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By Plane

Commuter flights within Maryland fly from Baltimore and Philadelphia airports to Salisbury-Ocean City-Wicomico Regional Airport (tel. 410/548-4827), 40 minutes west of Ocean City, on the outskirts of Salisbury.

Some large airlines offer transatlantic or transpacific passengers special discount tickets under the name Visit USA, which allows mostly one-way travel from one U.S. destination to another at very low prices. Unavailable in the U.S., these discount tickets must be purchased abroad in conjunction with your international fare. This system is the easiest, fastest, cheapest way to see the country.

By Car

The most practical way to see both Maryland and Delaware is by car. Depending on traffic, it takes approximately 2 hours to get from Wilmington to Lewes; from 75 minutes to 2 hours, also depending on traffic, from Wilmington to Baltimore; 1 hour from Baltimore to Annapolis; 90 minutes from Baltimore to Washington, D.C.; 90 minutes from Baltimore to Frederick; 2 1/2 hours from Frederick to Cumberland; and 2 1/2 hours from Annapolis to Ocean City.

If you're planning to drive on the Baltimore Beltway (I-695), try to avoid rush hour. Congestion, particularly at the junctions north and south of I-95, is terrible. Road widening is underway in some areas, but traffic is at its heaviest from 7 to 10am and 3 to 6pm.

The I-95 Corridor Coalition puts out a seasonal "Lane Closings, Bottlenecks, and Upcoming Events" brochure that lists interstate trouble spots for both states with a few alternate routes listed. You'll find the brochure at welcome centers, visitor centers, and online and in real time at www.i95coalition.org.

The tourism agencies in Maryland and Delaware both produce good free maps. However, if you plan to do any extensive driving on Maryland's Eastern Shore, you'll need more detail than the state maps provide. Contact the county tourism agencies (especially Somerset, Dorchester, and Talbot) for free county maps. There are a couple of special-interest maps, too. The best is the Maryland Scenic Byways map and guide, which offers some off-the-beaten-path routes with scenic stops. (Get them just so you can see what the black-eyed Susan signs along the road are referring to.) The state also puts out an excellent bicycle map.

If you're visiting from abroad and plan to rent a car in the United States, keep in mind that foreign driver's licenses are usually recognized in the U.S., but you should get an international one if your home license is not in English. Check out Breezenet.com (www.bnm.com), which offers domestic car-rental discounts with some of the most competitive rates around.

By Train

International visitors can buy a USA Rail Pass, good for 15, 30, or 45 days of unlimited travel on Amtrak (tel. 800/USA-RAIL [872-7245]; www.amtrak.com). The pass is available online or through many overseas travel agents. See Amtrak's website for the cost of travel within the western, eastern, or northwestern United States. Reservations are generally required and should be made as early as possible. Regional rail passes are also available.

By Bus

Bus travel is often the most economical form of public transit for short hops between U.S. cities, but it's certainly not an option for everyone. Greyhound (tel. 800/231-2222; www.greyhound.com) is the sole nationwide bus line. International visitors can obtain the Greyhound North American Discovery Pass from foreign travel agents or through www.discoverypass.com for unlimited travel and stopovers in the U.S. and Canada. Passes can be activated at the downtown Baltimore bus terminal, 2110 Haines St. (tel. 410/752-7682), or the Baltimore Travel Plaza, off I-95 (tel. 410/633-6389). Both are open 24 hours.

You can travel in Baltimore on the Metro, Light Rail, or bus, all operated by the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA; tel. 410/539-5000; www.mtamaryland.com). In Wilmington and the Brandywine Valley, DART First State (tel. 302/577-3278; www.dartfirststate.com) runs buses between the downtown business section and suburbs and tourist attractions.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.