Maryland is a Mid-Atlantic state located on the East Coast of the United States. It possesses a great variety of topography, hence its nickname: "America in Miniature." It ranges from sandy dunes dotted with seagrass in the east, to low marshlands teeming with water snakes and large bald cypress near the bay, to gently rolling hills of oak forest in the Piedmont Region, and mountain pine groves in the west.
Maryland is bounded on the north by Pennsylvania; on the west by West Virginia; on the north and east by Delaware and the Atlantic Ocean; and on the south, across the Potomac River, by Virginia and West Virginia. The mid-portion of this border is interrupted on the Maryland side by Washington, DC, which sits on land originally part of Maryland. The Chesapeake Bay nearly bisects the state, and the counties east of the bay are known collectively as the Eastern Shore.
The highest point in Maryland is Hoye Crest on Backbone Mountain, which is the southwest corner of Garrett County, near the border with West Virginia and near the headwaters of the North Branch of the Potomac. In western Maryland, about two-thirds of the way across the state, is a point at which the state is only about 1 mile wide.
The climate in Maryland has a remarkably varied. It depends on various factors such as elevation, rainfall, and proximity to a body of water. The Eastern Shore region and part of the Western Shore are part of the Atlantic Coastal Plain. This region gets hot, humid summers and cool to chilly but fairly short winters, with a humid subtropical climate
Beyond this region lies the Piedmont which has a warm humid continental climate of hot, humid summers and moderately cold winters where significant snowfall is an annual occurrence. Extreme western Maryland, in the higher elevations of Allegany County and Garrett County has a colder continental climate due to elevation with warm, humid summers and cold, snowy winters.