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Maryland and Delaware are often overshadowed by their neighbors, including the nation's capital. But thanks to the always-dazzling Chesapeake Bay, ocean beaches, and gently rolling mountains, these two states offer plenty of outdoor charms. The cities of Baltimore, Maryland, and Wilmington, Delaware, are filled with intriguing museums, sophisticated restaurants, and delightful waterfronts that make for a romantic summer evening stroll. Add charming small towns -- including Maryland's capital, Annapolis, and Delaware's capital, Dover -- friendly people, and a wealth of historic sites, and you've got two states worth a visit whether you have a day, a weekend, or a whole week.

These two states have been shaped by history, from the Colonial days to the Revolutionary and Civil wars; by industry, from the commercial fisheries of ocean and bay to high-tech banking and information technology; and even by sports -- what would NASCAR do without Dover twice a year? And what Baltimoreans don't keep up-to-date with their beloved Orioles or stop whatever they're doing for the Preakness?

Every corner of Maryland offers something for those who look. Get off I-95 and you'll find scenic Havre de Grace. Wander through the Eastern Shore for a tableful of hot steamed crabs. Park the car outside Frederick, and you'll find the leafy glens that surround Cunningham Falls.

And don't be fooled by Delaware's small size. Sure, it's got beaches and NASCAR, but it also has mansions tucked in the Brandywine Valley, good food and wine on quiet Wilmington nights, and the town of Lewes -- which is so charming, you might forget the ocean is just a short walk across a bridge.

Marylanders and Delawareans look toward the future but remember where they've been, too. They remember their fallen friends with monuments, battlefields, and aging forts that recall battles in 1776, 1812, 1917, and 1945. You can see places where George Washington stood, where brothers died, and where slaves ran for freedom. You can get a glimpse of how people lived when these states were just small colonies, or when the Golden Age made industrialists millionaires.

Whether you visit Maryland and Delaware while on your way to someplace else or because you're drawn to their charm and friendliness, you won't be disappointed.