Whether you want to get back to nature with an outdoor adventure, explore the arts and theater, shop ‘til you drop, or paint the town red with a fantastic night out, Maryland’s D.C. Suburbs have got it all. Here are some ideas to get you started.
1 Spend A Day at National Harbor
Take a sightseeing cruise or learn to stand-up paddleboard on the Potomac; ride the amazing 18-story Capital Wheel, and stroll the boardwalk at National Harbor, home to world-class waterfront dining, superb nightlife, amazing boutiques and outlet shopping, and events year round.
2 Catch High Flying Hoops Action at a University of Maryland Terps Game
Check out some Big Ten basketball and see tomorrow’s NBA and WNBA stars today at the Xfinity Center, one of the best arenas in college basketball. Maryland is a basketball mecca and the Terps have the titles to prove it—get a ticket and go for a slam-dunk good time.
3 Take a Look at the Secret Side of History at the National Cryptologic Museum
Housing artifacts dating back to the 1500s, this one-of-a-kind museum gives visitors a behind the scenes look at the secret world of spies. Get to know the real James and Jane Bonds of the world and learn that truth is often way weirder than fiction.
More about National Cryptologic Museum
8290 Colony 7 Rd
Annapolis Junction, MD 20701
4 Catch a Show at the AFI Silver Theater and Cultural Center
Originally built in 1938, this gem from the golden age of cinema has been refurbished into a state-of-the-art hub for theater and cinema. Located in the heart of Silver Spring, the AFI Silver Theater and Cultural Center features classic cinema, unusual art-house fare and main stream movies as well as local theater productions.
More about AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center
8633 Colesville Rd
Silver Spring, MD 20910
5 Visit the Fantastic Glen Echo Park
One of the most unusual and exciting parks anywhere, Glen Echo began as an amusement park in 1891 and now is a cultural center run by the National Park Service. First thing’s first: ride the amazing antique Dentzel carousel—this rare enclosed carousel is home to an enchanting menagerie. Or learn to line dance, drop in for a yoga class or catch a concert in the beautiful Spanish Ballroom.
More about Glen Echo Park
7300 MacArthur Blvd
Glen Echo, MD 20812
6 Have a Swingin’ Good Time at the Go Ape Treetop Adventure Course
Live your Tarzan fantasy swinging through the trees at this amazing Rockville action park. Ziplines let you rocket through the forest canopy on Go Ape’s 2.5-hour guided adventures with programs for all ages and physical abilities.
More about Go Ape Treetop Adventure
6129 Needwood Lake Dr
Derwood, MD 20855
7 Scream for Ice Cream at the University of Maryland Dairy & Ice Cream Parlor
Think you know good ice cream? Prepare to get schooled. A College Park institution, students at the University of Maryland’s dairy have been making terrific ice cream with milk from the college’s own cows for more than 80 years. One warning: with 22 flavors to try, you will be coming back.
8 Get Your Groove On at the Capital Jazz Fest
From the old school to the new, the Capital Jazz Fest has been bringing the best artists to Merriweather Post Pavilion for more than two-decades. Featuring not only jazz, but also R&B and hip-hop, the Capital Jazz Fest brings generations of music together for one incredible destination festival.
9 Enjoy Outdoor and Water Activities at Great Falls Park
For hard-core river rats, the Class V rapids are the stuff of legend. For the rest of us, two overlooks offer perfect vistas of the falls and any kayakers brave enough to run them. Take a mule-drawn boat-ride on the C&O Canal, bike or stroll the smooth, flat towpath, or scale the daunting Billy Goat Trail, one of the toughest hikes in the region.
More about C&O Canal National Historical Park-Great Falls Tavern Visitor Center
11710 MacArthur Blvd
Potomac, MD 20854
10 Take a Trolley Ride at the National Capital Trolley Museum
Take a ride back through time on a historic street car. The National Capital Trolley Museum in Colesville lets everyone ride the rails on its international collection of historic trolleys from around the world, and dating back to 1898. Plan a trip for the holidays and ride a life-sized train garden.
More about National Capital Trolley Museum
1313 Bonifant Rd
Colesville, MD 20905