A throwback to centuries past, with its 1800s architecture, ties to agriculture and landmarks of American history, Westminster seems far more removed from urban life than just 20 miles west of Owings Mills.

Many of the homes and buildings in Westminster were built in the 19th century, providing the town with an elegant charm. Courthouse Square is one such example, and the courthouse from which it gets its name has been voted one of America's most beautiful by the American Bar Association. City Hall, the Old Jail and the Carroll County Historical Society also occupy buildings hundreds of years old.

In addition to being an old town that still looks like an old town, Westminster is steeped in military history. In the immediate vicinity are several Civil War battlefields, and the town itself played host to a skirmish that may have been one of the deciding factors in the battle of Gettysburg -- you can check out the battlefield marker at the intersection of East Main Street and Washington Road.

It's not all military history though; Westminster offers a wide variety of outdoor activities, including several biking trails, golf courses and parks. Overlooking the town is McDaniel College (formerly Western Maryland College), the very first co-ed college south of the Mason-Dixon line. McDaniel is now more well-known for hosting the Ravens' summer training camp, an event that draws an enormous crowd to the college and the town. Shopping and eating are also great along Main Street in Westminster, as are the many antique shops the town has to offer for treasure hunting.

If small shops and antique stores aren't your thing, Westminster also has an extensive mall and retail chains found in most suburbs. Remember, the old-town feel only makes it seem like you're transported back in time.
Location: Carroll County

Schools: McDaniel College, Carroll Community College, Westminster High School, Winters Mill High School, Westminster East Middle School, Westminster West Middle School Charles Carroll Elementary School, Cranberry Station Elementary School, Friendship Valley Elementary School, Robert Morton Elementary School, Runnymede Elementary School, Westminster Elementary School, William Winchester Elementary School, Winfield Elementary School, Carroll Springs School, Gateway School, Carroll Christian School, Faith Christian School, St. John Catholic School

Landmarks/Highlights: Baugher's Farm, Ghost Walk, Maryland Wine Festival, Ravens training camp, Union Mills Homestead and Grist Mill