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DC Metro: 🚊 Rocking Over to Rockville Maryland

DC Metro: 🚊 Rocking Over to Rockville Maryland

Old Mar 3rd, 2024, 12:27 PM
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DC Metro: 🚊 Rocking Over to Rockville Maryland

Hello Fodor’s

This brief trip report is from this morning! Although I live in Montreal, I’m at my mother’s currently in Northern Virginia helping around the house on spring break. She was busy with a prayer group in the morning and the day was beautiful, so I opted to go on a half-day mini-adventure. The plan was to pick a stop and community on the DC metro system that I’d never been to before and check out the environs. I had fun looking up the vicinities of a few stops
like Bethesda, Silver Spring, Largo and Reston but eventually decided on Rockville, as the town center seemed close to the station and there seemed to also be some historical buildings nearby from my cursory look and I do tend to appreciate those.

The outing could not have been cheaper. Metro was $4 round trip and no money was spent on gas as I pedalled from my mother’s home by bike to East Falls Church metro! East Falls Church Metro was great in that they had bicycle parking right in front; the station even has a protected indoor bike parking area with registered card access for those concerned their fancier bikes might get stolen. I noticed some bringing their bike on the metro, a possible idea for a future outing (I’ve always wanted to bike along the Potomac path).

*Rockville*

At first, I wondered if I had made a good choice as the view from the Rockville station was of some
generic multi-storey buildings and looked quite modern; walking down Middle Lane I noticed a number of chains. However, I did appreciate that there seemed to be some pedestrian-friendliness and interesting variety of restaurants with even a pedestrian walkway between some buildings.

My initial walking goal was to get to the Beall Dawson house, a museum home built in 1819 by Upton Beall, as I suspected that home would be in a more charming, historic area. And I was not mistaken in my suspicions. Arriving here, I was delighted to see plaques with a map and QR code providing a self-guided “walking tour of historic Rockville” with also plaques detailing the African American history of the neighbourhood. Of note, the Beall Dawson home does have tours, but only on Saturday; the home still I found worth seeing on a non-Saturday as it’s in a lovely green park, has red brick sidewalks and I equally enjoyed seeing some surrounding buildings, such as the very cute office of a certain Dr. Stonestreet built in 1850, who it was noted attended to many Union soldiers who were seriously wounded in the horrific civil war Battle of Antietam.

I pretty much followed the designated suggested streets and points of interest on the self-guided walking tour for my time there. The Christ Episcopal Church was an interesting spot; apparently, when Confederate general J.E.B. Stuart passed through Rockville on the way north, Union supporters such as John Higgins were sought but fled to the safety of the church but it appears they were ratted out by somebody as John’s wife Dora was followed by a Confederate soldier when she was carrying a message to her husband and others.

Rockville was designated county seat in 1776, so has government buildings as well. Of these, the Red Brick Courthouse I found particularly handsome with a statue and lovely green area with red brick circular pathway. My favourite part of the path was the many benches present, with the creative and unique touch that each bench seat back in metal had an engraved quote from a poet or author.

Certainly, don’t go expecting something similar to other historic spots in greater DC such as old town Alexandria or even Fredericksburg which have a tourist infrastructure. This said, even though historic Rockville is low-key and I suspect I was possibly the only person doing the walking tour I did that day, the whole experience was really a delightful way to spend a few hours, what with history as well as some lovely park spaces.

Happy travels, Daniel


Last edited by Daniel_Williams; Mar 3rd, 2024 at 12:39 PM.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2024, 12:30 PM
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Dr. Stonestreet’s Office

Red Brick Courthouse

Benches with quotes from poets (Zoom in to see a lovely one from Wordsworth)

Beall-Dawson House
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Old Mar 3rd, 2024, 01:29 PM
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Nice.

I need to go to a 1 day conference in Rockville in a few weeks and am afraid I’ll only see the inside of a hotel conference center. Since i’ll be staying in DC it’ll be a same day out and back by Red Metro. I’ll look up the location of these sights on google maps and see if i can break free if even just for a walk over lunch.
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Old Mar 4th, 2024, 05:42 AM
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Thanks J62

I know how it can be difficult to find a moment to slip outside during a conference; here’s hoping you get a chance for a small outing.
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Old Mar 4th, 2024, 10:34 AM
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You do such great trip reports, can make any place sound interesting. I live in the area and think Rockville is not very nice/attractive at all. I had to do jury duty there once for days and really got tired of that area. I'm sure there are some residential areas that are nice enough.

There aren't any really great spots right on the metro line outside DC (Old Town, of course), actually. If you want another one, I'd probably suggest Takoma Park on the other part of the red line. Of course, yu can get to Udvar Hazy air and space museum by bus from the Innovation Ctr silver line stop. You probalby already knew about that.

https://airandspace.si.edu/visit/udv...ter/directions

https://historictakoma.org/walking-t...0tours%20below.

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Old Mar 4th, 2024, 11:56 AM
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Daniel--I don't know whether you have ever visited Brookside Gardens in MD but that might be a good outing for you some time when you are in D.C.
We have always driven there but you can take the Metro to the Glenmont stop and then walk or take a bus.
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Old Mar 4th, 2024, 01:34 PM
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Christina—I appreciated your first-hand experience comments from your jury duty time in Rockville, as well as the Udvar Hazy Air & Space Museum and Takoma Park suggestion. I went to the Air & Space museum in DC many times as a boy, as I was passionate about the planetary probes such as Voyager 1 and 2, but actually had not heard of the one you mentioned in Virginia. I suspect I would like it! Vttraveller— Thanks for reading and also for the Brookside Gardens idea. My mother told me she has been to them.
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Old Mar 4th, 2024, 02:04 PM
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The one in Virginia has more space so they have some bigger planes and stuff in that one. You can get to it by public transportation, anyway.

Oh, I forgot, old town Greenbelt might be worth a visit. It is historical in that it was one of those planned communities, part of the New Deal.

https://www.greenbeltmuseum.org/greenbelt-history

You can book a walking tour through Greenbelt Museum. Now that is on the other side of DC so a long trip, you'd have to take the orange line (presuming you are on that) to l'Enfant Plaza downtown, then take the Green line to Greenbelt stop. From there, you take the PG COunty bus 11, not too far

https://www.princegeorgescountymd.go...dules/route-11
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Old Mar 5th, 2024, 10:17 AM
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Another nice one, Daniel_Williams. When I moved to Greenbelt in 1969, there was a moratorium on sewer building in Montgomery County. The area around Rockville was pretty farm country. Glad "they" kept Rockville's history intact when all development h*all broke loose later. Thanks, Daniel!

(Hope your mom is doing well.)
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Old Mar 5th, 2024, 01:06 PM
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Hi tdudette—

Interesting to think that areas near Rockville were farm land not so long ago, as is certainly true of communities on the Virginia side of DC as well. I’m not sure who the “they” is that cared enough about the history of Rockville to make some plaques with walking tour highlights but they must have made them fairly recently given the QR codes on the plaques with links to the map. I was certainly glad that they did, as I undoubtedly would have floundered more otherwise deciding where to walk. (Thanks for thinking about my Mom. She tells people she’s rattling on but she remains as before delightful to be around, always thoughtful and a good storyteller.)
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Old Mar 7th, 2024, 07:23 AM
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Tdudette— It just occurred to me that it was probably a typo (I think?) and you meant to write “moratorium on newer building” not “sewer building”. (My posts I know have typos galore so this is not a criticism. )When I first read it, I remember thinking it odd: why would Montgomery County put a moratorium on the building of sewers? Lol
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