Prince George’s County, established in 1696 from land in adjacent Calvert and Charles counties, was named for Prince George of Denmark, the husband of Princess Anne, the heir to the throne of England. Today the county, which has a population of more than 900,000, rests in a prime location bordering Washington, D.C. and just 37 miles south of Baltimore.
The nearly 500-square mile county is home to the University of Maryland, Joint Base Andrews Naval Air Facility, the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and numerous federal government agencies including the Census Bureau, the Food and Drug Administration, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Internal Revenue Service.
While many residents of Prince George’s County work in the county, the location is also conducive to commuting into Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Annapolis and to Northern Virginia. A 2015 study by the Census Bureau found that approximately 140,000 people commute daily from the county into D.C., 34 percent by public transportation and 10 percent via carpool. Transportation options are abundant, including access to I-95, the Beltway, Route 1, Route 50 and the Baltimore-Washington Parkway by car and bus. In addition to Metrobus, residents can ride commuter buses, Metrorail, MARC trains and Amtrak.
Prince George’s County is home to National Harbor, a 300.acre waterfront destination along 1.5 miles of Potomac riverfront land minutes from downtown D.C. and Old Town Alexandria in Virginia. National Harbor includes a marina with water taxi service and cruises, the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center, several additional hotels, shops, restaurants, a seasonal farmers market and entertainment venues. The Capital Wheel, a 175-foot high Ferris wheel, operates year-round and offers views of the Potomac, the White House, Arlington Cemetery and the National Mall. MGM National Harbor, a resort casino with more than 140 table games and 3,200 slot machines, includes entertainment venues, luxury shops, an upscale hotel and spa and seven restaurants from celebrity chefs including Wolfgang Puck, Jose Andres, the Voltaggio Brothers and Gina & Pat Neely’s BBQ Parlor from the Food Network.
The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center in College Park offers another venue with approximately 1,000 events in every performing arts discipline including theater, dance and music.
The county has numerous shopping areas, including the Tanger Outlets shopping center at National Harbor. Other attractions in the county include Six Flags America, the state’s only theme park. The Show Place Arena and Prince George’s Equestrian Center, a former race track near Upper Marlboro, is a venue for a variety of events including the County Fair, consumer shows, equestrian events and college basketball tournaments.
For more sports, the Washington Redskins play at FedEx field in Prince George’s County and the Bowie Baysox offers minor league baseball. The county has numerous public, private and semi-private golf courses, as well as skate parks, roller rinks and ice skating rinks.
The county government maintains more than 27,000 acres of parkland throughout the county with open space, parks, picnic areas, athletic fields, historic sites, community centers, recreation facilities and more than 40 miles of hiking, biking and equestrian trails. The Parks and Recreation department organizes outdoor festivals, performances, classes, summer camps, fitness and sports programs and art and nature programs.
If you’re interested in science and space, you can listen to lectures and participate in a variety of programs at the Visitor Center at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center or go to the Howard B. Owens Science Center, a public school facility dedicated to the promotion of science education and enrichment. The facility includes a planetarium, the Challenger Learning Center, a nature trail and a reptile center.
If you’re looking for a home in the D.C. area, Prince George’s County remains the most affordable area in the region, with an April median sales price of $275,000, up 13.4% from last year. In the Northern part of the county are Laurel, Beltsville, College Park, Hyattsville and Mount Rainier. Both Hyattsville and Mount Rainier include arts districts and are highly sought-after neighborhoods because of their proximity to Washington, D.C. In the Southern part of the county are Bowie and Upper Marlboro, which have extensive new residential development, and Andrews Air Force Base, Waldorf, Clinton, Brandywine and Fort Washington.
New housing options include single family homes and townhomes in planned communities with an array of recreational amenities and condominiums, townhomes and single family homes in walkable urban-style communities.
Written by Michele Lerner, this story originally appeared in the July/August 2017 issue of New Homes Guide. Reserve your free copy of New Homes Guide today for additional stories, area highlights and more.