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Bethesda, Maryland

A thriving urban district, brimming with nearly 200 restaurants, two live theatres, 20 art galleries, and some of the best shopping in the DC Metro Area, Bethesda is located in Montgomery County, just outside Washington DC.

Known as one of the most renowned communities in the Greater Washington, D.C. area, is home to numerous retailers, arts organizations, thriving restaurant community and an expansive downtown workforce.

Cherry Trees are commonly found throughout the Washington DC Area

Areas of Interest and Things to Do

Maryland, the birthplace of "The Star-Spangled Banner," America's National Anthem, offers a wide variety of things to see or do.

ATTRACTIONS - Antietam National Battlefield; Baltimore's Inner Harbor, Fort McHenry National Monument, U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, and nearby Washington, DC


OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES - The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, Ocean City beaches, the scenic Blue Ridge and Allegheny Mountains, Assateague Island National Seashore

MUSEUMS - Baltimore Museum of Industry, Maryland Science Center, The Walters Art Museum

The Fort McHenry National Monument - the fort that protected Baltimore in the War of 1812

Shopping / Dining / Night Life

Shopping
With some of the best shopping in the Washington DC Metro area, downtown Bethesda is home to numerous fashion boutiques, home design shops, art galleries, salons, and community services. Nearly 700 retailers and businesses reside in downtown Bethesda and is a destination for any shopping need.

Dining
Downtown Bethesda’s restaurant community showcases diverse cuisine from around the world. Whether you’re looking for a deli, bakery, sushi or fine American cuisine, Bethesda‘s nearly 200 restaurants deliver a delectable dining experience.

Entertainment
The state of Maryland designated downtown Bethesda as an Arts & Entertainment District effective July 1, 2002.  From award-winning theatre to independent films, Bethesda's Arts & Entertainment District is filled with inspiring artists and arts venues.  Nearly 20 unique galleries and public art fill the streets throughout the downtown. The District has ample parking, and is accessible by the Metro Red Line

The Inner Harbor features a vibrant night life along with premiere dinning and shopping throughout.

Chesapeake Bay

The Chesapeake Bay is the largest semi-enclosed coastal body of water with a free connection to the open sea. It was created more than 10,000 years ago when glaciers melted and flooded the Susquehanna River Valley. For ocean-going ships, the Bay is navigable with two outlets to the Atlantic Ocean: north through the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal in Cecil County, and south through the mouth of the Bay between the Virginia capes.

Native Americans living along its shores gave the Bay the name Chesepiook, meaning "great shellfish bay”.  It was used to signify the abundance of Bay crabs, oysters, and clams. The Bay was the site of the first English settlement in Maryland and later saw the Civil War confrontation in 1862.

Waterman have made their harvesting living from the bay, while recreational fishing, hunting, and boating attract millions of people each year and contribute significantly to Maryland's economy. Major annual seafood harvests include millions of bushels of crabs, oysters, clams, and eels.

The Cheseapeake Bay Bridge in Maryland at Sunset

Old Line State

Maryland is known as both the Old Line State and the Free State.

Old Line State
According to some historians, General George Washington bestowed the name "Old Line State" and thereby associated Maryland with its regular line troops, the Maryland Line, who served courageously in many Revolutionary War battles.

Free State
Maryland was first recognized as a "Free State" on November 1st 1864 and the Maryland Constitution of 1864 took effect. By its provisions, slavery within the State's borders was abolished, and Maryland, indeed, became a free state. To celebrate the emancipation, under direction of the Baltimore City Council, five hundred guns were fired, bells were rung, and flags displayed "to attest the joy of the people at their great deliverance." (Ref. Maryland State archives)

A tribute to the state of Maryland and their service in the Revolutionary War.

History

Bethesda is situated along a major thoroughfare that was originally the route of an ancient Native American trail. Between 1805 and 1820, it was developed into a toll road called the Washington and Rockville Turnpike, which carried tobacco and other products between Georgetown and Rockville, and north to Frederick. A small settlement grew around a store and tollhouse along the turnpike.

By 1862, the community was known as “Darcy’s Store” after the owner of a local establishment, William E. Darcy. The settlement was renamed in 1871 by the new postmaster, Robert Franck, after the Bethesda Meeting House, a Presbyterian church built in 1820 on the present site of the Cemetery of the Bethesda Meeting House. The church burnt in 1849 and was rebuilt the
same year about 100 yards south at its present site.

Maryland's Historic Toll Road still features stone mile markers alongside it. The one pictured above is featured on Jug Bridge in Frederick.

The Maryland Flag

The Maryland flag is the only state flag that features British heraldic banners, (the coat of arms of noble families). It was officially adopted in 1904.

It displays the arms of George Calvert, the first Lord Baltimore. The alternating yellow and black are from Lord Calvert's family shield.

The red and white design is from Calvert's maternal family, the Crosslands. There are historians that believe those colors could represent his wife's family, the Mynnes.

The Unique British influenced Maryland Flag

Economy

Maryland's economy continues to outperform the country as a whole. Information technology, telecommunications, and aerospace and defense are leading forces behind Maryland's economic growth. In the biotechnology area, Maryland is a noted leader and is at the center in the mapping of the human genome and commercial applications that result from its research.


Maryland continues to invest in education in order to prepare the State for growth in sectors requiring highly educated workers. In the nation, Maryland ranks second in the percentage of professional and technical workers, and is poised to gain both defense and nondefense contracts for medical research, aircraft development, and security.


One of the largest financial contributers to Marylands successful economy is Downtown Baltimore.
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