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Best Suburbs of Baltimore in 2024

Thinking about moving to Baltimore? Charm City offers top suburbs with family-friendly amenities, amazing restaurants, quality schools, and more. Consider settling down in one of these five Baltimore suburbs!


  • Home Price: $377,200 median purchase price; $1,454 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 20% of Maryland cities
  • Perfect For: Students, singles, young professionals, families, retirees

Smooth sailing awaits along the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland’s capital city, Annapolis. Considered one of the sailing capitals of the U.S., Annapolis offers a sprawling waterfront and plenty of seaside fun down Main Street, including the Annapolis City Dock, Annapolis Maritime Museum & Park, and Annapolis Sailboat Show. But it’s not all about water in this city—there are plenty of green spaces like Jonas & Anne Catharine Green Park, and the cobblestone streets of Downtown Annapolis are home to a number of local seafood restaurants, art galleries, museums, and more. The world-class higher education facilities in the area, such as St. John’s College and the United States Naval Academy (USNA), are another big draw to living in Annapolis. Palladian architecture lines the city, and those interested in living in Annapolis will find many historic, Georgian-style brick houses to choose from.

Things to Do in Annapolis

Tour an authentic colonial villa with period furnishings and paintings, vintage plants, and charming latticework at the William Paca House & Garden. Have a family picnic, go boating or fishing, and take in gorgeous views overlooking the Chesapeake Bay at Sandy Point State Park. Browse a large selection of fresh produce, homemade snacks and desserts, and food in bulk at the Annapolis Amish Market. Visit the oldest state capitol in use and explore its hundreds of years of history through interactive exhibits at the Maryland State House. Grab Annapolis breakfast specials and traditional comfort meals like Chicken Benny or a Waffle Burger on the outdoor patio at Iron Rooster. Taste award-winning “All Killer, No Filler!” crab cake dishes, Crispy Calamari, and Copperhead Oyster Shooters by the Annapolis waterfront at Boatyard Bar & Grill. Pull out a seat for Northern Italian coastal cuisine like Pollo in Padella and Lasagna Alla Bolognese at Osteria 177. Or enjoy bites like Crab Omelettes or specialty sandwiches such as Captain’s Classic and The Judge at the lively landmark diner, Chick & Ruth’s Delly.

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Bel Air

Large Single-Family Home in Bel Air, MD. Photo by Instagram user @maryjonesteam

Photo via @maryjonesteam

  • Home Price: $241,700 median purchase price; $1,110 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 62% of Maryland cities
  • Perfect For: Singles, young professionals, families, retirees

Located about 45 minutes away from Baltimore, Bel Air is a quiet suburb that offers a rich mix of rural and city life at an affordable price! This Baltimore suburb has a downtown area with its own Arts & Entertainment District where residents can enjoy art galleries, dance performances, festivals, and cultural events. Bel Air residents don’t just support the arts, but gather at local events, too, like the Bel Air Kite Festival and Independence Day Parade! Baltimore’s history sprawls across this suburb with buildings dating back to the 18th and 19th centuries—the historical architecture is also found in Bel Air homes with Colonial-style townhouses and spacious brick ranches. Whether you choose an older house or a modern townhome, Bel Air is an affordable place to live in Maryland with great access to the Baltimore metro.

Things to Do in Bel Air

Take a jog, go for a walk, or embark on a family bike ride on the three-mile MA & PA Heritage Trail. Attend seasonal, family-friendly events like the Crack the Sky Summer Music Series and Harford County Wine Festival at Rockfield Manor. Learn more about prehistoric Native American cultures at The Ice House Museum located in the stunning Liriodendron Mansion. Admire various sculptures, murals, and public art pieces by taking a self-guided Art Walk through Downtown Bel Air. Check out any of the 50 teams competing for the Maryland State BBQ Championship at the themed street festival, MD State BBQ Bash. Sip on Blueberry Frost White Tea or Darjeeling Makaibari Black Tea while enjoying Bel Air breakfast treats like a Cream Tea Scone at Tea By Two. Grab a Stuffed Chicken Parm Pizza, a Pizza Steak Sub, or a Veggie Calzone at Buontempo Brothers Pizza. Or try tap beers like a Blue Eyed Blonde or Blood Orange Carpe Diem at Independent Brewing Company.


Split Level Home in Columbia, MD. Photo by Instagram user @suresalesgroup

Photo via @suresalesgroup

  • Home Price: $364,900 median purchase price; $1,604 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 53% of Maryland cities
  • Perfect For: Students, singles, young professionals, families, retirees

Want to live in a larger Baltimore suburb? Columbia may be the place for you! This vibrant suburb has access to beautiful parks, theaters, and restaurants, with even more Baltimore entertainment—such as concerts, shopping, community events, and festivals—found in Downtown Columbia or the Merriweather District. Plus, Columbia’s southernmost border is about halfway between Baltimore and Washington, DC, which allows for even more things to do. As for housing in Columbia, options range from townhomes to traditional single-family homes and ranches. Columbia is also one of the best places to raise a family in Maryland, with quality schools like Atholton Elementary School and Columbia Academy, along with higher education opportunities at institutions like Howard Community College.

