Living in Columbia, Maryland

October 15, 2022

Located in Howard County, Columbia was founded in 1967 and is known as one of America's wealthiest cities. Situated 20 miles away from Baltimore's downtown, the planned community of 10 self-contained villages gives off a small-town atmosphere despite having more than 100,000 residents. Over the years, Columbia receives numerous well-deserved positive recognition since it was specifically built to be an edifying and well-rounded place for people to live.

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Brief History of Columbia

Columbia, the oldest planned community in the country, was opened in 1967 and developed and created by James W. Rouse. It was created due to the concern with suburban sprawl and population growth rate in the United States and Columbia was the visualized value-driven, modern, integrated community answer to the said issue. The goal of Rouse was to develop a city complete with medical services, schools, jobs, housing options, and shopping. Together with social science experts, the self-contained villages were planned and contained all the needs of its residents. Between 1967 and 1990, the ten villages were all opened and completed. They include:

• Harper's Choice

• Long Reach

• Wilde Lake

• Oakland Mills

• Town Center

• Kings Contrivance

• Owen Brown

• Hickory Ridge

• River Hill

• Dorsey's Search


• 2019 & 2020 Safest City in America by WalletHub

• 2020 Best Places to Live (5th place) by Money Magazine

• 2017 Best Places to Live in America (4th place) by

• 2016 Best Places to Live in America by Money Magazine

• One of the Best Places to Live in America by CNN


The industrial area is purposely allocated on the eastern edge of the city and is subjugated by commercial real estate. Today's economy of Columbia is dominated by wholesale, retail, office, and small industrial area. Some residents to government contractors and government jobs in Washington, DC and Baltimore. Columbia has become a successful and bustling city with recreation, jobs, arts, school, and shopping readily available and within short reach for all residents.


The public schools of Columbia are operated by the Howard County Public School System. Graduation rates, test scores, and metrics for school performance are consistently earned with high marks in Howard County. Despite the lack of conventional four-year universities, Columbia has few college-level program facilities. This includes the Howard County Community College, University of Maryland, and Johns Hopkins University.

Arts and Culture

Columbia's historic buildings, Woodlawn and Dorsey Hall, were listed in 1973 on the National Register of Historic Places. In addition to that, the city has various performing arts organizations that present professional theater which includes the Young Columbians, Columbia Center for Theatrical Arts, and Toby's Dinner Theatre. The museums in Columbia are also well-known in the US. Some of these are the African Art Museum of Maryland and Columbia Art Center. Columbia's history, local art exhibits, and history of Maryland can be explored in the Columbia Archives.

Things to Do in Columbia

Many activities and attractions are expected to find in the planned community of Columbia. One of the best places to explore and relax is walking around the famous Lake Kittamaqundi. Learn more about nature and enjoy outdoor exhibits at the Robinson Nature Center. Columbia also has outdoor recreation facilities, lakes, and easy access parks like Cedar Lane Park, Wilde Lake, Lake Elkhorn, Symphony Woods Park, and Middle Patuxent Environmental Area.

For recreation needs, there are two indoor pools, roller skating rinks, a sports park, 23 outdoor swimming pools, ice skating rinks, water slides, an equestrian center, three athletic clubs, and more. Tourists and locals can also visit bars like Sonoma's Bar & Grill and Union Jack's for entertainment and local bands. The Merriweather Post Pavilion is also a popular outdoor venue for a concert in the US. The Mall in Columbia is also a well-known shopping attraction that contains a multiplex movie theater, five department stores, and 200 restaurants and shops.

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