Columbia Maryland

Columbia Maryland can be a fine place to visit while traveling through the Washington D.C. area. In fact, you might make it your area travel base, as the nation's capital is less than twenty miles away. Baltimore is also located within a short drive away. This means that Columbia visitors enjoy easy access to both the Baltimore attractions and the Washington D.C. attractions!

The city of Columbia MD is a rather unique city. Founded in the 1960s by a real estate developer and urban planner named James Rouse, it is more of a community than an actual city. Ten villages, all of which are self-contained, comprise the community, and they all have shopping centers and recreational facilities. Four interfaith centers are found in Columbia, and this follows along with Rouse's desire to create a community where people of different faiths could mix. Rouse also thought that people of different incomes, colors, and creeds should be able to share a common community, which in turn would result in a lack of segregation on the whole.

The founder of Columbia Maryland was also the maternal grandfather of one of the city's most famous native sons. This native son is actor Edward Norton. At eight years old, Norton made his professional acting debut at the Toby's Dinner Theatre, and this local entertainment venue is still going strong if you'd like to drop by for a show while in town. You can find it at 5900 Symphony Woods Road. There is also a Toby's Dinner Theatre in Baltimore.

Another entertainment venue that Columbia MD visitors can keep in mind is the Merriweather Post Pavilion. Found at 10475 Little Patuxent Parkway, this outdoor concert venue was designed by renowned architect Frank Gehry and has hosted many big time acts. Led Zeppelin played there with The Who in 1969, for example, which marks the only time in history that the two bands were featured on the same bill.

The list of things to do in Columbia Maryland is quite diverse. When visitors aren't shopping at a local mall, taking in a show, or venturing off to area cities such as Annapolis on a side trip, they can take advantage of the city's recreational assets. The community on the whole operates numerous facilities that revolve around recreation. These facilities include more than twenty outdoor pools, a handful of indoor pools, picnic areas with pavilions, ice skating rinks, and a variety of athletic courts. At local lakes such as Wilde Lake and Lake Elkhorn, it is possible to go fishing and boating, and there is parkland around the water if you want to stay on dry land.

The Columbia Maryland hotels come predominantly in the form of chain brand lodging establishments that offer good clean rooms at good clean prices. Some offer extended stay units with kitchen facilities should you wish to go that route. Either way, you'll be close to a number of great attractions when you stay at a Columbia MD hotel, and it won't take very long to get to the BWI Airport should you be relying on air travel for getting to or from the area. A local bus travels between Columbia and the airport and can come in handy when making the transfer.

Image: chrisafer (flickr), CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

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