Boundaries: Bordered roughly by Route 108 to the north and west, Route 32 to the south and I-95 to the east, Columbia's villages extend slightly beyond its northern and southern boundaries.
Claim to fame: Bizarre street and community names like Satan Wood Drive and Rivendell Lane taken from the works of William Cullen Bryant, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Mark Twain, Emily Dickinson, J.R.R. Tolkien, Carl Sandburg and several other literary greats.
Native sons and daughters: Edward Norton, esteemed actor; Aaron McGruder, artist responsible for "The Boondocks"; Michael Chabon, author of the Pulitzer-Prize winning novel "The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay"; Mary Ann Viera (a.k.a. Ladybug) of Digable Planets and Linda Tripp, made famous by her association with Bill Clinton.
Favorite venue: Merriweather Post Pavilion, an open-air venue famous for providing Howard County and surrounding areas with some of the best contemporary musical acts around. Although its future is uncertain, the venue is strongly supported by the community.
Strangest sight: Territorial Columbia teenagers loitering in the parking lots of their respective village centers -- but not on school nights, of course.
Best place to unwind: Lynn's Day Spa -- Lynn's has received countless awards including "Best Day Spa" in Columbia Magazine for the past few years. Lynn's offers a serene atmosphere, friendly staff and wonderful service. You'll have no trouble relaxing while you're there.
Best place to max out your credit cards: The Mall in Columbia features countless retail stores including both Nordstrom and Lord & Taylor, restaurants and an AMC Movie Theatre.
Favorite offbeat hangout: Mad City Coffee (10801 Hickory Ridge Road). If you're looking for a quiet place to hang out and drink some great coffee, head over to Mad City Coffee. With more personality than Starbucks, you're sure to meet some interesting people while sipping your choice beverage.
Mark your calendars
June through September:
November through New Year's: