Our Maryland Trip

According to Google Maps, we traveled 413 miles, and drove for 9 hours and 6 minutes during our week in Maryland while avoiding highways.

Each state we visit, we will choose at least one point of interest from each of the following categories: Famous Person, Famous Food, Roadside Attraction, State Capitol & State Museum, National Park, Historic Location, Can't Miss Attraction, and Made in the USA Tour. Some of the categories may have more than one selection, and sometimes a category will be vacant due to the lack of a candidate. Please click on the links below for the corresponding blog related our experiences in Maryland over the past week.

Famous Person: Edgar Allen Poe

Famous Food: Crab Cakes

Roadside Attraction: The Awakening

State Capitol/Museum: Annapolis

National Park: Fort McHenry National Monument

Historic Location: Oldest Most Complete Carousel in the US

Can't Miss Attraction: National Museum of Health and Medicine

Made in the USA Tour: US Naval Academy

Please view our previous blog posts for further explanations of our experiences in Maryland over the past week.

A breakdown of our expenses of the past week are as follows:

Gas $93.00

$ 2.77 gal. in Frederick ,MD was the lowest price paid.

$ 2.79 gal. in Glen Burnie, MD was highest price paid.


We did great in this category!

Groceries: $122.00

Walmart $85.00

Costco $27.00

Giant $10.00


We did great in this category!

Dining out $52.00

Starbucks $6.00 (Tea 3x for free WiFi)

Costco $6.00 (Three slices of pizza on the go)

Land of Kush $12.00 (Yummy vegan crab cakes)

Lil Babies $6.00 (Strange ice cream)

Golden Corral $22.00 (Unbudgeted, but we were starving)


We did great in this category!

Entertainment: $35.00

Redbox $2.00 (Movies x2)

USNA Tour $23.00 (Admission x2 into Naval Academy)

Carousel $10.00 (Oldest most complete Carousel in the US)


We did great in this category!

Lodging: $ 75.00

Walmart $0.00 (Slept in parking lot x 6 nights)

Hotel $75.00 (Budgeted expense)


We did great in this category

Miscellaneous: $18.00

Parking $14.00

Bridge Toll $4.00


We did great in this category

Maryland Expenses Grand Total: $395

(Our expense list does not include re-occurring expenses such as insurance and cellphone etc.)

Is Maryland our new Home State?

Here are the rules:

Below are the 5 categories that are important to us in choosing our new home state. Each category is rated from 1 to 10 based on our personal experience in no particular order. 1 is the lowest and 10 is the highest for each category. Each category will receive 2 scores; 1 from Lori and 1 from Nate. The average of these two scores will determine the final score for each category. To determine a state’s final score, we will average the total score of each category. If a state’s final score is less than 8, then that state is eliminated from consideration. At the end of our year long cross country trip, the states that scored 8 or higher will be subject to further consideration. In addition, Lori and I each have 1 wild card option, which allows a state that otherwise would have been eliminated, to be considered as our new home state.


Nate: 9

“Tourism, biotech, agriculture, fishing, port services and the state's close proximity to Washington D.C all contribute to Maryland’s well diversified and strong economy. Maryland’s $75,847 Median Household income ranks 1st in the nation, and the state also ranks more millionaires per capita than any other states! Maryland is clearly a wealthy state, but felt a little too high class for my taste!”

Lori: 9

“Maryland’s government requires a balanced budget, and ranks 23rd in the nation for fiscal responsibility. Although Maryland ranks 3rd in the nation for economic opportunity, the states unemployment rate of 4.3% is 10% higher than the national average. Meh! I can do better elsewhere!”

Economy score: 9

Cost of Living:

Nate: 4

“With an income tax as high as 8.95% after county surcharges, a sales tax of 6%, and the 20th highest property taxes in the nation, Maryland is not overly impressive from a tax perspective. I can do better elsewhere!

Lori: 5

“Compared to the national average, in Maryland: housing is 28% higher, food is 12% higher, and gas is on par with the national average. Meh! I can do better elsewhere”

Cost of living score: 4.5

Quality of life:

Nate: 6

“Maryland features a subtropical climate with warm Summers and crisp Winters. The state has 21 inches of snow per year, and is on par with the national average for rainy and sunny days. The state has a low risk for natural disasters with the occasional blizzard being the most likely act of God to plague Marylanders. Due to Washington D.C being dead smack in the center of the state, Maryland is also at increased risk for terrorism!”

Lori: 6

“Maryland’s violent crime rate of 4.72 is 20% higher than the national average. Most of the state's violent crime is centered in Baltimore, and the city currently has the highest homicide rate in the nation! Regardless of how Maryland scores, I can promise you Baltimore will NOT NOT NOT be the new home of the Cross Country Couple!

Quality of life score: 6


Nate: 9

“Regarding professional sports, Maryland and D.C features teams from the MLB, NHL, NBA, NFL! Since Maryland is home to the US Naval Academy, Army vs Navy games are also quite popular. With ample miles of coastline along the Chesapeake Bay, hiking, beach going, biking, and boating are popular past times for Marylanders. Believe it or not, duckpin bowling is big in the state, which is believed to have been invented in Baltimore”

Lori: 9

“Maryland is very vegan and vegetarian friendly with over 30 dining options throughout. Maryland ranks 13th in the nation for solar energy, but fairs much worse when it comes to wind. Marylanders do not want wind farms near the coastline. Instead the state sends taxpayer money to other states to develop wind farms, and imports the renewable energy back into the state. Very Interesting!”

Culture Score: 9


Nate: 3

“With six million residents in Maryland and an additional 700k people in Washington DC, the tiny state felt very overcrowded. The roadways throughout were inadequate for the number of residents resulting in round the clock traffic jams. Making matters even worse, there are only two bridges crossing the Chesapeake Bay connecting the Eastern and Western parts of the state.”

Lori: 4

“The Chesapeake Bay divides the state resulting in one of the most unique topographies we have encountered. With 19 national and 60 state parks, you are never far from a beach, or your next outdoor adventure. On a more disturbing note, Maryland was the WORST state we have encountered for texting and driving. Spending a week surrounded by distracted drivers was terrifying!”

Environment Score: 3.5

The verdict is in:

The final score for Maryland was 6.4, and it will NOT be our new home. Nate already used his wild card, and Lori chose not to use her wild card on this state

Below are the current standings:

Colorado 9.2

Michigan 8.3

Oregon 8.2

Tennessee 7.8

Ohio 7.6

Indiana 7.4

North Carolina 7.4

Texas 7.3 (NATE’S WILD CARD)

South Dakota 7.1

North Dakota 6.9

Washington 6.9

Georgia 6.8

Virginia 6.6

Wyoming 6.5

Arizona 6.5

Pennsylvania 6.5

Maryland 6.4

Florida 6.2

Idaho 6.1

West Virginia 6.0

California 5.9

Kansas 5.9

Alabama 5.9

Nevada 5.8

Nebraska 5.7

South Carolina 5.4

Utah 5.0

Kentucky 4.9

Mississippi 4.7

Wisconsin 4.5

New Mexico 4.5

Louisiana 4.3

Minnesota 4.2

Montana 4.1

Missouri 3.5

Iowa 3.3

Oklahoma 3.3

Illinois 1.9