The 2019 Guide to Howard County

Whether you're new to the area or you've lived in Howard County all your life, consider this guide a handbook for your everyday needs.

A quick overview of Howard County

Set squarely between the nation’s capital and Baltimore, Howard County is a well-blended mix of the bucolic, the urban and the suburban.

50 places to take the kids in Howard County

The next time your children say they are bored, have a look around. Howard County is home to everything from trampoline parks to a motorcycle museum. In nice weather, farms and parks offer an excuse to get some fresh air. Here are 50 places to take the kids in 2019.

Howard County's 19 most anticipated events for 2019

Do you ever find yourself saying you have nowhere to go or nothing to do? Not this year. Whether you like the arts or something more active, Howard County will host a year full of events that are sure to get you out of the house.

Howard County restaurants at a glance: best places to eat, according to readers

More than 2,000 of you voted in Howard Magazine’s Best Restaurant readers’ poll, selecting your favorites in 45 categories. Below, we present the eateries that earned top votes, and we share a little about what makes some of the county’s best spots oh-so-special. 

Howard County's arts scene

One area Howard County can certainly boast about is its vibrant arts scene, with an abundance of choices that include theater, music and dance companies, as well as free outdoor concerts at downtown Columbia’s Lakefront on Lake Kittamaqundi, Centennial Park and Columbia’s village centers.

Education and schools in Howard County

The Howard County Public School System includes 42 elementary schools; 20 middle schools; 12 high schools; one school for students with severe disabilities; one school for students with behavioral and emotional issues; and one school for students enrolled in technical and vocational programs.

Health care in Howard County

As the population of Howard County has grown, so have the health care resources available to residents.

Howard County's businesses and jobs

Location, quality of life and a pro-business environment are three of the reasons almost 10,000 companies call Howard County home, creating more than 157,000 jobs.

Howard County's government and elected officials

Howard County’s government operates a school system, a police department with nearly 500 sworn officers, a fire department, a water and sewer system, a landfill and six branch libraries that have the highest per-capita circulation rate in the state.

Howard County's communities, housing and transportation

Howard County has a distinct and thriving collection of communities, old and new, stable and growing. In Columbia, nearly a quarter of the land is preserved as open space.

Recreation and sports in Howard County

Whether you are always on the go or just looking to kick back and relax, you’ll find an activity that fits your interests — from hiking and biking to bird-watching and golf.

Religious groups in Howard County

The faith communities that worship in Howard County include Protestant, Roman Catholic, Jewish, Muslim, Mormon, Christian Scientist, Seventh-Day Adventist, Mennonite, Baha’i, Quaker and Unitarian Universalist groups.

Places to shop in Howard County

Shoppers at The Mall in Columbia have no shortage of choices — with more than 200 stores and more than 1.4 million square feet of retail space to explore,

Senior centers and services in Howard County

In the early years after Columbia was created in 1967, it sometimes was described as “the city without grandparents.” Now, though, the “pioneers” who first raised families there are eligible for Medicare, and by 2016, people 65 and older made up more than 13 percent of Howard County’s population.