A Local’s Guide to Living in Bowie, Maryland
Originating as a small railroad stop, Bowie today is a large municipality — the biggest in all of Prince George’s County. It is also the fifth-largest municipality in terms of population and the third largest in terms of area in all of Maryland. Nonetheless, Bowie has managed to maintain a suburban feel, which has helped it become one of the top places to live in the state.
About Bowie, Maryland
Before the railway was built, the land that is now Bowie was mostly small farms and large tobacco plantations. In 1870, a settlement called Huntington City grew up around the newly-constructed railroad junction. This place was chosen for the settlement because it was located on the main line from Baltimore and Potomac to Southern Maryland and on the branch line to Washington D.C.
In 1880, Huntington City became Bowie. At this time, it consisted of more than 500 residential buildings. Planners had created these properties to form a large town site. The town grew further when a trolley line came to the area bringing hourly trains.
All this helped Bowie develop into a city. Today, it has a population of just over 58,000. Bowie is also home to a Class AA Eastern League baseball team called the Bowie Baysox, which is affiliated with the Baltimore Orioles. The team has been in Bowie since 1993.
Living in Bowie, MD
The majority of residents in Bowie live in a planned community that dates back to the 1960s. Most have their own mode of transport and many commute to Washington D.C. or Annapolis — Bowie has direct connections to both cities. There is also easy access to Baltimore.
There are three Amtrak stations a short distance from Bowie. The nearest is New Carrollton, 7 miles away. The other two are in Washington and at BWI Airport.
Schools in Bowie, Maryland
Due to its large size, there are numerous public schools in Bowie and serving the area.
For elementary schools, you have the choice of Yorktown Elementary, High Bridge Elementary, Kenilworth Elementary, Pointer Ridge Elementary, Heather Hills Elementary (from second grade), Rockledge Elementary (which includes PK), Tulip Grove Elementary, and Whitehall Elementary.
Finally, Bowie has a university: Bowie State University. Originally a teacher-training college for African Americans, it now offers a number of undergraduate and graduate degrees.
Things to Do in Bowie, MD
There’s plenty to do in Bowie and the surrounding area, whatever your age and your interests. For instance, there’s a golf course, a performing arts center, and a senior citizens center.
Six Flags America is just outside of Bowie and is the large amusement park in Maryland. It features many thrilling roller coasters for kids and adults of all ages, a full feature waterpark with many slides and pools, Looney Tunes–themed rides for kids, games, activities, and much more. This is a must-do summer activity for many Maryland families. The park can get crowded during the summer months so plan on getting there early if you want shorter lines on the roller coasters.
A highlight of Bowie, though, has to be Belair Estate — a Georgian plantation house consisting of five parts. The mansion is on the National Register of Historic Places. It also features Belair Stables, which used to belong to Belair Stud, a top racing stables in the state.
In fact, Belair Estate is just one of many historic places in Bowie. There are several other homes along with some churches, a few plantations, and Governor’s Bridge, which crosses the Patuxent River.
There are also a couple museums in Bowie. One is the Huntington Railroad Museum, which is located in the restored railroad buildings of the original railway station. The other is the National Capital Radio & Television Museum. In addition to the displays of radio and television technology from throughout the ages, it’s a great place to learn about the history of electronic media.
Parks in Bowie, Maryland
Bowie has an area of 16 square miles, of which 2,000 acres is parks and open spaces. This includes 72 ball fields.
One of the largest parks in Bowie is Allen Pond Park, which has an ice arena, amphitheater, and skate park. You can also rent a boat to take out on the lake.
Shopping in Bowie, Maryland
There are several shopping centers in Bowie. Free State Mall Shopping Center and Hilltop Plaza Shopping Center both have a great variety of stores. For restaurants, some top choices are The Market Place Shopping Center, which also has a Costco, and Pointer Ridge Plaza Shopping Center, which has a Dollar Tree. Finally, there’s Collington Plaza Shopping Center, which has a Giant Food and a Walmart among other stores.
Cost Of Living In Bowie, Maryland
The median house and condo value in Bowie is $329,107. This is only slightly higher than Maryland as a whole, which is $312,500. The median gross rent is $1,920. The vast majority of residents own their homes.
Finding a Home in Bowie, MD
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