Meeting and event planning in Montgomery County offers historic landmarks, beautiful scenery and diverse cities like Bethesda, Chevy Chase, Silver Spring, Rockville, Gaithersburg and Germantown. Montgomery County event venues benefit from being a short distance to Washington, DC, Baltimore, Annapolis and Northern Virginia. But while Montgomery County may serve as a gateway to Washington, DC, its affordability, accessibility, recreation and cultural wealth make it a meeting and convention destination all its own.
In fact, Montgomery County's accessible location puts it within 40 miles of three major airports, Ronald Reagan National Airport, Dulles International Airport and Baltimore Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport. Groups can also ride the Metrorail system, the second-busiest rapid transit system in the nation. Metrorail operates including 13 Red Line stations throughout Montgomery County on 106 miles of track along five lines; these serve 86 stations. Visitors can also ride Metrobus, which covers 150 square miles in DC, Maryland and Virginia, with service 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The Maryland Area Regional Commuter (MARC) train provides rail service throughout Maryland, Washington, DC and West Virginia, and also connects to both Metrobus and RIDE ON Montgomery County Transit.
The largest among Montgomery County meeting venues is the 447-room Bethesda North Marriott Hotel & Conference Center featuring nearly 50,000 square feet of total meeting space. Meeting venues include a 23,408-square-foot ballroom, 120-seat amphitheater and 20 meeting rooms.
Among Montgomery County special event venues and attractions featured, VisArts at Rockville, located in the heart of Rockville Town Square, is home to three galleries and resident artist spaces. VisArts is a dynamic nonprofit arts center that features educational programming for the public. Private events may be held in VisArts' Gibbs Street Gallery, Executive Conference Center and 2,500-square-foot Buchanan Event Room. In addition, one of Montgomery County's most beloved attractions, the Strathmore Music Center in North Bethesda, hosts world-renowned music and dance performances by international, national and local artists, as well as rotating fine art exhibitions and literary lectures. The Strathmore Music Center also welcomes private events at its two venues, including the turn-of-the-century Mansion at Strathmore and Music Center at Strathmore, which features soaring glass walls and windows overlooking the site's 11 acres of hills and lawns.
Nestled within Wheaton Regional Park, Brookside Gardens features a variety of garden spaces, including a Japanese Garden, Butterfly Garden and Rain Garden, as well as two conservatories. Brookside Gardens welcomes indoor private events in its Visitors Center and conservatory space, while outdoor private events can be held throughout the garden spaces. One of the largest professional theater companies in the DC area, Round House Theatre produces nearly 200 performances each year in its Bethesda and Silver Spring theaters. Round House Theatre welcomes private rentals in its 400-seat and 150-seat theaters, as well as its Education Center.
Many of Montgomery County's restaurants offer private event and group space. Located in North Bethesda, Seasons 52 creates healthy fare that evolves with the seasons. Groups can dine on healthy selections (nothing on the menu is over 475 calories) in the restaurant's four private dining options, patio or chef's table. Family owned and operated since 1977, Bethesda's Positano Ristorante Italiano features six private dining rooms, accommodating up to 600 guests, while Rockville's Mykonos Grill serves traditional Greek cuisine and offers a 50-person banquet facility. Also located in Rockville, the upscale vintage pizza bistro Matchbox is a Montgomery County favorite for group dining.
For information more specific to the immediate Washington area, learn more about about event planning in DC and find Washington, DC venues.
Montgomery County features a rich history, made evident by its many historical sites. Founded in 1776, the county ceded 36 square miles to the federal government in 1791 in order to create the nation's capital. County historical attractions include the National Capital Trolley Museum, which is dedicated to preserving and interpreting the history of Washington, DC's electric street railways. The museum displays historical exhibits and even takes visitors on street car rides through the beautiful Northwest Branch Park.
Montgomery County offers meeting participants a variety of urban environments, cultural diversity and outdoor recreation, as well as fantastic shopping and dining. All of the county's communities feature distinct flavors and highlights. Rockville, the county seat, is known for its historical charm, while Silver Spring is a lively arts and entertainment district bursting with cultural attractions, such as The Fillmore Silver Spring and AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center. Bethesda and Chevy Chase are renowned for their urban sophistication and variety of shops and eateries, while Potomac is one of the wealthiest communities in the country. Kensington is a historic community lined with elaborate Victorian homes and an antique row commercial area, while Wheaton is a downtown revitalization area bursting with arts and entertainment options. Germantown is one of the country's fastest-growing communities, while Gaithersburg features neo-traditional urban sophistication.
Even though Montgomery County is located adjacent to Washington, DC, it features a multitude of recreation options, thanks to 200 miles of trails and paths, nine golf courses, 33,602 acres of parkland, a national park, state park and nine regional parks. Outdoor recreation attractions include Go Ape! and the Adventure Park at Sandy Spring. Go Ape! is home to a treetop adventure course full of obstacles, Tarzan swings and the longest ziplines in the region (perfect for group events and team building), while the family-friendly Adventure Park offers an aerial forest adventure that is fun, exciting and safe for ages 7 and up. For a different kind of team building, Gaithersburg's 300 Shady Grove is a high energy, exciting entertainment venue that features state-of-the-art bowling lanes with multimedia screens at the end of each lane. As the only vineyard/winery in Montgomery County, Sugarloaf Mountain Winery welcomes guests and groups to take part in vineyard tours and tastings of its award-winning Bordeaux wines.
