Bethesda is a thriving urban district comprised of nearly 200 restaurants, two live theaters, 20 art galleries and great shopping. Additionally, as home of the National Institute of Health (NIH), National Library of Medicine and the National Naval Medical Center, it is one of the leading biomedical research centers in the country.
Chevy Chase is also home to the National 4-H Center which hosts the National Science Bowl annually in either late April or early May. This community also borders the popular shopping district of Friendship Heights and has been referred to as the area’s version of Rodeo Drive.
Meanwhile, the town of Kensington is well known for the Antique Row, which is the D.C. metropolitan area’s largest and oldest antiquing center. Here, you’ll find an amazing array of styles and types of merchandise—antique, vintage and new.
5 Things to Do in Bethesda, Chevy Chase and Kensington
- Browse the Row: Bethesda Row is a local favorite for shopping and dining. Shoppers can browse clothing and accessories at Bonobos, the North Face, Kate Spade and other fantastic stores. Moreover, Apple fans can grab the latest products at the gorgeous Apple Store on Bethesda Avenue. There are also numerous spas and salons to help you de-stress and relax. During the spring and summer, residents and visitors particularly enjoy dining outside along the Row.
- Explore the Trail: The Capital Crescent Trail is an 11-mile trail connecting Silver Spring to Washington D.C. that runs through Bethesda. The trail is popular among walkers, joggers, bikers and rollerbladers. Notably, it was designed along the abandoned rails of the Georgetown Branch of the Baltimore and Ohio (B&O) Railroad.
- Treat Yourself: As mentioned above, Chevy Chase is widely-regarded as a prime destination for luxury and high-end shopping. So, whether you’re looking for a gift or to treat yourself, you’ll definitely find something at one of the boutiques or department stores in the neighborhood.
- Go Antiquing: Spend an afternoon browsing around the shops in Kensington’s historic Antique Row. The neighborhood boasts individual antiques and specialty shops and a multi-dealer antiques market. You might just find the next conversation piece for your living room!
- Catch a Show: Find world-class entertainment at the Strathmore Music Center, a gorgeous, symphony hall in North Bethesda that hosts artists across all music genres. Notable past performers include Tony Bennett, Morrissey, Brian Wilson and the Culture Club.
From lobster rolls and gastropubs, to the freshest sushi and Mediterranean fare – Bethesda, Chevy Chase and Kensington have it all. Eat where the locals eat and check out Woodmont Triangle near downtown Bethesda. Here, Duck Duck Goose offers French classics and Medium Rare provides a modern take on the steakhouse. At the same time, Olazzo serves Italian home cooking in a warm-lit dining room. Further, followers of Bryan Voltaggio can check out RANGE in the Chevy Chase Pavilion, where the Maryland-native chef cooks up New American dishes in an upscale setting. Or, visit our Restaurants page for more dining suggestions.
Looking for other ideas to build the itinerary for your next visit to Montgomery County? Then, read our Things To Do Blog. Or, use the Event Calendar tool below to search for the latest festivals and activities. We’ve also highlighted some fantastic hotels in Bethesda, Chevy Chase and Kensington where you can get some well-needed rest after all the fun you’ll have.