Blake Walsh

20 Best Things to Do in Gaithersburg, MD

  • Published 2023/04/18

Founded in 1878, Gaithersburg is located in Montgomery County, Maryland.

You won’t run out of places to explore in Gaithersburg, from art centers, farms, parks, and museums to visit, as well as numerous restaurants and shops.

Many of the primary attractions in Montgomery County, Maryland, are located in the municipalities of Gaithersburg and Germantown.

Germantown, Maryland’s third-largest city, is a vibrant community with everything from gorgeous parks to farmer’s markets.

There are a few notable tourist attractions around Gaithersburg that you should also see.

Gaithersburg and its nearby areas have much to offer to make your long-awaited weekend one to remember.

Find out more about the best things to do in Gaithersburg, MD!

Visit the RIO Washingtonian Center

Buildings at RIO Washingtonian Center

Keizers, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The initial RIO building debuted in 1982.

In 1997 and 2004, the “Washingtonian Center” and “Washingtonian Waterfront” followed, respectively.

The finest retail and eating destination in Gaithersburg is conveniently located in the center of Montgomery County.

RIO Washingtonian Center is a family-friendly lakeside shopping, eating, and entertainment destination.

Everyone at the Center has access to free Wi-Fi.

A bridge over the waters of RIO Washingtonian Center

Bohemian Baltimore, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Enjoy a ride on the carousel, rent a paddle boat and paddle around the lovely lake.

Take a long stroll all around the lake, or have fun at the playground.

The RIO Washingtonian Center features various fish feeding spots at the gazebo and alongside the boardwalk.

There is something for everyone here.

Come to RIO Washingtonian Center and create lasting memories!

Shops along RIO Washingtonian Center

Keizers, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Go for a Swim at the Water Park at Bohrer Park

Water Park is a large outdoor pool containing deep lanes, a small play area, and a 250-foot double waterslide.

With slides, inflated animals, and a water feature for youngsters to explore, the pool area is like a vacation on a beach paradise.

Its main swimming pool is ideal for recreational swimming, while the primary attraction is a twin water slide that stands 38 feet tall.

The enclosed slide is 250 feet long and provides an exciting trip to the bottom.

Meanwhile, the open flume slide is 336 feet long and offers a more relaxing experience.

There are also numerous covered picnic tables in the vast grassy field around the pool.

You’ll undoubtedly have a fantastic and relaxing weekend at Bohrer Park’s Water Park.

Have a Blast at the Kids Play Gallery

The Kids Play Gallery provides a pleasant, friendly, and safe atmosphere for creative discovery.

The purpose of the Kids Play Gallery is to provide a safe, enjoyable, and unforgettable experience for everyone.

Whether you are visiting for everyday play or scheduling a birthday party, the friendly staff at Kids Play Gallery will greet you with delight.

Your children will enjoy the Kids Play Gallery, an indoor innovative playground environment.

They also provide complimentary WiFi to their visitors.

Visit their one-of-a-kind facility at Gaithersburg, Maryland.

Appreciate the View while Dining at Coastal Flats

Coastal Flats is a laid-back, modern restaurant with many cuisine selections perfect for a weekend brunch.

It is a favorite beach home among many Americans, providing coastal and classic cuisine and making each day a summer vacation.

Coastal Flats serves steak, ribs, fresh seafood, chicken and pasta, sides, and desserts.

They also offer a variety of alcoholic beverages, including cocktails, wines by the glass, and beer.

It’s a bustling spot where you may dine and unwind.

Dine at the Coastal Flats to get the most out of your Gaithersburg food experience.

Rent a Boat at Washingtonian Paddle Boats

Washingtonian Paddle Boats is a renting boat service that has operated since 2001.

This kid-friendly tourist attraction is ideal for a day out with the kids.

Visit their historical sightseeing trips along the Potomac River in Washington, DC.

Come for a pleasant boat ride and eat lunch at Riverside Grill on the boardwalk.

Boats come in various patterns, including ducks, swans, and dragons, as well as a conventional blue motif.

Their 30-minute boat rentals include life jackets, which you must wear at all times.

Enjoy an aquatic adventure in Washingtonian Paddle Boats with family or friends.

