Ellicott City is a charming town located just 20 minutes outside of Baltimore, Maryland. Known for being small-business friendly and for its inviting atmosphere, there are plenty of things to do for the whole family. 

We asked Southern Management’s senior communications specialist, Melissa Lucas, about her favorite things to do, since she’s lived there for a number of years. “There is a great main street in Old Ellicott City full of shops, breweries and places to eat,” she says. “This town and community have such a long-standing history, with some buildings dating back more than 100 years.” 

Whether you’re looking to move or just looking for a fun day trip from Baltimore, we’ve rounded up 10 fun things to do in Ellicott City. You could shop on Main Street, learn about the town’s rich history or explore its beautiful parks. Read on for details. 

10 Things to Do in Ellicott City

1. Visit the B&O Ellicott City Station Museum

b&o railroad station

3711 Maryland Ave., Ellicott City, MD

Ellicott City was served by B&O passenger railway service from 1831 to 1949. Since then, the station has been preserved and converted into the B&O Ellicott City Station Museum, celebrating the country’s railroad history. Today, the museum is also the oldest surviving rail station in the United States, as well as a National Historic Landmark. Visitors can explore a rotating selection of exhibits that include reconstructed ticket offices, a historic caboose and more. 

2. Explore Patapsco Valley State Park

bridge in Patapsco Valley State Park

8020 Baltimore National Pike, Ellicott City, MD

Ellicott City is known for its beautiful scenery, and there’s no better place to explore it than at Patapsco Valley State Park. The Patapsco River runs directly through the park for visitors to enjoy, and there’s also an extensive network of trails and campgrounds. Visitors can go hiking, mountain biking, fishing, canoeing and more, so there’s something for everyone to enjoy here. 

3. Shop at the Antique Depot

Antique Depot sign

3720 Maryland Ave., Ellicott City, MD

Old Ellicott City has no shortage of great places to shop, but the Antique Depot is one of the most unique. This four-story shop features antique and collectible items from dozens of Maryland small businesses. You’ll find a treasure trove of items ranging from clothing to furniture to art and much more. Plus, items rotate throughout the year, so there’s always something new to find. 

4. Enjoy a Delicious Meal on Main Street

La Palapa resturaunt

Frederick Road, Ellicott City, MD

The Old Ellicott City historic district is full of cozy and charming restaurants to suit every taste bud. You’ll find everything from French at Tersiguel’s to Mexican at La Palapa to Middle Eastern at Syriana Cafe. If you’re on the hunt for a sweet treat, check out the Crazy Mason Milkshake Bar or Sweet Cascades Chocolatier. Brunch lovers also have plenty of options, such as Cozy Cafe and Manor Hill Tavern. Best of all, Main Street is very walkable, so you can take your time exploring the restaurants. 

5. Have a Drink at Ellicott Distilling Co. 

Ellicott Distilling Co. bottles

8090 Main St., Ellicott City, MD

After enjoying the delicious food Old Ellicott City has to offer, wash it down with a drink at Ellicott Distilling Co. They have a full menu of alcoholic and non-alcoholic cocktails as well as plenty of bar snacks. They also have bottles of their small-batch, house-made spirits available for purchase. 

6. Take a Pottery Class at ClayGround

ClayGround pottery wheel

3715 Old Columbia Pike, Ellicott City, MD

Bring out your creative side and take an art class at ClayGround. This welcoming art studio offers classes in pottery, mosaics and fused glass and is always on the list of fun things to do, especially with children. In addition to their popular weekly classes, you can rent the studio for private group sessions. The ClayGround also has its own art gallery, which features rotating displays from talented local artists. 

7. Tour the Thomas Isaac Log Cabin

Thomas Isaac Log Cabin

8394 Main St., Ellicott City, MD

If you love history and are wondering what to do in Ellicott City, this historic log cabin is worth a visit. The Thomas Isaac Log Cabin is one of the oldest structures in the Ellicott City area. The cabin dates back to the early colonial era and was constructed around 1780. Tours of the cabin are available on Saturdays and Sundays from May through December. 

8. Explore Centennial Park

sunset at Centennial Park

10000 Clarksville Pike, Ellicott City, MD

Located off the beaten path, Centennial Park is another one of Ellicott City’s beautiful outdoor areas. This park has a gorgeous network of hiking trails surrounding a tranquil lake. There’s a playground and a variety of sports facilities, so it’s a great place to stay active. 

“I raised my son in Ellicott City, and I loved being near multiple parks we could explore together, along with the dogs,” says Melissa Lucas. 

9. Take a Ghost Tour

ghost tour ellicott city

Old Ellicott City

Ellicott City is often cited as one of the most haunted places in America. With such a rich history, it’s no surprise that there are a few notorious ghosts in the area. Maryland History Tours conducts ghost tours of Ellicott City as well as pub crawls and other local history events. While these ghost tours are particularly fun in the lead-up to Halloween, they are available any time of year. 

10. Visit Clark’s Elioak Farm

Clark’s Elioak Farm purple shoe

10500 Clarksville Pike, Ellicott City, MD

Wondering what to do in Ellicott City with kids? Clark’s Elioak Farm is open spring through fall and is a great family-friendly activity. This delightful farm has a petting zoo and sells fresh local produce. Additionally, they’ve lovingly restored some of the displays from the Enchanted Forest, a nearby theme park that closed in the 1990s, which gives the farm a very whimsical feel. 

Make Ellicott City Your Home With Southern Management

Although Ellicott City is a small town, it’s full of historic charm and is an amazing place to live or visit. Thinking about moving to Maryland? Southern Management has a wide variety of rental properties across the Baltimore and Washington, D.C. metropolitan area — including near Ellicott City! Explore our apartments in Howard County or contact us to learn more about our available apartments.