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T​he best things to do in Bethesda, MD

Situated right across the Potomac from DC, Bethesda shines just as bright as the capital. And with the following things to do here, you can even argue that sometimes Bethesda outshines other places within the DC metro area.

Where to eat:

Like its cosmopolitan neighbor, Bethesda’s culinary scene is incredible. Exploring the local restaurants would be like taking a trip around the world, with offerings ranging French to Latin American. Here are some of the best restaurants in Bethesda:

  • Black’s Bar and Kitchen marries the flavors of Southern Maryland and Virginia’s Northern Neck. The end result is an absolute showcase of culinary triumphs, starting from their appetizers to their heirloom veal shops.
  • Silver, dubbed as a New American brasserie, is helmed by Executive Chef Ype Von Hengst. They specialize in American diner with a twist: every dish is made with farm-fresh ingredients.
  • Barrel and Crow puts a contemporary spin on the mid-Atlantic favorites you know and love, made with locally sourced ingredients to remain true to the regional cuisine. They also have a cocktails and beer menu you shouldn’t miss.
  • Mon Ami Gabi brings the well-loved French bistro dining experience to Bethesda and they pull all the stops. They also hold occasional French cooking classes as well as Thursday live jazz nights, best paired with a glass of French red.
  • Olazzo has established itself as the go-to restaurant in the neighborhood for Italian cuisine that is ultimately satisfying yet still good for you and your health.
  • PassionFish Bethesda serves fresh seafood sourced from different parts of the world, prepared in the Asian tradition and presented in a stylish space with underwater themes.

What to do:

Now that you’re explored Bethesda’s dining scene, it’s time to experience the rest of that the community has to offer. Here are the essential and best things to do in Bethesda, MD.

  • Go hiking along the Capital Crescent Trail, which runs from Georgetown all the way to Silver Spring. You can go on a relaxing amble or test your endurance by running or cycling the entire length of the trail.
  • Enjoy a concert at Strathmore, the premier music and performance arts venue in Bethesda. You can also sign up for one of their arts education programs and catch their outdoor performances, which usually happens in the summer.
  • Take part in various local festivals (and there are plenty!). Meet authors, poets, and journalists at the Bethesda Literary Festival. Enjoy live entertainment and art exhibits at the Bethesda Fine Arts Festival. Bethesda Row also has a take on that event: the two-day Bethesda Row Arts Festival. Imagination Bethesda is for the kids, while Taste of Bethesda celebrates the community’s culinary scene.

    Learn more about Bethesda’s local events here.

  • Watch an independent movie or art film at the Bethesda Row Cinema. This eight-screen facility also runs a variety of foreign language movies, as well as documentaries. Once in a while, they also show remastered classics in all their black-and-white glory.
  • Shop for local goods and other products at the Bethesda Central Farm Market, open every Sunday, all year round. It’s held at the grounds of the Bethesda Elementary School.

Find more things to do in Bethesda, MD

In the process, discover why so many people want to live here. Browse Heller Coley Reed’s blog for more information about Bethesda, or get in touch with the team at 240.800.5155 or hellercoleyreed(at)gmail(dotted)com.