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Washington, DC suburbs in Maryland Calvert County, Charles County, Montgomery County, and Prince George's County
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Old 12-09-2009, 05:50 PM
 
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I'm looking to find some information about Columbia vs Rockville. School, People, Job, Safty and etc. Our family is thinking about relocating to MD and want to find a place that is comparable to where we live in MA. Great school is a must and great neighborhood with mixed cultures.
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Old 12-09-2009, 05:58 PM
 
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From where in MA are you coming?
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Old 12-09-2009, 06:09 PM
 
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Both are nearly identical...however, Rockville is more closer to D.C. if that's your thing. Columbia/Howard Co is sort of the 'center' between D.C. and Baltimore.
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Old 12-09-2009, 06:10 PM
 
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South Shore, Braintree
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Old 12-09-2009, 06:51 PM
 
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I can not comment on Rockville but will give you my 2 cents about Columbia. Columbia is a suburban city... it is the burbs but has the size of a small city, 100k. I find it difficult to compare most MD cities to MA, In general MD is not as safe as MA, Columbia is one of the safer cities in MD and in general MD is more diverse than MA. Columbia is ~ 67% white, 21% black, 7% Asian, 4% Hispanic.

If you want the absolute best schools (based off of stats) then you might want to try Rockville -Chevy Chase/Bethesda and Columbia-Ellicott City/Clarksville. However both Columbia and Rockville have good schools. I know that at least one of Rockville schools is one of the top in the state. Montgomery County and Howard County have some of the best schools in the state. FYI, unlike MA, schools are county-wide not city wide, so you can live in EC and go to Columbia schools or live in Columbia and go to EC schools. School districting is based off of address not your city, so definitely keep that in mind when you settle in.

I'm not sure where you are from but my guess is Rockville will probably be closer to the NE town that you are from than Columbia but as I said it is difficult to compare. You will be fine in either town but definitely think about the commute.

Good Luck.
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Old 12-09-2009, 07:03 PM
 
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Thank you. I am a fan of Ellicott City from what I can see. Schools are very important to us and where I'm from in MA is 20 min from boston.
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Old 12-10-2009, 05:16 AM
 
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There's a very detail thread on this same subject from a couple months back. Do search - lot's of good information.
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Old 12-10-2009, 07:38 AM
 
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I live in Rockville close to Gaithersburg. I absolutely love it! Rockville is like a mini city and it is so close to Georgetown & DC that you will have so many options for fun and culture. As far as schools go, Montgomery County is said to have the best schools in the area. I don't have children so I really cannot elaborate. Columbia is definitely more suburban if that is what you are looking for. It's close to Baltimore so you still have a major city at your disposal. Both areas are safe. I am a SWF and I've lived alone in Rockville for several years without incident. Like New York and Boston, DC is a melting pot as far as cultures go so you will be happy regardless of which city you choose. I hope this helps.
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Old 12-10-2009, 01:12 PM
 
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tiannama,

I know where Braintree is but never made it there. I recently moved from Waltham, MA to Columbia. One of my previous coworkers lived in Braintree. I do not think you will have a problem in Rockville, Columbia or Ellicott City. As I said before MD is more diverse than most states in the US including MA. I do not think you will have a problem finding diverse areas, if that is what you are looking for. You can find diversity in race, religion and economics in MD whereas in MA you have quite a few exclusive towns. MD definitely has a few towns like that but it does seem to be as many as MA. If you are looking for economic diversity, you will definitely find it in Columbia and in some areas of EC.
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Old 12-10-2009, 05:01 PM
 
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There are positives about both areas. Both offer top schools and a good quality of life. But at the same time, I think they're very different. To me, Rockville seems like an extension of DC. It's cosmopolitan and has a lot to offer in the way of shopping and restaurants. It has an urban feel. I live in Howard County and I think it has much more of a suburban feel, like it's far removed form the city, and that's the way people like it. It has your typical suburban shopping areas with the big box stores, but there are still things you need to go to other areas for. When my daughter was dorm shopping, we went to the Container Store in Rockville, and as we were driving down Rockville Pike, she was amazed at the stores and how good the shopping is. But the traffic the traffic and congestion in Rockville are also issues.

Your commute might end up being the deciding factor. If one place is much closer to work than the other, you might want to check that one out first. I hate driving in itraffic, so that would be a big issue for me.
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