Ellicott City is a charming historic community located just west of the city of Baltimore, within the valley of the beautiful Tiber and Patapsco Rivers. The city is best known as the home of the United States' oldest surviving train station, which was constructed as the terminus for the B&O Railroad line in 1830. Its lovely historic district, commonly referred to as Old Ellicott City, showcases delicious restaurants, antique stores, and unique purportedly haunted attractions. Nearby, Patapsco Valley State Park offers opportunities for year-round outdoor recreation, including hiking and fishing.


1.Centennial Park

Centennial Park
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Centennial Park is a delightful 337-acre park located in Ellicott City, surrounding the banks of picturesque Centennial Lake. The park is a prime spot for fishing throughout the year, stocked with bass, sunfish, tiger muskies, and trout by the State Department of Fisheries. Its lovely landscaping, wetlands, and wooded areas have been awarded several area awards for sensitive ecological design. Visitors can explore its lake shore via a 2.4-mile paved loop trail, which offers access to a boat ramp and boat rental areas. 7.4 miles of interconnected pathways and walking trails link to surrounding area neighborhoods. Day-use picnic pavilions are offered on a first-come, first-served basis.

10000 Clarksville Pike, Ellicott City, MD 21042, Phone: 410-313-7256

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2.Patapsco Valley State Park

Patapsco Valley State Park
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Patapsco Valley State Park is a lovely public recreation area stretching across 32 miles of the Patapsco River waterfront, located just southwest of the city of Baltimore. The park, which was established in 1907 as Patapsco State Forest Reserve, is intended to protect the region's forests and rivers following the implementation of Bloede's Dam in 1906. Visitors can enjoy recreation opportunities at several developed access areas, including the McKeldin Area, which offers multi-use horseback riding, hiking, and mountain biking trail, a disc golf course, and public fishing areas. The Daniels Area, located at the former milltown of Daniels, offers swimming, fishing, canoeing, and kayaking experiences, while the Hollofield Area offers a 73-site campground and a scenic valley overlook. Other attractions include 15-foot cascade falls and two historic preserved swinging bridges at Orange Grove and the Grist Mill Trail.

8020 Baltimore National Pike, Ellicott City, MD 21043, Phone: 410-461-5005

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3.B&O Ellicott City Station Museum

B&O Ellicott City Station Museum
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B&O Ellicott City Station Museum is a designated National Historic Landmark preserving the nation's oldest surviving railroad station, originally constructed in 1831 as part of the B&O Main Line railroad line after the development of Ellicott City. It operated as a passenger service station until 1949 and continued to serve as a freight station until its decommissioning in 1972. In the following years, the station was turned into an historical museum preserving the history of transportation in early America. Two floors of visitor activities highlight seasonal exhibits detailing the history of the B&O Line and reconstructing areas such as the station's provost marshall's office, telegraph and ticket office, and waiting rooms. Outside on the museum's grounds, an HO-scale model reconstructs the first 13 miles of track on the line, while a 1927 caboose has been restored to its historic condition.

3711 Maryland Ave, Ellicott City, MD 21043, Phone: 410-313-1945

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4.Clark's Elioak Farm

Clark's Elioak Farm
© Clark's Elioak Farm


Clark's Elioak Farm is a lovely historic farm stretching across 540 acres in Howard County, located just outside of Ellicott City off Maryland Route 108. The farm has been in the possession of the Clark family since 1927 and is named in honor of the silty clay loam that is common to hilly terrain areas within the northern sect of the Piedmont Plateau. It is best known as the new home of restoration projects related to the Enchanted Forest theme park, which operated throughout much of the 20th century and became known as a popular roadside Americana attraction following its closure in 1995. Today, visitors can explore the farm's preserved fairytale-themed exhibits, visit its family-friendly petting zoo and country store, and take on the challenge of its pine tree maze throughout the winter months.

10500 Clarksville Pike, Ellicott City, MD 21042, Phone: 410-730-4049

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5.The Shrine of St. Anthony

The Shrine of St. Anthony
© The Shrine of St. Anthony


The Shrine of St. Anthony honors the saint of the same name, located within Ellicott City's St. Joseph Cupertino Friary. The friary, which is set on 320 acres of lovely woodland, serves as a ministry of the Conventual Franciscan Friars, Our Lady of the Angels Province. It showcases an historic status of St. Maximilian Kolbe, which was blessed by Pope John Paul II on the day that Kolbe was canonized by the Catholic church. Mass is offered each day throughout the year, with special healing masses held select Sundays of the month. Visitors can also explore the friary's grounds, which feature nature trails and a Lourdes grotto. An historic manor house on the friary's grounds is open to the public during select hours, showcasing two heritage rooms and a rotating art gallery.

12290 Folly Quarter Rd, Ellicott City, MD 21042, Phone: 410-531-2800

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6.Daniels

Daniels
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Daniels preserves the ruins of a former mill boom town located along the banks of the Patapsco River, originally founded in 1810 by settler Thomas Ely. The town, which was formerly known as Elysville, became a thriving industrial village around the turn of the 20th century, once home to a one-room schoolhouse, a railroad station, several churches, and other businesses. By the 1960s, the town's mill had closed, and in 1972, many of its structures were destroyed by the damage caused by Tropical Storm Agnes. Today, the ghost town's remains ares still accessible to the public via Daniels Road from Ellicott City. Visitors can explore the town's graffiti-covered rotting buildings and vine-ensnared structures, which are still visible and remain in their original setting.

