Just a couple of miles north of Washington DC, Silver Spring in Maryland could be your base when visiting the national capital. The largest Maryland urban center, Baltimore, is also near. Still, the unincorporated town with a population of around 70,000 also has plenty of things to do, and it is definitely worth a day visit.
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Silver Spring attractions
Silver Spring is a small community but with a rich history. Francis Preston Blair, one of the founders of the Republican Party, discovered a spring and made the first mansion in the area where he moved from nearby Washington’s noise in 1854. The town on the site was founded in 1899, but the historic Baltimore & Ohio railroad station opened in 1873. The station is in the register of historic places, and it is one of the city attractions. The current station was built on that site in 1945, and it was operational until the year 2000.
Wheaton Regional Park is a large public area with picnic tables, around 11 miles of trails, small Pine Lake, and Adventure Playground. You can ride on a replica of the 1863 C.P. Huntington engine train or walk through Brookside Gardens. Among other amenities, Wheaton has an indoor tennis court, dog park, and Ice Arena.
Matthew Henson State Park is a public area and trail along the Turkey Branch, a creek and tributary of Rock Creek. The main attraction is a Matthew Henson trail for both hiking and biking.
Silver Spring is home to The Fillmore, a popular music venue and bar with 2,000 capacity and a great live music program. Among iconic artists performed in Fillmore are Jefferson Airplane, The Doors, Santana, Grateful Dead, and many others.
The county is a home for respectable Great Shoals Winery that produces wines, ciders, and sparkling wine. The winery has many awards, and you can visit the tasting room and try more than 20 wines.
AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center hosts artistic performances, events, film, movie, and video programs. It is also home to a world-known AFI docs festival with an 18-year tradition.
Museums in Silver Spring MD
One of the oldest museums in the area is the National Museum of Health and Medicine, dating back to the Civil War. Now you can explore 150 years of military medicine, a vast collection of valuable items and artifacts. You can learn about combat wounds, but also forensics and vaccine development.
Gateway to NOAA is an exhibition from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration that shows how NOAA controls, manages resources, and protects the marine environment. The collection is divided into five sections, and one of them has an interactive display for ocean exploration.
Buddhist temple Maryland Silver Spring
If you are not the museum type, there is a diverse religious population in the area with catholic, episcopal, orthodox, and other large churches you can visit. Perhaps the most interesting is the Wat Thai DC Buddhist Temple. Built-in 1974, it is the center of Thai Buddhism in Washington and Maryland. The temple has a meditation and worship hall and room for social events and community gatherings.
Downtown Silver Spring ice skating
If you visit Maryland in winter, downtown hosts Silver Spring Ice Skating Rink. Although small in size, it is one of the town’s main community winter attractions. It is an outdoor arena, but with the roof so snow, rain or sun will not bother the skaters. The top also has speakers and a multicolored light system. Among amenities are nearby bars and restaurants, and you can rent skates and penguin-like balancers for small kids. The ice-skating rink is located at Veterans Plaza.
Silver Spring and its location on the upmost northern tip of Washington DC can be a gateway for a tour of the most critical US political places. Before heading down to the White House, make esta check status your routine for a couple of days. Once you get approval, it is valid for two years, and you can visit America for up to 90 days.
Some residents consider Silver Spring as part of Washington DC, but the unincorporated town is in the state of Maryland. There are two significant green public areas to explore. Community theater AFI cultural center and two notable museums produce most cultural events. You can explore the rich history of the town in museums. Visit the railroad museum, browse through the vibrant restaurant scene, and show your skating ability downtown in cold months.