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.
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.
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
4601 Annapolis Rd
Bladensburg, MD 20710
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.
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
201 Waterfront St
National Harbor, MD 20745
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
History & Heritage
4632 Araby Church Rd
Frederick, MD 21704
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
14463 Black Ankle Rd
Mount Airy, MD 21771
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.
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
8800 Greenbelt Rd
Greenbelt, MD 20771
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
8633 Colesville Rd
Silver Spring, MD 20910
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
6129 Needwood Lake Dr
Derwood, MD 20855
11 More ideas?
Check out this article on 18 Under the Radar Places in Mid-Maryland to Take Your Sweetheart