Classical Charter School. 
  • Top private schools: Saint John’s Catholic Prep, St. John Regional Catholic School, The Banner School, Church of the Brethren Learning Center, and Calvary Weekday School 
  • Top colleges: Frederick Community College, Hood College, Frederick School of Cosmetology, and The Temple: A Paul Mitchell Partner School.

As a smaller city close to the action of DC, Baltimore, and several other bustling cities, Frederick is an intriguing alternative to the high cost and congestion of its neighbors.


Population: 16,500
Median Home Value: $277,300
Region: Eastern Maryland (Eastern Shore)

Considered one of the gems of the Eastern Shore, Easton is a beautiful small town located along the eastern side of the Chesapeake Bay in Talbot County. It is a welcoming and tight-knit community within proximity to sandy beaches and fun water activities. 57% of residents are homeowners and tend to lean conservative. Local public schools rate above average.

Filled with Colonial and Victorian architecture, Easton is home to a thriving downtown, active arts & culture scene, cute boutiques, and charming streets. If you’re looking to explore, public transport provides easy access to Salisbury, Cambridge, and several other picturesque towns. As a result, many residents live here and commute for work.

Are you raising a family? Check out these top public schools: Wilson Borough Elementary School, Avona Elementary School, Williams Township Elementary School, Wilson Area High School, and Wilson Area Intermediate School. As for higher education, Easton is home to Lafayette College.

Are you looking for a close-knit, friendly, and lively town to call home? Whether you’re a young professional or retiree, Easton should be on your list.

Ocean City

Population: 7,000
Median Home Value: $274,800
Region: Eastern Maryland (Eastern Shore)

Situated along the Atlantic Coast in Worcester County, the gorgeous ocean town is a prime destination for tourists and long-term residents alike. Up to eight million people visit the gorgeous ocean town every year. Three-quarters of residents are homeowners, and the public schools are highly rated.

Home to a miles-long boardwalk and sandy beaches, Ocean City, offers year-round activities. These include numerous watersports, dozens of crab houses, the Ocean City Performing Arts Center, unique playgrounds, excellent restaurants & shopping, amusement & water parks, and big events (including Springfest and Sunfest). The median age is 57, however, and it gets highly congested in the summer.

Are you looking for stellar K–12 academic options? Top public schools serving the Ocean City area include Ocean City Elementary School, Stephen Decatur Middle School, Berlin Intermediate School, Stephen Decatur High School, and Cedar Chapel Special School.

As one of the top places to retire in Maryland, Ocean City offers something for everyone: sunshine, beautiful beaches, great seafood, and boundless outdoor and water activities.

How to Move to Maryland

Without adequate preparation, moving can be overwhelming. Follow this handy interstate moving checklist for a smooth transition in or out of Maryland.

Plan in Advance:

  • Remember, procrastination is not your friend. This statement is particularly true when moving. Start planning your Maryland relocation at least two to three months in advance.
  • To help you organize and keep track of important receipts and moving documents, grab an organizer folder. You can also start a moving checklist (either written or on your smartphone).
  • Friends or family members giving you a hand? If so, schedule a meetup to go over the plans. Delegate tasks and make sure everyone knows their role.
  • Prioritize what you need to do. Place a list on the fridge, or anywhere else it will be highly visible — update helpers on any new information or changes.

Notify All Parties:

  • Rent? You’ll want to notify your landlord ASAP. It’s important to tell them to save you from extra charges and safeguard your security deposit.
  • Own? Whether you want to sell or rent, it helps to employ a real estate professional to show your house to prospective buyers or renters effectively.
  • Give employees and service providers (lawn maintenance, landscapers, homecare providers, etc.) at least a month’s notice of your upcoming relocation.
  • Don’t forget your loved ones. Meet in person, call, or email with new contact information.

Research & Book Your Moving Company:

  • Want the lowest rates and most convenient availability? Book MD movers well in advance.
  • Start by comparison shopping at least 3–5 fully licensed and insured companies.
  • Great Guys removes all the complication. Contact us today for a smooth experience!

Consider Storage Needs:

  • Renovating or traveling? Not ready to move in yet? Either way, you need secure storage.
  • Most MD moving companies provide both short-term and long-term storage solutions.
  • Need assistance? We make it super easy & affordable to source reliable MD storage.

Declutter & Downsize:

  • Purging is a great way to save both space and money.
  • First, take stock of your household. Make a note of the contents of every space.
  • Next, sort through your belongings. Begin with one room at a time.
  • Decide what you want to keep or discard. Place in piles or label accordingly.
  • Sell disused items online, throw a garage sale, donate, or recycle.
  • Remember to properly dispose of gas, aerosol cans, and other hazardous materials.

Start Packing Process:

  • Do yourself a favor and don’t leave this step to the last minute.
  • DIY packing? If so, grab enough packing supplies: boxes, tape, bubble wrap, etc.
  • Place heavy items at the bottom of the boxes — pair stuff of similar size.
  • Fill the moving box with packing peanuts or other material for extra protection.
  • Snugly close, tape, and clearly label every box to ensure easy identification.
  • Keep packing at a manageable rate, so you don’t end up overwhelming yourself.
  • If you don’t have the time or ability, we can find you cheap & reliable packers.

