Laurel, MD - what is it Really Like?

Port Huron, MI

#86 Aug 8, 2010
George wrote:
I live in Northern Virginia and have gone to Laurel to check out some automobile sales. When there I looked around and could not really tell if this is a nice place to live or not. So much of it seems to be covered with highways, auto sales lots, motels, and more highways, but with a name like Laurel it should have more to offer. I also have noted that there seems to be more crime in Laurel than is expected, even in PG Country. For a Virginia resident, PG county = Crime, you know, but I am much too hopeful or naive to believe everything I hear.
So, Laurel residents, please tell me the GOOD things about Laurel Maryland! Not defensive words about what seems to be the common opinion of people about the town, but just tell use what is really great about Laurel for visitors and residents. Also, is the Laurel Racetrack out of business? I know it is there, but never hear anything going on there. After a trip to Charles Town, I would like to go to a local race track.
Good thing about Laurel? Its not Jessup.

Manassas, VA

#87 Aug 9, 2010
The claims of high crime are overstated. I've lived in old-town Laurel for about seven years, and I've never felt threatened or unsafe. We've had some trashy neighbors, but that can happen anywhere.

Good points about Laurel: You can get a decent-sized house without breaking the bank. There's an actual business district, and decent shopping and restaurant options, if you like chains. There are nice parks.

Bad points: Laurel is the Strip Mall Capital of the U.S. Non-chain dining and shopping options are very limited. Main Street has potential, but the city leaders can't seem to get it moving in the right direction. The school system, as with large parts of PG County, is terrible.

“Can't we all get along”

Since: Feb 08


#88 Aug 10, 2010
I lived at the Avondale from 00 - 07, and never had any problems. The projects next to the Avondale(Mayfair apartments?) was knocked down and nice apartments were built there instead. Prior to that car theft/breakins were high in the area I will agree but when I left the only problems I saw was the High School kids when they got let out and folks smoking weed on their balcony. Westgate has it's up's and downs, haven't seen much police activity as of late so I guess it is a up time. Main Street has decent apartments as well, and the Laurel Police is all over that strip. A nice town to live, but as you are doing check it out. Welcome if you so choose to move here.
Wondering wrote:
<quoted text>
Thanks for the references. I checked them out on , and also on the crime chart. The bulk of crime seems to be a little higher there, although again, each area has good and bad.
I'll look around.
Frank C

Alexandria, VA

#89 Oct 30, 2010
I've lived in Laurel for 4 year sand I love it. My two daughters attend the best public school in town,(Laurel Elementary) and I am active in the PTA. I live in the historic district whichn has naby great shops bars and restaurants and is one of the best places to live in the state. We just had a big halloween parade on main street where all the vendors along Main Street passed out candy to the kids. It really depends on what section of Laurel you live in because I see senior citizens in my neighborhood walking their dogs at 4 am. Laurel is full of hard working community oriented people. I take pride in the fact that many of my daughters' teachers are also in fact, our neighbors. Laurel gets a bad rap because we are technically attached to PG county and all its ills and stereotypes even though culturly and geographically we are far removed from it(The Greater Laurel Area stretched over 4 counties) ALOT OF THE NEGATIVE COMMENTS are coming from people who have heard things about PG or have just passed through. Everyone I know who lives here loves it. Laurel is a city with our own top notch police force, parks and planning commision and city council. We have great community schools because we take the initiative to to use the scraps we get from the county and raise our own funds. Our tax dollars are not being used for the betterment of our community. We need to become either an independent city in the same vein as Baltimore City or Frederick, or be absorbed into Howard County of whom the city has a closer relationship with. Our current mayor cowtows to the county. He did not get the Library built downtown which would have helped revitalize Main Strret which is struggling. I love Laurel, and want a higher quality of life for our citizens. I plan on running for mayor in the next couple of years on a seccessionist platform. An independent Laurel is whats needed for our town to survive. The current county gov't couldnt really care less about us. Independent City of Laurel Now!
Laurel Refugee

Newport, RI

#90 Aug 15, 2011
So Laurel ... I could write a book but I won't. Short version: do NOT move there, especially if you have children or like to sleep at night.

I grew up in South Laurel in the 1970s and 1980s, so I attended PG schools: mostly just a way to warehouse stupid and violent blacks and some stupid whites. And it's gotten worse. I lived in "old town" Laurel for a few years in the late 1990s - it's the good part, relatively speaking - and I get back regularly to visit friends.

Laurel is disgusting -- and yes, it is because of the, ahem, racial makeup. Everybody who lives there knows that.

Parts of North Laurel, ie the Howard parts, are perfectly nice and decent, but still worryingly close to the sucking chest wound that is Laurel.

