Montgomery County is Maryland's most populated county and the most affluent. Called the "Gateway to the Nation's Capital,' Montgomery County was established in 1776 and named for General Richard Montgomery. With over 30,000 acres of parks and public gardens in the county, there is something for everyone whether they are walkers, joggers, equestrians, bicyclists, fishermen, tennis players, or skateboarders.
Gardening enthusiasts can stop and smell the roses at Brookside Gardens, an award-winning 50-acre garden in Wheaton Regional Park. McCrillis Gardens has a shade garden, many flowering shrubs, and ornamental trees, while Nature Centers, located at Brookside Gardens, Locust Grove or Meadowside offer camps, learning activities and exhibits. Golfing enthusiasts can have tee time at more than a dozen challenging and exciting courses. Residents can also hike or bike along the towpaths of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal or enjoy a ride in a mule-drawn canal ride in Georgetown and Great Falls.
Area points of interest include the Agricultural History Farm Park with its farmhouse and barn, allowing visitors to see what farm life was like "in the good old days." Clara Barton National Historic Site explores the life and times of the founder of the American Red Cross. Visitors can take a trolley ride at the National Capital Trolley Museum where there are antique streetcars from around the world. The Woodend Mansion, built in 1928, was designed by John Russell Pope who also designed the Jefferson Memorial. The Georgian Revival structure is on the National Register of Historic Places and is the home of the Audubon Naturalist Society. Art galleries and theatres are located throughout Montgomery County. These include the longest running children's theater at Adventure Theatre at Glen Echo Park, the Black Rock Center for the Arts, Glenview Mansion Art Gallery, Rockview Arts Place, and the Gaithersburg Art Barn.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is housed in what was once the Naval Ordnance Laboratory and now called the Federal Research Center at White Oak. Ironically, White Oak was the home of naturalist Rachel Carson while she wrote Silent Spring, the book that lead to the FDA's ban of the pesticide DDT. Nearby Rachel Carson Conservation Park is a tribute to her with open space for walking, bird watching, picnicking and bike riding.
Montgomery County events include summer concerts, the Wings of Fancy Live Butterfly Show, the Montgomery County Agricultural Fair, art exhibits, parades, the Shaker Forest Festival, Oktoberfest, antique fairs, Butlerís Orchard Pumpkin Festival, craft fairs, car shows, Maryland's Emancipation Day, the Festival of Lights, and the Blacksmith Christmas Show complete with a Civil War Santa Claus.
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