Columbia is a planned city in Howard County, Central Maryland. It differs strongly from most notions of what constitutes a "city," as the planner divided the densely populated, but decidedly suburban in character, city into ten "villages," each of which are divided into several neighborhoods, leaving the city with a less obvious center.
Columbia is easily accessible from both I-95 and US-29, which run parallel to each other near Columbia. From either of these roads, exit at either Route 32, Route 175, or Route 100. Route 175, which is called Little Patuxent Parkway in Columbia, connects to the city center and the Mall in Columbia.
Howard Transit offers hourly bus service on its Silver Route from the Mall in Columbia to BWI Airport and the BWI Rail Station, where further connections are available to Washington DC and Baltimore. At BWI Airport, catch the Silver Route bus outside Pier E, the International Terminal, on the lower level.
For those interested in town planning and intentional communities, Columbia's layout and village centers preserve a good deal of James Rouse's 1960s-era vision of a diverse and harmonious setting open to residents of all backgrounds. Harper's Choice Village Center and Wilde Lake Village Center (which was the first to be built) have interesting small shops and public spaces.
The Maryland Museum of African Art, (downtown off Route 175), . edit
Lakefront Summer Festival, . Free outdoor movies and concerts every day during the summer.edit
Symphony of Lights Festivities, (Symphony Woods), . Annual drive-through festival of lights open at night from late December to early January. Proceeds benefit the Howard County General Hospital.edit
Wine in the Woods, . An annual wine festival during mid-May.edit
Second Edition Books & Music, 6490 Dobbin Rd, . a nifty little used book store in the same shopping center as the MVA Express. You'll find books, CDs, DVDs, and vinyl.edit
The Mall in Columbia, 10300 Little Patuxent Pkwy, . one of the largest malls in the area and sports several higher-end department stores such as Nordstroms and Lord & Taylor. Great for fine gifts and luxery items. Includes a movie theatre and several restaurants.edit
Columbia's Best Deli, 6490 Dobbin Rd. true to it's name. Great for vegetarians too!edit
Maiwand Kabob, 5467 Harpers Farm Rd, . The best kabobs in Maryland.edit
Pars Market LLC, 9400 Snowden River Parkway # 109 (Columbia, MD 21045), ☎ 443-259-0002, . Best Ethnic Market in Columbia, Great Selection of Middle Eastern and Mediterranean Foods (39.176617,-76.836966)edit
Sushi King Columbia, 6490 Dobbin Rd, . voted best sushi restaurant in the area in 2010 and have absolutely delicious specialty rolls.edit
Azul 17, 9400 Snowden River Pkwy #127 (located off of Snowden River Parkway), ☎ 410.309.2749, . a tequila bar and restaurant featuring more traditional Mexican cuisine than the usual TexMex. The drinks are original, the desserts decadent, and the guacamole is to die for!edit
Sheraton Columbia Town Center Hotel (Sheraton Columbia), 10207 Wincopin Circle, ☎ +1 410 730-3900, . Just completed a $12 million renovation, set in 12 acres of woods overlooking Lake Kittamaquandi. Outdoor pool, 24-hour fitness center.edit
SpringHill Suites, 7055 Minstrel Way, ☎ +1 410 290-7896, . checkin: 3pm; checkout: 12pm. Suites with microwave, mini-fridge, large work desk, free internet, flat screen TV. Guests have access to free parking, free hot breakfast, indoor pool and fitness center.$130. edit
Sonesta ES Suites Columbia, 8844 Columbia 100 Parkway, ☎ 410-964-9494, . This hotel offers easy access to I-95 and I-70. Each suite offers 450 to 750 square feet and features complimentary wireless access, fully equipped kitchen and separate living room. edit