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Living a New urban/master planned Lifestyle in Columbia-MD, Maryland

Columbia is one of the first, largest, and most successful new urban master-planned communities in the world. Money Magazine rates it one of America's best places to live. The city combines residential, commercial, and recreational facilities in one interesting community in the Washington/Baltimore area. The population of 97,000 lives in 9 village centers. Outdoor activities include swimming pools (outdoor and indoor), roller skating rinks, batting cages, a skateboard park, playgrounds and sports clubs run the city's events. Three lakes, (Lake Kittamaqundi, Lake Elkhorn, and Wilde Lake) provide residents with fishing, boating, sailing and other water activities. Area parks also allow for biking, jogging and walking. One major festival, the Columbia Festival of the Arts provides entertainment for the summer. Local bars also provide fun nights out for people as they tend to bring in bands to play. Photo of Mall of Columbia courtesy of Wikipedia and DavidLevinson.

Where to Retire in Columbia-MD and Home Prices

Neighborhoods around the village centers are a good place to start. According to city data there are 1280 houses/condos per square mile. Residents 55+ tend to live in homes valued at $300,000 and up.  Zillow.com reports the median home value to be $344,100 in late 2017, calling it a "Hot Market".

What is special about Columbia-MD

The Merriweather Post Pavilion, an outdoor concert venue, attracts many performers. Other art theaters attract attention as well. Toby's Dinner Theatre has produced Aida, Titanic, and Ragtime performances. The Columbia Festival of the Arts represents all genres of art and is held during the summer months.

What is not special about Columbia-MD

While the village centers are famous, they lay out is not constructed very well. The individual stores are not visible from the road; this arrangement is highly criticized because visitors have a hard time knowing what shopping is available.

Climate and Physical Environment

The climate tends to be hot and humid summers while winters are cold but wet.Weather varies, as July is the warmest month with an average max temperature around 87 degrees Fahrenheit. January rolls in with about 22 degrees Fahrenheit. Columbia usually receives 45 inches of rainfall per year.

Restaurants & Cultural Scene

The Mall in Columbia is the focal point of interest for food and culture. Over 200 stores and restaurants and a 14-screen AMC movie theater, an LL Bean retail store, and a Bank of America, in an outside extension area, are found within the mall. Howard County Library is a top-rated public library. Merriweather Post Pavilion attracts top performers, as does the Columbia Festival of the Arts. There are other performing arts organizations as well. A few areas to shop are, Snowden Square, Columbia Crossing I and II, Dobbin Center, Gateway Overlook, and Hanover's Arundel Mills.

Crime

The crime rate is average.

Medical facilities

Medical care is available in the Howard County General Hospital, and Johns Hopkins Hospital is nearby. Howard County General Hospital has been operating for more than 30 years. A 238-bed, child care services, cardiology, orthopedics, psychiatry, emergency services and much more is available at this hospital. The hospital is a non-profit, private health care provider.

Transportation

Columbia has six Howard Transit bus routes and connect it with its neighboring areas (such as Ellicott City and BWI Airport). The MTA weekday commuter bus service connects Columbia to the Washington Metro system.

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