Destination Main Streets

Bethesda, Maryland

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Bethesda is Maryland's second largest downtown due in part to Washington, DC's subway system. Its red line runs underneath the city, giving the area the transit needed to build the dense and walkable community of high rise offices and apartments located there today. However, in years past, despite a plethora of shops and restaurants spread throughout town, Bethesda seemed to lack a strong core of activity, making the area eerily quiet on weekend afternoons.

Bethesda Row is a major redevelopment project in the heart of Bethesda.
Bethesda Row is a major redevelopment project in the heart of Bethesda.

That changed a few years ago with a major redevelopment project along Bethesda and Woodmont Avenues. Called Bethesda Row, it has brought more retail, restaurants, and entertainment to the area. But more importantly, it has created a strong feeling of an active Main Street in downtown Bethesda. A much deserved accomplishment for one of the most affluent areas in the state. And the redevelopment isn't over yet. New shops, restaurants and apartments are being constructed at the intersection of Bethesda Avenue and Arlington Road.

Bethesda's shops and cafes tend to be high-end. But the density of the area provides shoppers with a wide variety of choices from specialty boutiques, to art galleries, to familiar chains. Although the main concentration of stores is in the Bethesda Row area, there are still dozens of others found around the area, especially in the Woodmont Triangle community just north of Bethesda Row.

Bethesda has plenty to do and see to fill an entire afternoon or maybe an evening. Many of the shops are open late on Fridays and Saturdays, which along with plenty of restaurants, help give Bethesda its reputation for an active nightlife. And if you are looking for more places to explore, head south on Wisconsin Avenue. You'll hit the Chevy Chase area, which has two small malls, located across the street from one another featuring a wide array of shopping from the ultra chic to the bargain basement. A little further south is Georgetown, the ultimate Washington, DC Main Street.

Retail Hours

Bethesda is Maryland's second largest downtown.
Bethesda is Maryland's second largest downtown.

Stores are open seven days a week. Many stores don't close until late.

Parking

If you drive to Bethesda, you'll have to pay for parking, but there are plenty of garages that are easy to access. Of course, you could always take the Metro subway which has a stop in Bethesda along the red line.

Restrooms

Restrooms for customers are located inside Barnes & Noble.

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Attractions

The Capital Crescent Trail runs right through the Bethesda Row area. It seems like an odd place to find a trail until you realize that it was once part of the B&O's Georgetown Branch railroad that traveled between suburban Silver Spring, Maryland and Georgetown in Washington, DC.

But if you're looking for an activity a little less strenuous check out the movie theaters at
Bethesda Row Cinema (7235 Woodmont Avenue, 301-652-7273).

Events

The Bethesda Row Arts Festival is held every year, usually in October, and features around two hundred artists displaying their work on the streets of Bethesda Row.

Tips

If you continue north, Wisconsin Avenue turns into Rockville Pike. Drive past the suburban strip shopping centers and head to Rockville Town Square, a walkable transit-oriented development in the heart of downtown Rockville. You can also get there by taking the Metro Red Line north towards Shady Grove.

Or for something more historic, head south on Wisconsin Avenue. At the intersection of Wisconsin Avenue and M Street is Georgetown, which is Washington, DC's premier shopping district.

Location

Bethesda is served by the red line of Washington's Metro subway system.
Bethesda is served by the red line of Washington's Metro subway system.

Bethesda is about 38 miles away from Baltimore, Maryland and only a couple miles away from the Washington, DC line. But give yourself plenty of time because DC traffic can be unpredictable, especially on the Capitol Beltway (I-495).

To get there, take I-95 to I-495. Take exit 33 for Connecticut Avenue (Maryland Route 185) towards Chevy Chase/Kensington. Turn left to head south on Connecticut Avenue. Turn right at Jones Bridge Road. Turn left at Rockville Pike. Veer right towards Woodmont Avenue. This will take you straight to Bethesda Row, the best place to start your trip to Bethesda.

Bethesda is also served by the red line of the Washington Metro rapid transit system.

External Links

www.downtownbethesda.com
www.bethesdarow.com
www.bethesda.org

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Directory

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Accessories

J. McLaughlin (4851 Bethesda Avenue, 301-951-5272)
Lou Lou (7115 Arlington Road, 301-652-0048)
Lululemon (4856 Bethesda Avenue, 301-652-0574)
Luna (7232 Woodmont Avenue, 301-656-1111)
Sassanova (7134 Bethesda Lane, 301-654-7403)
Tickled Pink (4867 Bethesda Avenue, 301-913-9191)

Apparel

Coco Mio (4700 Bethesda Avenue, 301-652-0650)
Ginger (7114 Bethesda Lane, 301-664-9242)
J. McLaughlin (4851 Bethesda Avenue, 301-951-5272)
Lucy (7122 Bethesda Lane, 301-656-3106)
Lululemon (4856 Bethesda Avenue, 301-652-0574)
Luna (7232 Woodmont Avenue, 301-656-1111)
Pirjo (4821 Bethesda Avenue, 301-986-1775)
Tickled Pink (4867 Bethesda Avenue, 301-913-9191)
Urban Chic (7126 Bethesda Lane, 301-657-0290)
Wear It Well (4816 Bethesda Avenue, 301-652-3713)

