Calvert County Offices
175 Main Street
Prince Frederick 410-535-1600

Charles County Offices
200 Baltimore Street
La Plata 301-645-0550

Chambers of Commerce

Calvert County
120 Dares Beach Road
Prince Frederick 410-535-2577

Charles County
6360 Crane Highway
La Plata 301-932-6500

Both Charles and Calvert counties are located in Southern Maryland, a region with a rich historic legacy and fascinating prehistoric roots. Native Americans settled here long before the Europeans arrived, and fossils that date back 20 million years have been found in the cliffs of Calvert County. In 1634 on St. Clements Island, the area was claimed as the colony of Maryland by Leonard Calvert. Today, a cross marks the spot where these first settlers came ashore and the island offers boat service to visitors who wish to view the historical and archeological exhibits at the Potomac River Museum. Charles and Calvert Counties are located on the peninsula between the Potomac and the Patuxent Rivers for a water-oriented lifestyle.

Originally, the economy of the area centered around tobacco farms. Agriculture still plays a strong role in the local economy, and tobacco remains a cash crop. Much of the “Old South” is evident in the culture and cuisine of this relaxed and naturally beautiful region. Strong traditions of gracious southern living remain, despite the fact that this is one of the fastest growing sections of suburban Maryland. While the pace may be slower, these counties are firmly planted in the 21st century. Charles County is the site of the Naval Ordinance Station, prominent in weaponry research and development. Maryland’s first nuclear power plant is located at Calvert Cliffs in Calvert County, and high-tech industries continue to plant roots in fertile ground.

The relaxed lifestyle and rural atmosphere have attracted a growing population. Many residents work in Baltimore, Richmond or the District of Columbia and enjoy the area as a retreat from urban pressures and crowds. Access to Washington, DC is made more pleasant via the major highways that pass through peaceful countryside. Although residents of Calvert and Charles counties are surrounded by rural beauty, they enjoy an outstanding quality of life. State-of-the-art healthcare is available in major hospitals like the comprehensive Civista Medical Center in La Plata — the only hospital actually located in Charles County. The 348-bed, full-service Southern Maryland Hospital Center in Clinton is easily accessible, located just five miles south of the Capital Beltway and eight miles north of Waldorf. Calvert Memorial Hospital in Prince Frederick offers another major healthcare facility close to home.

Both counties boast excellent public school systems that continue to rank favorably in statewide comparisons. Graduating seniors and students of all ages have impressive options for higher education close to home. The College of Southern Maryland in La Plata offers a public two-year institution where students can choose from college-track programs, continuing education courses, or vocation and career degrees and certifications. The private St. Mary’s College is nearby in St. Mary’s County. The University of Maryland University College is located in Waldorf. Part of the University of Maryland system, the college offers graduate and undergraduate programs with an emphasis on continuing education programs for adult, part-time students.

Quality of Life
Newcomers to Calvert and Charles counties will discover a favorable cost of living that continues to be one of the lowest in the metropolitan Washington, DC region. Housing is pleasantly more affordable than homes in suburbs located closer to the cities. Many residences are set on waterfront properties or have large parcels of land suitable for horses. Architectural styles are varied and homebuyers can choose between new subdivisions, quaint established neighborhoods, modern condominiums with views of the water, or more rural farmhouses with plenty of space.

This area is one of the fastest growing in Maryland, due partially to the strategic location in the Washington/Baltimore region. Expansion of operations at the Patuxent River Naval Air Station in Lexington Park, St. Mary’s County, combines with unique amenities and advantages to attract growth and development. The metropolitan location ensures unlimited access to a variety of world-class cultural and recreational activities including museums, theatre, professional sports, symphony orchestras, and natural attractions. St. Mary’s College and the institutions of higher education throughout southern Maryland enrich the local performing and visual arts scene. Active dramatic groups and historical preservation societies also contribute considerably to cultural enrichment.

