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What's with College park?

New Jersey
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What's with College park?

Daughter is a freshman a UMD - am I missing something or is there really no "college town" associated with the campus. I've been to the area just south of campus but seems more like a collection of strip malls Where do people who visit campus go for a decent sit down meal - is Applebee's really it? No "shopping" if you discount the CVS. Maybe I'm spoiled by my experiences at Rutgers and Penn State but both of these schools had actual towns (with shops and multiple local restuarants) you could walk to? Can't help but think I am missing something - how can a school that size not support a more rubust local economy?

Destination Expert
for Las Vegas, Washington DC, County Donegal, Western Ireland
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1. Re: What's with College park?

Probably 90% of the faculty and employees don't live anywhere near the campus. And students generally aren't interested in a sit-down meals or can't afford them on anything approaching a regular basis.

There are a couple of areas fairly close to UM with nice neighborhoods, like University Park and parts of Laurel. Otherwise, Prince Georges County is not seen as one of the "garden spots" of the DC area by most.

So most employees probably commute from nicer areas, and have no trouble in the evening finding a nice place to go for a meal or shopping near their homes.

Maryland, USA
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for Baltimore
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2. Re: What's with College park?

Maryland is not a rural campus or located in a small town like State College driven by the college. It's located a few miles from DC in jam packed MD suburbs.

Washington DC...
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3. Re: What's with College park?

Nope, you aren't missing anything.

With an undergrad population of aprox 26,500, yet housing (beds) for aprox 9,000, far more "commute" than stay there.

The location of the University at the edge of a large city, absorbed in the "burbs" supports strip malls and Applebees, alas. And Irish is right-most don't see many parts of PG county as "touristy".

If you are looking for eclectic places to visit when having your visits with your daughter-they exist, but will require a drive, or a hop on the Metro.

I went to Junior High School around the corner from UMD off Carroll Ave. Specific spots to go now aren't on my radar. Others will give suggestions.

Ocean City, Maryland
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4. Re: What's with College park?


I have one son who has graduated from College Park and my other 2 children are current students. At first I thought the same thing as you, but now I know there are nice/fun spots to go to right in "town". Applebys was where we also went at first and the wait was always very long. Now we go where the students go and like..... ie "Noodles"( is in the CVS shopping center) and is very good, inexpensive and quick and one of the kids favorites. Cornerstone has excellent wings and burgers. There is a sushi/chinese place, "Seven Seas" right on Rt 1, on the left coming from 495...and another one Kiyoko that my daughter wants me to go to on my next visit. Lastly there is an excellent Italian restaurant "Mama Lucia's" in the Shopper's World shopping center. Anyway you get the idea- you can drive through traffic to get somewhere else but we prefer to spend the time across the table hearing what is going on in their lives..., and I think with all the activity they really open up. Good Luck!

near Washington DC
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5. Re: What's with College park?

That area of campus (near CVS) gets rowdy at times.

In general, there is little cooperation between the city of College Park and the University. I have to agree with you - I wish there was more. That area off-campus gets rowdy sometimes,

I very much don't agree with Irish's comments. I don't know where the stats come from. And, while PG County has few nice restaurants, Montgomery County has no University.

Don't worry about your daughter - there is so much on campus.

6. Re: What's with College park?

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