Get the hell away if you care about your children, your spouse, or being able to sell your house in the future. Laurel is a LOT cheaper than, say, AA or Howard ... ever wonder why?

The only reason to live in Laurel is if you're looking for easy places to score crack.
Fitus T Bluster

Winter Garden, FL

#92 Aug 26, 2011
laurel is loaded with section 8 slugs.and welfare parasites.
Tony Romanagno

Feasterville Trevose, PA

#93 Aug 28, 2011
Yo! Laurel is the best! Been here all my life. Sure it's changed, so has every place else. But the City of Laurel and the parts of Laurel in the other counties are stable, economically and socially diverse and convenient to everywhere.

Just watch yourself crossing the big streets at night wearing dark clothing. And if you're driving don't go over the speed limit in school zones.

Crime? Adam and Eve, Cain and Able had crime too. And tney were the only ones on the planet.

Historically, Big name people from George Washington to George Wallace have made thier mark here. The mills along the river provided goods for the growth of the entire nation. Smokey Robinson and Joe Frazier are known to pass through visitng friends.

Main Street continues to thrive despite the economy. Some empty store fronts right now but great opportunity with the BRAC activity at Fort Meade to bring in interesting entrepreuers.

So George from Northern Va come back often and enjoy the less crowded streets. The lower prices on goods and the richness of the human experience writ large in a small town stuck between two big cities.

Lynchburg, VA

#94 Jun 9, 2012
Hey everyone, I have lived in Laurel from the time I was born until the time I went of to college at Liberty University. My parents live a very nice neighborhood. The people who live on my street are Doctors, Business men, Veterinarians, business owners, and government workers.

Let's be honest there is crime EVERYWHERE! Most of the white collar crime is just covered up better. My parents are no where near ghetto or poor for that matter. I also, think that it is safe to say that my neighbors are doing well for themselves.

I forgot to mention that this is the P.G. County section of Laurel. I am well cultured and I think that it is sad that for some people ghetto is considered predominately black. I actually struggled with people's opinion of where I lived for a long time. I would always compare Laurel to other places only to realize that Laurel just like everywhere has its good/bad, rich/poor, nice/not so nice. I love the diversity of Laurel! I would not have chosen to be raised ANYWHERE else. I wouldn't be the person I am today if were raised elsewhere.

My parents CAN afford to live in almost any other city in Maryland, but they chose to live where they do because they like it. I don't plan on settling down there, but I think my parent chose a great place to live. It may not be Bethesda or Potomac, but it is most certainly a place I am proud to call home.
Giddings Girl

Manassas, VA

#95 Jun 10, 2012
Born and raised on the HoCo side of Laurel. And yes the county side of Laurel matters! PG side is MORE ghetto, but by no means THE ghetto. The AA County side is better, but I think the best side is the HoCo side. HoCo side is the redneck side :)
Good things about Laurel...
1. main street festival
2. 4th of July fire works
3. The people/established families.
4. The big Christmas tree
5. It is a perfect distance from major cities.
6. The race track.
7. Rocky gorge.
8. Fossil hunting
9. AND BEST OF ALL!!!!!!!!!! The first annual BUTTERBEAN softball tournament in honor of Lauren Teresa Giddings!!!

Yes, Laurel has "gone down hill" since I was growing up. But in reality what city has not? I personally think that my beloved Laurel is going down hill becuase of society (not any particular race), and its changing allowable behaviors!

Randallstown, MD

#96 Nov 14, 2012
I relocated to Laurel in June of this year. Picked out an apartment at Camden Russett. It seemed on the surface to be a good neighborhood. My apartment is a 1 bedroom, nothing to fancy but it is not exactly inexpensive to live here at $1368 per month before utilities. I see people walking and joging all the time (in the daytime) but I can tll you there is a dark underbelly lurking about. Not long after I moved in witnessed one of my neighbors ou back smoking marijuanaand on another ocasio, I observed small blue baggies laying in a parking space. I don't know what hey were used for but in my experience I don't think they were for transportng spices. The Walmart is directly across the street and I intially liked that however, the place is always INSANELY crowded and there are never enoug registers open. If you need topick up justa few items, better go will be in line for about 30 minutes or more. This morning, a gunman accosted the Walmart manager outside the store, took him inside, robbed the store, took him back outside and shot him in the shest before escaping and burning the care he was driving. Whenmy lease is up, I am moving. You woul think at these rent prices that I would have ended up in a place that was "better" but the neighbos here are frequently loud and many behave in a very shady manner.
John Rouse

Marine City, MI

#97 Nov 14, 2012
If you like living around a bunch of criminigers then you will love [email protected] Also around where you live las Jan. a good man by the name of Greg Sears was murdered in cold blood by 2 darkies. They have not been caught.
el ghetto

Woodbridge, VA

#98 Nov 14, 2012
I've lived in Laurel since 2009.
I have one word for Laurel.

