Montgomery County, MD boasts of stunning beaches, amusement parks, attractions, entertainment, and historical sites. Also, there’s a diverse range of beautiful landscapes for outdoor enthusiasts. It’s no wonder most families throng here for vacations. If you’re planning for your next vacation getaway, we’ve compiled the top Montgomery County vacation hotspots for you.
Let jump right in!
Great Falls Park
This is an 800-acre park located where the Potomac River builds a series of jagged rocks, before flowing to Mather Gorge. It’s popular for birdwatchers, fishers, bicyclists, and equestrians. And because of the Potomac River waves, this is a great place for canoeing and kayaking.
Within Great Falls Park, you’ll find Billy Goat Trail. It’s broken into three sections, the northern part being the rockiest. Take a few minutes to scramble over the rocks and look at the majestic view of the river.
If you show up early, you’ll spend the whole day enjoying trails away from the noisy streets.
Chesapeake and Ohio Canal
If you love spending time outdoors, you can enjoy scenic views and kayaking at the C & O canal. Over the years, this has been a hub for outdoor activities like biking and bird watching. For nearly a century, Chesapeake and Ohio Canal was a passage for boats carrying lumber, coal, and other products. Today, the park has a network of campsites and landmarks that you can enjoy.
Take a trip back in time at the Great Falls Visitor Tavern and stay overnight. This is one of the six historic lock houses and canals managed by C&O Canal Trust. Most historians describe the Chesapeake Canal as one of the finest Montgomery County vacation hotspots.
If you’re a history buff, the Beall-Dawson House will meet and exceed your expectations. Built in 1815, Beall desired to build a home that would reflect his wealth and status. It was designed to impress both in and out. In 1965, the house was bought and became part of Montgomery’s history headquarters. The first two floors feature history collections and changing exhibits. Last time we were there we were not able to tour since they were having a plumbing issue with grease trap pumping.
The Whites Ferry operates at Potomac River between Leesburg and Poolesville. Located about 6 miles from Montgomery County, the ferry is used for crossing the river between Maryland and Virginia. Today, commuters use the ferry every day with over 24 vehicles at a time.
If you want to get the best of your vacation, you should visit the area during spring and summer. You’ll find grills and picnic tables for a family gathering.
Glen Echo Park
The Glen Echo Park showcases numerous art studios and has hundreds of performing arts like glass, ceramics, photography, and more. Being one of the top Montgomery County vacation hotspots out there, this park brings over 350,000 visitors per year.
Since 1968, Glen Echo Park has been serving the larger Washington area. This was after the government acquired land to prevent development under the Potomac Palisades River. Since 2010, the park has undergone extensive renovations under Montgomery County.
Seneca Creek State Park
The park includes a 90-acre Clopper lake, fields, and dense forests. This is one of the best Montgomery County vacation hotspots where you can have a picnic, play, or rent a boat. But what makes the trail unique is that you got to enjoy over 50 miles of trails.
If you’re a novice hiker, you should take the Schaeffer Farm Trail. For those who need something more daring, the 16.5-mile Seneca Creek can be a great place to explore. If you want to enjoy a breathtaking view, you should visit the trails mid-May and June when the gardens are in full bloom.
Another remarkable feature is the Lake Shore Trail. It offers continuous views across the woodland and is a great place for wildlife observations. After you cross the small bridge, hikers can choose to walk past the marshy area.
The park is easy to find and costs about $3 for MD residents. A lot has gone into arranging this majestic park to what it is today. Perhaps the most exciting thing is the water-related creatures placed in a way that they reflect the water surface. Most families bring their kids here during the sweltering summer days.
Patunex River State Park
The Patunex State Park is located in Montgomery and comprises of 6700 of natural farmlands that are primarily used for hiking, fishing, and horse riding. It was first recognized by Montgomery County as a natural resource worthy of protection in 1961. Today, the park remains one of the most beautiful Montgomery County vacation hotspots.
The park features a catch a trout system and has unmarked equestrian trails. It also tells great historical enthusiasts. Since many properties comprise the river, you’ll find a variety of amenities. Also, vacationers choose this place as their perfect spot to explore things like:
- boat ramps
- bird watching
Agricultural History Park
This scenic 455-acre park consists of an apple orchard and rolling hills. Once you get there, you’ll get a unique perspective of the rich farming heritage. More specifically, you’ll learn everything about the future of Montgomery County Farming. The four miles of hiking surface is great for horseback riding and kayaking.
Besides exploring more than five miles of trails, the park offers exciting events and workshops. The Agricultural History Park runs several programs for the community.
The Mansion and Music Center at Strathmore
Are you looking for weekend plans in Montgomery County? Well, the Mansion and Music Center at Strathmore has more to offer than any other outdoor fun options. This is home to world-class performance and is designed for audiences of all tastes. It features:
- 100-seat Dorothy M and Shapiro Music room
- A concert pavilion
- Two floors of exhibition spaces
- Outdoor sculpture gardens
To ensure your enjoyment, the Mansion offers a stunning setting and unmatched catering facilities.
Round House Theater
The Round House Theater seeks to captivate audiences through stories that evoke emotions, inspire compassion, or demand a conversation. It has a sitting capacity of 400 people and produces about 200 performances per season. Besides that, they operate an education center that spread across the region.
Over the years, this theater has managed to establish a long-term relationship with artists. Even better, they welcome patrons of all ages.
