This small town sits approximately 7 miles northwest of Washington, D.C., in the Greenbelt region of Prince George's County in Maryland.
Almost 10,000 residents live within the 1.1 square miles that comprise this charming historic town. Its residents work in both blue and white-collar jobs ranging from sales and office positions to service providers and law enforcement. Comprised of residents with varying socioeconomic statuses, this ethnically diverse community offers relatively affordable living within close proximity to the nation’s capital.
Restaurants & Nightlife
The diversity of Bladensburg's residents is reflected in its restaurant scene, which serves up a varied selection of cuisine ranging from spicy jerk chicken or chicken mole to zesty Italian and carryout Asian cuisine.
Agama Kitchen on Annapolis Road specializes in charcoal-grilled African cuisines, including isi ewu, abacha and ugba, pounded yam, jollof rice, oat fufu and fish pie. Caribbean Superior on Annapolis Road dishes up a jerk chicken sure to knock your socks off with its spiciness. Other specialties include melt-in-your-mouth tender oxtail, flavorful curry chicken and ackee with salt fish with plantains and boiled yam. In addition to serving some of the best Caribbean fare in the region, this small restaurant also has a reputation for having extremely friendly, helpful servers and staff.
El Tapatio, located on the border between Bladensburg and Hyattsville specializes in authentic Mexican cuisine from the Jalisco region of Mexico. Choose from a variety of taco fillings, including beef, pork and tongue, in addition to menu items such as fajitas and green and red enchiladas. If you feel adventurous, try El Tapatio's birria. The restaurant serves this plate of goat meat with special sauce, rice and beans, and handmade tortillas.
When it comes to nightlife, the sleepy town of Bladensburg has little to offer. For live music or dance clubs, residents need to travel to nearby Washington, D.C., to visit hot spots such as Little Miss Whiskey's Golden Dollar on H Street. This funky little cash-only club features friendly servers and bartenders, charming decor and a fun crowd in addition to a friendly bar dog named Vaughn. Drink specialties include "the Awesomeness" slushie cocktail an extensive whisky menu.
If you want to stay closer to home, grab a cocktail or a cold beer after hitting the lanes at AMF Capital Plaza, a bowling alley in nearby Hyattsville. Franklins Brewery, also located in Hyattsville, has the distinction of being the only brewpub in the county. This funky spot combines the merchandising of Cracker Barrel with the appeal of a craft brewery that's won more than 70 medals for its in-house brewed beers such as the light and crisp Bombshell Blonde or the dark and full-bodied Matryoska Imperial Stout.
History & Culture
Formerly known as Beall Town, Bladensburg received its new name in 1742 in honor of the state's new governor, Sir Thomas Bladen.
Bladensburg, Maryland, once thrived as a vibrant shipping town during the 1700s. Later, this port town was the site where British troops overtook American forces positioned in Bladensburg during the War of 1812, a key turning point that allowed the British to enter Washington and set fire to the White House. After the port closed in 1840 and the railroad relocated out of town, Bladensburg's shipping industry declined.
What Bladensburg lacks in arts, it makes up for with rich history. With live history shows, historical artifacts and a movie depicting the infamous battle that took place during the War of 1812, the Battle of Bladensburg Visitor Center in Waterfront Park brings area history to life. Other historical landmarks in the area include the park’s Memorial Cross, erected in 1925 to commemorate county veterans who fought and died in World War I, and the William Hilleary House, the only 18th-century stone house with a gambrel roof in the county.
The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit authority serves Bladensburg and the surrounding areas with the Metrobus Annapolis Road line, which connects Bladensburg residents with locations such as Mount Rainier, Brentwood, Cottage City, Capital Plaza and Landover Hills. Take the bus to a Metro station to catch rail service into Washington, D.C., and the surrounding areas. Prince George's County bus service also provides public transportation in Bladensburg.
Many people in Bladensburg rely on public transportation or driving in private cars for getting around town and commuting to work. Take a scenic drive on Maryland Route 450 from Bladensburg to connect with U.S. Route 50, which travels to Annapolis. Maryland Route 202 connects to the neighboring communities of Largo, Upper Marlboro, Landover and Cheverly. Other major roadways in the area include U.S. Route 1 and the Baltimore-Washington Parkway. Although residents have convenient access to roadways, the average commute for Bladensburg takes nearly 35 minutes.
Most areas feature a combination of on-street and off-street parking in addition to well-maintained sidewalks and pedestrian crossings that make walking in Bladensburg safe and relatively convenient. Planned bike trail extensions propose to connect Bladensburg with approximately 60 miles of biking and walking trails.
Living in Bladensburg generally comes with a significantly lower price tag than living in Washington D.C., or many of the pricier suburbs in Virginia. Typically, renting a one-bedroom apartment costs around $1,026 per month. Residents can grab a beer at local bars and establishments for approximately $5 per pint.
One-way fare on the Metrobus costs $1.75, while a one-way ticket on Metrorail costs between $2.15 and $5.90. One-way fare on TheBus, operated by Prince George's County, costs $1.25 for adults. Gas prices in Bladensburg typically hover 3 percent above the national average.
Bladensburg's shopping scene consists mostly of auto supply stores, tire companies and small florists. One of the closest specialty stores in the area, Nisey's Boutique in Mount Rainier, carries unique apparel, gifts, accessories and home decor with international flair. Browse through clothing made of natural fibers, bath and skin products made from natural ingredients and handcrafted items such as jewelry, greeting cards, blankets and furniture.
For more options, take drive or bus ride into northwestern Washington D.C., where you'll find several boutiques, including Violet Boutique on 18th Street, Le Bustiere Boutique on Columbia Road, and Current Boutique, a high-end consignment shop on 14th Street. This gem of a consignment shop carries clothing, bags, accessories and shoes from designers such as Diane von Furstenburg, Paper Denim Cloth, and Joe's Jeans. Another great shop on 14th Street, Redeem, carries men and women's apparel from up and coming designers and brands. Be the first to discover duds made by Won Hundred, Native Danger, K/ller, BIKO, OAK, Religion or Tee Library. Friendly staff, reasonable prices and the variety of styles, which ranges from conservative to funky, makes this funky boutique well worth the trip.
Residents in Bladensburg can choose from several grocery stores, including Save-A-Lot and Americana Grocery on Annapolis Road. Stock up on fresh produce and seasonal plants at nearby farmers' markets, which include the Bazaar in Brentwood and the Hyattsville Farmers' Market in Hyattsville.
Get out and enjoy the great outdoors at Bladensburg Waterfront Park, situated along the historic Anacostia River. In addition to a boat ramp, boat rentals and a public fishing pier, this free public park welcomes leashed pets in many areas, including its paved walking trail along the banks of the river. Other features include a railroad caboose, playground, pontoon boat tours and educational programs. The park hosts annual free events such as the A-May-Zing Animal Festival and the Annual Port Towns Day, which features boat rides, amusement rides, live entertainment, activities and food trucks.
Children and senior citizens don't have to pay fees at the Bladensburg Community Center. Adults between the ages of 18 and 59 pay a modest annual fee to take advantage of recreational programs such as fitness, cooking and hobby classes. The center also hosts camps, special events, cultural activities and workshops throughout the year. Indoor facilities include a gym, fitness room and a game room. Outside, you'll find a playground and basketball court.