Make Travel Arrangements:

  • Flying to your new home? Buy tickets well in advance for best rates.
  • Are you driving your car? Have it inspected and serviced at least weeks in advance.
  • Be sure to arrive at your new place before the movers.
  • In Maryland, new residents are required to register a vehicle within 60 days.

Prepare Kids, Pets, and Yourself:

  • Schedule visits with doctors, dentists, and so on. This to-do goes for everyone moving.
  • Take your furry friend(s) to the vet. Check out Maryland pet laws.
  • Gently discuss the change with children. Maintain their routine as much as possible.
  • If doable, schedule a trip to get to know your new city or town.
  • From medical and school to prescriptions, transfer all vital records.
  • Don’t take any chances on moving day: schedule babysitting and pet care.

Handle Utilities & Services:

  • Schedule current utilities and services disconnected the day after you move.
  • Set up new services to be activated by the time you arrive at your new home.
  • Change your address online at USPS.com or visit a local post office.
  • Don’t forget to update info for online services, subscription boxes, and so on.

Book a Cleaning Service:

  • Whether selling or renting, deep cleaning will do wonders.
  • Make your landlord happy and protect your security or damage deposit.
  • Consider other services: hardwood floor cleaning, painting, and any needed repairs.
  • Schedule for professional cleaners to arrive after your old place is empty.

Celebrate with Friends & Family:

  • Take the time to hang out with your loved ones. Spread out over a few days or weeks.
  • Remember, this can be an emotional time. Be considerate of others and yourself.
  • Go out with a bang! Plan a party, group outing, or one-on-one time.

Stay on Top of Moving Week:

  • Contact your moving company and confirm arrival time and other details.
  • Eat or donate any remaining food in your fridge and pantry.
  • Reduce the chance of mold by thoroughly cleaning your appliances.
  • Pack first-night box. Include meds, snacks, toiletries, bedding, etc.
  • It’s the night before moving day. Stay in, relax, eat well, and rest up.
  • On moving day, meet up with movers to make sure everyone’s on the same page.
  • Offer bottled water and a light snack to the moving crew as a nice gesture.
  • Do a final walkthrough. Keep an eye out for messes or overlooked items.
  • Finally, enjoy your move! The journey is just as important as the destination.

Quality Moving Services from Maryland Movers

Great Guys Moving helps you find top MD moving services at fantastic rates.

Interstate Moves

Anxious about your Maryland move? We’re here to help! Whether you’re moving to or from the state, we can connect you with movers perfect for your needs. Relax while our fully licensed, insured, and experienced haulers make light work of your long-distance relocation.

Intrastate & Local Moves

Moving to the Eastern Shore? Looking for peace & quiet in Western Maryland? Wherever you’re headed within the state, our network of intrastate movers is ready to assist. They come equipped with the right tools, personnel, and local knowledge to provide you with a swift, painless local move.

International Moves

This transition abroad is an exciting chapter in your life, but it also comes with a lot of anxiety. From complicated paperwork to visas and customs requirements, you need someone in your corner who can guide you. Great Guys is here to help you experience a successful international relocation.

Small Load Moves 

You don’t need a big household to enjoy convenient moving services. Whether you live in a dorm, studio, or small apartment, we can hook you up with cheap small load movers. Who said you don’t deserve a break? Get a hold of us today to set up a hassle-free move.

Furniture Shipments

Worried about straining your back or damaging property? Take it easy on yourself. We make it simple to book a furniture moving service. Our crews show up with the right equipment and experience for secure disassembly, loading, and reassembly of all types of furniture.

Piano Transport

Need to relocate your piano or organ? We’ve got you covered. Our piano moving specialists come highly skilled and knowledgeable. What separates them from other movers? Their attention to detail. Rest assured that your movers will deliver your prized instrument safely to its new venue or home.

Art Shipping & Transport

Collectibles, antiques, and fine art all require special handling. From private collections to art installations, we can connect you with the best in the business. Our renowned art shippers utilize the latest packing and delivery practices to ensure a smooth transition from one space to another.


Whether you’re about to renovate, travel the world, or aren’t ready to move into a new place, you probably need to store your stuff. Our network of reputable moving companies provides temporary storage-in-transit. From big to small hauls, we’ve got the right fit for you.

Last Minute & Short Notice Moves

Facing an unexpected move? We understand this is a super stressful time. To help, we make it easy to locate affordable last minute movers in your area. Breathe a sigh of relief as our moving partners take the load off your shoulders. Reach out to us today if you need to relocate ASAP.

Residential Moves

Find a new home? If so, congratulations! Now, the fun part: a mountain of belongings and logistics. Avoid the crushing pressure of moving your entire household. We are ready to help you find household movers perfect for your unique requirements and budget.

Packing Services

Let’s all agree; packing is not fun. Even if you don’t have the time, energy, or ability, it’s got to get done and get done right (especially with fragile and valuable items). Fortunately, our professional movers and packers offer an assortment of cost-effective packing services to cover it all.

Commercial and Office Moves

Our commercial moving specialists have what it takes to successfully move your office, small business, or retail space in Maryland. Armed with top-tier moving coordination and execution, you’ll be able to ensure a successful relocation of your business without any major hiccups or downtime.

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Looking for affordable, trustworthy Maryland movers? Request your free moving quotes today!

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Devin Barroga

Ever been bitten by the wanderlust bug? It's a powerful force, one which has captivated Devin for his entire life.... Read More

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