What to do and see in Bethesda, United States: The Best Places and Tips

October 23, 2017 Joeann Galban

Bethesda is an unincorporated, census-designated place in southern Montgomery County, Maryland, United States, located just northwest of the U.S. capital of Washington, D.C. It takes its name from a local church, the Bethesda Meeting House (1820, rebuilt 1849), which in turn took its name from Jerusalem's Pool of Bethesda. In Aramaic, ܒܝܬ ܚܣܕܐ beth ḥesda means "House of Mercy" and in Hebrew, בית חסד‬ "beit ḥesed" means "House of Kindness". The National Institutes of Health main campus and the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center are in Bethesda, as are a number of corporate and government headquarters.
Restaurants in Bethesda

1. Audubon Naturalist Society Woodend Sanctuary

8940 Jones Mill Rd, Chevy Chase, MD 20815-4725 +1 301-652-9188
Excellent
77%
Good
20%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 30 reviews

Audubon Naturalist Society Woodend Sanctuary

Reviewed By JEBBEJ - Chevy Chase, Maryland

I live very near the Woodland Sanctuary and besides its beauty and wonderful wildlife and vegetation, the people are gracious and caring. Thanks to the proximity, I get to go there frequently. Even when I don't thanks to being close I see the most wonderful array of birds and butterflies in my back yard. I urge everyone to support its goals and projects.

2. Washington D.C. Temple Visitors' Center

9900 Stoneybrook Dr, Kensington, MD 20895-3149 +1 301-587-0144
Excellent
87%
Good
7%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 63 reviews

Washington D.C. Temple Visitors' Center

Reviewed By Maggie G - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Such a beautiful, peaceful place to visit. Lovely tour guides and beautiful views of the temple. Easy to get to. Parking is plentiful and free.

3. Strathmore

5301 Tuckerman Ln, Bethesda, MD 20852-3385 +1 301-581-5100
Excellent
77%
Good
19%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 221 reviews

Strathmore

Reviewed By mrdesign - Washington,Dc

Have attended numerous events at Strathmore and all were delightful. Convenient parking close by, inside acoustics are very good, they offer a wide range of events, snacks/drinks are lovely, and in summer the outdoor concerts are fun.

4. Lincoln Memorial

2 Lincoln Memorial Cir NW, Washington DC, DC 20037 (202) 426-6841
Excellent
78%
Good
18%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 26 reviews

Lincoln Memorial

Reviewed By internationalmama - Wooster, Ohio

We took our friend from Zambia to DC, and she was so interested in seeing the Lincoln Memorial, as this President is known world-wide. I'd been there previously, but visiting again gave me a new appreciation for the simple beauty, something President Lincoln would have loved. It's a great place to bring families to talk about the price that was paid to keep this country unified.

5. Cabin John Regional Park

7400 Tuckerman Lane, Bethesda, MD 20817 +1 301-299-0024
Excellent
58%
Good
38%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
0%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 134 reviews

Cabin John Regional Park

Reviewed By BT20812 - Bethesda, Maryland

There is lots of playground equipment, but the highlight is the train ride. You may have to wait, but it's worth it. The playground is divided into different areas for different age groups. The only problem with the park is that it is so good that it is very crowded, especially on weekends. Enjoy!

6. Imagination Stage

4908 Auburn Ave, Bethesda, MD 20814-2629 +1 301-961-6060
Excellent
73%
Good
25%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 39 reviews

Imagination Stage

Imagination Stage is the largest and most respected multi-disciplinary theatre arts organization for young people in the Mid-Atlantic region. We offer a year-round season of professional shows (adult actors performing for families and classes), after-school programs and summer camps for ages 1-18, and arts-integration professional development training for teachers, students, schools, and families. All of our programs are informed by our core belief in making the arts inclusive and accessible to all children, regardless of their physical, cognitive, or financial status.

Reviewed By Theron T - Washington DC, District of Columbia

Luckily for us the Imagination Stage is only 15 minutes from home. This theater was founded to make arts accessible to children and in this regard it shines. From wonderful shows to classes, this place has it all.

Pros: location (Bethesda), physical space, variety of shows, engaged and friendly staff, prices

Cons: none.

If your son or daughter is an aspiring actor, singer, dancer, or just full of wonder come on in and see a show. You'll be glad you did.

7. Clemyjontri Park

6317 Georgetown Pike, McLean, VA 22101-2209 +1 703-388-2807
Excellent
85%
Good
11%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 87 reviews

Clemyjontri Park

Reviewed By liwaa84 - Alexandria, Virginia

If you have kids between 2 and 12, this is the best and perfect place to them They will spent unforgettable 2 hours Very clean and uncluttered enjoyable place Highly recommended

8. Vietnam Veterans Memorial

5 Henry Bacon Dr NW, Washington DC, DC 20242 +1 202-426-6841
Excellent
75%
Good
19%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 9 reviews

Vietnam Veterans Memorial

Emotionally stirring memorial pays tribute to the men and women who served in one of America's most controversial wars.

Reviewed By hisons - California

This was my second visit here, but the first with our 13 and 10 year olds. My oldest daughter couldn't believe how many names (and lives lost) are on the memorial. It makes for a good discussion about war, and why or why not such a thing happens. Paying respects is important, and this is so beautifully done...names etched forever.

9. Round House Theatre

4545 E West Hwy, Bethesda, MD 20814-3309 +1 240-644-1100
Excellent
59%
Good
38%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
3%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 31 reviews

Round House Theatre

Reviewed By Elan H - Aspen Hill, Maryland

Fantastic plays and musicals of all kinds produced in this traditional theater space but with innovative and modern themed American plays. The acting is superior - no need to go to DC theaters anymore. The set designs are outstanding, music, lights, and special effects amazing as well. The House Management keeps the place running smoothly and the ushers are friendly too. Free parking on weekends at a nearby public parking garage. Don't pass up the fine plays at this local gem.

10. Bethesda Row

4950 Elm St, Bethesda, MD 20814-2923 +1 301-998-8389
Excellent
73%
Good
27%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 11 reviews

Bethesda Row

Reviewed By Hgtravl - Marlton, New Jersey

Bethesda Row is a great outdoor shopping mall area. It has a large selection of high end shops and wonderful restaurants in a picturesque neighborhood wonderfully decorated for the holidays.

The area is beautiful, clean, and safe. We came during December and really enjoyed all the Christmas lights, and large Christmas tree in the middle of the cobblestone pathway. There are shops lined on the street near the row, and the actual outdoor mall area is in a closed off cobblestone area only shoppers can access, no cars. We had no issue with parking, as there are numerous parking garages all along the outdoor mall area.

I can only image how beautiful it would be to walk around here during a warm summers night with the lights and decorations. Very quiet and peaceful outdoor mall shopping area for sure.

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