A Glimpse of Columbia 

Recognized as one of the country’s finest communities, Columbia has been named the best place to live in Maryland and the 6th most desirable community in the nation by Money Magazine 2022. Attributing the success of the area to exceptional safety, availability of activities, economic growth and development, and multicultural population, Money Magazine calls Columbia, "Howard County’s piece de resistance."

Creator and developer James W. Rouse designed Columbia as a thriving model city where all residents would have easy access to shops, schools, and open space. Today, the area is known for its sidewalks throughout the city, making it easy to walk or bike from work to school and to home. 


In addition to an exceptional residential experience, Destination Downtown Columbia offers an entertainment and culinary scene for a fantastic getaway. Begin your visit at the new Merriweather District. At Color Burst Park, events take place for all ages, from free exercise classes and concerts in the summer and ice skating in the winter. New restaurants are always opening! Whether you are going on a date, bringing family, or entertaining business clientele, you can find a restaurant to visit, including Busboys and Poets and Clove and Cardamom.

Within walking distance of the Merriweather District is the area's beloved spot for live local entertainment, Toby's Dinner Theater. You can dine on an all-you-can-eat buffet and endless bowls of ice cream, while you enjoy the talents of the theater. Originally, owner Toby Orenstein was brought in by Jim Rouse from New York to bring theater to Howard County. Orenstein has had a large impact on the area's artistic growth with the founding of the Columbia Center for Theatrical Arts.

Columbia has a bustling music and entertainment scene. Designed by renowned architect Frank Gehry, the Merriweather Post Pavilion has hosted music legends for more than forty years. In Merriweather Park at Symphony Woods, the Chrysalis Amphitheater presents both community and family-friendly events.

Looking for a place to take the family or have a party? You can try cracking the codes and solving the clues at Breakout Games, or head over to Shadowland Laser Adventures to experience a sensory experience like no other. Main Event Entertainment offers bowling, laser tag, arcade games, billiards, and more under one roof.


In the Town Center village of Columbia, The Mall in Columbia has over 200 shops and restaurants. Three anchor stores include Nordstrom, JC Penney, and Macy's. The mall also has a Lululemon, H&M, Cotton On, Athleta, and Anthropologie.


Many dining options are throughout the area, from upscale to casual, in a variety of cuisines. 

At the new location of the Reckless Shepherd Brewpub, you can watch live music and watch the sports game, while enjoying made-from-scratch food and dozens of beers on tap.

Cured Table & Tap evokes memories of the comfortable neighborhood corner bar, while sister restaurant 18th & 21st harkens back to prohibition-era supper clubs, with live music and speakeasy-inspired cocktails.

Outdoors and Recreation

Learn about African American history at the Howard County Center of African American Culture, or increase your understanding of our planet’s natural resources at the Robinson Nature Center, which is surrounded by hiking trails. 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. 

Blandair Regional Park is a premier destination for sporting events. In addition to turf multi-purpose fields, baseball fields, and tennis courts, Blandair has two large playgrounds. The newly-constructed Laura's Place section is an ADA-compliant "Play-for-All" playground. In the East area, you can find a free outdoor Challenge Course. 

At Lake Kittamaqundi, summer festivals and the 4th of July fireworks take place. You can enjoy the beautiful, lakeside view from the Merriweather Lakehouse luxury hotel. Walk to Haven on the Lake to escape your stress and improve your health through yoga, aqua classes, and Pilates.