Howard County - Ellicott City & Columbia

Historically diverse and a popular place for artists and families alike.


Welcome to Ellicott City & Columbia!

Two towns that sit in a historic and hip section of Howard County.
Located in the center of Maryland, you’ll see how convenient it is to explore both the rural and urban settings nearby. Check out Historic Ellicott City, where the Ellicott brothers discovered the famous milltown in 1772. Today, Old Ellicott City's Main Street is host to many antique and home decor shops as well as many restaurants. The rolling hills of Western Howard County offer scenic vistas of Howard County's countryside if you need a break from the hustle. The Howard County Fairgrounds, which holds its annual fair at the end of summer, is the perfect place to unwind from city life.
Columbia, Howard County's largest city, was developed by Jim Rouse in 1967 as “a garden for growing people” who were “creative, tolerant, and caring.” with modern amenities like The Mall in Columbia, and Merriweather Post Pavilion, while retaining that small-town feel and sense of close-knit community. A hot new spot is Maple Lawn, where you can find a unique mix of boutiques, offices, homes, and restaurants. Columbia has become so popular that it’s been named as the “Nation’s Best Place To Live” by Money Magazine. Can’t beat that!

What to Love

  • Great schools in the area
  • Welcoming, inclusive, and diverse
  • Up-and-coming areas, growing economy

Local Lifestyle

There is a great, eclectic and diverse mix of residents in this section of Howard County. Families like the area for the great elementary schools so young couples are moving here more frequently as of late. Columbia is fast becoming a very popular place to live which in turn is drawing a new crowd of young professionals. Many people keep fit in the area by running, walking, or biking around the 337-acre Centennial Park — a local’s favorite spot!

Dining, Entertainment & Shopping

The Mall in Columbia is not only a fantastic shopping destination but also a source of great dining: The Walrus & Oyster and Seasons 52 are both perfect for a special night out. More than 200 stores grace the mall here in case you’re in need of some retail therapy!
Old Ellicott City has some great pubs and bistros on their historic streets like Tersigals for a weekend lunch or dinner. Cured Table & Tap evokes memories of the friendly neighborhood bar (great spot to watch the Ravens!), while their sister restaurant 18th & 21st harkens back to prohibition-era supper clubs, with live music and speakeasy-inspired cocktails. Great place to hang with friends!
For Asian delicacies and foods, the local H-Mart is a specialized sprawling grocery store that is sure to evoke nostalgia for times abroad. 

Things to Do

The Columbia Association (CA) maintains over 3,600 acres of open space including more than 100 miles of pathways for walking, biking, and jogging. There is even a CA pathway app for your mobile device to help you navigate your way. They also operate the Lakefront Summer Festival which puts on outdoor concerts and performances every year. And Centennial Park is a local favorite for running, walking, biking, and fishing.
For performances and live music, the top of the to-do list here is the Merriweather Post Pavilion which has hosted music legends for more than forty years! Nearby, in Merriweather Park at Symphony Woods, is the Chrysalis Amphitheater, which presents both community and family-friendly events. Toby’s Dinner Theatre has been staging performances in Columbia for more than forty years, combining award-winning Broadway shows and original musicals with a delicious buffet-style dinner.
For history and education buffs, head to the Howard County Center of African American Culture, or increase your understanding of our planet’s natural resources at the Robinson Nature Center.
Fairway Hills Golf Club is open to the public and offers lessons, leagues, a driving range, FootGolf, and more.


Howard County offers a diverse range of public and private schools to meet everyone’s needs. We recommend doing your research if education is important to you since there are so many options in the area! and Howard County Public Schools are two great starting places.

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