Losurdo Photography/Courtesy of Visit Howard County

Columbia & Ellicott City, Md.

Sep 19, 2014

Ellicott City has quaint older homes and a charming downtown. Columbia is a planned community stocked with pools and sports facilities, plus lots of big-box shopping and other practical amenities. Though the two unincorporated places have their own unique feel, they function as a single city in many respects. For residents, that means shared access to parks, rec facilities, and a diverse and outstanding school district. The area is also rife with good jobs—many of which require only a short commute. Lorien Health Systems (Ellicott City) and Howard Community College (Columbia) are right there, and the NSA and Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab are less than a 25-minute drive.

While Baltimore and Washington, D.C., are close, public transportation is limited, as is local nightlife.

See homes for sale in Columbia & Ellicott City, Md.

MONEY may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website. Offers may be subject to change without notice.

Quotes delayed at least 15 minutes. Market data provided by Interactive Data. ETF and Mutual Fund data provided by Morningstar, Inc. Dow Jones Terms & Conditions: http://www.djindexes.com/mdsidx/html/tandc/indexestandcs.html. S&P Index data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. Terms & Conditions. Powered and implemented by Interactive Data Managed Solutions