Legend has it Colonel Samuel Chapman, one of the area's first landowners, named the city. While details are sketchy, people believe he named part of his property La Plata after the Rio de la Plata, a river he'd seen on his travels to South America. The city really began taking shape in the 1870s, when the Pennsylvania Railroad was extended through the land. La Plata was officially incorporated in 1888.
Today, La Plata is a home base for people working for Charles County government and in nearby Waldorf, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C. Recent redevelopment of local offices and other elements of La Plata have seen the city receive a new lease on life. As La Plata grows, there are likely to be even more facilities for travelers and residents to enjoy.
When to Visit La Plata, MD
Many Americans dream of summer vacations, but La Plata is a city best experienced when the weather cools. Its subtropical climate means its summers are oppressively hot and humid. Its winters are much milder than in many parts of the country. Therefore, La Plata can be a good choice for Americans wanting to escape the bitter conditions in their own cities.
However, for the most pleasant travel experience, visit La Plata during the fall. With the weather not too hot or too cold, you'll feel comfortable exploring the city and beyond. The Fall Festival, held every October, is another real draw card for travelers.
Spring also has mild temperatures, but strong winds from March to May are best avoided. While La Plata hasn't experienced a major tornado since 2002, the threat is always there. If your heart is set on a spring trip, check the weather forecast before your departure to determine whether the city is safe.
Below is a chart of the current pricing seasonality of hotels and motels in La Plata, MD:
La Plata by Star Rating
Below are 3 charts demonstrating mean rate trends by star rating class in La Plata, MD. You can use these line graphs to determine the most cost effective dates to stay in La Plata for upcoming travels.
Luxury Hotel Options in La Plata, MD
La Plata's hotels don't have a lot of bells and whistles, but travel just outside the city and you'll find hotels a little more upmarket. These accommodation options offer service and facilities a cut above the average.
Courtyard by Marriott Waldorf has spacious rooms with quality wooden furnishings, flat-screen TVs, and work stations. For plenty of space to spread out, book a king-sized suite with a separate living area. You probably won't spend a lot of time in your room though, as the indoor pool and Jacuzzi area and patio with firepits will fight for your attention. While several restaurants are close by, the Bistro means you needn't go anywhere to enjoy a great meal. Look out for the daily happy hour specials served every evening.
Attention to detail helps set Country Inn & Suites by Radisson, Waldorf. The little things, such as free coffee and cookies in the lobby, the seasonal outdoor pool, and the Read It and Return It lending library, help make guests' stay special. The contemporary hotel rooms feature modern conveniences, including microwave ovens, fridges, work stations with ergonomic chairs, flat-screen TVs with premium channels, and complimentary, high-speed Wi-Fi. A free breakfast buffet features waffles, eggs, and all your morning favorites.
Affordable Hotel Options in La Plata, MD
3 Star Average Prices: $105.28
You don't need to spend a lot of money to stay in or around La Plata. The following hotels offer quality accommodation for less.
Best Western La Plata Inn is one of the few hotels in La Plata, but you won't pay a lot of money for this convenience. The recently renovated guestrooms are neat and tidy, with modern appliances including flat-screen TVs, microwave ovens, and fridges. Suites offer guests more space, with separate living areas featuring work desks, sleeper sofas, and extra TVs. An on-site business center, a small gym, and a complimentary breakfast buffet each morning offer guests more value.
Holiday Inn Express Waldorf offers a little more polish in nearby Waldorf. Its modern guestrooms feature Keurig coffee makers, iHome clock radio and speaker systems, microwaves, fridges, and high-definition flat-screen TVs. After a good night's sleep, savor the free Express Start buffet breakfast. The generous spread includes eggs, cinnamon rolls, and biscuits and gravy. Holiday Inn Express Waldorf also has a business center, a small gym, and an indoor swimming pool.
2 Star Average Prices: $92.72
Where are the real discounts in La Plata
Certain groups can save money staying in and around La Plata. You're more likely to get a discount at chain hotels like the following.
