Location: Arnold is located in central-eastern Anne Arundel County, bordered by the Severn and Magothy rivers. Annapolis lies to the south, Severna Park to the north.
Average property price: The average home sale price in 2014 was $424,000, says Sandra Libby, associate broker at Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Annapolis.
Size and population: An area of 13.4 square miles is home to approximately 20,000 people for ZIP code 21012, according to the Realtors Property Resource neighborhood report.
The history: The Broadneck Peninsula — host to neighborhoods like Arnold, Cape St. Claire and most of Severna Park — was first inhabited by Native Americans who traveled to the area for oysters, fish and wildlife. European settlers arrived in Anne Arundel County in 1649, and around 1670, Puritan Anthony Arnold and his family migrated to the peninsula from Virginia, seeking religious freedom from the Church of England. By the turn of the 18th century, tobacco farms and plantations began popping up across the peninsula. Generations later, landowner Elijah Arnold opened a general store in a building attached to his home and, in 1852, established a U.S. post office branch at the same location. The surrounding town was named Arnold by the 1880s, and railroad construction in the 1890s connected a then-isolated Arnold to Baltimore. Thomas Arnold, Elijah’s younger brother, opened a store near the Arnold train station, which became the town marketplace where farmers exported their crops to the city.
What’s there: “One of my favorite activities is exploring the waterfront communities by boat and stopping off at one of the local waterfront restaurants,” says Libby, who raised her children in Arnold’s Pines on the Severn neighborhood and has been a real estate agent in the area for 20 years. She says that many incoming residents are drawn to Arnold’s short commute times to Baltimore and Washington, and that Anne Arundel County’s 18 Maryland Blue Ribbon Schools are desirable for families.
Recreation is a big part of the lifestyle here, too, says Libby. The 13-mile Baltimore and Annapolis Bike Trail follows the historic B&A Short Line Railroad path, and Sandy Point State Park — just minutes away — offers fishing, swimming, crabbing, camping and more along the Chesapeake Bay.
Why Arnold: Arnold is a town of generations and families, says Elizabeth Rosborg, president of the Arnold Preservation Council. Her grandfather purchased forested land here in the 1940s, and she lives in the house he built in 1956. Her brother also lives in a home on the property. “People grow up here, and they come back or stay and raise their children here,” Rosborg says.