Since this town is on the east coast, the temperatures can vary. Winters can often get a little harsh so when looking for an apartment you want to look at the end of spring or the beginning of fall. This is a growing city so competition is fierce. In a stack of other applicants you want your application to stand out so prepare ahead of time and have all supporting documentation on hand. The easier you can make the landlords job when it comes to verification; the more they will remember you.
Look for rental specials in the late spring for summer move in's and in mid-fall for later winter/early spring move in's. Since this is a thriving city, apartment complexes are constantly running specials to get potential tenants to come look at their property. So keep your eye out online as well as in the local newspapers to see what specials are currently available.
For those who don't have their own vehicle there is public transportation available in College Park. These include the MetroBus, TheBus and ShuttleUM. There are literally bus stops it seems every half mile making utilization of public transportation easy as ever. College Park residents can actually ride the ShuttleUM for free due to an agreement with the city and the Transportation Services Department.
College Park has so much to see and do. There are a number of local eateries featuring some of the regions most dynamic culinary dishes. If you love to shop then there are stores everywhere. From your larger well known stores to the smaller, locally owned boutiques. Other local favorites include the local farmers market, golf courses and historical buildings.
The College Park Aviation Museum might be small, but it does a very admirable job of putting on a fascinating aviation display. Touring the University of Maryland is also a great way to see some of the best the city has to offer. The University is more than 150 years old, and is home to numerous historic buildings and points of interest. Morrill Hall is the building that you will want to visit for sure, as it is the only one that survived the fire in 1912 that destroyed most of the campus. The Museum of National Language is also found here, and worth visiting if you have any interest in the origins and art of language.
Right by the university is one of the best Japanese restaurants in town. Hanami Japanese Restaurant specializes in sushi, but also offers noodle dishes and hibachi. Because College Park is so strongly based around the University, many of the restaurants specialize in food that appeals to the student demographic. Ledo is popular as one of the best independent pizza restaurants in town. If you're looking for some standard American fare in a friendly environment, you'll have lots of choices. Some of the best include Plato’s Diner and the College Park Diner.
There are bars in College Park to suit every taste. Town Hall Liquors is a typical, laid back American bar. While it might not be fancy, it is comfortable, and plays host to a lot of long-time regular patrons. Looney’s Pub is quite different depending on what time of day you pay it a visit. During the day, it seems like a typical sports bar. However, once classes let out and the sun goes down, Looney’s turns into a nightclub that is quite popular with the local college population. For a bar that starts casual and stays casual, try Phil’s Sports Bar.
A great deal of the local culture in this part of the country is centered around the University. The University of Maryland has several departments that relate to the arts. The performances and exhibits put on by those groups provide a great deal of culture for the other students, and the local residents. The Art Gallery produces roughly half a dozen exhibitions every year, and the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center plays host to a wide variety of performances. In fact, the Clarice Smith is the largest single building that the State has ever built. A beautiful place to stop on campus pays tribute to one of it's most famous alumni. The statue captures Jim Henson and his most famous creation, Kermit, in the Jim Henson Statue and Memorial Garden.
College Park hosts a free Blues Festival that allows people to enjoy some great local and national blues musicians at absolutely no cost. The city and the University of Maryland also co-host a large Fourth of July celebration concert and fireworks display each year. However, most of the largest events that people attend are those in Washington D.C., just to the south of College Park. Events like the National Cherry Blossom Festival in March and April, along with the White House Easter Egg Roll are well attended by people from College Park.
Shopping in College Park is definitely aimed at the student population, and you will notice that many of the stores are clearly trying to appeal to that demographic. The largest single place to go shopping is definitely the College Park Shopping Center, located on Baltimore Avenue. However, like in many other cases, if people really want to do some serious shopping they tend to head into the core of Washington D.C. instead. Tysons Corner Center is a particularly popular choice, due mostly to it's massive size. With over 300 different stores inside of it, you can shop for hours and not even come close to seeing everything there is to see.
Because of where College Park is located, the residents tend to support a variety of other teams in addition to the teams from the local university. However, the Terrapins still enjoy terrific support from the locals. The proximity of Washington D.C. to the immediate south tends to draw athletic support in that direction. It is not uncommon to see many College Park residents at games from across the professional sports leagues in Washington. The Capitals, Redskins, Nationals and Wizards all certainly have their share of fans in College Park. The proximity means that going to games in person is certainly possible for those fans.
There are several great parks in and around the city that provide ample opportunities for hiking and cycling. Right by the University there is an excellent three-mile trail that winds through Paint Branch Stream Valley Park Trail. The other park that you must visit is the Greenbelt National Park. This beautiful, forested park is the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city without having to go too far away. You can enjoy a picnic, or get a camping spot and actually enjoy a night out under the stars. There are also many trails throughout the park that are perfect for hiking or cycling as you prefer.