A Local’s Guide to Living in La Plata, Maryland

Written By Malcolm Lawson

A suburb of Washington D.C., La Plata is a small community in Charles County with a population of just over 9,000. The town is the county seat and has numerous small parks, making it a pleasant place to live for families and young professionals alike.

About La Plata, MD

Incorporated in 1888, La Plata developed around the Pennsylvania Railroad. According to local lore, the town was named by Colonel Samuel Chapman, a landowner in Charles County. After returning from a trip to Argentina where he visited Río de la Plata, he decided to name his 6,000-acre property La Plata after the river. The name later came to encompass the new town.

La Plata has suffered from tornados two times since it came into existence. The first was in 1926 and the second in 2002. Although the tornado in 2002 only killed four people, it caused some significant damage. Local officials remodeled the downtown area, including a new town hall. This has added to the character of the town, creating a mix of modern and historic.

Homes for Sale in La Plata, Maryland

Around two-thirds of the residents in La Plata own their homes. The median house value is $345,168, which is close to the median price in Maryland of $332,500. The median gross rent in La Plata is $1,306. Homes are a combination of reconstructions and new buildings.

Living in La Plata

Most residents use a car to get around La Plata and reach the nearby cities, although there are commuter buses to Washington D.C., including with the option to connect at Branch Avenue metro station. There are four state highways serving La Plata, the most important being U.S. Route 301, which heads south to reach Richmond via the Potomac River and north to Annapolis via Waldorf, passing near Bowie.

There are also three Amtrak stations near La Plata, all 18 miles from the town: Woodbridge, Quantico, and Lorton. Finally, La Plata has three single-runway airports: Edelen Field Airport, Lanseair Farms Airport, and Ty-Ti-To Airport.

Schools in La Plata, MD

There are several above-average public schools in La Plata. This includes two elementary schools (Mary Matula Elementary School and Walter J. Mitchell Elementary) as well as Milton M. Somers Middle School and La Plata High School. La Plata is also home to the College of Southern Maryland, which has just under 6,000 full-time students.

Parks in La Plata, Maryland

The largest park in La Plata is Tilghman Lake Park. It spans 61 acres and includes a 1-mile walking trail and picnic pavilion. It’s also a top spot for fishing. A few other parks include Silver Linden Park, Wills Memorial Park (which has a playground and tennis and basketball courts), and Laurel Springs Regional Park. Finally, there’s Clark Run Nature Area — an undeveloped nature preserve. The town often holds events in the parks, such as concerts.

Shopping in La Plata

There are plenty of shopping opportunities in La Plata. In addition to the three shopping centers — Hawthorne Shopping Center, Potomac Square Shopping Center, and La Plata Shopping Center — the town holds a farmers’ market twice a week. In addition, the local businesses are diverse, ranging from music shops to craft boutiques. You’ll also find plenty of independent restaurants, including barbecues, Greek restaurants, and a variety of casual dining.

Things to Do in La Plata

One of the top sites in La Plata is Mount Carmel, a Catholic Convent dating back to 1790. It is located just outside the town, near the main campus of the College of Southern Maryland. Another highlight is the La Plata Train Station Museum.

Finding a Place to Living in La Plata, MD

Explore the homes for sale in La Plata, MD, by connecting with real estate agents who know the area well. Contact us to receive support from our team.

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