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As the county seat of Harford, Bel Air acts as a hub of commercial and community activity for the surrounding area. Though only 40 minutes northeast along Interstate 95 from Baltimore, residents don't have to travel beyond the town to find much to do. Bel Air combines a warm and welcoming community with flourishing commercial districts, scenic park vistas and pleasant residential neighborhoods.
Explore the City
As of November 2017, the average apartment rent in Bel Air, MD is $845 for a studio, $1,072 for one bedroom, $1,262 for two bedrooms, and $1,620 for three bedrooms. Apartment rent in Bel Air has increased by 1.8% in the past year.
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Living in Bel Air
Locals head down Baltimore Pike to experience the vibrant mix of hip establishments and local favorite restaurants in the area. The large variety of restaurants and bars in Bel Air makes pleasing even the most disparate groups easy.
Combining typical English pub aesthetics with a fresh-gourmet take on the menu, Sean Bolan's remains one of Bel Air's favorite spots to enjoy good food and drink. The spacious seating area makes Sean Bolan's a great gathering spot for large groups. The extensive craft beer selection rotates often, providing enthusiasts with much to choose from. Order the shepherd's pie or fish and chips for the chef's take on an old English classic, or give the stuffed cabbage rolls a try for something new.
Sunny Day Cafe brings the local crowd out early each day to fill up on quality breakfast menu items. Enjoy a sweet or savory crepe at the breakfast bar, or dine under the sun at outdoor seating during the warmer months. Vegetarians can find much to enjoy, including the flavorful Florentine crepe. Not up for breakfast? The extensive lunch menu includes a number of tasty and filling options, including crab cakes and a signature gyro. Specials run most days of the week to help save a few bucks.
With some of the freshest seafood this side of Baltimore, the Steelefish Grille on Boulton Street makes for a great date night. Presentation and flavor combinations receive special attention from the chefs at Steelefish Grille. Order the Steelefish tacos filled with red snapper or the creatively composed mahi mahi. The extensive drink menu includes a number of specialty cocktails, and the seasonal dessert menu should not be glossed over either.
Among the large selection of sports bars and pubs in the area, DuClaw Brewing Co-Restaurant and Microbrewery stands out. Order a flight of beers to get a tasty sampler of DuClaw's brews or dive straight into a pint with the Misfit red amber ale or the Black Jack stout. The meals go above and beyond typical pub fare, including a filling ahi tuna salad and crab pretzels. The low-key ambiance and friendly serving make DuClaw's a great place to unwind with friends after a long day of work.
Bel Air's name was once a hotly debated topic. Beginning as Scott's Improvement Enlarged, as named by Aquilla Scott, the town was planned and developed over farmland. As the town grew and expanded due to attracting politicians and merchants to the area, the county commissioners elected to change the name to Belle Aire, and the town was again changed by Aquilla Scott to Bell Aire before eventually settling on the current name in 1798 as noted in court records. Just two years after the town's founding, Bel Air became Hartford's county seat, and the area has experienced continual growth through to present day.
With well-maintained architecture dating back to Bel Air's earliest days, the Hays House Museum provides a glimpse into 18th-century living and the very beginnings of the United States. The house often serves as a community hub, hosting the annual ice cream social among other events.
Routes 22, 24 and 924 intersect in central Bel Air, with Route 1 running along the town's western side, providing locals with a bevy of options for traveling via automobile. In addition to Uber and Lyft services, a number of local taxi cab companies service the greater surrounding area. Call ahead if you know you'll need a cab because hailing one in the street can be difficult.
Public parking is freely available throughout Bel Air, both within residential areas and in parking lots found beside most local businesses. The roads lack designated lanes for bikers, relegating city cyclists to side streets. The southern half of Bel Air is very walkable with grocery stores, shopping malls and restaurants all just around the corner, though the town's northern residents rely on an automobile to get around. The Maryland Transit Administration services Bel Air with bus stops along Brierhill Drive to provide commuters a trip into Baltimore along Interstate 95.
Bel Air's cost of living averages 14 percent higher than in Baltimore, and an average month's rent for a local one-bedroom apartment costs $1,012. A 24-hour pass for the MTA to take a bus trip into Baltimore costs $3.50. Local bars charge an average of $6 for a pint, and gas prices in the area average just 1 percent below the national gas average.
Shoppers in central Bel Air head along Main Street or south near the intersection of Baltimore Pike and Veterans' Memorial Highway to meet all of their grocery and specialty shop needs. The Harford Mall and Tollgate Mall flank Baltimore Pike and bring a large number of high-value stores to the Bel Air area, including Macy's and Macy's Furniture, Hercht's, Barnes & Noble, Toys R Us and Sears in addition to a number of chain restaurants. Mars Food, Weis Market and Safeway make up the popular local grocery store options.
Head over to Main Street to find an assortment of beautiful custom-made jewelry and accessories at Faye Daniel Designs. Brides-to-be often bring in their dresses to work directly with the staff in store designing necklaces and earrings which match the color and patterns for a truly elegant look. Be sure to search around online because coupons and deals are often available during holidays to make designing accessories for that upcoming special occasion a little more affordable.
Specializing in designs for the young or young-at-heart, Tiger Lily can be found on Main Street in central Bel Air and sells a range of fashionable designer and unique clothing. Styles range from formal-wear and high-end chic to hip and trendy new pieces, and prices follow suit with a number of discounted racks available in addition to higher end offerings.
The Bel Air Farmer's Market along Main Street provides the town with an easily accessible location to support local producers. Open every Saturday throughout the year, this large producers-only market includes dozens of local vendors selling meat, fish, produce and bread in addition to locally made crafts, spirits and sauces. Art Month occurs in October of each year and brings the town together to celebrate and showcase local artists.
Bel Air includes a number of small and freely accessible parks throughout the town to ensure an afternoon escape into nature is never far away. Pack a family picnic and enjoy the scenic view of the ponds in Aquila Scot or Bynum Run Parks, or bring along the dog on-leash for a jaunt through Majors Choice Park. Horse-lovers can stop by Heavenly Waters Park to take advantage of the Equestrian Center and its events, which run throughout the year. Those looking to enjoy a day of local community fun with the family can stop by as well, as the Equestrian Center hosts a number of annual events each year, including car shows, dog shows, tractor pulls, flea markets and the Annual County Farm Fair.
4 Bedroom Apartments for Rent in Bel Air, MD
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