Things to See and Do in the Capital Region

By Jim Meyer

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Dine al fresco on a spectacular weekend away in National Harbor.
Evening Dining at Public House National Harbor
Photo By: National Harbor

Just outside Washington, D.C., unforgettable adventures await. Delight your senses, satisfy your cultural and culinary cravings, and explore history throughout Frederick, Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties.

Browse the boutique shops in charming Bethesda just outside of D.C. Photo By: Bethesda Row

1 Stroll along the streets of Bethesda

On the second Friday of each month, galleries and artist studios open their doors for the Bethesda Art Walk. Continue your cultural journey with shopping and dining. The Bethesda Arts & Entertainment district is home to fantastic shopping and more than 200 restaurants. Bethesda also hosts literary and arts festivals as well as a summer concert series.

Float along the Anacostia River, one of the most historic waterways in America.

2 Paddle through history in Bladensburg

The Battle of Bladensburg Visitor Center and Waterfront Park, part of The Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail, tells the story of the people, places and events of the War of 1812. Located on the Anacostia River, the waterfront park features a riverside walk and public fishing pier. Bring or rent a canoe, kayak or rowboat to explore the historic waterway.


More about Battle of Bladensburg Visitor Center and Waterfront Park


Type:
Attraction


Location:
4601 Annapolis Rd
Bladensburg, MD 20710
301-927-8819


Learn More
Frederick's 50-block historic district offers more than 100 stores including antiques shops. Photo By: Frederick County Tourism

3 Discover the spirit and charm of Frederick

The Main Street area of Frederick is known for its history, architecture and cuisine. Three centuries of American history come to life downtown. Discover old and new treasures alike as you browse the boutiques and antique shops along the way.

Capital Wheel Photo By: Courtesy of National Harbor

4 Spend a night (or weekend) on the town in National Harbor

This upscale urban-waterfront destination is the perfect setting for a date night, weekend escape, or girls’ getaway, with the new MGM Casino, outlet shopping, dining and special events. Stunning sunsets and fabulous views from the Capital Wheel make National Harbor an unforgettable place to visit.


More about Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center


Type:
Conference Centers


Location:
201 Waterfront Street
National Harbor, MD 20745
301-965-4000


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Monocacy Battlefield Sign Photo By: Frederick County Tourism

5 Commemorate the Civil War at the Monocacy National Battlefield

Immerse yourself in the story of this hallowed ground, site of the “Battle that Saved Washington.”  Explore its picturesque landscape that has changed little since 1864. The Monocacy National Battlefield Visitor Center provides a hands-on history lesson perfect for all audiences from kids and casual travelers to the dedicated Civil War enthusiast.


More about Monocacy National Battlefield


Type:
History & Heritage


Location:
4632 Araby Church Rd
Frederick, MD 21704
301-662-3515


Learn More
Photo By: Black Ankle Vineyards

6 Toast to local wines at Black Ankle Vineyards

Visit on the weekend to tour and learn about this beautiful winery nestled into the rolling hills of Mount Airy. Stroll the grounds or pack a picnic and enjoy live music on Friday nights. In the cooler months, cozy up by the fire pits outside the tasting room.


More about Black Ankle Vineyards


Type:
Attraction


Location:
14463 Black Ankle Rd
Mount Airy, MD 21771
301-829-3338


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Bike the long stretches of trail along the C&O Towpath Trail, part of the Maryland Scenic Byways.

7 Lace up your shoes for a hike or bike along the C&O Canal

The Chesapeake & Ohio Canal operated for nearly 100 years along the Potomac River, transporting coal, lumber and agricultural products down the waterway. Today, the pathway is perfect for hiking and cycling. Spend a day in nature exploring the historical and recreational treasures the area has to offer, including birdwatching and fishing.

Learn more about the Chesapeake & Ohio Scenic Byway...

Goddard Space Flight Center Photo By: Nasa.gov

8 Space out at the Goddard Space Flight Center

Explore the bleeding edge of technology as NASA scientists peel back the layers of the cosmos at this active NASA space flight center. Marvel at interactive exhibits exploring NASA’s groundbreaking Earth science, astrophysics, planetary science, engineering, communication and technology, then climb inside a real Gemini space capsule. Kids will love the scale space suits and mom and dad will love the photo-op.


More about NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center/Museum


Type:
Attraction


Location:
8800 Greenbelt Rd
Greenbelt, MD 20771
301-286-8981


Learn More
AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center

9 Catch a movie at the AFI Silver Theatre

The AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center is a state-of-the-art education and cultural center that will delight film buffs. Take in a new release or attend special presentations that include Q&A sessions with actors and filmmakers. The AFI Silver is also home to AFI Docs, the AFI European Union Film Showcase, and the AFI Latin American Film Festival.


More about AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center


Type:
Performing Arts


Location:
8633 Colesville Rd
Silver Spring, MD 20910
301-495-6700


Learn More
For zip lining and active fun outdoors, head to the Go Ape Treetop Adventure Course in Rockville.

10 Climb to the peak in Rockville

Scale to the dizzying heights of the forest canopy at the Go Ape adventure course in Rock Creek Regional Park. The course is bound to thrill with zip lines, rope ladders, and swings. If indoor adventures are more your style, Earth Treks’ Climbing Center in Rockville is the largest indoor climbing wall in the nation. First-timers and veteran climbers will be at home on more than 38,500 square feet of climbing walls.


More about Go Ape Treetop Adventure


Type:
Attraction


Location:
6129 Needwood Lake Drive
Derwood, MD 20855


Learn More
Featured Places
Battle of Bladensburg Visitor Center
02
Location:
4601 Annapolis Rd
Bladensburg, MD 20710
Gaylord National Resort & Conference Center
04
Location:
201 Waterfront Street
National Harbor, MD 20745
Monocacy National Battlefield
05
Location:
4632 Araby Church Rd
Frederick, MD 21704
Farm and vineyard
06
Location:
14463 Black Ankle Rd
Mount Airy, MD 21771
Scientist and Telescope
08
Location:
8800 Greenbelt Rd
Greenbelt, MD 20771
AFI Silver Theatre
09
Location:
8633 Colesville Rd
Silver Spring, MD 20910
Go Ape Treetop Adventure
10
Location:
6129 Needwood Lake Drive
Derwood, MD 20855
Browse Featured Places

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