Located near the Maryland border just 30 minutes outside of Washington, DC (or 50 minutes outside of Baltimore) is Rockville, a thriving suburb with lots going for it.
Rockville is huge, with a population of over 60,000, and its location at the center of I-270 means no matter where you are, it’s usually pretty easy to get where you want to be.
If you’re a long-time resident looking for something new, or just visiting for a few hours, it doesn’t matter. This is everything you need to check out when you’re in Rockville. If you think Rockville is just built-up shopping and overpriced apartments for DC commuters, you’re absolutely mistaken!
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You do not have to drive into DC to get a good drink. Rockville has some great choices, whether you’re looking for local beer or spirits.
7 Locks Brewing
7 Locks Brewing has a huge list of beers both on-top or in the can, and while they don’t serve food, on weekends or during events you can expect to see a food truck – or two! – in the parking lot. They do theme nights, like trivia, or have live music on weekends. It’s a great low-key date night.
World of Beer
Check out the World of Beer on Montgomery Ave if you really want a selection. They seriously boast over 500 beers from around the world. It’s a chain, sure, but it’s still a really fun experience.
More Rockville Breweries
- Saints Row Brewing
- True Respite Brewing Company
- Lone Oaks Farm Brewing Compan
Twin Valley Distillers claims to be one of Maryland’s first distilleries, and home of Maryland’s first bourbon. I don’t know enough about bourbon history to dispute it, but I do know they do it well. Just as well as what you’d get in Kentucky!
They have a peanut butter whiskey made on-site but I truly cannot get down with that.
Try the “Dirty Apples” Apple Cinnamon Whiskey if you want something classic, or the Hibiscus Sorrel Rum if you want something a little different.
These two might be my favorite, but they’re not the only choices.
Get away with green space and sunshine!
If you’re looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the city, Rockville does have something to offer you! Lake Needwood is great for fishing, boating, or hiking through the forest, and it’s part of the larger Rock Creek Regional Park, which is over 1,800 acres.
It also includes Lake Frank, and has hiking, playgrounds, and even a boat rental if you want to get out on the lake itself. I like packing lunch and watching the water.
Croydon Creek Nature Center
Croydon Creek Nature Center is over 100 protected acres of meadows, forest, and – as the name suggests – creeks. It’s great to bring kids to splash and play in, or enjoy the flowing water.
More Rockville Parks
- Fallsgrove Stream Valley Park (over 50 acres)
- Montrose Park, Maryvale Park (has a pond)
- Monument Park (has a huge playground and rock art)
Rockville has great shopping
Some people associate Rockville with higher-end shopping, and they’re not wrong. There are some really great, and fun, shopping choices .
Rockville Town Square
My favorite is Rockville Town Square, which has shopping, dining, and fun – check out the ice rink in the winter! Cottage Monet is adorable and carries a huge selection of Vera Bradley stuff if you’re into paisley, or check out Carpe Librum Bookstore, one of my favorite locally-owned bookstores.
Color Me Mine is a paint-your-own ceramics shop that does walk-ins and private parties, and Hammer & Stain is a similar concept, but with woodworking.
Restaurants in Rockville
Dawson’s Market is huge, and fun to stroll through even if you aren’t looking for dinner ingredients – it’s over 15,000 square feet of local cheese, meats, baked goods, and more.
Hole in the wall East Dumpling House has really excellent food. It’s authentic, a great price, and the dumplings are on point… but I’ll be honest, I’ve never met a dumpling I didn’t like. Try the chicken and mushroom dumplings for sure!
Federal Plaza has a rare Micro Center (if you know, you know), as well as my favorite chain diner in the area, Silver Diner, which focuses on local or organic products in a diner-style setting. There’s also a World Market, which is always fun to stop into.
Rockville Antique Stores
China Luban Art and Antique is a unique antique store and auction house in Rockville specializing in Chinese art, furniture, and more.
Kensington Antique Row is just outside of Rockville itself but only barely, and it boasts a huge selection of antique goods and shops.
Thrift Stores in Rockville
There are also three thrift stores where the proceeds go to a good cause – Waggings Tails Thrift & Gifts, Planet Aid Thrift Store, and Life4Animals Thrift Shop.
Unique things to do in Rockville
If you’re not interested in shopping and you’re killing time until you grab a drink, don’t worry, Rockville still has you covered.
The Earth Treks location in Rockville is huge, and offers bouldering as well as top rope. You can rent shoes and a chalk bag, so all you need is yourself!
It’s right off of Rockville Pike, and two blocks away is Japong Bakery, which has some of the best Japanese-inspired baked goods in the area. The puffs are to die for, and the cheesecakes are super fluffy and light.
Ding Tea next door might not look like much from the outside, but it’s got really excellent Taiwanese-style teas.
Go Ape Zipline and Adventure Park
Go Ape Zipline and Adventure Park is technically a chain, just like Earth Treks, but it’s so much fun it’s worth visiting. It’s located within the Rock Creek Regional Park, and you really get that wilderness exploration vibe. It’s a little pricey at $60 for adults, but it’s 2-3 hours of climbing, ziplining, going through obstacle courses, and even ax throwing. Honestly, it’s a little off the beaten path, but it’s so much fun with a group of friends!
Theater in Rockville MD
Rockville Little Theatre
Maybe you’re not interested in being involved in something. Rockville Little Theatre is opening back up! A local theatre production made up of mostly volunteers, they do numerous shows each year and are really a great cornerstone of the community.
F. Scott Fitzgerald Theatre
If there’s nothing in the Rockville Little Theatre you want to see, be sure to check out what the F. Scott Fitzgerald Theatre has on. It’s also got live, local theatre, and is much bigger, located within the Civic Center.
History in Rockville, VA
Like much of Maryland, Rockville is full of history – and they’re proud of it.
B&O Railroad Station
The B&O Railroad Station is one of the coolest historical sites. Built in 1873, this railroad station has stood the test of time. It’s now a museum and historical building, and it’s crazy to think about how many people have passed through it over hundreds of years.
On the grounds of the Civic Center sits the Glenview Mansion, a Neo-Classical Revival home that’s been on the National Registry for Historic Places for years.
It’s surrounded by over 25 acres of landscaped land, and public tours are free – though call ahead, because regulations change weekly.
The gardens surrounding the mansion are worth the trip by themselves.
More Museums near Rockville
Glenstone, an art museum, The National Museum of Health and Medicine, completely free to visit, and the National Capital Trolley Museum, which gives a fun look into the history of transportation in the DC metro area.
If you’ve got littles with you, be sure to check out The little Towns Playseum, which is full of interactive displays and learning, or the KID Museum.