This two-county area enjoys extensive waterfront, encouraging every type of water sport. These areas provide major recreation sites for fishing and boating; and marinas, public boat ramps and seafood restaurants specializing in Maryland crabs and oysters are abundant. Chesapeake Beach to the north serves as a bustling fishing center in season. Solomons, at the southern tip of Calvert County is a famous sailing center with a deep, natural harbor. The Thomas Johnson Bridge over the Patuxent River at Solomons links Calvert County with St. Mary’s County.

Around every corner, a charming rural ambiance blends with convenient services and retail centers that complement the agricultural and seafood activities. Shopping malls with stores comparable to those found in larger cities have sprung up in Waldorf and nearby St. Mary’s County. Scouting, 4-H clubs and other civic and social organizations are an important part of the communities, contributing to the reason Charles and Calvert counties have been so successful in attracting both new industry and new residents.


North Beach, Chesapeake Beach
North Beach City Hall
Chesapeake Beach City Hall

Chamber of Commerce

The neighboring towns of Chesapeake Beach and North Beach in Calvert County grew up together in conjunction with a former famous resort. Both towns supported popular bayside activities and entertainment as well as shops, sharing services and resources. Seasonal and year-round homes were constructed in both communities, and today’s population is primarily permanent residents. North Beach offers a wonderful waterfront with public fishing pier, boardwalk and bike path. Revitalization is sweeping through the area, renewing civic pride. Each year, visitors flock to the area for the North Beach House & Garden Tour or annual Bayfest. Local antique stores attract shoppers, while beachcombers delight in their search for other treasures.

Solomons Island
County Offices

Chamber of Commerce

Located at the tip of Calvert County where Route 4 meets the Patuxent River, Solomons Island has the feeling of a resort community. The shops, restaurants, and marinas attract local residents as well as visitors from nearby Baltimore and Washington, DC. Housing in this area is diverse with many custom-built homes and estates located along the miles of waterfront. The many inlets make excellent protected harbor for boat slips. The wide waters of the Chesapeake Bay are only a few minutes sail or cruise from many of the properties near Solomons Island. The travel time to the District of Colombia is slightly more than one hour with commuter bus service available from nearby Prince Frederick.


La Plata
City Hall

Chamber of Commerce

Serving as the county seat, La Plata is located 35 miles from Washington, DC and has grown steadily since it was established in 1873. Part of the impetus for development has been the completion of Route 301 and the Potomac River Bridge, major steps in making the area more readily accessible for commuters. La Plata has a decidedly rural flavor and outdoor sports such as fishing, boating, horseback riding and hunting remain popular pastimes. Home styles range from large, established residences shaded by mature greenery to smaller contemporary models set in welcoming neighborhoods. A good selection of quality merchandise is available in the town’s shopping district and local businesses offer personalized attention and service.

St. Charles
County Offices

Chamber of Commerce

St. Charles is a recently established planned community located near Waldorf. The master plan for St. Charles calls for five villages consisting of 15 residential neighborhoods, each with its own recreational center that includes swimming pools, tennis courts and a clubhouse. This neighborhood village concept offers residents totally self-contained living, where the majority of needs for daily living are available within walking distance of home. Homes in St. Charles are typically split-level, colonial, and ranch styles. Most have the added advantage of generous lots that tend to be attractively landscaped and well maintained. For maintenance-free living, townhouses and condominiums are also available. A new large regional shopping plaza, St. Charles Town Center, provides residents with a wide variety of shops and merchandise.

County Offices

Chamber of Commerce

An old farming community that dates back more than three centuries, Waldorf is now the second major urban center in the county. Its commercial and industrial zone extends beyond U.S. Route 301 and State Route 5 to an area nearly a mile wide and four miles long. Waldorf has become attractive to businesses of all sizes, but it is also an ideal residential haven for people working in Washington, DC who are looking for a more tranquil lifestyle. Tobacco remains a major crop and in the spring the tobacco auctions held on Route 5 are popular attractions. More modern commerce, however, can be seen in the town’s more recently developed commercial district and shopping center. Residents enjoy the wide variety of outdoor recreational facilities available along the Potomac and Patuxent Rivers. Much of the housing in Waldorf is relatively new and has been constructed with the past two decades.

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