What is a Heritage Area?

Chesapeake Crossroads is one of thirteen certified heritage areas in Maryland.

Here in Maryland, we have a state-supported funding program that has built a strong network of independent heritage areas across the state. Maryland heritage areas provide tangible links to authentic experiences and stories about the people, the land, and the waters of Maryland, which together have evolved intertwined for thousands of years. Now entering its 28th year, the Maryland Heritage Areas Program enjoys steady growth, enthusiastic private and public support, and a record of significant achievement thanks to a wide range of stakeholders and heritage tourists, and it has become a national model for other states to follow. State grant funds are matched one-to-one with public and federal dollars to create tourism-related products, spark local investment, and promote a sustainable level of heritage tourism that improves quality of life for a variety of audiences.

Each of Maryland's thirteen certified heritage areas support the economic well-being of Maryland's communities by preserving and celebrating the state's history, cultural traditions, and natural resources through partnerships that promote, support, and create place-based experiences for visitors and residents alike.

Maryland’s Heritage Areas are locally-designated and State-certified regions where public and private partners make commitments to preserving historical, cultural, and natural resources for sustainable economic development through heritage tourism. At the local level, Heritage Areas focus community attention on often under-appreciated aspects of history, living culture, and distinctive natural areas, thus fostering a stronger sense of pride in the places where Marylanders live and work.

Did you know?

Each heritage area is locally designated and operated within state-certified regional boundaries

Did you know?

These areas represent a geographical concentration of cultural/natural heritage and educational resources for visitors and residents

"Collectively, the power of that heritage area network of organizations in protecting the resources and the stories behind them is way more powerful than any one individual site or subset of them."

Anson "Tuck" Hines
Director of the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center