Greater Ellicott City
Ellicott City has is a perennial on MONEY Magazine’s Best Places to Live list and most recently landed number 1 in MONEY’s The Best Place to Live in Every State and ranked fourth in MONEY’s 50 Best Places to Live in 2018. MONEY attributes the result to Ellicott City’s low crime rates, good real estate opportunities, culturally diverse residents, and quality of education with Ellicott City’s graduation rate and test scores being among the highest in the United States.
Ellicott City is also known for its historic district known as Old Ellicott City. Whether the historic district or business district on U.S. 40 there is plenty to see and do. Dining, shopping, recreation, and services can all easily be found within two zip codes.
The Museum of Howard County History provides visitors with a deeper appreciation and understanding of the county’s rich history and even hosts private events. Speaking of events, the Main Street Ballroom features an authentic stone warehouse overlooking the Tiber River and offers guests the flexibility to customize their day to match their vision. History buffs and train fanatics will enjoy a visit to the Baltimore & Ohio Ellicott City Station Museum known to be the "Oldest Railroad Station in America" and showcases and tells stories of the people who built and operated America's first railroad.
Old Ellicott City offers shopping galore with over seventy shops, restaurants, and service providers. Sweet Elizabeth Jane features a wide selection of fun but functional clothing, accessories, home items and more, while the Antique Depot houses scores of unique businesses on four floors. The Wine Bin hosts free Saturday movies, ‘yappy’ hours for dogs, and cocktail making classes among other events.
Located at the end of the #9 Trolley Trail—a paved, 1.5-mile scenic pathway connecting Frederick Road and Edmondson Avenue—the Old Mill Café features a spacious outdoor patio with offerings including coffee, sandwiches, and fresh-baked goods.
For a contemporary dining experience, try Mad Chef Kitchen and Bar located at Turf Valley Towne Square where you’ll find hand-crafted cocktails and traditional dishes with a modern flair. Nearby is the 5-mile stretch of state highway known as Maryland's Korean Way and serves visitors and residents alike with an international culinary experience like no-where else.
A Howard County institution, Clark’s Elioak Farm is home to a petting farm, a diverse produce stand, and the storybook wonderland known as The Enchanted Forest.
Ellicott City is home to an abundance of community parks as well as two regional parks, Centennial Park and Meadowbrook Park and one state park, Patapsco Valley State Park’s Avalon Area.
On July 30, 2016, more than six inches of rain fell on Ellicott City in two hours, causing a flash flood that damaged and destroyed nearly 100 businesses, displaced several hundred residents, and claimed two lives. With incomparable resolve, the town rebuilt. By the first anniversary of the flood, 96 percent of the businesses had reopened and more than twenty new businesses had joined the Main Street community. Tragically, on May 27, 2018, another storm pummeled the historic town with more than 6.5 inches of rain and inflicted damage exceeding that of the 2016 flood. Once again, the community showed its unparalleled perseverance, determination, and resilience and began the process of cleaning up and rebuilding. Howard County is developing a transformative vision for Ellicott City, one that will result in a stronger, smarter, and safer community—not only for the residents and businesses who call it home but also for the tens of thousands of people who visit each year.
Information on Ellicott City's historic district can be found here.