All average costs based on U.S. Government Per Diem rates as published by the U.S. General Services Administration.
Bethesda North Marriott Hotel & Conference Center
Located in North Bethesda, adjacent to the White Flint Metro station, the sprawling Bethesda North Marriott Hotel & Conference Center features nearly 50,000 square feet of total meeting space. Meeting spaces include a 23,408-square-foot ballroom (the fifth-largest ballroom in the metropolitan area), 120-seat amphitheater and 20 meeting rooms. Meeting amenities include on on-site business center, innovative catering options and audio-visual capabilities. The 447-guest-room hotel's amenities include a heated indoor pool and fitness center, as well as an on-site Starbucks, lounge and restaurant. The Bethesda North Marriott Hotel & Conference Center's location enables easy access to Rockville, Bethesda, Washington, DC and Northern Virginia; what's more, the hotel is in close proximity to three major airports, as it's located just 23 miles from Reagan National Airport, 25 miles from Dulles International airport and 36 miles from the Baltimore Washington International Theodore Marshall Airport.
The second-busiest rapid transit system in the nation, Metrorail serves 86 stations and operates on 106 miles of track, both above and below ground. Its five color-coded lines service the downtown Washington, DC, Virginia and Maryland. Thirteen Red Line stations serve Montgomery County, each leading into downtown DC.
Metrorail schedules vary based on time and day, with high frequency service being offered during peak hours weekdays from 5 to 9:30 AM and from 3 to 7 PM. Metrorail fares vary based on distance traveled. Regular fare, in effect weekdays from opening to 9:30 AM and from 3 to 7 PM and weekends from 2 AM to closing, is set at $1.95 minimum and $5 maximum. Reduced fare, applicable all other times, is $1.60 minimum and $2.75 maximum. Reduced fares are available for seniors. Children ages 4 and under ride free with each adult paying full fare.
Metrobus serves passengers 24 hours a day, seven days a week with 1,500 buses serving more than 12,000 stops and covering 150 square miles in DC, Maryland and Virginia.
Metrobus schedules vary based on route and location. Fares are $1.70 using cash and $1.50 using SmarTrip, Metro's permanent, rechargeable plastic cards. Express fares are $3.85 using cash and $3.65 using SmarTrip, while airport express routes are $6. Exact fare is required.
The MARC train is a commuter rail system that provides service in Maryland, Washington, DC and West Virginia. Serving eight million passengers annually, the MARC train operates along three lines on a 202-mile, 42-station system. The system connects to both Metrobus and RIDE ON Montgomery County Transit. Fares vary by destination.
As the primary public transportation system in Montgomery County, the RIDE ON bus system operates along 80 routes, including connecting service to Metrorail and Metrobus. RIDE ON operates daily; regular fare is $1.70 per passengers, while children under age 5 ride free.
The Bethesda Circular is a free, dependable, convenient hop-on, hop-off service throughout downtown Bethesda. Passengers can access Bethesda shops, theatres, restaurants and parking garages, as well as the Bethesda Metro station. The Bethesda Circulator runs Monday through Thursday from 7 AM to midnight, Friday from 7 AM to 2 AM and Saturday from 10 AM to 2 AM.
Montgomery County is served by the Rockville Amtrak platform, located at 307 Stonestreet Avenue. The Rockville platform is open Monday through Friday from 5:30 to 8:30 AM and 3:30 to 8:30 PM and provides access to the Capitol Limited route, which serves daily trips between Washington, DC and Chicago. Montgomery County visitors can also access the downtown DC Union Station Amtrak station, which serves 8 routes, including Acela Express, and is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Visitors can ride the Metrorail from Union Station to the Montgomery County area.
Montgomery County visitors can access the Silver Spring Greyhound station, located at 8100 Fenton Street, open daily from 7:30 AM to 9 PM. Baltimore Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport also features a Greyhound station, open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Reagan National Airport features rental car counters for Advantage, Alamo, Avis, Budget, Enterprise, Hertz and National; Dollar and Thrifty representatives are located off-airport. Dulles International Airport features rental car counters for Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Hertz, National and Thrifty, while Baltimore Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport features counters for Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Hertz, National and Thrifty.
Reagan National Airport passengers should expect to pay $55 in taxi fare from the airport to the Bethesda North Marriott Hotel & Conference Center, while Dulles International passengers should expect to pay $60 in taxi fare to the center and Baltimore Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport passengers should expect to pay $70 in taxi fare. Taxis are located near the baggage claim exits of each terminal at Reagan National, on the lower level of the main terminal at Dulles International and outside the baggage claim area at Baltimore Washington International.
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