In my neighborhood alone (Russett), in the past few months:
1. Man got shot in his driveway
2. Walmart shooting
3. People getting assaulted in the street

I will move out of here as soon as I get a chance.

Oxon Hill, MD

#99 Nov 21, 2012
Try visiting the Ghettos of a big city such as Chicago! lol! then you will know what real ghettos are.
I have live in Laurel for 4 years. I first rented a townhome in Laurel Lakes for 2 years. I felt safe. Never had problems. I later bought a townhome in Russett,Anne Arundel Laurel side.
Personally, I have not had any bad encounters in Russett. My area is very quiet and the people are friendly in my townhouse community. I love my community. We have no people hanging out and barely see anyone unless they are coming and going. I sometimes wonder if I have neighbors because it is sooo quiet.
I walked the trail on many occasions as early as 8 am to 7pm and I feel safe and I have never seen or heard people hanging out misbehaving. I have taken my baby to the parks in Russett community and they are safe and clean.
I dont frequent the streets at night. Umm but they say the freaks come out at night. Crime happens everywhere. I don't think the robbery at Walmart is a representation of Laurel on a whole. People come from near and far to shop at Walmart.
I believe the increase crime everywhere is due to the economy. Thefts tend to increase during the holiday season. People in general are going NUTS. Senseless crimes!


Oxon Hill, MD

#100 Nov 21, 2012
Now the Laurel Mall sucks, but it has now been demolished. They are now starting the new development of a new towncenter with shopping,dining office buildings and such. I think it would be a nice addition to the city.

Elko, NV

#101 Dec 10, 2012
david wrote:
born and raise in laurel intell i was 18 moved toagreed virginia hope i never have to go back there it a zoo
i agree

Hyattsville, MD

#102 Jun 2, 2013
I have lived in laurel since I was 4, we moved out of laurel when I was 17 years old. I made a lot of great friends, Attended James H. Harrison and had a fantastic principle. Attended Eisenhower Middle School, and made honor for the last year there. Then lastly Attended LHS and graduated on honor roll for 2 years. but I'm not here just to speak about the school and how great they were. I lived on con tee road for 15 years, I've seen all types of crimes, from drugs, to car accidents, and theft( happened to my dad when I was 14, that's why we decided to move). If you keep a strong will on your child and raise them the right way you'll have nothing to worry about , as far as them getting involved with crime or getting into trouble.

If you get to know your neighbors and talk to them, and attend the town festivities; then you will surely love laurel. I love laurel. No town in anywhere between Dc and Baltimore is perfect. However if you think laurel is a nice place, then by all means consider it!!

Like I said no place is perfect, Laurel can have it's nights where you will here sirens riding up and down the street, but it's nothing like a shoot out with cops or where you will hear someone have a hostage situation. I mean I would not suggest you walk around at 4 am in the morning unless your doing it in the neighborhood or culdesac. Do not go walking around town,(that goes for anywhere) it's just not safe.

But think Laurel is a very nice place. But it's up to you.

Owings Mills, MD

#103 Jun 12, 2013
I am a resident of Laurel since last June 2012. It is a great and beautiful city with lots of potential to grow. Very green, neat and spacious. I did not see any criminal activity so far. It is so peaceful. I would say it is the city of the modern generation. There are lots of developments, new homes, new mall, new roads etc. geographically it is located between two major cities, Washington DC and Baltimore at approximately equal distance. This makes the city of Laurel unique and attractive for people who works in both cities to live in Laurel. It is so diverse and closes to major educational institution, university of Maryland and Johns Hopkins.If you want to live in Laurel I strongly recomend you! Good luck

Rockville, MD

#104 Jun 29, 2013
It's horrible 13-14 year old kids were arrested in front of my house for carrying a gun (don't live no where near seasons whiskey bottom ) or even the single family homes

Beltsville, MD

#105 Jan 7, 2014
well half the people commenting haven't seen the real side of laurel I live down south laurel on Montpelier and yeah you will get robbed if your seen in the cuts this the dirty dc people come down here when they running from the law dont come if you not about this life

Fairfax, VA

#106 Jan 19, 2014
Laurel is thugville; immature ego-centric macho Afro American males abound. They entertain themselves by accosting people. You'll see packs of these troublemakers mopeing around outside convenience stores smoking around the gas pumps. They'll ride the buses and lay across several seats, daring you to say something. In two years I've had three incidents with these thugs. It's disquietening to witness adults who act as bullies from elementary school. It's unnerving; escaping their unwarranted violence. Where ever these macho characters have come from, they can be found in Laurel, AKA Thugville.

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