Explore the Gaithersburg Community Museum

Exterior of the Gaithersburg Community Museum

Doug Kerr, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Gaithersburg Community Museum’s objective is to encourage reflection, stimulate curiosity, nurture connections, and cultivate the community by sharing Gaithersburg’s cultural history.

The museum, housed in a renovated 1884 B&O Railroad facility in Olde Towne, connects Gaithersburg’s past and present for residents and visitors alike.

Hands-on learning stations for children and exhibits in the Freight House and train carriages highlight their rich history.

The Station, which serves as a commuter stop, has dining facilities.

Its outdoor areas, which include the rolling stock, allow visitors to experience the sights and sounds of the trains that pass by often.

Learn more about history at the Gaithersburg Community Museum, which will help you better understand and appreciate Gaithersburg.

Order Mexican Food at Uncle Julio’s Rio Grande Café

Are you looking for the ultimate Mexican restaurant in Gaithersburg, Maryland?

In a hacienda-style setting, Uncle Julio’s Rio Grande Café serves mesquite-grilled cuisine and margarita-sangria swirls.

Uncle Julio’s uniquely serves Tex-Mex made from only the best and freshest ingredients.

They serve authentic made-from-scratch Mexican cuisine, desserts, and beverages.

At Uncle Julio’s on Rio Blvd, they believe great passion can turn a decent meal into an outstanding experience.

Every meal and drink is brimming with taste when you dine in Uncle Julio’s!

Grab a Beer at Dogfish Head Alehouse

Do you want to go to an excellent craft beer pub in Gaithersburg, Maryland?

Gaithersburg, Maryland’s Dogfish Head Alehouse is a local outlet of a well-known craft beer company that serves American pub fare and seasonal brews in relaxed surroundings.

Wood-grilled menu items, delectable burgers, salads, and pizzas are just a few savory options available to pair with their beer on tap.

Dogfish Head Alehouse offers not only artisan beer but also fantastic food from their wood-fired grill at their local restaurant.

Special events such as beer feasts, new beer launches, and tappings frequently occur at Dogfish Head Alehouse.

Appreciate Art at Gaithersburg Arts Barn

The Artists Barn is a stunning rebuilt antique barn that houses an arts center.

Throughout the year, the center hosts numerous performing arts activities, including exhibition space for changing visual art exhibits and art studios where guests may observe resident artists.

They provide a variety of educational programs, camps, and workshops for people of the community.

The City Art Shop in the city’s heart has a wide range of souvenirs, accessories, and clothing you may buy and take home.

Gaithersburg Arts Barn is a must-see for art enthusiasts!

Taste Specialty Beers at Old Town Pour House

Old Town Pour House provides more than 90 specialty beers and comfort cuisine inside a massive wood-and-copper room.

They have some of the most excellent craft beers on tap in Gaithersburg, featuring rotating handles for unique, exclusive, and seasonal brews.

There are also 30 or more taps allocated to local brewers.

Enjoy Happy Hour during weekdays, Rock N Roll weekend brunch, a large outdoor terrace, and a massive HD TV in the 8,000-square-foot dining area.

They also have a semi-private party space.

The revolving handles at Old Town Pour House can vary daily, ensuring that there is always a unique jewel in the house.

Come to Old Town Pour House if you are looking for beer and tasty snacks.

Enjoy Fun Recreation at Bowl America Gaithersburg

If you want to have lots of fun with the family, Bowl America Gaithersburg is the perfect place to hang out.

This 48-lane bowling venue is right on Clopper Road and features a cool and funky ambiance.

Grab their weekly specials like Night Strike from Monday to Thursday nights, and Half-Price Arcade Games all day on Wednesdays; they also have unlimited bowling After Party specials on Friday nights, Triple Play deals, and Sunday Funday.

Get into your bowling game and relax in the soft lounge seats; likewise, enjoy watching music videos, sports, or family movies on the large high-definition video screens.

Aside from bowling, you can play your all-time favorite classic games along with new, state-of-the-art video games at the deluxe arcade.

If anyone gets hungry during a bowling game, don’t worry because you can order delicious eats and have them delivered to your lane.

