Laurel is a city in northern Prince George's County, Maryland, in the United States, located almost midway between Washington, D.C., and Baltimore on the banks of the Patuxent River. Founded as a mill town in the early 19th century, the arrival of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad in 1835 expanded local industry and later enabled the city to become an early commuter town for Washington and Baltimore workers. Largely residential today, the city maintains a historic district centered on its Main Street, highlighting its industrial past.
The Department of Defense is a prominent presence in the Laurel area today, with the Fort Meade Army base, the National Security Agency, and Johns Hopkins University's Applied Physics Laboratory all located nearby. Laurel Park, a thoroughbred horse racetrack, is located just outside city limits.