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Shopping in Howard County
Women shop at Artcraft during Historic Savage Mill's Girls Night Out. (Jen Rynda / Baltimore Sun Media Group)

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, they’re bound to find whatever they’re looking for.

Owned and managed by GGP , the mall is the county’s largest retail center and includes five major department stores: Nordstrom, Lord & Taylor, Macy’s, JCPenney and Sears. Shoppers can enjoy fare from an extensive food court or venture outside to the mall’s 75,000-square-foot, open-air plaza, which debuted in 2014 and expanded the mall’s dining and shopping options. Full-service restaurants include P.F. Chang’s China Bistro, The Cheesecake Factory, Maggiano’s Little Italy, and Seasons 52, in addition to fast-casual restaurants like Zoe’s Kitchen, Bibibop and Panera Bread. Later this year, two new full-service restaurants — Walrus Oyster & Ale House and Uncle Julio’s — and one fast casual restaurant will open at the mall, along with a Barnes and Noble bookstore and a Main Event Entertainment center.

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Elsewhere in the county are plenty of not-to-be-missed shopping areas.

Nine of Columbia’s villages have village centers, most containing supermarkets, restaurants, retail specialty stores and services such as dry cleaners, salons and tailors.

On Route 175 is Columbia Crossing, home to Jo-Ann Fabrics and Crafts, Pier 1 Imports, Target, Dick’s Sporting Goods and more. Nearby Snowden Square Shopping Center on Snowden River Parkway has Hobby Lobby, PetSmart, The Home Depot, Bed Bath & Beyond and discount shopping including BJ’s, HomeGoods, Marshalls and DSW Designer Shoe Warehouse.

Dobbin Station, at the corner of Dobbin Road and Old Dobbin Lane, is home to Petco, Party City and La-Z-Boy Furniture, while neighboring Columbia Crossing II houses Babies R Us, Toys R Us, Mattress Warehouse of Columbia and REI.

Just off Interstate 95 in Elkridge, Gateway Overlook is home to Costco, Trader Joe’s, Ulta, Best Buy and Lowe’s, among many others.

Main Street in Historic Ellicott City features a range of specialty shops with bookstores, boutiques, gift shops and more in restored buildings dating as far back as the 18th century. A flood in July 2016 heavily damaged many buildings and much infrastructure, but many shops have reopened and several new retailers have come to the historic district.

Also in Ellicott City is the shopping mecca of U.S. 40, which is lined with retail centers. Three of the largest are Chatham Station, Enchanted Forest and Normandy Center. Lotte Plaza, just off the intersection of U.S. 40 and U.S. 29, houses a vast complex of popular Korean stores that sell food, household goods, electronics and more.

Nearby at U.S. 29 and Route 100, Long Gate Shopping Center in Ellicott City is home to Barnes & Noble Booksellers, Kohl’s, Old Navy, Target and Michaels Arts & Crafts.

Further west, Turf Valley Towne Square includes a Harris Teeter grocery store, Smyth Jewelers, Pet Valu and Pinot’s Palette, along with a wine shop, organic salon and more.

Clarksville, especially on Route 108, is home to several shopping areas, including Clarksville Square, which houses several eco-conscious stores in its Conscious Corner that sell organic food, clothing and other products. Clarksville Commons, a new, 40,000-square-foot sustainable shopping, dining and office complex, opened last year.

In the southern part of the county, Fulton’s Maple Lawn community off Route 216 offers upscale shopping including Bra-la-la boutique, Pet Barn, Prints Charming Quilt Shop and Today’s Image Salon.

Savage Mill, near the intersection of U.S. 1 and Route 32, offers an eclectic variety of merchants that range from artists to antique stores to consignment shops. The unique shopping destination is housed in a complex of historic former mill buildings.

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