Downtown Silver Spring
Silver Spring was once an unincorporated community in Montgomery County. Located just two blocks from Silver Spring, this establishment features a selection of restaurants that offer different cuisines to satiate your taste buds. Whether you need frame-grilled chicken or handcrafted salads, you’ll find them here.
You can also catch the latest Hollywood Blockbusters at Majestic Theater or shop at Designer Shoe Warehouse. Downtown Silver Spring also hosts many events like the Silver Spring festival. But what makes it one of the best Montgomery County vacation hotspots is that it offers many entertainment options for every traveler- from historical architecture, ice skating, family entertainment, and everything in between.
Pike and Rose
Pike & Rose is arguably one of the latest downtown centers. Since 2014, it has become the hottest weekend and evening destination in Montgomery. You can try California-inspired cuisines or catch a drink with friends. Other than that, you can enjoy a movie in an upscale setting with pillows and reclining chairs. After that, you can head to pinstripes and enjoy your favorite Italian Cuisine.
Built in a small lake in MD, Rio is one of the top Montgomery County Vacation Hotspots for dining shopping, or just going for a walk. Located at the heart of the Downtown Center, this establishment offers authentic American cuisines. During summer, kids enjoy a ride at the carousel that is located in the lakefront. You’ll also find families enjoying outdoor concerts.
While there, you can catch a movie at AMC Loews Rio or enjoy sizzling fajitas at Uncle Julio Mexican restaurant. You can also explore boutiques like White House Black Market, Francesca’s, and South Moon Under. Whether you need a place for shopping or dining, Rio Lakefront will provide entertainment for the whole family.
Blockhouse Point Conservation Park Trail
It’s one of the popular Montgomery County vacation hotspots that give the cultural history of the Potomac Valley. The 630-acre park shows exceptional things that form part of the historic civil war complex. Most of these ruins hold a national significance. More specifically, you’ll see the materials and supplies used by men who were stationed there.
You’ll find natural features like:
- River rock outcrops
- Floodplain forest
- Palustrine wetlands
- Mature upland forest
- Endangered and threatened species
In total, there are seven hiking trails. Those marked `hard surface’ and `natural surface’ are shared by bikers, equestrians, hikers, etc. Biking is not allowed in this area except for the muddy branch greenway trail. Be sure to check the map in the parking area, or you might end up very far from the ruins and views.
Mathew Henson Trail
Mathew Henson Trail spans 4.5 miles at the intersection of the Dewey Road and creek local Park. It’s named after Mathew Henson, a native and arctic explorer. The trail consists of a tributary of Rock Creek, so you’ll find bikers, hikers, and people of different skills exploring the local fauna and flora.
If you’re a true nature enthusiast, there’s a trail that runs through the forested green space between Anderton Road and Rock Creek Trail.
At the southwest end of the trail, there’s a course that runs through Mathew Henson Park. The trail continues through the Bel Pre Neighborhood Park and ends at the eastern terminus that connects the northern and southern parts of the Elton road.
What makes Mathew Henson one of the most sought after Montgomery County vacation hotspots is the fact that all trails are well-maintained. As you head to the woods, you’ll see bridges that cross some significant intersections. Besides that, the trails are smooth and have a good width for cycling.
National Capital Trolley Museum
The National Capital Museum evokes discovery, exploration, and learning. Since it opened its doors in 1969, the mission has been to preserve the history of Washington electric street ways. Their collection includes:
- Streetcars from Washington
- A file program
- Washington streetscape from the 1930s
- Traditional exhibits of railways artifacts
You can take a ride on the streetcars into the woods to get an idea of how life used to be 130 years ago. What was in the forest? What was the land like? You can spend time looking at the exhibits on the walls, and you’ll carefully see where the amusement parks were.
Before you leave the National Capital Trolley Museum, you’ll understand how life was without electrical power. This is another popular Montgomery County Vacation Hotspots for history buffs.
Glenstone integrates nature, art, and architecture into a contemplative environment. Guided by the vision of the founders, this museum assembles World War II artifacts and historical shifts between the 20th and 21st-century. These facts are presented in refined indoor and outdoor spaces to create a meaningful encounter for visitors. Since the museum opened its doors, it has remained one of the most visited Montgomery County vacation hotspots.
Your experience begins at the Arrival Hall, a modern building with a minimalistic design. The next stop should be at the Pavilion. Here, you’ll find the split rocker – the museum’s signature piece. The collection is considered the best in Montgomery County.
Inside, there’s a 50,000 square feet of exhibition space that includes individual spaces for art. Some of the exhibitions are custom-built while others rotate. At the center of the pavilion, there’s an 18,000-square foot court with seasonally changing plant life.
The museum has two gallery buildings and outdoor sculptures. As you enjoy your vacation, you’ll find provoking-provoking pieces of art. The guides will appear throughout the voyage. Apart from the expansiveness of the property, the museum is graced by the tranquility of nature. If you love art, you can be sure you’ll truly be immersed in the body and mind during the museum experience.
If hunger strikes during the exhibition, the museum has a café.
Little Bennett Camping ground
Whether you want to savor the comfort of an air-conditioned cabin or pitch your tent, Montgomery County offers several camping options for outdoor enthusiasts. Little Bennett is the closest RV Park is the perfect place to go while camping. This is an opportunity to step back in time
Montgomery County brings a rich history and new culinary crossroads right on your fingertips. The above vacation hotspots will put outdoor adventures right at your fingertips. You can explore the scenic lakes, hiking trails, and more. If you’re a history buff, you’ll love the publicly accessible historical attractions in the area.
It’s time you have a vacation of a lifetime!