Escape a few miles north outside of the hectic district and beltway and relax at the stylish, trendy, and quaint Bethesda Row. Choose from a wide variety of over 30 international restaurants including Irish, Thai, American, Asian, Spanish, Mediterranean, and American for a nice outdoor lunch or dinner. Enjoy desserts at specialty shops such as Dolcezza Gelato or Sweetgreen. There are plenty of new boutiques and stores to please all types of shoppers. Bethesda Row also holds many events such as Movie Nights and art fairs.
What once stood as the historic Bethesda Theater in 1938 has now been transformed into a suave live music supper club. Still carrying the glory of the yesteryear, Bethesda Blues and Jazz houses a small concert hall that serves brilliant continental fare. While 300 seats are ticketed as dinner seats, there are an additional 200 performance seats made available later. Come and enjoy this acoustically enhanced wonder on a fine evening.
The National Gallery houses an extensive collection of European and American art in two spectacular buildings. In the grand, neoclassical West Building, Rembrandt, Rubens and Gainsborough are well-represented. The permanent collection includes works from the 13th to 20th Centuries, including a section devoted to Impressionism. An underground concourse with a cafeteria, an excellent gift shop and a walled-in waterfall takes you to the East Building. Designed by I.M. Pei, this triangular building is a key city landmark and home to famous pieces of art and other temporary exhibitions.
The Music Center at Strathmore is a cultural and entertainment hub in North Bethesda, Maryland. This concert hall hosts shows for a variety of events. It first opened in 2005 and it is not just a music venue but also provides education in music. With a wide range of musical concerts from jazz to rock, there is something for every music lover.
Established in 1910, the National Museum of Natural History aims to inform people about the natural history of earth through its exhibits. Nestled somewhere within this museum is the famous Hope Diamond, which has gained notoriety for supposedly carrying a curse. Apart from that, some of the museum's popular galleries include The Discovery Room, Hall of Geology, Gems, and Minerals, Dinosaurs/Hall of Paleobiology, Insect Zoo, Teleology: Hall of Bones, Ocean Hall, Hall of Human Origins and many more.
Take a trip back in time and explore the much celebrated American history at the National Museum of American History. Rich in displays that depict the American journey through the ages; it resides inside a gallery that portrays the emergence of the American national anthem along with other innovative and cherished artifacts. Housed within this multi-floor building are exhibition halls and rooms that illustrate significant events pertaining to the past of America.
Bethesda Row Cinema is an eight-screen cinema that features a program of independent and foreign language films. With stadium-style seating and wall-to-wall screens, and state-of-the-art sound systems, this cinema offers an elevated movie-watching experience. Additional perks include an espresso bar and local baked items besides the usual popcorn-soda combo.
This restored 1920s-era movie house has two historic auditoriums for your viewing pleasure. The theater screens everything from first-run Hollywood hits to forgotten classics, celebrated indies, and the most talked-about foreign films. Don't miss the continuing series of special events and screenings. Bring the kids to the weekend family matinees. For a more enjoyable experience, sit back and relax with popcorn and a soda from the refreshment stand.
This former amusement park changed its focus from thrilling rides to artistic amusements, many of which are directed at families. A beautiful hand-carved carousel is the only ride still operating in the park, now administered by the National Park Service. Visitors will find plenty of entertainment ranging from performances at the Puppet Company Playhouse to children's stories at the Adventure Theatre. Dances like swing, square-dancing and the waltz, among others, are held at the Spanish Ballroom.