Crofton is a census-designated place and planned community in Anne Arundel County, Maryland, United States. Crofton is located 24 miles (39 km) south of Baltimore, 14 miles (23 km) west of Annapolis, and 24 miles (39 km) east-northeast of Washington, D.C. . Established in 1964, Crofton held its 40th birthday celebration in 2004.
In July 2007 Crofton was named by Money magazine as one of "100 Best Places to Live" in the United States. Crofton placed 72nd out of 100 cities on the list. It was selected for its relative anonymity while still boasting many major amenities, excellent schools, and sought after location. Crofton was selected again for the magazine's 2011 list, this time placing 82nd.
Community life frequently revolves around Crofton Parkway, actually a scenic loop 3.5 miles (5.6 km) long, tangentially touching the larger "triangle" made up of three nearby roads, which encloses the original Crofton community. Crofton Parkway is the scene of yearly parades, two of the community's five elementary schools, the Town Hall, Village Green, community events, Crofton Country Club, and walkers, joggers and bikers around the loop. The Crofton area now extends North from the triangle, including Crofton Park. Crofton also has a community pool, the Crofton Swim and Tennis Club [CSTC] but is restricted to those inhabitants of the triangle.
In 1963, after the Crawford Corporation accumulated over 1,600 acres (650 ha) of land, it announced that it would build a new community called Crofton. This new town and planned community was founded at the same time as Reston, Virginia (April 17, 1964) and Columbia, Maryland (1967). Crofton would be anchored by a community golf course, which later became the Crofton Country Club. Crofton was officially founded in the fall of 1964. The company considered picking an English name for the new town that "sounds well and implies that this is a pleasant place to live." It ended up picking the name "Crofton," named after a small township in Cumberland County, England. The English town was originally called Croft-town, derived from the word Croft, as the town standing upon the Crofts. Originally an exclusive gated community, Crofton's gates were opened and they now only serve as a symbol for this community just off Route 3.