Choose from tasty starters on the menu like the guest favorite, Love Me Tenders, Street Tacos, Mozzarella Sticks, Cheesy Dippers, and much more.

Try the classic or flavored wings, Nacho Avalanche, or have all the starter treats in one plate with the Alley Sampler.

Enjoy other items like burgers, sandwiches, hotdogs, pizzas, and refreshing guzzlers; likewise, kids will surely enjoy meals on the menu and a bite of Jumbo Chocolate Chip Cookies, too.

Bowl America Gaithersburg also serves signature cocktails, beers, and wines on the menu.

Wander Around the Constitution Gardens

Constitution Gardens on Brooks Avenue offers interesting play spaces that represent and celebrate the city’s rich history and uniqueness.

As you enter the park, you’ll be welcomed by the lovely millstone fountain and gazebo, peony flowers, a spiral walk in the herb garden, and wooden swing benches.

Pass by The Lost Library and follow the story circle at the log benches; you’ll also come across the large storyteller’s chair and the lending library box that tells about the time when the Gaithersburg Library was still located in that area during the early 1980s.

Kids will enjoy a visit to Log Town where they can enjoy climbing the natural element designs, and have hours of fun at the sand play area, and log playhouses; otherwise, let them explore the sensory garden and meet the wooden characters Bella the cow, Penelope the pig, and Wooley the sheep.

There’s more for kids to enjoy at Bird’s Nest Hill which features entangled log posts they can climb to plus the insect hotel where they can discover more about nature.

They can run and play at Sliding Hill which includes a stump scramble, slides, and stepping stones.

You can have a nice family picnic at the tables in the Great Seneca Creek area and find the creek bed adorned with leaf ornaments and decorative pebbles.

Stroll around Constitution Gardens and you’ll find an array of lush native plants from pollinators to big mighty oak trees, with views that are sure to put you in a relaxing mood.

Buy Local Produce at Gaithersburg’s Farmers Markets

Get the freshest local goods and products at Gaithersburg’s Farmers Markets.

You can either visit the Main Street Famers Market which is open all year round and held every Saturday or the Casey Farmers Market which runs from May through November and is held every Thursday at South Frederick Avenue.

Both markets offer a wide variety of goods from fruits, vegetables, and crops in season, to farm-fresh eggs, homemade breads, and sweets.

You’ll also find fresh ground and locally brewed coffee along with artisan beers and spirits; likewise, you can browse and shop for handmade items made by local artists and crafters.

Main Street Famers Market also hosts live music by local performers and songwriters every first Saturday of the month.

You’ll surely enjoy shopping at Gaithersburg’s Farmers Markets.

Tour the Historic Kentlands Mansion

Step back in time as you tour the Kentlands Mansion estate on Kent Square Road.

You can book a visit and drop by from Monday to Friday.

The site was formerly a farm estate known as Wheatlands, purchased by a prominent businessman Frederick A. Tschiffely in 1852.

It was acquired in 1942 by Otis Beall Kent, a wealthy tax lawyer who renamed it Kentlands Farm and made renovations to make it a “gentleman’s estate and private wildlife sanctuary.”

Currently, the elegant property is owned by the City of Gaithersburg which often serves as a venue for weddings, receptions, and social and business events.

Admire this charming mansion and observe the late 1800s and early 1900s architectural styles.

As you step inside, you’ll see plenty of historic treasures and details like the grand chandelier given by the Maryland State House.

The grand foyer with its wide front door adorned with the Federal Fan Light is equally admirable.

The Kentlands Mansion estate is also a regular venue for local outdoor events and festivals so you might even catch these happenings while you’re in the city.

Take Your Pet Dogs at the Paws in the Park Event

Paws in the Park is a special day you can enjoy with your family dog member.

For more than 20 years, this annual event held at Bohrer Park aims to raise funds for homeless and abandoned animals in the Montgomery County area.

Through the partnership with the Montgomery County Humane Society, this whole-day festival has been a well-loved event for pet lovers.

Register and let your pet dog enjoy the one-mile dog walk with pooches of all shapes and sizes.

Join the contests and get a chance to win the dog-owner lookalike, the best trick, or the best-dressed awards.