Holiday Inn Express La Plata extends discounts to AAA and CAA auto club members, Entertainment Card holders, seniors, and American and Canadian government employees, including U.S. state government workers. Large groups also enjoy discounts on their stay. Guestrooms are well appointed, with triple-sheeted beds, 32-inch flat-screen TVs, coffee makers, fridges, and microwave ovens for heating simple meals and snacks. The indoor pool is heated for fun all year round. While the fitness center is small, with a treadmill, a stationary bike, and elliptical machines, it has everything you need. The free Express Start breakfast offers an early morning pick-me-up.
Comfort Suites Waldorf has special rates for AAA and CAA auto club members, seniors and AARP members, state and national government workers, and military personnel. If you're traveling with a group needing 10 or more rooms, you'll also get a discount. While the standard rooms are smart, for real luxury, it's got to be a king suite with a separate sitting area and a premium king-sized bed. The heated indoor pool allows for comfortable swimming all year round. For a more intense workout, head to the fitness center. The free buffet breakfast is another guest perk.
Best Value Options in La Plata, MD
For real value, try some of the midpriced hotels around La Plata. These establishments offer everything you need, without charging you for the things they don't.
Hampton Inn Waldorf offers the quality you'd expect from a Hilton property for less. The guestrooms feel like those in bed-and-breakfasts, with a boutique charm that will make you feel right at home. You'll appreciate the details like plush bedding, in-room microwaves and fridges, and free Wi-Fi. In the morning, you can savor the breakfast buffet, or on weekdays, grab a Hampton On the Run breakfast bag as you head off for sightseeing. The Hampton Inn Waldorf also boasts an outdoor pool and a 24-hour fitness center.
Another Hilton property, you'll also see value for money at Hampton Garden Inn Waldorf. Nestled among attractive gardens, it boasts spacious rooms and first-class facilities. All rooms feature flat-screen TVs, free Wi-Fi, and signature Garden Sleep System beds. The Garden Grille restaurant serves a hot breakfast buffet, with omelets and eggs cooked-to-order, and hearty dinners each night. If you're not sure what to order, you can't go wrong with the daily Chef's Special. The indoor pool and a fitness center will help keep your exercise routine on track, or you can work out in your room with a Stay Fit Kit.
Celebrate the Holidays in La Plata, MD
The residents of La Plata know how to usher in the holidays. The friendly locals never let the chance for a celebration go by, and they'd love you to join them.
After delivering chocolate eggs, the Easter Bunny stops by La Plata Town Hall to meet local children and their parents. Every Easter Monday, kids can meet the Easter Bunny, participate in craft activities, and enjoy a scoop of ice cream.
The members of the American Legion Post 82 invite locals and visitors to their post for a Memorial Day ceremony each year. This moving event is a poignant reminder of the lives lost during wartime.
Most towns across America celebrate the Fourth of July, and La Plata is no exception. The city's Watermelon Bash is one of the city's most popular annual events. The summer celebrations feature waterslides, hot dogs, and of course, plenty of watermelon.
In November, La Plata pays tribute to its military personnel once again with the annual Salute to Veterans parade. Current and former servicemen and women walk down Charles Street and La Grange Avenue to Town Hall from 1 p.m. on the first Sunday of the month. If you're in town at the time, make sure you stop by to show your respects.
December brings Christmas celebrations to La Plata. It kicks off with the OldeTyme Holiday Gathering, held on the first Sunday of December. Horse-drawn carriage rides, children's activities, and seasonal music will get you in a festive mood. Even Santa Claus himself stops by! He visits La Plata again for the annual Breakfast with Santa sessions at Town Hall. Numbers are strictly limited, so make sure you reserve a place for your child when registrations open on the La Plata website in late October.
La Plata might be best known as a residential area, but don't underestimate its appeal as a travel destination. For a getaway that lets you experience life at a slower pace, this Maryland city delivers.
Recent traveler guest reviews of La Plata, MD
Below are reviews of the city of La Plata, MD from an actual visitor's perspective.
"La Plata, MD"
Score 4.0 / 5
Nice places to shop and eat
The average traveler rating of the city of La Plata, MD shown above is 4.0 out of 5 based on 1 reviews