Catonsville is not a stereotypical college town. This Baltimore suburb is mostly home to upper- and middle-class families who are overall very friendly and helpful toward students, but there are very few stores or entertainment options within walking distance of campus. Students tend to go home on the weekends, but this is changing due to the increase in student programming on the weekends, which is keeping more students on campus. If you’re looking to get off campus, UMBC is located close to Baltimore City, Washington, DC, and Old Ellicott City, all of which are easy to get to via public transportation, shuttle, or car.
Baltimore City has a large selection of stores, museums, concert venues, bars, and restaurants. The downside is that safety at night can be a concern. Old Ellicott City offers students a large selection of restaurants, bars, and small local stores. Washington, DC, a 40-minute drive from campus, has a large variety of museums, parades, and international festivals, where students can enrich themselves culturally and intellectually. DC also offers a much wider variety of entertainment than Baltimore City.