Things to Do in Columbia

Check out permanent exhibits like Life of the Forest and Chesapeake Bay Watershed or test out your scientific skills in the Discovery Room at Robinson Nature Center. Have a family picnic or walk around the lake and enjoy beautiful views of the Columbia waterfront at Wilde Lake Park. Cheer on renowned musicians like Luke Bryan, Dierks Bentley, and James Taylor by attending a concert at the Merriweather Post Pavilion. Catch more live music or an outdoor movie showing like Wonder Woman or Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle throughout the summer at the outdoor event series known as Lakefront Live. Shop from over 200 popular retail stores like Macy’s, Nordstrom, or Anthropologie at The Mall in Columbia. Start off your morning with a House Bloody Mary or Mimosa with Nutella French Toast at The Iron Bridge Wine Company. Enjoy Spinach Phunque, Baked Tilapia, or the Cheesy Pasta Bake while watching performances like ELF: The Musical, Godspell, or Monty Python’s Spamalot at Toby’s Dinner Theatre. Treat your tastebuds to classic Greek dishes like Seafood Pasta, a Greek Salad, or Lamb Chops at Xenia. Or visit a Columbia brewery with board games, food trucks, and rotating drinks like the Sun Run IPA and Salted Lime Sour at Black Flag Brewing Co.

Ellicott City

Large Single-Family Home in Ellicott City, MD. Photo by Instagram user @boblucidoteam

Photo via @boblucidoteam

  • Home Price: $515,500 median purchase price; $1,582 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 75% of Maryland cities
  • Perfect For: Families, retirees

Historical Ellicott City is an excellent choice for those seeking a family-friendly community! A visit to Old Ellicott City can show you a glimpse of the suburb’s history—the district is filled with historical sites like Baltimore & Ohio Ellicott City Station, as well as stunning art galleries, vintage boutiques, and bustling restaurants. Not to mention, Main Street offers fun recurring events that bring the community together, such as The Wine Bin‘s Summer Movie Nights. Beyond the great amenities in Ellicott City, there are brick ranches, modern townhomes, and Colonial houses to buy or rent, and families can choose from the many top-ranked schools in this Baltimore suburb.

Things to Do in Ellicott City

Send your little ones off to play and dance at Toddler Time or take a real train ride on the Mile One Express at the B&O Ellicott City Station Museum. Venture out for an afternoon hike, go swimming, or kayak through the misty waters at Patapsco Valley State Park. Attend social events like the Ellicott Silly Comedy Festival or explore daily life in a 19th-century mill town through exhibits like A River Runs Through It: The Floods of Ellicott City at the Museum of Howard County History. Shop for clothing, jewelry, home decor, and more at the many one-of-a-kind local boutiques in the area, like Sweet Elizabeth Jane. Wake up with a Cappuccino, Dirty Chai Latte, or Brewed Coffee at Little Market Cafe, a great Ellicott City coffee shop. If you’re looking for some of the best brunch in Ellicott City, try Cinnamon French Toast, Fruit Melange, or a Western Scramble Wrap at Alexandra’s American Fusion. Fill up on a Boar to be Wild Pizza or a Chicken Slammer Sandwich for lunch at Manor Hill Tavern. Or enjoy live music while sipping on Maryland malt whiskey and rotating draft beers, such as the Burley Oak Bilsner Pilsner and Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, at Judge’s Bench.


  • Home Price: $334,500 median purchase price; $1,337 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 45% of Maryland cities
  • Perfect For: Students, singles, young professionals, families, retirees

Enjoy a growing community in one of Baltimore’s best suburbs—Towson! This northern Baltimore town offers a suburban feel and an escape from city life with housing options such as Colonial-style homes, townhomes, and ranches. There are plenty of opportunities for outdoor recreation, from vast green spaces like Lake Roland Park to the amenities at the Country Club of Maryland. Residents also have access to many local shops and restaurants at the Towson Town Center, as well as fun family-friendly events in Towson like the Towsontown Spring Festival. Plus, parents can send their children to top-rated Towson schools like West Towson Elementary and Towson High School—while nearby Towson University and Goucher College offer great opportunities in higher education for both students and young professionals.

Things to Do in Towson

Play and exercise with your pooch or let them go for a swim at the community dog park, Paw Point. Immerse yourself in Asian culture by checking out the art gallery, meeting talented artists, or attending exhibitions and festivals like Asia North at Towson University’s Asian Arts & Culture Center. Watch the Towson Tigers (NCAA D-I) play a game of football or lacrosse while tailgating at Johnny Unitas Stadium. Peruse over 60 acres of park space, sign up for a tour of the 18th-century Hampton mansion, and become educated on the complexities of American history at the Hampton National Historic Site. Chow down MD-Mex dishes like Crab Nachos, Garlic Shrimp, or Chicken Chesapeake at Nacho Mama’s. Get your fix of Korean BBQ in Towson by trying Beef Brisket, Spicy Pork Belly, or Osam Bulgogi at Maimura. Enjoy a night out in Downtown Towson eating the O.G. Smashburger while sipping Grapefruit Crush or Fireball Candy Cane at Charles Village Pub & Patio. Or pick up pints of delicious Lemon Stick, Raspberry Beret, and Maryland Mud ice cream for dessert at The Charmery.


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About Mike Beutler

Mike Beutler is a writer and digital content specialist who transitioned to self storage in 2020 after several years in the airline industry. His travels cultivated a passion for exploring cities across the U.S. and abroad and inspired him to learn more about practical insights for urban living. With 14 moves under his belt, both locally and cross-country, he also has a passion for minimalism and organization, and sharing tips to help others make any space feel like home while staying organized.