Baltimore, Maryland is a bustling city with lots of business and industry, including tourism in the harbor area. However, the biggest employer is the Federal Government, which employs over 73,000 non-military employees in the area who work in government agencies, like Social Security, Medicare, National Security, and U.S. Cyber Command. That’s a lot of people! Baltimore also has a lot of nicknames. Here are a few:
- The Monumental City or Monument City
- Clipper City
- The Land of Pleasant Living
- Charm City
- The City That Reads
- The Greatest City in America
- Bodymore, Murdaland
Curious about the names? Trip Savvy explains them.
As great as the nicknames sound, not everyone wants to live in a city, and luckily Baltimore has some fabulous suburbs to explore to find the perfect place to settle down. Here's our list of the five best suburbs of Baltimore, Maryland.
“Sub-urban” legend has it that Rosedale was named after a fantastic rose garden on the Dale family property. The townsfolk were so taken with the garden, they named the town after it. What can be better than a city of roses? Much like the rest of the Mid-Atlantic region, Rosedale has its claim on Revolutionary War history proudly proclaiming George Washington traveled along Route 7, now called Philadelphia Road, the main thoroughfare through town then and now.
Formerly a plantation, then later a farming community, Rosedale has flourished as a bedroom community for the Baltimore area. The town offers a variety of restaurants and places to shop, including easy access to White Marsh Mall, one of the largest shopping malls in the Baltimore area. If you need it, you can get it there!
Where is Rosedale, Maryland located? Just 5.8 miles northeast of Baltimore down highway 40 – a quick 20-minute drive from downtown Baltimore. There are great parks within walking distance. Thrillseekers in the making can visit Ifly, the skydiving simulator. If you're looking for something a little less exciting but still fun, check out the Autobahn on Kelso Drive and burn some rubber while go-cart racing! “At one time, everyone knew one another, and I think that base is still here,” said Russ Mirabile, president of the Rosedale Community Association. “It’s a great place to live and do business.” There is always something fun to do in Rosedale!
This Baltimore suburb packs a lot into a small area! One of the best things about Lutherville is its Historic District, which is on the National Register of Historic Places. The Historic District includes Victorian homes and churches. Did we mention there are a lot of churches?
The town was founded by two Lutheran ministers, so there is a significant presence of historic churches built in the mid- to late-19th century. A few of them include St. Paul’s Lutheran Church built in 1889, St. John’s Methodist Church built in 1869, Church of the Holy Comforter – an Episcopal church built in 1888. You'll also find historic homes such as Oak Grove – the house of Lutherville founder John Morris – built in 1852, and the Octagon House – home to another Lutheran minister who was also the postmaster.
Aside from the historic district, Lutherville is home to the Fire Museum. One of the largest fire museums in the country, it houses more than 250 years of history with a working fire alarm office, a discovery room, and plenty more for fire department enthusiasts.
Designated as a Main Street Community, Sykesville is a friendly little town with lots of local stores and community events throughout the year! Once called “the coolest small town in America," it’s a Main Street shuts down a few times a year for festivals, fairs, and block parties. It also hosts a farmer’s market every Sunday.
A big part of Sykesville’s history is related to the railroad. This Baltimore suburb honors its history with attractions like the S&P Railway model train displays and the Little Sykes Railway Park.
There is something for everyone in Sykesville. Don’t miss the concert in the park series, where you can enjoy live music under the sky on Friday nights in July at Millard Cooper Park. Spend date night out at Movies Under the Stars at Millard Cooper Park where you bring a blanket, chairs, popcorn, and snacks to enjoy cinema al fresco! And of course, there's the Sykesville Harvest Festival, serving up food, arts and crafts, music, a kids' zone, and more all on Main Street.
Sykesville is more than just a main street! Many people enjoy the outdoors with tubing down the Patapsco River on hot summer days as a perfect way to stay cool. Fishing is also a favorite activity on the river, with many different types of fish from white suckers to redbreast sunfish, smallmouth bass and rock bass.
Home of the University of Maryland Baltimore County, a public research college with nearly 14,000 students, you might think Catonsville is a typical college town, but hold that thought! You want to be in this town if you're you love nature and the outdoors. With many great walking trails like the Short Line Railroad Trail, a three and a half-mile trail, and the Trolley Line Number 9 Trail, which is a 1.25-mile trail, perfect for a leisurely stroll, brisk walk, or quick run! Once part of the Catonsville and Ellicott City Electric Railway Company trolley line that shuttled passengers between Ellicott City and Baltimore, it now provides a lovely shaded place for people to walk and enjoy nature.
A “can’t miss” park is the Patapsco Valley State Park, which meanders along 32 miles of the Patapsco River covering over 16,043 acres. There is so much to do at this park, including canoeing, fishing, camping, horseback riding, mountain riding trails, hiking trails. The University of Maryland hosts many of Catonsville’s attractions, including Joseph Beuys Sculpture Park, located on the campus and inspired by Joseph Beuys 7000 Oaks tree planting project.
Stargazers can visit the Benjamin Banneker Planetarium. Banneker was an interesting early resident of Catonsville who is generally credited with making the first clock on America. The self-taught astronomer, mathematician, surveyor, naturalist, abolition advocate, and writer has a self-named historical park and museum. The park and museum have something for everyone whether you're interested in history, astronomy, cultural activities, hiking, nature, or conservation.
An ideal place to raise a family, where many people who grew up here returned to raise their little ones. Recreating the idyllic childhood for their kids in Severna Park is easy starting with top-notch schools. Every one of the eight schools in the district is a nationally recognized Blue-Ribbon Schools of Distinction. There is an active MOMS Club in town for the younger kids, and many families enjoy the Severna Park Community Center. Many things to keep families busy, including three pools, volleyball, basketball, dance studios, and classes and activities galore!
Family favorite Kinder Farm Park, a 228-acre park has a variety of recreational activities, including bird watching, fishing, biking, and, of course, hiking. With several miles of natural trails and a 2-mile paved trail, you'll be itchin' to explore on two wheels! "Big Kinder" and "Little Kinder" are two playgrounds that keep the kids entertained with a day’s worth of fun. You’ll also be able to up close with farm animals such as goats, sheep, turkeys, chickens, and even cows.
Perhaps one of the best features of the community, if you love the ocean air, is most neighborhoods have access to the water. Be it a beach, a boat launch, community dock or something similar, this town is made for water lovers. Consider joining the Olde Severna Park Improvement Association to enjoy amenities like a roped-in swimming area, a pavilion, grills, and boat storage and launches in addition to a beautiful sandy crescent beach.
We're not done with Severna Park, yet! You'll look forward to Movies Under the Stars on the first Friday of the month starting in June through November at Park Plaza shopping center. There are lots of restaurants and places such as Severna Park Taphouse for mom and dad to spend quality time alone, as well as a bowling alley and mini-golf. Severna Park is a fantastic place to live and raise a family.
Working in a large metropolitan area has its perks for sure, but living in a suburban setting has its upsides! Luckily, Baltimore is surrounded by many amazing places that offer different and diverse experiences from small towns to rural to bustling. The biggest perk is that for as varied as they all are, they share one thing in common – every one of them feels like home.
What’s your favorite suburb in Baltimore? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.