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Ellicott City, Maryland

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Tucked away in the Patapsco Valley, Ellicott City, Maryland is practically built into the granite formations that make up the region. In fact, the historic village is so hidden away that you could easily miss it if not for all the signs. But that would be a mistake, since Ellicott City offers a huge assortment of funky shops, antiques, and restaurants to easily fill a day.

Main Street winds through the heart of Ellicott City.
Main Street winds through the heart of Ellicott City.

The city was founded in 1772 by three Quaker brothers (John, Andrew, and Joseph Ellicott) who built a flour mill on the Patapsco River. The mill was the start of an industrial boom for the town, then known as Ellicott Mills, making it a major manufacturing center on the east coast. In fact, in 1830 the town became the western most terminus for the nascent Baltimore and Ohio Railroad.

But it wasn't all good times for Ellicott City. Numerous storms have flooded the vulnerable town, including Hurricane Agnes, which in 1972 caused as much as 14.5 feet of flooding in places. Also, with the authentic historic buildings come lax fire safety standards. A number of violent fires have broken out over the years, some wiping out entire blocks of historic structures.

Signs of Ellicott City's history can be seen all over town. Milling continues to this day at the Wilkins-Rogers Flour Company, the only mill still operating in the state of Maryland. Also the B&O railroad station remains, today as a museum located at the end of town. And painted lines on a bridge support mark the high water points of various floods that ravaged the city.

Today, Ellicott City is a popular tourist destination not just for its historic charms but also for its terrific dining and wide variety of shopping. The majority of the activity in Ellicott City is located along Main Street. There are additional shops just off Main on Old Columbia Pike in an area called Tongue's Row.

Historic buildings tower over the Patapsco Valley.
Historic buildings tower over the Patapsco Valley.

Almost all of the shops are unique with no national chains. Many stores sell antiques, but you'll also find many stores selling home furnishings along with gift shops and clothing stores. Despite its outward appearance as a quaint village, you'll also find some businesses more common in a hip urban center. For example, when you're done shopping, you can try body piercing.

Retail Hours

Most shops are open seven days a week, however many close early—around five or six.

Parking

On street parking can be tight but there are several public parking lots on either end of Main Street. You'll want to arrive early to get a good spot especially during the holiday shopping season when many of the lots fill up quickly.

If you like this page, please check out the Main Streets we have listed in the states below!

Restrooms

Clean public bathrooms can be found inside the B&O Railroad Museum's Ellicott City Station.

Attractions

Visit the B&O Railroad Museum's Ellicott City Station (2711 Maryland Avenue, 410-461-1945), the oldest surviving railroad station in America. The museum features exhibits including an elaborate miniature train set.

A welcoming sign is painted on the side of the B&O Railroad bridge.
A welcoming sign is painted on the side of the B&O Railroad bridge.

On top of the hill overlooking the town, you will find the ruins of the Patapsco Female Institute, a former school for young women, featuring Greek Revival architecture. The Patapsco Female Institute Historic Park (3655 Church Road, 410-313-5131) offers tours along with special events, including outdoor Victorian teas.

Events

Every year, the city throws a Fall Festival, which includes music, light fare, kid's activities, sidewalk sales, and a beer garden.

The Second Sunday Market is a Farmer's Market held seasonally on Tongue Row.

Girl's Night Out is held on the third Thursday night of each month and features shopping discounts, wine, and live music.

Midnight Madness is an event held every year in December and features a tree-lighting ceremony, photos with Santa, and a festival of trains. Stores and restaurants stay open until midnight.

Location

Ellicott City is approximately 15 miles from Baltimore, Maryland, 40 miles from Washington, DC, and 113 miles from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Take I-95 to exit 43B in Maryland. Head west on Maryland Route 100. Take exit 1A for Long Gate Parkway. Turn left at Maryland Route 103 (Montgomery Road). Turn right at Old Columbia Pike until it reaches Main Street.

