7 Communities in Ellicott City

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Overview 

Ellicott City is a western suburb within the Baltimore metro area in Central Maryland. It is popular among active adults looking for a tight-knit community with easy access to the large-scale amenities of downtown Baltimore. Retirees enjoy boutique shopping and restaurants in its historic district, as well as local parks and recreation.

Climate & Geography 

Located a half-hour west of downtown Baltimore, Ellicott City is an unincorporated census-designated place (CDP). It experiences all four seasons due to its humid subtropical climate. Summers are hot and humid, winters range from cool to cold with around 20 inches of snowfall, and residents can expect around 206 days of sunshine each year.

Ellicott City is located on rolling hills between the Chesapeake Bay and northern Appalachian Mountains. It is too far inland to receive temperature regulation from the water, and cold eastern winds are trapped by the surrounding hills. This leads to generally colder temperatures than Baltimore.

Recreation, Culture, & Entertainment 

Ellicott’s downtown, often referred to as Old Ellicott City, is a historic district with plentiful boutique shops, restaurants, art galleries, and small museums. This area also hosts seasonal and holiday events as well as Old Town Market, the county’s Saturday farmers market. Residents can also visit Ellicott City Station, the oldest surviving train station in the U.S., built in 1830. 

Outdoor recreation is found at Patapsco Valley State Park to the northeast of the city, featuring hiking and biking trails as well as numerous picnic areas. Residents can also visit Centennial Park to rent canoes and kayaks on Centennial Lake.

Other amenities include a local brewery, two golf courses bordering the CDP, and a 30-minute drive to Baltimore.

Cost of Living & Taxes 

The cost of living in Ellicott City is higher than the national average mainly because of the high cost of housing. Other factors like transportation and utilities are above average, while health care and groceries match the national average.

Maryland is tax friendly for retirees. Social Security is not taxed, and public pensions and income from retirement savings accounts are taxed, but eligible for deductions. Property and sales taxes are close to the national average.

Health Care

Though there are no hospitals in Ellicott City, there are numerous hospitals in neighboring cities. Howard County General Hospital in Columbia and Northwest Hospital in Randallstown are both rated as high performing by U.S. News. 

Residents can quickly travel to nearby Baltimore for two nationally ranked hospitals: University of Maryland Medical Center (No. 2 in the state) and Johns Hopkins Hospital (No. 1 in the state and No. 3 in the country).

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