Maryland Main Streets
bring back downtown shopping
Local districts showcase revitalization efforts
BALTIMORE (Dec. 17) – A network of 23 state-designated Main Street communities across Maryland reflects the revitalization that has transpired in historic downtown districts throughout the state.
Holiday celebrations during December make these communities more visible, say officials at the Maryland Office of Tourism, and concentrations of local merchants enhance their appeal as shopping destinations.
"This is what destination shopping is all about," says Amy Seitz, state coordinator for the Main Street Maryland program. "These Main Street communities show what is possible when we revitalize the traditional economic and cultural districts that are the cornerstones of local communities."
Margot Amelia, executive director of the Office of Tourism, says: "Visit a Main Street in Maryland and you tap into the state's cultural heritage. It's a great way to see different parts of the state and gain the authentic experiences that each region offers."
“Main Street Maryland downtowns not only offer great holiday events, but a variety of shopping – from funky, one-of-a-kind gifts to art and antiques,” Seitz adds.
Below is a list of Main Streets (grouped by region) Counties are indicated in parentheses.
The Office of Tourism has designated Main Streets as December's theme for its Maryland Spotlight campaign – a monthly promotion that highlights distinctive aspects of tourism in the state. For additional information, check the Maryland Main Street page at VisitMaryland.org.
Main Street Maryland was created in 1998 by the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) as a comprehensive downtown revitalization plan. DHCD also partners with the National Trust Main Street Center, which has developed a widely-used approach for commercial revitalization. The center is part of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
Using a competitive process, Main Street Maryland selects and assists communities that have committed to improving the economic assets, appearance and image of their downtown business districts. The communities adopt “Smart Growth” plans that promote sustainability.
In November, the state's tourism office highlighted Maryland's colonial heritage. Previous monthly themes have focused on: outdoor adventure; lighthouses; buying local; girls' getaways; prominent gardens; bed and breakfasts; Chesapeake Bay art; and hiking and biking trails.
To receive free Maryland travel information - Destination Maryland , Maryland Calendar of Events and a state highway map - by mail, call 800-719-5900. More information is available on the tourism office's web site, VisitMaryland.org.
About Maryland tourism
The Maryland Office of Tourism is an agency of the Division of Tourism, Film and the Arts within the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development. Recently reported visitor data shows that the state welcomed more than 29 million visitors in 2009. In 2008, visitors spent nearly $14.5 billion on travel-related expenses – a 3.2 percent increase in spending over 2007. During 2008, the Maryland tourism industry also generated close to $1.8 billion in state and local taxes and provided 146,000 jobs to Maryland residents.