External Links

visitellicottcity.com

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Directory

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Antiques

Caplan's Antiques & Auction (8125 Main Street, 410-750-7678)
Cottage Antiques (8181 Main Street, 410-465-1412)
Ellicott's Country Store (8180 Main Street, 410-465-4482)
Joan Eve (8018 Main Street, 410-750-1210)
Out of Our Past Antiques (8111 Main Street, 410-480-2970)
Taylor's Antique Mall (8197 Main Street, 410-465-4444)
Vintage Girls (8086 Main Street, 410-465-5117)
Vintage Shoppes (8086 Main Street, 410-465-5117)

Books

Gramp's Attic Books (8304 Main Street, 410-750-9235)

Children's

Little Sunshine Trading Company (8129 Main Street, 410-461-3220)

Coffee and Dessert

Bean Hollow Cafe (8059 Main Street, 410-465-0233)
Little French Market Cafe (3744 Old Columbia Pike, 410-465-5995)
Old Mill Bakery Cafe (4 Frederick Road, 410-465-2253)
Sweet. a bakery & cafe (8143 Main Street, 410-461-9275)
Sweet Cascades (8167 Main Street, 410-750-8422)

Dining

Cacao Lane (8066 Main Street, 410-461-1378)
Ellicott Mills Brewing Company (8308 Main Street, 410-313-8141)
Johnny's Bistro on Main (8167 Main Street, 410-461-8210)
Jordan's Steakhouse (8085 Main Street, 410-461-9776)
The Judge's Bench (8385 Main Street, 410-465-3497)
La Palapa Grill and Cantina (8307 Main Street, 410-465-0070)
Little French Market Cafe (3744 Old Columbia Pike, 410-465-5995)
Phoenix Emporium (8049 Main Street, 410-465-5665)
The Rumor Mill Fusion Bar & Restaurant (8069 Tiber Alley, 410-461-0041)
Sarah & Desmonds Bakery & Vegetarian Cafe (3715 Old Columbia Pike, 410-465-9700)
Tersiguels French Country Restaurant (8293 Main Street, 410-465-4004)

Fashions

Discoveries (8055 Main Street, 410-461-9600)
Zebop (8034 Main Street, 410-461-8045)

Florists

Wessel's Florist (8098 Main Street, 410-465-0177)

Framing

Mat About You Art Gallery and Framing Studio (3774 Old Columbia Pike, 410-313-8860)

Galleries

Art and Artisan (8020 Main Street, 410-203-9370)
Mat About You Art Gallery and Framing Studio (3774 Old Columbia Pike, 410-313-8860)

Gift Shops

Discoveries (8055 Main Street, 410-461-9600)
The Forget-Me-Not-Factory (8044 Main Street, 866-445-4879)
I Love Theatre (8141 Main Street, 410-461-4230)
La Boutique De Mon Amie (3748 Old Columbia Pike, 410-465-3673)
Precious Gifts (8225 Main Street, 410-461-6813)
Southwest Connection (8167 Main Street, 410-750-7643)
Zebop (8034 Main Street, 410-461-8045)

Home Furnishings

Art and Artisan (8020 Main Street, 410-203-9370)
Main Street Oriental Rugs (8290 Main Street, 410-313-9090)
Ellicott's Country Store (8180 Main Street, 410-465-4482)
The Good Life Market (3782 Old Columbia Pike, 410-480-5077)
Shoemaker Country Store (8185 Main Street, 410-461-1924)
Shoemaker Showroom Store (8095 Main Street, 410-461-5552)
Su Casa (8307 Main Street, 410-465-4100)

Jewelry

Art and Artisan (8020 Main Street, 410-203-9370)
Craig Coyne (8113 Main Street, 410-480-2210)
Discoveries (8055 Main Street, 410-461-9600)
La Boutique De Mon Amie (3748 Old Columbia Pike, 410-465-3673)
Southwest Connection (8167 Main Street, 410-750-7643)

Pets

Work. Play. Bark! (8104 Main Street, 410-750-9663)

Tea Rooms

Tea on the Tiber (8081 Main Street, 410-480-8000)

Toys and Games

All Time Toys (8167 Main Street, Suite 105, 410-418-4788)
Mumbles and Squeaks Toy Shoppe (8133 Main Street, 410-750-2803)

Wine

Carpe Vinum (8026 Main Street, 410-418-5100)
Pure Wine Cafe (8210 Main Street, 410-480-5037)
The Wine Bin (8390 Main Street, 410-465-7802)

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