Book A Staycation in Downtown Columbia

Sometimes your best vacation takes place right in your own backyard. Whether you’re a half-hour away in Washington, D.C., 20 minutes away in Baltimore, or right around the corner in Ellicott City, Maryland, Merriweather District is a hidden gem where you can disconnect from your everyday routine.

Consider visiting Downtown Columbia, Maryland for your next staycation. Get away with a loved one for a fun, weekend adventure. Escape the city with your bestie for a weekend at WhyHotel, where you can easily explore hiking trails and experience fun happy hours. Plan a group activity surrounded by memorable local dining. Plan an extended stay aligned with a concert at Merriweather Post Pavilion in the Chrysalis. Or, mix up your WFH scenery, and bring your home office to Color Burst Park for the day.

Benefits of a Staycation

Staycations offer the chance to explore your local surroundings without the constraints of a busy work routine.

  • Convenient get-away
  • Save money
  • Explore locally
  • Relax
  • Support local businesses
  • Reduce your environmental impact
  • Enjoy quality family time
  • Keep things flexible
  • Do everything that’s been on your local checklist

Explore Merriweather District

Merriweather District is the heart and soul of the third city between Baltimore, MD and Washington, D.C. This new, amenity-rich and walkable district is a vibrant hub of arts and culture, with shops, restaurants, apartments, events, and convenient parking. 

The appeal is staggering. There are 20+ restaurants, 140+ miles of walking paths and bike trails. It’s minutes from Merriweather Post Pavilion and Symphony Woods, and the scenic Lake Kittamaqundi. Plan your staycation for the right time of year, and you’ll have a chance to fish or kayak in the lake!

A winter break staycation in Columbia, Maryland is just as memorable. Experience hygge indoor dining, warm fireplaces, an outdoor ice skating rink with magical ambiance, and a tranquil day spa.

Year-round events offer a range of activities for families. From engaging art installations to themed-movie nights and live performances in Color Burst Park, ice skating, and outdoor fitness programs, align your staycation to one of your favorite events and make it a memorable one.

Craft an Unforgettable Family-Friendly Staycation

Merriweather District’s community gathering spaces are ripe with family-friendly activities, events, and other local attractions that make it a fun place for kids of all ages year-round. Check the events calendar to get all the latest information.

  • Splash Pad: A splash pad for kids is a free, fun way to entertain young kids all summer long.
  • Good Kidizen: Every other Saturday during the summer, kids can participate in the Good Kid-izen series that aims to expand young minds on diversity, inclusion and culture through immersive events and fun.
  • Delicious desserts: Enjoy happiness through ice cream at The Charmery.
  • Movie Nights: In the fall, there are family-friendly outdoor movies in Color Burst Park every Friday.
  • Outdoor Ice Rink: Color Burst Park is transformed into an ice rink between November and February. You can reserve tickets online, or schedule a group event. Rentals are available on-site!
  • Hike, Bike, and Boat: Bring hiking shoes and bicycles for the whole family. This nature escape includes more than 140 miles of trails in Downtown Columbia around Lake Kittamaqundi. Level up your staycation by packing your kayaks for a weekend spent relaxing on the water.
  • Outdoor picnics: You’ll find great picnic spots around the lake where you can let your kids run and play.
  • Tree lighting: Kick off the holiday season with the annual tree lighting, scheduled the weekend before Thanksgiving (be sure to check the events calendar to confirm the date!)
  • And more! Families from all over the region visit to experience the annual Halloween celebration, artist-in-residence exhibitions, Books in Bloom, AMPED in the Park, Merriweather Symphony of Lights, and more. 

Satisfy Your Inner Foodie

World-renowned chefs and hometown favorites have opened restaurants in the Merriweather District, unleashing their unique flavors and must-see concept spaces. 

The list of 20+ restaurants is ever-growing but includes popular destinations like Dok Khao, Clove and Cardamom, Sushi Sono, and the farm-to-table concept, Blackwall Barn & Lodge. Have a memorable foodie experience exploring them all with your friends and family, or make a reservation for a special culinary event.

Indulge in Relaxation and Wellness

Escape the noise and relax your mind with a wellness retreat at The Pearl Spa. Overlooking Lake Kittamaqundi, the spa is a great place to unwind. Treat yourself to massage therapy, aqua therapy, and mindful movement workshops. 

Ready to get your heart pumping? You’ll have your pick of five-star fitness destinations at Merriweather District. Yoga Six, Mayweather Boxing+Fitness, and F45 all offer introductory rates for first-timers. Sometimes an escape can be found in a simple change of scenery, so take a new class, try a new instructor, and mix up your routine.

Take a hike or hop on your bike to explore the green spaces in Downtown Columbia. With many scenic spots and walkable paths, getting a good dose of the outdoors can make for the most relaxing staycation.

Create Great Memories with Friends

Indulge in vibrant nightlife at Merriweather District, where unforgettable moments with friends come to life. From trendy bars and lounges to live music venues, it’s easy to find a space to have great social experiences with your friends or simply unwind with a cocktail. The electrifying atmosphere and friendly crowd make it the perfect place to create lasting memories with your closest companions. 

Five Can’t-Miss Happy Hour Specials*

  • Blackwall Barn & Lodge: $5 well drinks, $5 house wines, and more at Gathering Hour, Monday-Friday, 4pm-7pm
  • Peter Chang: $4 domestic beers, $6 house wine, $7 cocktails at Happy Hour, Monday-Friday, 4:30pm-6:30pm
  • Cured: $7 slushees, seasonal IPAs, and the exclusive Timbo lager at Happy Hour, Monday-Friday, 3pm-6:30pm
  • Busboys and Poets: $2 off drafts, $7 signature cocktails, $5 rail drinks and featured wine at Happy Hour, Monday-Friday, 4pm-7pm
  • Banditos: $3 off margaritas and $4.50 mexi-beers at Reverse Happy Hour, Sunday-Thursday, 9pm-Close

Four Destinations for Live Music, Open Mic, and More

  • Blackwall Barn & Lodge: Friday and Saturday nights, 8pm-11am, and during brunch on Sunday from 11am-2pm
  • Cured and 18th & 21st: a prohibition-era speakeasy with live music to suit
  • Busboys & Poets: a range of things to experience including open mic nights, live performances, author book events, and more
  • Toby’s Dinner Theater: buffet-style dinner and a live performance just a 6-minute walk from your hotel at Merriweather District

Whether you’re celebrating a special occasion or just looking for a great nearby entertainment option, Merriweather District has something for everyone. *Specials are subject to change; in fact, they might get better!

Plan Your Ultimate Merriweather District Staycation

Planning your ultimate Merriweather District staycation is a breeze with a variety of exciting options at your fingertips. Enjoy a comfortable stay at WhyHotel right in the heart of the district, or consider Merriweather Lakehouse for a cozy and picturesque retreat. 

Find free, hassle-free parking in convenient public parking facilities or in on-street spaces. Set your GPS to ​​Symphony Woods Garage, or One and Two Merriweather garages, or the Lot 5 surface parking area.  

Embark on an unforgettable, eco-friendly staycation. With cozy accommodations, year-round activities, vibrant holiday events, food festivals, a bustling craft market, and a full range of activities in Color Burst Park from outdoor fitness classes, movie nights, and ice skating, your staycation promises to be full of memories. Embrace the magic of the holiday season and create lasting moments in the heart of Downtown Columbia, MD.