Sunday, August 9, 2015

Hidden, Charming Gems: Ellicott City, Maryland

I grew up in Northern Virginia, returned after college for five years, and it still amazes me that I can find a neighborhood I've never heard of. Case in point: Ellicott City, Maryland. This tiny town's Main Street is absolutely worth your time. Get ready for cobble stone buildings, quirky shops and a quaint setting that's straight out of a storybook.

Looks like a scene out of the 50s, doesn't it? But it's just historical and charming Ellicott City. 
Photo courtesy of Flickr user: Scott Saghirian
The most convenient time to visit would be if you're ever in the area seeing a show at Merriweather Post Pavilion, since E.C. is in the next town over. I paid a visit to Ellicott City right before seeing Florence and the Machine live (if you haven't seen this band, go. Do it. Like right now. And if you haven't heard of the artist, pull up a YouTube video immediately. Stat.), and was instantly taken. It really is like stepping back in time.

 Be sure to find the clock when you're in town.

Stroll down Main street. Check out a few funky boutiques, all with brick exteriors. A hallowed out department store houses vintage-inspired Sweet Elizabeth Jane, a store you're sure to love. The dresses are beautiful. You'll also find artisanal bath products, accessories and maybe even a book or two. I even enjoyed a meal on the rooftop of the Pure Wine Cafe

 My view from the restaurant.

The food was OK and a tad overpriced, but the view was unbeatable. If wine isn't you thing, you could try the Ellicott Mills Brewing Company. They were closed when I visited, but it looked good. No matter what, put this town on your must-see list. Even if you just do a driving tour.

Here's to small (town) surprises.

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