You have to get away from the center to find the "more" in Baltimore. Of course, there is plenty to do in the city center, with its inviting mix of historic and modern sights. But the surrounding communities also have a lot to offer, from walkable neighborhoods to revitalized city centers full of attractive architecture and a growing number of local restaurants and boutiques.
"Many of our residents work in the Baltimore region, and they enjoy the things the city has to offer," said Christine McPherson, project manager at Main Street Maryland. “But they also appreciate the more rural communities and the feeling of a small town, with open parks and great schools. It is that nice mix of the best of both worlds within a 30 or 40 minute drive. We actually have a big city in our back yard. "
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There are 30 Main Street Maryland communities in the state, and many of them are in the Greater Baltimore region. Here's a glimpse of what the area has to offer:
Revived and revived
Baltimore County is the third most populous county in Maryland and within its 612 square miles, there is a neighborhood for almost every lifestyle. There are the waterfront of Dundalk and Middle River, urban facilities of Towson and the transit-oriented city center of Owings Mills. Other areas that residents can choose between historic Catonsville, White Marsh suburbs and rural Monkton.
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The proximity of neighborhoods in the province allows residents to explore them all. & # 39; For example, you can kayak along the Gunpowder River in the morning, & # 39; shop at Nordstrom in the afternoon and then hop on the light rail or metro to watch a Baltimore Orioles game that evening.
Revitalization projects are taking place throughout the province, including a private investment in 2016 of more than $ 1 billion in the city of Towson. At the top of that list is the Towson Row development, a mixed-use project with 300 luxury high-rise apartments and an office tower of 200,000 square meters that will transform the city skyline.
Other developments include the partially completed Metro Center in Owings Mills – with a community college center, public library, apartments, shops and an office building – and Greenleigh on Crossroads in Middle River, a 200-hectare community for mixed use.
Art comes to life
It is all on deck for the marine community of Annapolis, which has gone through a stream of revitalization activities in recent years. The city has recently completed an extensive renovation of the port areas and there are plans for a new hotel near the port, as well as a building for the National Sailing Hall of Fame.
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In addition, the West Street arts and entertainment district is being expanded. West Street is already the site of the monthly First Sunday Arts Festival and is home to the Maryland Theater for the Performing Arts, a 65,000 square meter performing arts and convention venue.
"That is a part of the city that is really growing and adding extra meaning to Annapolis," says Annapolis entrepreneur Steven Samaras, a former president of the Annapolis Partnership for years. “We are known in Annapolis for our maritime history, our colonial history and the Naval Academy. What we are never known for is an art district. Everyone is really enthusiastic about the potential there. "
Modern, historically combined
Columbia in Howard County is a good example of how communities in Greater Baltimore can combine the old with the new. Embracing the modern trend of mixed-use development, the Metropolitan in Columbia is a development with a luxury apartment complex with 380 units, a variety of shopping and dining options, a cinema and a spa.
"It's a wonderful mix of new construction that fits in with the original concept of Columbia," says Amanda Court, executive director of Howard County Tourism. “It brings a number of artistic elements with beautiful sculptures onto the lawn in front of the restaurants and the retail trade. It is a very walkable, hospitable community. "
A place for families
The communities of Harford County, including Aberdeen, Bel Air and Havre de Grace, also combine historic architecture and modern facilities.
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Aberdeen has been home to the Proving Ground of the US Army for almost 100 years. The military connection of the community is emphasized in U.S. Pat. Army Ordnance Museum, which contains a collection of historical artillery and tanks from all over the world.
Bel Air combines old and new architecture, with both the historical pieces and the modern facilities.
Bel Air is also the site of a number of popular annual events, including the Chocolate and Candy Festival, the Harford County Farm Fair and the Maryland State BBQ Bash, which attracts around 35,000 visitors for two days.
"These events create a community atmosphere," says McPherson. “They are family-oriented events with good food and good times. It is almost like a high school reunion where people reconnect. They simply embrace the culture of the small town that people enjoy here. "
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