Learn about the 19th-century railroad and explore the historic center amid the scenic terrain of undulating woodland and granite outcrops.
Ellicott City is known for its intriguing railroad past and its gem of a historic center. It’s set in a picturesque region containing the Tiber River, the Patapsco River and verdant knolls. Wander through the quaint Old Town district to see historic buildings with a backdrop of forested hills.
Expect hot and wet summers, when you can watch dramatic thunderstorms. See the enchanting historic center in winter, with its occasional layers of snow. Visit the old quarter’s Howard County Welcome Center, housed in the 1939 stone building of the former post office. Examine the murals and period décor and speak with docents about sightseeing activities.
Enter the town highlight, the B&O Railroad Station Museum, among the oldest preserved passenger train stations in the U.S. It was built in 1830 as the terminus of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad line. Bring the kids to clamber over the model trains, ride the carousel and inspect the array of engines and carriages. Enjoy hot drinks and snacks at a café beside the museum, which backs onto the Patapsco River.
Learn about one of the pioneers of African-American scientists at the sublime grounds and buildings of the Benjamin Banneker Historical Park and Museum.
Venture into the southwestern outskirts of the town to vast Centennial Park. Trek along the hiking path that encloses scenic Centennial Lake and rent a kayak or paddle boat to take out on the water. On the opposite side of the town is the enormous Patapsco Valley State Park, which follows the path of its namesake river.
This town is located on the eastern flank of Howard County in central Maryland. Drive west from Baltimore for 14 miles (22 kilometers) to arrive here in about 25 minutes. Get around the compact historic center on foot and rent a car to traverse the outskirts. See nearby cities, such as Columbia, Silver Spring and Washington D.C.
With its railroad history and picturesque terrain, Ellicott City offers an enlightening and serene trip.