Just a short drive from Washington, D.C., Montgomery County, Maryland, is a picturesque retreat with plenty to offer outdoors-loving families.
There are quite a few spots to choose from to get your fill of the great outdoors during any season in Montgomery County. At Rock Creek Regional Park, explore 1,800 acres, two lakes and 13 miles of trails. At Black Hill Regional Park, enjoy an even broader expanse of scenery, along with a dog park for the furry member of your family. If you prefer your nature a little on the tamer side, Brookside Gardens is a public display garden with 50 acres and more than 20,000 plants. The various gardens within the garden include butterfly, azalea and Japanese gardens.
For a little educational fun, Montgomery County delivers. The C&O Canal National Historic Park is a remnant from America’s early transportation history. The canal was operational for about a century, a vital waterway for the coal, lumber and agricultural industries. Your visit can include hiking, a view of the falls, a boat ride or even a stop at the nearby tavern. At Woodlawn Manor Cultural Park, see the area as it would’ve stood in the early 1800s — complete with interactive exhibits on 19th-century farming and the Underground Railroad. For more historical architecture, the Beall-Dawson House was built in 1815 and still includes much of its original architecture and the indoor slave quarters.
If your visit to Montgomery County doesn’t quite deliver the weather you’d like, the area offers plenty of museums with indoor excitement. The National Capital Trolley Museum features streetcar history and historic trolleys, if you have a child who’s currently into all things transportation. The Glenstone Museum recently expanded and is one of the largest private museums in the country; with free admission, it offers modern and contemporary art— guests must be 12 and older.
The National Museum of Health & Medicine traces its history back to the Civil War, when it was the Army Medical Museum. Now, you’ll find a host of interesting medical and historic artifacts, including the bullet that killed Abraham Lincoln.
If you happen to visit Montgomery County during the next few months, you might want to plan your visit around one of the many upcoming family-friendly events. The Montgomery Market Holiday Pop-Up offers all the local treats and gifts you could want. The City of Gaithersburg Winter Lights Festival started Nov. 23 at Seneca Creek State Park.