Living In Ellicott City

A Local’s Guide to Living in Ellicott City, Maryland

Written By Malcolm Lawson

One of the most desirable places to live in the Baltimore metropolitan area is Ellicott City, particularly because of its historic downtown. The dense suburban feel makes it popular with residents of a wide variety of ages and backgrounds.

About Ellicott City

Ellicott City is located less than 30 minutes from Baltimore and about two hours from Washington DC. Its Historic District sits in the valleys created by the Patapsco River and (its tributary) the Tiber River. Ellicott City began as a milling town and was one of the earliest places in the area to switch from tobacco to wheat farming. The town was called Ellicott’s Mills until 1867, when it secured a city incorporation charter. More recently, the location was used to shoot “The Goddess” — a 1958 film based loosely on Marilyn Monroe’s life.

Living in Ellicott City, Maryland

Many residents work in Ellicott City, especially those in professional and technical services. However, a larger number commute to places like Baltimore. The town is well connected to several major east–west routes and is served by both the Regional Transportation Agency (RTA) and a commuter bus service. Ellicott City is just 10 miles from Baltimore/Washington International Airport and its associated Amtrak station.

Schools in Ellicott City, MD

Ellicott City is an excellent place for families due to its top-rated public schools. Some of the highest-rated schools serving Ellicott City include Waverly Elementary School, Mount View Middle School, Marriotts Ridge High School, Centennial High School, and Mount Hebron High School. There are also several colleges and universities nearby, the closest being Howard Community College (just 5 miles from Ellicott City) and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (7 miles).

Parks in Ellicott City, MD

One of the biggest attractions in Ellicott City is Centennial Park: a 337-acre park around Centennial Lake. Visitors can walk, run, and bike along the 2.4-mile trail that encircles the lake, and it’s possible to rent boats to go out on the water at certain times of year. Fishing is permitted on most of the lake, with the exception of a portion that is cordoned off to allow fish to spawn. This Wildlife Area also provides a safe nesting area for birds.

Smaller parks around the town include Cypressmede Park (which has a playground, tennis courts, basketball courts, and a baseball field), David Force Natural Resource Area (a wildlife area), and Font Hill Wetlands Park, with its 1-mile walking path around a pond. In addition, Ellicott City now has a bridge into Patapsco Valley State Park — a 32-mile public recreation area along the Patapsco River.

Shopping in Ellicott City, Maryland

There are a large number of shopping options in Ellicott City, including more than 70 stores, boutiques, restaurants, coffee shops, and art galleries. For larger shopping centers, residents have the options of:

  • St. John’s Plaza
  • Chatham Station Shopping Center
  • Normandy Shopping Center
  • Golden Triangle

Ellicott City also has a large Koreatown, which has contributed to the revitalization of shopping options on Route 40.

Things to Do in Ellicott City

Ellicott City’s biggest claim to fame is that it’s home to the oldest surviving passenger train station in the country — dating back to 1830. The station has been turned into a museum, where you can see a turntable from 1863, a caboose from 1927, a model train, and various other exhibits.

The town is also believed to be one of the most haunted on the East Coast. You can visit all the places in Ellicott City that are reported to have paranormal activity by taking a Ghost Tour offered by Howard County Tourism Council.

Homes for Sale in Ellicott City, MD

The majority of residents in Ellicott City own their homes. Properties are mostly detached houses, townhouses, multi-unit structures, and mobile homes. The median value is $557,900, which is higher than the median for Maryland as a whole of $332,500. Median rent is $1,607.

Finding a Place to Live in Ellicott City, MD

Ellicott City is a great place to live for young professionals, families, and retirees. However, it’s important to receive help from a professional when searching for a home, as the two nearby rivers have flooded the town several times. A flood plan is now in place to mitigate damage, but it is still crucial to choose a property that is unlikely to be affected by floods. Contact us for support finding the perfect home in one of the 23 neighborhoods in Greater Ellicott City.

Check Out These Latest Ellicott City Homes For Sale

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