Maryland, the land of captivating landscapes and rich history, has a gem at its heart: Howard County. Nestled in the center of the state, Howard County offers a delightful blend of urban, historic, and rural experiences that will leave you in awe. Whether you're a history buff, a nature enthusiast, or a foodie in search of culinary delights, Howard County has something special for everyone.
A Stroll Through History in Laurel
Your adventure in Howard County begins with a short drive from Annapolis. En route, make a pit stop in Laurel, a charming town that boasts a remarkable engineering feat and a National Historic Landmark - the Bollman Truss Railroad Bridge. As you amble across this historic bridge, you can't help but be transported back in time. The intricate ironwork and the gentle sway underfoot provide a sensory journey through history. The Little Patuxent River beneath adds an auditory dimension, with its tranquil waters gurgling below.
This bridge, dating back to the mid-19th century, stands as a testament to American engineering prowess, and as you stand in its midst, you can't help but appreciate the architectural marvels of the past.
Savage Mill: Where History Meets Modernity
As you continue your journey through Howard County, the next stop is Savage Mill. What was once a bustling textile mill has now transformed into a mixed-use space, a harmonious marriage of history and modernity. The echoes of the past reverberate through the mill's red-brick walls.
Savage Mill offers a delightful shopping and dining experience. Here, you can browse through a variety of shops, each offering unique, handcrafted treasures. Whether you're seeking vintage clothing, one-of-a-kind jewelry, or beautiful art pieces, Savage Mill has it all. Be sure to stop by the art galleries, where local artists' works are on display, a testament to the thriving creative community.
After indulging in some retail therapy, it's time to savor a sweet treat and a refreshing drink. The mill houses quaint cafes and bakeries that serve scrumptious desserts and coffee. You can sit back, relax, and relish the flavors of the past and present, all within the same historic walls.
Historic Ellicott City: Stepping into the Past
Continuing your journey north through Howard County, you'll arrive at Historic Ellicott City, a town that's frozen in time, offering an experience that's both immersive and enlightening. With a history spanning 250 years, this charming mill town showcases the oldest train station in the USA.
As you walk down the cobbled streets, lined with well-preserved 19th-century buildings, you'll feel like you've stepped into a living history book. The architecture, the cobblestone paths, and the antique lampposts create a visual tapestry that's nothing short of enchanting.
In addition to the architectural marvels, Historic Ellicott City is a haven for shoppers and food enthusiasts. The town is home to over 70 shops, restaurants, galleries, and museums. Antique stores are teeming with hidden treasures, and local boutiques offer a diverse range of products.
Culinary delights await you at the numerous restaurants. From cozy bistros to fine dining establishments, you can savor a variety of cuisines. Be sure to try some local favorites; the seafood dishes, prepared with recipes passed down through generations, are a must-try.
The Merriweather District: A Contemporary Oasis
To cap off your day of exploration in Howard County, make your way to Columbia, specifically the bustling Merriweather District. This mixed-use residential development is a modern oasis in the heart of Maryland.
The Merriweather District is a prime example of urban revitalization. It blends trendy shops, innovative dining, and community spaces to create a lively atmosphere. As you stroll down the district's streets, you'll find an array of shops, from fashionable boutiques to specialty stores.
The culinary scene here is equally impressive. The district boasts an eclectic mix of restaurants and cafes, each offering a unique culinary experience. Whether you crave international flavors, organic dishes, or farm-to-table meals, you're sure to find a restaurant that suits your palate.
If you're lucky, you might even stumble upon a live poetry reading at Busboys and Poets, a community-minded coffee shop located in the Merriweather District. Enjoy a cup of artisanal coffee while immersing yourself in the vibrant, creative atmosphere.