A quaint collection of 10 villages comprises the planned community of Columbia, a census-designated place in Maryland’s Howard County. Such is the quality of life that the area was named in CNN Money’s Top Ten Best Places to Live in the United States and also placed 5th Best Place to Live in the Country in 2020.
Within the self-contained villages, managed by homeowners’ associations, there are numerous neighborhoods, some containing their own schools.
Each community also offers its own community center, recreational center, bike and walking paths, shopping center, and recreational facilities.
Things to do in Columbia, Maryland
The community’s main focal points are the well-established Columbia Mall and Lake Kittamaqundi. However, Lake Elkhorn and Wilde Lake also offer opportunities for sailing, fishing, and boating, as well as dozens of paths for jogging and biking.
The area is home to a variety of parks, including Lake Elkhorn Park, Wilde Lake Park, Blandair Regional Park West Playground, Cedar Lane Park, and more.
Lake Kittamaqundi is a man-made 11-acre recreational lake for swimming, boating, kayaking, and canoeing. As one of the jewels of the community, the lakefront features a variety of activities and entertainment, including live music, festivals, and outdoor movie nights in the summer.
The Mall in Columbia has five anchor department stores and dozens of retailers making the mall a premier shopping destination in the area. The venue hosts a movie theater and restaurants such as Seasons 52, The Cheesecake Factory, The Walrus Oyster & Ale House. And for quicker, more casual dining, grab a bite at Urban Plates, the Shake Shack, Chipotle, Chick-fil-A, McDonald’s, Five Guys, Panda Express, and more.
Merriweather Post Pavilion is an outdoor amphitheater, nationally recognized, that hosts various concerts, festivals, movie nights, and more.
Golf is another favorite pastime in Columbia, home to Fairway Hills Golf Club and Hobbit’s Glen Golf Club, each with a clubhouse, pro shop, and restaurant.
It’s easy to pamper yourself in Columbia at several spas and salons, including Farashe the Day Spa, Well-Being Massage Studio and Spa, The Face Place, and more.
Its residents celebrate Columbia through a variety of seasonal and special events. Neighbors gather for the Columbia Festival of the Arts, Columbia Summer Movies, Columbia Symphony of Lights, Columbia Triathlon, Fourth of July Fireworks in Columbia, and Wine in the Woods.
New Construction in Columbia
Public schools in the neighborhoods and villages of Columbia, Maryland, are governed by the Howard County Public School System and are ranked among the best schools in the state.
There’s also a wide selection of religions and non-religious private schools within and around Columbia.
While there are no universities within the small community of Columbia, there are dozens of universities, colleges, tech, and trade schools within 50 miles.
There’s bus service throughout Columbia via six Howard Transit bus routes that connect Columbia to surrounding areas like Washington and Baltimore. The area is also serviced by the Regional Transportation Agency of Central Maryland, also called RTA.
There are also special programs and shuttles available for transporting seniors.
It’s super simple to arrange private transportation through rideshare services like Lyft and Uber.
Nearby airports include the Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport 15 minutes from Columbia’s center, and 40 miles from town is the Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.
Living in Columbia, Maryland
Columbia, an area that spans just over 27 square miles, offers a comfortable lifestyle to more than 104,700 people of all ages, backgrounds, and lifestyles.
Its residents, on average, earn a median household income of $104,000 in contrast to the Maryland annual household income of $86,738.
Houses, condos, and townhomes in the affluent area hold median values of $402,200, a bit higher than the state’s $332,500 median home value.
Homes for Sale in Columbia
Columbia offers a comfortable lifestyle with quick and easy access to a plethora of things to do. The planned community, designed around a lake and a mall, is enriched by excellent schools, readily available public transportation, and community spirit, evident by the festive community events.
When you’re looking for your next home in Maryland, consider settling down in Columbia, a collection of villages with distinct neighborhoods with something to offer everyone.