Before the busy holiday season kicks into full gear with Christmas parties, family dinners, school plays, gift shopping, and house decorating, take a weekend off and explore Maryland’s Montgomery County. If you can only sneak away for two days, don’t worry! We’ve put together a perfect 48-hour itinerary so you can have a magical weekend and experience some of the best attractions, restaurants, and accommodations in the area.
The most important piece of any getaway is your lodging. You’ll need somewhere that you can kick off your shoes after a long day of exploration and relax in luxury. The Inn at Tusculum Farm is the perfect retreat. Located on over 500 acres of farm land just outside Gaithersburg, you can return to this historic farm and unwind in your private farmhouse suite. Cozy up for your first night with a mug of hot cocoa and get ready for a weekend of fun.
Wake up and look out the window for stunning views of the farm, complete with panoramic sweeping vistas. As part of your stay at Tusculum Farm, you get a farm-fresh breakfast set up especially for you. What would a farm stay be without some of the freshest eggs you’ll ever taste? Enjoy your morning spread along with a hot cup of coffee or local Maryland tea, and start your day off on the right foot.
Finish your cup while walking around our gorgeous farm and trails. Then, wander around the property and visit with the resident alpacas, spot some pretty songbirds, or do a morning art tour. Carl and Virginia Freeman brought an incredible collection of outdoor sculptures to Tusculum Farm many years ago. These pieces have become just as much a part of the farm as the land itself.
The Glenstone Museum in Potomac should be on the list of any art fanatic, history buff, environmentalist, or anyone who admires beauty. This free contemporary art museum is absolutely stunning, and allows guests to experience art up close, taking guests on a journey through the art, architecture, and landscape of the area. There are several different collection centers on the grounds, from the pavilions dedicated to specific artists, the gallery with rotating exhibitions, an outdoor sculpture garden, and even an environmental center where one can learn about the museum’s sustainability efforts. While the museum is free to all guests, reservations are highly recommended well in advance of your visit to ensure your desired time spot. You can schedule your visit on their reservation portal.
After your museum visit, stop by downtown Potomac for a quick mid-day lunch. Whether you want something fancy, quick, or healthy, Potomac has a large selection of restaurants for you to choose from. Potomac Pizza has been serving up pies since 1978 and is a long-time local’s favorite. For farm-to-table dining, Normandie Farm Restaurant just can’t be beaten. Take classically delicious french food made with the freshest local ingredients and served in a classically decorated dining room and you’ll have one incredible meal. If you want some classic American pub food, then head to the Hunter’s Bar & Grill where you’ll find a cozy atmosphere with juicy burgers, fresh salads, and mouthwatering sandwiches.
rWalk off your lunch at the nearby trails of the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park. There are dozens of trails and paths in the park, so you have the freedom to choose an option based on how you’re feeling that day. Want to make a 1-mile stroll to see the falls? Go ahead! Want to stretch your legs and check out all the locks, islands and bridges? Well, knock yourself out! Make sure you pack some good shoes to tackle the rock scramble down to the Potomac River! And before you leave,, definitely check out the Maryland Gold Mine National Historic Site to see the ruins of an old Maryland mine.
Head to Bethesda for a bite to eat. No matter your craving, you’ll find something to fill your appetite. Here are some of our favorites. (It’s hard to choose just oneihe. Gringos & Mariachis isn’t your average taco shop. Creative tacos and margaritas decorate the menu in this edgy eatery. Wine lovers: make a stop at Mon Ami Gabi for their French plates and extensive wine list. And possibly the best Bethesda hidden gem? CherCher Ethiopian Cuisine has some of the best authentic Ethiopian cuisine in the area.
In North Bethesda lies the Strathmore Music Hall, an institution known for bringing hundreds of performances and events to the area since 1981. Rarely is there a night without some sort of artistic, cultural, dance, or music performance happening in one of their venues and you will always see crowds flocking to the site for an evening show. Acts range from big names like Buddy Holly (in hologram!) and the National Philharmonic to classic performances like the Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker and even new mashups like The Hip Hop Nutcracker. Check out their event schedule to plan your visit.
Head back to your cozy accommodations at Tusculum Farm, pick a movie to watch on our big screen, and relax for the rest of the night.
Now that you know what goodies are in store for your morning, getting up will never be easier. Enjoy another farm-fresh breakfast while you plan out your second day in Montgomery County.
If you’re visiting before the holiday season, then now is the perfect time to pick up unique gifts for all of your friends and family (and maybe indulging in a couple for yourself). This waterfront shopping center has everything you could ever ask for and more! From coffee shops to bakeries, jewelry stores and unique gift shops, you simply can’t go wrong here. While you’re in this city-like urban center, grab a bite to eat for lunch. While they have fan-favorite spots like California Pizza Kitchen on-site, the RIO boasts a number of locally owned grills, cafes, diners, and eateries. Check out their website for a full directory of restaurants.
Before you say adieu to Montgomery County, stop by one of the many beautiful lakes in the area to stretch your legs before a car ride back home. Winter, spring, summer, or fall, Lake Needwood is gorgeous and boasts a wide range of trails to walk, bike, or hike around on. Bring a pair of binoculars as this is a great spot for birding year-round. In the warmer months, rent a canoe and spend the afternoon paddling around the lake.
There is so much to do in Montgomery County, you truly can’t see it all in just two days. So make sure to stop by The Farm again soon to keep exploring and experience the area in another season!
Ready to explore Montgomery County? Book a stay at beautiful Tusculum Farm, where farm living meets luxury.