Get to know Jessica!
What makes Montgomery County a unique destination?
Montgomery County is one of the few places I know where you can find kabobs, dumplings, breakfast, burritos, and sushi within a 20 minutes radius. Apart from the food, you can also pick berries, mural hunt, find a festival or concert (on most weekends), enjoy a beer garden, and go hiking – all in one day if you plan it right.
If a visitor could only go to one place in Montgomery County, where would that be?
I would have to say Downtown Silver Spring. Although I am an “up county” native, the Kentlands are more focused on a low-key day focused primarily on food and movies. When visiting, the hustle of Downtown Silver Spring is perfect for anything from shopping to people watching to eating to finding an event or festival. On any given day, you can find a wide variety that would satisfy any visitor.
Montgomery County has many urban districts and neighborhoods. What is one of your favorite areas?
RIO Washingtonian. Surrounding a small lake with paddle boating available, the community offers a movie theatre, carousel, shopping options, and plenty of food. The new extension of Downtown Crown means there is a plethora of new eating options to meet every taste.
What’s the best festival or special event in Montgomery County?
I’m always a fan of the Pumpkin Festival at Butler’s Orchard. The festivals runs the entire length of October and brings all the pleasures of Fall to one place. The corn maze is a personal favorite of mine – hours of entertainment because I can’t find my way out. I always have to stop in for some hot cider and a freshly made donut.
Where’s your favorite place to shop in Montgomery County?
Bethesda Row is a beautiful location for shopping. With brand names like Francesca’s, LuluLemon Athletica, and Kate Spade it is a shopping dream. Now I love clothing as much as the next girl, just ask my closet, but what I really love is the Barnes and Nobles. I’m always up for a good book. Secolari Olive Oil & Vinegar is the perfect solution for my Christmas shopping with the unique flavors they offer.
If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Japan. As an isolated island, they hold strong to their cultures and traditions. I have heard wondrous things about the hot springs located across the island, focusing mainly on the relaxation and health benefits. Plus, I’m a sucker for sushi, especially if it is fresh.
What is your go-to happy hour drink?
I would probably go with a martini, but that’s because I am on a mission to try as many different types as a can – the best thus far would have to be the lychee martini.
Travel is transcendent. Can you describe a trip or experience that changed you?
When I was in college, I went to Puerto Rico for winter break with my college swim team. The team would tour San Juan around our practices. Walking through the city and to the beach offered us an in-town experience that we would not have gained if we had been part of a tour group. We also went kayaking through a bioluminescent bay. Strictly held at night, and with instructions to not enter the water, we paddled down small creek surrounded by forest and iguanas. The stars were the only light to guide us and we finally entered the bay which lit up every time our paddles entered the water. It was absolutely incredible and I recommend it to anyone who has the chance.