We’re continually on the hunt for experiences that add richness to our lives. In the spirit of the revival of road trips, we are proud to feature a monthly section featuring destinations within driving distance of Charleston. We feel that our smart and savvy readers will find these trips interesting and entertaining.
Montgomery County, MD
Driving five hours Northeast of Charleston, West Virginia, brings you to Montgomery County, Maryland. Montgomery County is made up of several towns including Rockville, Bethesda, Wheaton, Gaithersburg, Chevy Chase, Silver Spring, Takoma Park, and Germantown. It is minutes from Washington, DC, too. With an impressive agritourism market and metropolitan gems all around, you’ll see why Montgomery County should be on your road trip radar.
WHERE TO EAT AND DRINK
Brew Belly Kitchen & Sudhause is a casual, repurposed space with 24 locally-focused tap beers and creative cheesesteaks. Try the Whiz-Wit, with Velveeta and caramelized onions or the more adventurous Seoul Style, with mushrooms, Gruyere, pickles, and Gochujang mayo. Besides cheesesteaks, Brew Belly is known for Jumbo Soft Pretzels and an array of Poutine baskets, such as Boardwalk Poutine with Old Bay, crabmeat, and cream cheese sauce.
Coastal Flats (Gaithersburg) is great for gourmet appetizers like deviled eggs and blue crab & shrimp fritters, or fish tacos, and crab cakes. Dogfish Head Alehouse is another tasty choice in Montgomery County with ever-changing burgers of the week, alehouse ribs, hearty sandwiches, and outrageously delicious Mac and cheese.
The craft beer scene is strong in Montgomery County. True Respite Brewing Company is one of the breweries there with interesting beers; Ben Outta Ten, a delicious Maple Peanut Butter Hefeweizen, and Week-Away Hazy IPA. Two other breweries to try are Saints Row Brewing and Elder Pine Brewing & Blending.
WHAT TO SEE & DO IN MONTGOMERY COUNTY
Montgomery County is full of beautiful parks and recreation sights for hiking, fishing, and boating. Seneca Creek State Park (Gaithersburg) and Butler’s Orchard (Germantown) are just two examples. Another stellar, scenic hiking trail is at Rachel Carson Conservation Park (Laytonsville). At Glen Echo Park, you can take a fun ride on a restored 1921 Dentzel Carousel.
High ropes course at The Adventure Park
Have fun on an impressive aerial adventure ropes course or zipline through the woods at The Adventure Park at Sandy Spring Friends School. Get harnessed in to explore the 13 paths of mixed difficulty for climbing and zip lining. If you are bringing the little ones, Adventure Park has a two-tiered area especially designed for 5 to 9 year olds, The Labyrinth.
Beside The Adventure Park is Woodlawn Manor Cultural Park and Museum, a 19th-century plantation with strong historical ties to the Underground Railroad. The property has a Federal-era manor house, stone barn, original outbuildings, and incredible trees. Another museum worth a visit is Sandy Spring Museum, a community-activated museum, cultural arts center, and gathering place with crafts, art, history, and educational programming, like pottery and metalsmith jewelry making.
Maryland subscribes to shopping local, and you can find state-made crafts, home decor, and gifts at The Family Room in Laytonsville, along with a gourmet selection of foods, cheeses, and sweets. For those seeking an all-in-one shopping property, the Clarksburg Premium Outlets offer a huge, rustic-looking outdoor mall with stores such as Converse, Disney Outlet, Simply Southern, and Gucci. Bethesda Row is another option with high-end boutiques (BlueMercury, Warby Parker, and Williams Sonoma) and day spas.
Looking for a unique cultural activity? The AFI Silver Theatre is a historical, restored art-deco three-screen theater in downtown Silver Spring showing first run and classic films. They also showcase special events and film festivals year-round. It’s a great place to watch a foreign film or special edition concert series.
Lastly, Montgomery County, Maryland is home to the National Museum of Health and Medicine. The museum houses an astounding amount of treasures (e.g. skeletons, deformities, and antique instruments) and the bullet that ended President Lincoln’s life. Admission is free.
WHERE TO STAY
Tusculum Farm is the premier bed and breakfast in Montgomery County, Maryland. Here, guests can escape the hustle and bustle of the city for serene landscapes as far as the eye can see. Darling alpacas, horses, chickens, contemporary rooms and guest houses, and a farm-fresh breakfast enhance the guest experience.
For a more traditional stay, there are nearly 100 hotels in Montgomery County. The Sheraton Silver Spring Hotel offers the best bang for your buck. Cambria Hotels and Suites Rockville is in an awesome location and convenient to many things. Hilton Garden Inn is in several MoCo cities and includes free Wifi, parking, and a made-to-order all-you-can-eat Breakfast.
MONTGOMERY COUNTY, GATEWAY TO DC
The things to do in Montgomery County, Maryland are abundant as you explore this gateway to Washington, DC. Whether its sipping a cold beer or visiting a world-class museum, there is plenty to do on your weekend getaway to MoCo.