Brimming with must-see museum exhibits, spectacular theater performances, guided tours, and adventurous outings, Montgomery County, Maryland is shaping up to be a top destination to visit in 2024. As we look ahead to what promises to be an exciting year in Maryland’s Cultural Capital, we’ve compiled a list of 24 places not to miss when planning your trip for 2024.
Visitors to Glenstone experience a curated collection of modern and contemporary art featuring work by renowned artists. Beyond the art, Glenstone boasts expansive outdoor spaces, including landscaped gardens and walking trails and a beautiful water garden. Glenstone offers a retreat from the everyday hustle and bustle while inspiring appreciation for culture and the environment.
This film festival in November shows captivating and creative films from the South Asian subcontinent. From compelling dramas to heartwarming comedies and documentaries that shed light on social issues, the festival offers a captivating cinematic journey.
Experience a Digital Detox in a Renovated Lockhouse
Once home to the lockkeepers who oversaw the C&O Canal, step back in time and stay overnight at one of seven restored historic lockhouses. Each lockhouse represents a different time period, providing a distinctive and memorable experience. The tranquility of the park at night surrounded by nature, makes the lockhouses an ideal spot for a weekend getaway.
Arts & Entertainment Districts
There are three Maryland-designated Arts & Entertainment districts in the county: Bethesda, Silver Spring, and Wheaton. Each district offers a wide range of arts and humanities organizations, popular arts venues, festivals, entertainment businesses, and more. Attend an Art Walk in Bethesda to view a local exhibit, meet the artist, and enjoy complimentary refreshments with other art enthusiasts. Rock out to top-tier performances at the Fillmore or catch the latest independent film at AFI Silver Theatre in Silver Spring. Wheaton embraces its diverse community and local artists with their annual Wheaton Arts Parade & Festival.
Spend the Evening on the Farm
Head to the farm for an elevated experience like no other during a Calleva Dirty Dinner. Enjoy local wine and a beautifully plated farm-to-table meal, accompanied by live music, wagon rides and a late-night campfire. For a more casual meal, take pizza night to the next level at Fridays on the Farm.
Spend the Day at the Agricultural History Farm Park
Explore the scenic 455-acre park with rolling hills and farm animals. Learn about what the Agricultural Reserve is and how it’s vital to Montgomery County, Maryland. Bask in agricultural history in the heirloom garden and learn about old farming tools and tractors. In October, go to the Harvest Festival where both children and adults can have a fun time enjoying the park. It’s open every day from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm.
Drink in the Views at Windridge Vineyards
Sip locally made wines with panoramic views at Windridge Vineyards. Visit the tasting room with a 360-degree bar overlooking the countryside to learn about their carefully selected wines based on the unique geology and microclimates of the vineyards.
Learn About Lincoln’s Death Bullet at the National Museum of Health and Medicine
Discover the bullet that killed President Abraham Lincoln. While you’re there, learn about how different medicines and tools were used in the Civil War. See how military medicine has progressed from over 150 years. The museum is free and open to the public Wednesday through Sunday.
Underground Railroad Immersion Experience at Button Farm Living History Center
Participate in simulated journeys depicting plantation life and the Underground Railroad. The Button Farm is Maryland’s only living history center that shows 19th century plantation life. In the Spring, the farm hosts events and programs on the weekend by appointment.
Brighton Dam’s Azalea Garden
A hidden gem in Montgomery County, the azalea garden is a botanical haven, showcasing a stunning array of azaleas in various hues. During the blooming season, the garden transforms into a vibrant canvas of colors, creating a breathtaking scene for visitors. The garden serves as a venue for community events such as garden tours, plant sales, and nature walks.
Take a Spin on the Dentzel Carousel at Glen Echo Park
Enjoy a vintage carousel at Glen Echo Park. The Dentzel Carousel is over one hundred years old and features seven types of animals as a “menagerie carousel”. Picnic tables are available for an outdoor lunch before exploring the rest of the park. It’s open daily from May through September.
The LAFF at the AFI Silver Theater & Cultural Center in October brings rich and diverse Latin American cinema to the big screen in MoCo. Hundreds of films are shown throughout the festival and shed insight into the history, social issues, and cultural nuances of Latin American countries through the lens of talented filmmakers. Attend a post-show after-party or Q&A with the filmmaker or actors.
