Voted one of Money magazine's best places to live in both 2007 and 2011, the town of Crofton presents residents with thoughtfully designed landscape and an advantageous central location between Baltimore, Annapolis and Washington D.C. This peaceful suburban locale displays much of the natural beauty of Maryland within its two country clubs and the spacious Crofton Park. The dozens of annual community driven events and festivals provide entertainment for the whole family.
Restaurants & Nightlife
Whether you're in the mood for a fresh new take on tried-and-true cuisine, something a little more familiar or authentic flavors from around the world, Crofton has what you're looking for. Head down Crain Highway to find many of the town's best restaurants and bars all in one place.
Hidden away within a strip mall along Defense Highway, Allison's Restaurant presents patrons with a unique and creative menu focused on redefining old American and Italian favorites. Order the fettuccine aurora for a pairing of Baltimore-styled seafood and pasta, including shrimp, lump crab, spinach and artichokes. Deals rotate daily, and coupons can be found on the website, so don't miss out on the savings when you go.
The Big Fish Grille along Crain Highway brings the fresh flavors of Baltimore to the Crofton area. Order the crab-stuffed flounder to experience one of The Big Fish Grille's specialties. Not in the mood for seafood? The menu also includes flank steaks, chicken and prime ribs. The sizable seating area and full bar make this a great location to bring friends along as well. Come during happy hour to take advantage of the excellent deals.
Found within the Crofton Center, Osaka Grill & Buffet makes for a great place to stop by after completing errands. The expected mix of Chinese and Japanese food can be found at the buffet, but Osaka goes above and beyond with its Hibachi grill station, where customers can fry up their own chosen mix of ingredients, and a sushi station, where you can watch the chefs wrap and compose your food right in front of you. Vegetarians have a large selection to chose from as well.
In addition to a large number of restaurants with full bar service, Crofton provdies many local hang-outs that make for great places to unwind with some friends after a long day's work. Krazy Otto’s Sports Saloon, located along Defense Highway, provides much to do in between each drink order. The televisions are numerous, making Otto's a great place to come and catch the Orioles game. If your team starts under-performing, blow off some steam at one of the pool tables, or head out back during the warmer months for a round of horseshoes.
History & Culture
One of a number of planned communities established within the Maryland and Virginia area, Crofton was designed around a community golf course, now known as the Crofton Country Club. This once gated community was named to evoke an old English feeling in the area, meaning the town upon the crofts.
In search of some educational entertainment on a quiet afternoon? The nearby Bowie Railroad Museum west of Crofton provides attendees with extensive information about the early railroads that brought much growth and wealth into the area. The museum holds holiday events when in season, including annual Easter egg hunts and Kringle Kaboose at the Railroad Museum in December, providing fun for the whole family. Both the museum and attached O'Rourke Library remain freely open to the public year-round.
Crofton allows easy travel via automobile with Routes 3 and 424, which run through the center of town. Services such as Uber and Lyft are unavailable within the town, and though cab companies service the nearby area and provide rides into Annapolis, Washington and Baltimore, you should call ahead if you plan to use one, as hailing a cab proves difficult in the Crofton area. The Regional Transportation Agency of Central Maryland provides the town with a few bus stop locations to the north along Johns Hopkins Road and Riedel Road, though its distance keeps it from being a viable option for most locals.
Free public parking can be found easily along many of the major and residential roads. Cyclists should plan to stick to side streets and residential areas, as the major roads lack bike lanes. Although many locations within Crofton, including the Crofton Center, make walking about easy enough, most areas require a car to reach, making a vehicle a requirement for getting around town.
The cost of living average within Crofton sits around 36 percent higher than in Baltimore and 5 percent higher than Annapolis. A typical month's rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the area costs around $1,254. For those planning to take advantage of the bus stops in northern Crofton, 30-day passes for the RTA cost $60. Typical beer prices at local pubs run an average of $6 per pint, and gas prices average 6 percent higher when compared to the national average.
Department stores and specialty shops spread throughout the town. Shoppers head along Crain Highway to meet most of their needs, and the Crofton Shopping Center collects a number of valuable stores in one convenient place. In addition to the restaurants, banks and liquor stores, both Kmart and Shoppers reside within the shopping center, making for a great place to stock up on groceries and get your prescriptions filled. Stop by Goodwill to browse the racks, and pick up a couple movies at the Redbox for a night-in before heading out. Safeway, Giant and Wegmans comprise the rest of the supermarkets in the Crofton area, all of which can be found along Crain Highway.
Head north along Crain Highway to locate on of the area's hidden gems. Those who enjoy hunting down bargains and discovering unique trinkets from bygone eras should stop by Days of Olde Antiques, which features 13 vendors renting space within the store, providing an expansive and diverse collection of furniture, decorations, china and jewelry.
Get ready to celebrate your big day with a trip to Bridals by Elena. Located north of Crofton off of Crain Highway in Gambrills, the friendly and knowledgeable service combined with a diverse selection of fully customizable dresses make the trip more than worth it. Make an appointment ahead of time if you prefer, but feel free to just drop in as well. Though Elena's specializes in bridal dresses, prom dresses and other formal attire are also available.
The nearest farmers market to Crofton opens in May of each year. The Bowie Farmers Market hosts weekly events in addition to the extensive collection of local-producer vendor stalls, including live music and a petting zoo for the kids.
Though much of the town displays the natural beauty of Maryland, those who wish to fully escape into nature need only travel east of the Crofton Country Club into the freely-accessible Crofton Park. Pack a picnic lunch to dine in the pavilion seating area while the kids play on the playground. A number of basketball, soccer and baseball fields make for a great place for both pick-up and organized games. Bring the dog along on-leash for a scenic walk along the natural and paved trails that run throughout the park.
Great for families and friends, the Maryland Renaissance Festival recreates 16th century England before your eyes from August through October each year. The festival plays out a new storyline each year, which dictates what you'll see from the various comedic shows, musical acts and other performers. Bring along the whole family to take advantage of group rates as well as senior and child ticket prices.