One of the highlights of the day and a consistent crowd favorite is the Canine Agility Course and Competition.

Watch the dogs perform and show their skills and agility with various field activities.

Likewise, you can browse through dozens of exhibits and vendors offering pet products and pet services.

Paws in the Park also features fun kids’ activities plus lots of food and music so everyone in the family is sure to enjoy.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Buy Fresh Products at Butler’s Orchard

Pumpkins at Butler’s Orchard

Nicole Glass Photography /

Butler’s Orchard in Germantown is a market and farmland run by a family spanning three generations.

Find it in Germantown, Maryland, 16 minutes from Gaithersburg.

The farm has been giving choose-your-own food possibilities to the community since the 1950s.

It produces more than 25 different species of vegetables, flowers, and plants on 300 acres of property.

They started selling seasonal decorative objects, honey, gourmet sauces, cider, and other goods in their Farm Market in the 1970s.

A large pumpkin at Butler’s Orchard

Nicole Glass Photography /

They outgrew their initial red barn in 1993 and enlarged the Farm Market to the modern structure you can see today.

Throughout the year, they conduct various family-friendly events such as hayrides, campfires, sightseeing, and pumpkin harvest days.

The farm’s fruit, local honey, seasonal décor, apple cider, and other goods are sold at the market.

Pumpkinland, a yearly display of unique animals made of pumpkins, is their most popular attraction.

Butler’s Orchard is well worth the 7.2-mile trip from Gaithersburg.

Twisted corn maze at Butler’s Orchard

Nicole Glass Photography /

Visit the BlackRock Center for the Arts

Gaithersburg is roughly 13 minutes or 5.7 miles from BlackRock Center for the Arts in Germantown.

BlackRock has provided access to the arts for the past 20 years, including great programs, concerts, exhibitions, and family and community activities.

It has grown from a cultural arts center to a family resource center across Upcounty Montgomery County, Maryland.

BlackRock Center for the Arts is a premier performing arts center and visual arts gallery that showcases outstanding talent from throughout the globe.

High-quality concerts, visual art exhibitions, and community art education are available at the facility.

Pop, jazz, rock, classical, and folk music are among the genres represented, as are dance performances, theatrical plays, and even modern circus performances.

Check out the BlackRock Center’s numerous events for a thrilling weekend vacation.

Unwind at the Great Seneca Stream Valley Park

Signage of Great Seneca Stream Valley Park

G. Edward Johnson, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Great Seneca Stream Valley Park near Watkins Mill Road in Germantown is a lovely natural park and escape.

The Greenway Trail runs through the park and offers various natural and ecological attractions, including many bird species.

Mountain bikers, hikers, and runners frequent the path by a lovely creek and links to other greenbelt trails.

The park offers paddleboat and canoe rentals, as well as a variety of events and activities.

They include a family-friendly playground, tents, and picnic tables for family occasions.

It’s a wonderfully tranquil, natural setting for unwinding after a long, tiring day.

Go on a Bike Ride at Schaeffer Farms Mountain Bike Trail

The Schaeffer Farms Mountain Biking Track is a 15-mile picturesque bike trail with a moderately complex ride.

It starts in nearby Germantown, Maryland, 16 minutes from Gaithersburg.

The trail is a terrific opportunity to introduce beginners to singletrack biking, with rolling terrain and enough roots to stay on your toes.

On weekends, the paths can be busy, and the corners might grow.

The track is a little lumpy in certain areas, with slopes and roots protruding, but it is not exclusively for experienced riders.

There is also lots of parking along the path, and the trails are designated.

The Schaeffer Farms Mountain Bike Trail features a lovely setting, with streams and meadows ideal for picnics.

Follow the bike route at Schaeffer Farms if you’re looking for a thrill ride.

Final Thoughts

As you go through Gaithersburg, you will come across both indoor and outdoor attractions.

Even though many of the sights are historical in nature, the locals are highly inventive, adding their touches to make the excursions and sites more interesting.

Germantown is a nearby tourist destination from Gaithersburg, too.

The community provides excitement and beautiful moments for your trip and an agenda of things to do.

There is never a dull moment in Gaithersburg, so come see for yourself!

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