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7.Font Hill Wetlands Park

Font Hill Wetlands Park
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Font Hill Wetlands Park is a lovely 26-acre park developed in 1997 as the first state-county-private cooperative wetland project in the state of Maryland. The beautiful park serves as a habitat to study wetland wildlife in its natural environment, anchored around three interconnecting ponds surrounded by a boardwalk system. Visitors can stroll through the park's boardwalk habitats and wind through gorgeous marsh areas, which showcase cattails and native trees. Over 150 species of wildlife are showcased throughout the park, including dozens of species of dragonflies and damselflies. Several fishing piers are open to the public, along with wildlife observation areas for relaxation.

10018-10020 Autumn View Ln, Ellicott City, MD 21042

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8.The Antique Depot

The Antique Depot
© The Antique Depot

The Antique Depot is a lovely vintage and collectibles mall located across Maryland Avenue from the B&O Railroad Station Museum, right within the heart of beautiful Historic Ellicott City. It is housed within the city's historic 1873 Dorsey Livery Stable building, which was converted into a hardware store in the mid-2oth century before its conversion into its present state in 1989. Over 70 small retailers are showcased within the mall, selling everything from antique housewares to retro and vintage finds. Four floors of dealers include vendors such as midcentury modern home decor shop Buddy McFreed's, decorative weapons dealer The Scorpion's Den, unique toy store Classic Plastic Bricks, and The Sign of the Twisted Candles bookstore.

3720 Maryland Ave, Ellicott City, MD 21043, Phone: 410-750-2674

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9.Nora's Kabob

Nora's Kabob
© Nora's Kabob

Nora's Kabob serves up delicious Middle Eastern cuisine at two Maryland locations, including a location in lovely downtown Ellicott City. The restaurant, which is helmed by restaurateurs and brothers Raymond and Sevi Sinanian, is named in honor of the pair's mother and serves up delectable traditional Middle Eastern dishes in a family-friendly environment. Diners can choose from delicious favorite entrees such as cornish hen kebabs, soltani filets, chicken gyros, and chickpea falafel platters, served up alongside side dishes such as grilled octopus salad. Shareable mezze-style appetizers are also offered for the table, including traditional favorites like mirza, hummus, calamari, and stuffed dolmades.

9338 Baltimore National Pike, Ellicott City, MD 21042, Phone: 410-418-5911

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10.Pachanga Cocina Mexicana

Pachanga Cocina Mexicana
© Pachanga Cocina Mexicana

Pachanga Cocina Mexicana was opened in 2007 by restaurateurs Fernando Duran and Gilberto Cortes, specializing in delicious family-friendly Mexican cuisine in a laid-back dining atmosphere. Diners can enjoy authentic recipes at affordable prices and select from a wide variety of traditional Mexican favorite dishes, including enchiladas, tacos, and fajitas. House specialties include traditional chicken molé, tender asado de puerco, rich chile verde, and house Pachanga burgers with guacamole and diced green chiles. Famed margaritas and homemade sangria keep the conversation flowing at the table, while appetizers such as stuffed jalapenos, rolled chicken taquitos, and chile con queso are available for sharing.

10291 Baltimore Natl Pike # B, Ellicott City, MD 21042, Phone: 410-461-4266

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11.Shin Chon Restaurant

Shin Chon Restaurant
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Shin Chon Restaurant is a delightful Korean-style restaurant in downtown Ellicott City, serving up freshly-prepared traditional Korean barbecue and regional delicacies. The casual strip-mall restaurant serves up breakfast, lunch, and dinner specialties at affordable prices, showcasing the traditional cuisine of Korea alongside Japanese-style sushi rolls and appetizers. Diners can enjoy a wide variety of bibimbap dishes prepared with protein choices such as marinated beef short ribs, fried oysters, and mixed seafood or select from house specialties such as kimchi jigae casserole, hae jan gook, and monkfish tang stew. Lunch special boxes showcase favorites like bulgogi, tonkatsu, and galbi short ribs. A wide selection of wines, beers, and cocktails are served up throughout the day, including imported selections.

8801 Baltimore National Pike #27, Ellicott City, MD 21043, Phone: 410-461-3280

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12.Tigi's Ethiopian Restaurant

Tigi's Ethiopian Restaurant
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Tigi's Ethiopian Restaurant is a delicious dine-in and takeout restaurant experience owned and operated by restaurateurs Tigist Emeru and Bellete Tessema since 2013. The laid-back restaurant is Ellicott City's only Ethiopian-style dining experience, known for its unique meat, vegetarian, and vegan offerings. All meals can be prepared anywhere from mild to spicy, customized to diners' tastes. Favorite entree selections include doro wot, bakela wot, yebere' tibs, and braised cabbage kibe', served stew-style or with unique marinades and sauces like berbere sauce. Shareable appetizers include selections like tikil gomen and vegan sambusas stuffed with lentils and green pepper.

8459 Baltimore National Pike Ste 14, Ellicott City, MD 21043, Phone: 410-750-1500

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12 Best Things to Do in Ellicott City, MD