Edgewater and Mayo are picturesque and charismatic waterfront communities in the Baltimore, Maryland, metro area. They are situated beautifully on either side of the incomparable Chesapeake Bay (Edgewater to the north and Mayo to the south), about four miles south of Annapolis.
Not only are Edgewater and Mayo within casting distance of the Chesapeake Bay, but these Anne Arundel County towns have the Rhode, South and West rivers flowing all around them.
With all of the waterways in the area, those who enjoy boating, fishing, crabbing, sparkling sunrises and golden sunsets will fall in love with the laid-back, vacation-style atmosphere of these small, historic towns.
Shopping and Dining in Edgewater and Mayo
If you take out an atlas of the U.S., flip to the state of Maryland, and squint real close, you’ll probably find Edgewater and Mayo, if you have a good, detailed atlas.
Now, flip back to the map of the U.S. What you’re likely to notice is that Edgewater and Mayo are within easy driving distance from three of the country’s largest metropolitan areas – Baltimore (about 30 miles northwest), Washington D.C. (about 30 miles southwest), and Philadelphia (about 125 miles northwest) – as well as Maryland’s state capitol, Annapolis, a bustling city of nearly 40,000, according to the 2010 census, just six miles north.
So, (here’s where we tie this all together, like a well wrapped Christmas present!) even though most of the land in Anne Arundel County, including the quaint hamlets of Edgewater and Mayo, is generally considered rural, its close proximity to all of the aforementioned urban centers lifts the area’s shopping and dining options into the stratosphere. Consider crab cakes at Edgewater Restaurant or Adams Ribs while in Edgewater and don't forget Old Stein Inn for authentic German cuisine.
A large portion of Anne Arundel County’s towns have themselves been split up into planned housing communities, with names like London Towne, Loch Haven Beach, and Pine Whiff Beach, as well as a number of neighborhood communities near the tip of the Mayo peninsula, like Holly Hill Harbor, Saunders Point, and Selby on the Bay. Many of these subdivisions hold cute little shopping centers, with various convenience shops, a grocery store, and small local eateries.
If you’re in the mood for one-stop shopping and dining, check out the huge Westfield shopping center in Annapolis. The mall’s 238 stores include JCPenney, the Apple Store, and GameStop. Of course you’ll find numerous fast food joints in the Westfield Annapolis shopping center, but you will also find some great family and fine dining options, such as McCormick & Schmick Seafood Restaurant, Punk’s Backyard Grill and Applebee’s.
Parks and Recreation
Anne Arundel County is home to more than 140 recreational parks and wildlife sanctuaries. The county’s Recreation and Parks Department oversees more than 1,000 acres of land – the majority of which is large open spaces – and the grounds and facilities of the county’s numerous community and regional parks.
Along with the myriad vintage mansions in Anne Arundel County you will find numerous sites of historical significance and picturesque beauty. Three notable ones include the World War II Monument and Scenic Overlook, which honors the 6,454 Marylanders who died in World War II; the National Cryptologic Museum, which serves as the National Security Agency’s principal gateway to the public; and the Hartge Nautical Museum, which collects and preserves relics and records of the tools, drawings, books, maps, charts, and stories about the boats and people of the West River and Chesapeake Bay, dating back to 1832.
The county also offers two swim centers, two golf courses, a baseball stadium and a softball complex. If you’re interested in all things equestrian, you’ve come to right place. Vintage estates, rolling hills, and horse ranches surround you in Anne Arundel County.
Living in Edgewater and Mayo
It’s clear that there are several features Edgewater and Mayo have in common: aqua activities, quaint, historic small town ambiance, the world-renowned Chesapeake Bay, etc.; however, each of these communities has its own unique personalities. Let’s examine them briefly here:
True to its name, Edgewater is framed by water on just about all of its edges. The South River runs (ironically) along the town’s north side; the aforementioned Chesapeake Bay lays to its east; and the Rhode and West rivers flow along south edge of town.
There is a proud sense of tradition and history in these small Maryland communities. There are way too many extraordinary landmarks and attractions near Edgewater to name all of them here, so here are just two worth singling out.
The remarkable home, Gresham, was built way back in 1686; and the magnificent London Town and Gardens. This can be described as a living museum. Situated on 23 acres of lush, floral parkland, London Town and Gardens features incredible displays of archeology, horticulture, and of course, history.
The town is named after Commodore Isaac Mayo (1791-1861), whose historic home, Gresham, (mentioned above) was built and remains in this lovely Maryland community. Mayo’s additional claims to fame include serving as Captain of the U.S.S. Constitution and resigning from the navy just prior to the beginning of the Civil War.
Although much of the countryside on which Mayo sits is rural farmland, Mayo’s population was 3,284 in 2007.
Schools, Health, Transportation
The Anne Arundel County Public Schools serve the K-12 public education needs of Edgewater and Mayo. There are 78 elementary schools, 19 middle schools and 13 high schools that fall under the district’s purview. For those seeking alternative education, the county is home to several private, special education and charter schools.
The area’s major health and medical centers include Harbor Hospital, about 11 miles away in Brooklyn, Md.; Anne Arundel Medical Center, about eight miles away in Annapolis; and Doctors’ Community Hospital, about 20 miles away in Lanham, Md.
Edgewater is near three major airports: the Baltimore Washington International Airport (BWI), about 20 miles north of town; Ronald Reagan National Airport sits about 20 miles to the west in Washington D.C.; and Dulles International Airport is approximately 50 miles west of Edgewater.
Some of the other transportation options in Anne Arundel County are Interstate 97, which is the only main-line interstate highway in the U.S. that’s solely contained within a single county; the Maryland Transit Administration's Light Rail system; the Maryland Area Regional Commuter (MARC) rail service; and Amtrak.