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Welcome to the Guide

Take a drive along Route 1 in northern Prince George's County or on Church Road in the Bowie-Mitchellville area. Or drive through the Fort Washington and Accokeek areas.

What you will find is a county very different from the one that existed just a decade ago.

In recent years, Prince George's, with its 841,315 residents, has undergone a major transformation with new residential, retail and commercial development. As we point out in our essay on Page 3, the original Levitt and Roosevelt homes of Bowie and Greenbelt have given way to more updated living spaces.

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National Harbor, the $2 billion, 300-acre resort development under construction on the banks of the Potomac River, represents the growth in Prince George's.

Unlike in the past, when residents frequented the malls and restaurants of neighboring counties, shopping and dining options are now plentiful here. So, too, are the professional, social and recreational offerings. The steady growth and changes can be confusing, particularly to newcomers, which is why we produced the Guide.

Inside this special edition of the Prince George's Extra is an array of information on how to reach your local government and elected officials, as well as activities, events and opportunities for participation and ways to enjoy all the county has to offer.

The Guide also includes several special features, such as a look at the Washington area's professional sports teams and listings of places to shop, eat and see a play or concert. Food writer Nancy Lewis details where you can go to find tasty and interesting foods, and columnist John Kelly takes a look at how Prince George's and other area counties got their names.

A number of the regular features of the Extra were suspended this week to make room for the Guide. However, you can find the regular crime report and home sales by going to www.washingtonpost.com. The other regular features will return next week.

We hope you enjoy the Guide, and we welcome your suggestions. To comment, e-mail theguide@washpost.com or call 202-334-6005.

-- Tracey A. Reeves, Editor, Prince George's Extra

» Looking for crime, home sales and animal reports from April 26? Click here.

County's Housing Built on Foundation of History

Prince George's older communities are surrounded by new residences -- many of them estate homes and mansions -- evidence of an economy that is transforming the county from a bedroom community of the District to a bustling jurisdiction unto its own. ... READ MORE

Heroes and Harem Owners: That's What's in a Name

Prince George of Denmark was confident enough of his masculinity that he didnít mind being upstaged by his wife. ... READ MORE

Maryland Weathers Slump in Housing Market

Fast growth and comparatively moderate housing costs helped home price appreciation in Prince Georgeís County blast past the rest of the area last year, even as the real estate market wallowed in most of the nation. ... READ MORE

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Getting Around the Washington Area

Slug lines are a way to form impromptu carpools and help drivers meet passenger minimums.
Slug lines are a way to form impromptu carpools and help drivers meet passenger minimums. (By Marvin Joseph -- The Washington Post)
Traveling on Metro
Carpool, Vanpool and Commuter Information
Commuting 101: Becoming Fluent in Traffic Talk
Major Airports
Toll Roads
Commuter Rail
Transit Information On the Web
Up-to-Date Traffic Information

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