From sightseeing to shopping, this bustling suburban D.C. county has plenty to keep visitors busy.
You wouldn’t know it from the cities and towns that make up Montgomery County today, but prior to the arrival of European settlers, the area was covered by dense forest, crossed by the creeks and small streams that feed the Potomac and Patuxent Rivers. Only a few small villages made up of the Piscataway Indians populated the county, and they shared hunting camps and foot paths with members of rival tribes such as the Susquehannocks and the Senecas. While outdoor enthusiasts can still find plenty of locations for active adventures, the broad forests have given way to one of the most desirable residential areas in the country, and a destination for visitors whose every interest can be met.
Montgomery County played an important role in the abolitionist movement, with slave Josiah Henson writing about his experiences in a memoir which became the basis for Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin, published in 1852. Josiah was the inspiration for the character “Uncle Tom”and a slave cabin where he is believed to have spent time still stands at the end of a driveway off Old Georgetown Road. In the 1860 presidential election, Montgomery County was one of only four Southern counties to vote for Abraham Lincoln.
Clara Barton House
5801 Oxford Road
Glen Echo, Md.
The Clara Barton National Historic Site commemorates the life of Clara Barton, founder of the American Red Cross. Her home, where she spent the last 15 years of her life, served as the headquarters and warehouse for the organization.
Chesapeake & Ohio (C&O) National Canal
The C&O National Canal operated from 1828-1924 as a transportation route, primarily hauling coal from western Maryland to the port of Georgetown in Washington, D.C. Hundreds of original structures, including locks, lockhouses, and aqueducts are reminders of those days. The canal’s towpath provides a nearly level, continuous trail through the scenic Potomac River Valley for hikers and bikers.
1800 Glenallan Avenue
Brookside Gardens is an award-winning 50-acre public display garden that includes an azalea garden, rose garden, children’s garden, formal garden, fragrance garden, Japanese style garden, and trial garden. The garden also features two conservatories that can be visited year-round, as well as a horticultural reference library located in the Visitors Center.
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Kensington was founded in 1890. Located near the Connecticut Avenue beltway exit, it is known for its elaborate Victorian homes, restored train station, and antique row commercial area with more than 50 antique and specialty shops.
Glen Echo Park for Arts and Culture
7300 MacArthur Boulevard
Glen Echo, Md.
Glen Echo Park was established in 1891 as a National Chautauqua Assembly. Later the site became the area’s premier amusement park until 1968. Today Glen Echo Park for Arts and Culture is part of the U.S. Park Service and offers year-round educational activities and two of the amusement-era destinations remaining major attractions – the Spanish Ballroom and the Dentzel Carousel with its 52 hand-carved animals, in operation for 80 years.
Summer Concert Series
Veterans Park, Corner of Norfolk and Woodmont Aves.
The summer Thursday evening live music series from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. still has two weeks left to go in downtown Bethesda. Come early, shop the many boutiques in the area, and dine first at one of the many outdoor cafes.
Through Nov. 22
Rockville Farmers Market
Corner of Route 28 and Monroe St.
Every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. the Rockville Farmers Market has an expansive display of flowers, fresh produce, cheeses, and more. Visit www.rockvillemd.gov/farmers or call 240-314-8620.
TGIF Summer Concert and Movie Series
2424 Reedie Dr.
Every Friday through August, you can kick off the weekend with live music or a movie in downtown Wheaton. Concerts are scheduled for 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Movies begin at dusk. Bring a blanket and chair!