Introduction to La Plata, Maryland

La Plata, Maryland, in Charles county, is 18 miles S of Alexandria, Virginia and 25 miles S of Washington, D.C..

La Plata History

La Plata was named after the La Plata River in Argentina by Colonel Samuel Chapman. The community was founded in the 1870s. It was originally served by the Pennsylvania Railroad. La Plata was incorporated as a town on April 4, 1888. It is the county seat of Charles County, which was created in 1658.

La Plata and nearby Attractions

  • African - American Heritage Museum
  • Chapel Point State Park
  • Myrtle Grove Wildlife Management Area
  • Dr. Samuel A. Mudd House Museum
  • Arthur Storer Planetarium

Things To Do In La Plata

The African American Heritage Museum showcases various artifacts reflecting the historical and cultural background of this area. Local parks include Silver Linden Park, Tilghman Park, Wills Memorial Park and the Clark Run Nature Area. The Potomac Square Shopping Center, the Hawthorne Shopping Center and the La Plata Shopping Center are the local shopping centers. The Myrtle Grove Wildlife Management Area and Chapel Point State Park are the other popular attractions in the area. In addition, the town hosts the Charles County Fair every year.

La Plata Transportation

Washington Reagan National is the nearest major airport.

La Plata Higher Education

The College of Southern Maryland is located in La Plata. The University of Maryland, Howard University and Georgetown University are all close by as well.


Total Population 8,994
Male Share of the Population 51.1%
Female Share of the Population 48.9%
Senior Citizens 13.7%
Employed Population 16+ 3,819
Age of the Population 37


% of people married 45.1%
Average household size 3

Education and Earnings

Population % with Bachelor Degree or Higher 31%
Median Earnings25+ $0
Median Earnings Without High School Qualification $0
Median Earnings With High School Degree $0


Median Family Income $114,641
% Above Poverty Level 88.6%
% Below Poverty Level 11.4%

Commute & Sprawl

Average Commute Time 35 minutes
% Working from Home 3.6%
% Walking and Biking to Work 0.9%
% Using Public Transportation 1.2%


People Living Alone 31.2%
Median Gross Rent $1,092
Median House Value $325,300


Other(often includes Hispanic and African American) 40.9%
US/American 0%
English 8.7%
Irish 13.9%

Source: American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2015, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/.

La Plata Almanac

Category Value
Nearest Medium City 18 miles S of Alexandria, Virginia (center to center)
Nearest Large City 25 miles S of Washington, District of Columbia
County Charles
Standard Zip Codes 20646
Phone Area Codes 301
Time Zone Eastern (-5 hours from GMT)
Daylight Savings The city observes Daylight Saving Time.
Latitude 38.529
Longitude -76.975

La Plata Climate

Nearest Weather Stations


  • Temp ranges are avg daily min and max for the month
  • Precipitation is rainfall (and rainfall equiv of snowfall)

Station LA PLATA 1 W
Distance 1.4 miles
Jan Temp 26 to 44 F
Apr Temp 43 to 68 F
Jul Temp 67 to 85 F
Oct Temp 47 to 68 F
Annual Precip 44 inches
Distance 16.7 miles
Jan Temp 26 to 44 F
Apr Temp 44 to 67 F
Jul Temp 67 to 86 F
Oct Temp 47 to 66 F
Annual Precip 47.5 inches
Distance 25.5 miles
Jan Temp 22 to 43 F
Apr Temp 41 to 65 F
Jul Temp 65 to 87 F
Oct Temp 42 to 68 F
Annual Precip 43.6 inches

Neighborhood and Nearby Area Names

According to the US Postal Service, La Plata, its neighborhoods, and/or surrounding areas are also referred to as:

Dentsville (20646)

Laplata (20646)

Note that not all alternate names are acceptable for use in US Post Office addresses.

Nearby Cities and Towns

Location Population Median Family Income
Capitol Heights 4,482 $85,110
District Heights 6,036 $74,314
Forest Heights 2,530 $72,151
Indian Head 3,903 $74,554
Morningside 1,525 $81,389

Source: American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2015, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/.

La Plata Public Libraries

Charles County Public Library
La Plata, Maryland
(301) 934-9001
Library Web Site

library logo

More Information for Librarians

La Plata Hospitals

(Voluntary non-profit - Other)
(301) 609-4000
Emergency Service: Yes

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La Plata High Schools

(Sorted by Number of Students)

Serves 1,576 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 17.7

A Non-traditional School
A Title I School.

La Plata Colleges

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Additional Details
La Plata Colleges
La Plata colleges and trade schools.
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Info for La Plata Government Officials

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