Books

Barnes & Noble (4801 Bethesda Avenue, 301-986-1761)
Big Planet Comics (4908 Fairmont Avenue, 301-654-6856)

Children's

Yiro (4823 Bethesda Avenue, 301-654-2412)

Coffee and Dessert

Cacao Fine European Chocolates (7129 Bethesda Lane, 301-215-6945)
Dolcezza Gelato (7111 Bethesda Lane, 301-215-9226)
Dunkin' Donuts (4810 Bethesda Avenue, 301-652-4747)
Giffords Ice Cream (7237 Woodmont Avenue, 301-907-3436)
Quartermaine Coffee Roasters (4817 Bethesda Avenue, 301-718-2853)

Dining

Assaggi Restaurant Mozzarella Bar (4838 Bethesda Avenue, 301-951-1988)
Austin Grill (7278 Woodmont Avenue, 301-656-1366)
Baja Fresh Mexican Grill (4930 Elm Street, 240-497-0660)
Bethesda Bagels (4819 Bethesda Avenue, 301-652-8990)
Cafe Deluxe (4910 Elm Street, 301-656-3131)
Chicken Out Rotisserie (4839 Bethesda Avenue, 301-907-8646)
City Lights of China (4820 Bethesda Avenue, 301-913-9501)
Cosi (7251 Woodmont Avenue, 301-652-6098)
Cameron's Seafood Market (4831 Bethesda Avenue, 301-951-1000)
Delhi Dhaba (7236 Woodmont Avenue, 301-718-0008)
Dunkin' Donuts (4810 Bethesda Avenue, 301-652-4747)
Green Papaya Bethesda (4922 Elm Street, 301-654-8241)
Jaleo (7271 Woodmont Avenue, 301-913-0003)
Le Pain Quotidien (7140 Bethesda Lane, 301-913-2902)
Lebanese Taverna (7141 Arlington Road, 301-951-8681)
Levante's (7262 Woodmont Avenue, 301-657-2441)
Mamma Lucia's (4916 Elm Street, 301-907-3399)
Mon Ami Gabi (7239 Woodmont Avenue, 301-654-1234)
Organic To Go (4832 Bethesda Avenue, 301-656-1590)
Parker's Classic American (4824 Bethesda Avenue, 301-654-6366)
Raku (7240 Woodmont Avenue, 301-718-8680)
Redwood Restaurant and Bar (7121 Bethesda Lane, 301-656-5515)
Rio Grande Avenue (4870 Bethesda Avenue, 301-656-2981)
Sweet Green (4831 Bethesda Avenue, 301-654-7336)
Tara Thai (4828 Bethesda Avenue, 301-657-0488)
Taylor Gourmet (7280 Woodmont Avenue, 301-951-9001)

Electronics

Apple Store (4860 Bethesda Avenue, 301-634-0880)
Ritz Camera (7263 Woodmont Avenue, 301-652-5646)
Bang & Olufsen (7243 Woodmont Avenue, 301-951-5870)

Galleries

Discovery Galleries (4840 Bethesda Avenue, 301-913-9199)
Discovery Too (7247 Woodmont Avenue, 301-913-9101)

Gift Shops

Bella Italia (4844 Bethesda Avenue, 301-654-2667)
The Waygoose (4848 Bethesda Avenue, 301-656-1768)

Gourmet

Bella Italia (4844 Bethesda Avenue, 301-654-2667)
Taylor Gourmet (7280 Woodmont Avenue, 301-951-9001)

Health and Beauty

Aveda Salon and Spa (4807 Bethesda Avenue, 301-652-1610)
bluemercury (7105 Bethesda Lane, 301-986-0070)

Hobbies

Ritz Camera (7263 Woodmont Avenue, 301-652-5646)

Home Furnishings

Design Within Reach (4828 St. Elmo Avenue, 301-215-7200)
La Creuset (7116 Bethesda Lane, 301-718-1885)
Picture Frame Shop (4835 Bethesda Avenue, 301-654-5151)
Urban Country (7117 Arlington Road, 301-654-0500)
Vivi (7254 Woodmont Avenue, 301-656-5626)
The Waygoose (4848 Bethesda Avenue, 301-656-1768)

Jewelry

Amethyst (4806 Bethesda Avenue, 301-907-6871)
Cecile Jeanne Paris (7249 Woodmont Avenue, 301-652-5333)
Lou Lou (7115 Arlington Road, 301-652-0048)
Luna (7232 Woodmont Avenue, 301-656-1111)

Sporting Goods

City Sports (7121 Arlington Road, 301-718-1007)
Fitness Resource (7025 Arlington Road, 301-656-7771)

Stationary

The Papery (4852 Bethesda Avenue, 240-497-1420)

Toys and Games

Yiro (4823 Bethesda Avenue, 301-654-2412)

Wine

Cork & Fork (7110 Bethesda Lane, 301-841-7204)
Taylor Gourmet (7280 Woodmont Avenue, 301-951-9001)

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