Step Back in Time at the National Capital Trolley Museum
Explore the history of area electric streetcars. Explore and look at different styles and colors of streetcars. Learn about railway operations and how they’ve expanded to today. You can even get a chance to ride on a vintage streetcar on a two-mile track on Saturdays.
Hit the Books at the Gaithersburg Book Festival
Attend one of the nation’s top literary events, the Gaithersburg Book Festival. It’s become a popular event since 2010 attracting hundreds of award-winning authors, bestselling authors, poets, and songwriters. Strengthen your writing skills at a writing workshop or enter your best haiku in the poetry contest. The festival and programs is free for all ages.
Try Yurt Camping at Little Bennett Regional Park
Camp in yurts with full amenities at Little Bennett Campground. Have the ultimate getaway and enjoy miles of hiking and biking on trails on over 3,700 acres of forest. Guests have the option to stay in a cabin, their own RV, or at one of their wooded campsites. The campground also has monthly events to keep families and friends entertained for their stay.
Begin your journey in Kenwood, where more than 1,200 trees line the neighborhood, bearing hundreds of thousands of beautiful, tiny pink and white flowers that bloom during the spring season. Enjoy a picnic under a Yoshino cherry tree with a view of Glenview Mansion at the Civic Center Park in Rockville. There is also a gorgeous cluster of Kwanzan cherry trees that line the driveway when you arrive at the park. At Brookside Gardens, you’ll find 26 cherry trees that are found in the Gude Garden along the HeartSmart Trail and additional trees near the Conservatory.
Explore Josiah Henson Museum & Park
Built on the former plantation where Reverand Henson was enslaved, the Josiah Henson Museum & Park illustrates his life as an author, abolitionist, and minister through multimedia exhibits located throughout the museum and grounds. The park is part of the National Park Service National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom program and is an active archaeological dig site.
Admission is $5 and guests can visit the museum Friday through Sunday.
Spend the Day on the Lakefront at rio
Explore the shops at rio to find your next favorite outfit or a locally-made gift for your loved one. Take a stroll on the boardwalk and grab a meal with lakefront views. Have fun at Dave and Busters or attend the many local markets and festivals.
Visit Breweries and Wineries Along the Tastemakers Trail
With so many Tastemaker experiences, it’s easy to create a beverage-centric weekend in Montgomery County. Sip and savor your way around farm-chic tasting rooms and sophisticated urban wineries. Enjoy a pint or two overlooking the rolling hills of the 93,000-acre Agricultural Reserve or create-your-own urban brewery walking tour in Silver Spring.
See a show at Round House Theatre
Catch a live performance at Round House Theatre, where their commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion is reflected in their selection of performances. While you’re there, enjoy locally sourced bites and signature cocktails from a menu specially tailored to fit the theme of each show.
Embrace the beauty of the McKee-Beshers Wildlife Management Area
Walk through massive sunflower fields and capture a naturally Instagrammable moment in Poolesville. Five fields of sunflowers are planted by hand each spring to help feed the wildlife and keep the ecosystem teeming with animal and plant life. Peak bloom normally happens in July, check the Maryland Department of Natural Resources for more information about bloom.
Catch a Performance at F. Scott Fitzgerald Theatre
Enjoy musicals, operas, and ballets at a vibrant local theater. The theater holds over 100 shows annually. Experience the dancing Rockville Civic Ballet or be moved to tears while you hear the Victorian Lyric Opera Company. This theater boasts 428 seats and is dedicated to the performing arts.
Go on an aerial adventure at Adventure Park Sandy Spring
For the adventurous type, the Adventure Park features 16 different aerial forest adventures. Each trail has zip lines but primarily consists of bridges between tree platforms made of rope, cable, and wood configurations, creating over 190 unique challenges. Head out for a night climb when the park is illuminated with strings of twinkling lights.
Self-Guided Global Food Tour
The diversity of communities living in Montgomery County gives multiple delicious food options for visitors including Asian, Jamaican, Italian, French, and American cuisines. Some restaurants use locally sourced produce and baked goods from producers and farmers in MoCo. With a range from Mom-and-Pop spots to luxurious dining experiences, the options for your very own food tour are endless.
Make sure to share your adventures with us by using #MontgomeryMoment or tagging @VisitMoCo in your photo.
For even more inspiration, check out Free & Fun Things to Do and explore the wineries and breweries along the Tastemakers Trail.