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Potomac Maryland Summer Lists and Activities of things to do!

Bike Trails, Live Music, Festivities, and Comfy Family Staycations

Article by Jessica DeArmond

Photography by Provided

Originally published in Potomac Lifestyle

Local 4th of July Favorites

From Bike parades to craft beer escapades

1. Bike Through Kensington’s Fourth of July Bike Parade. Decorate your bikes, scooters, wagons, strollers, or anything on wheels. Roll over to St. Paul Park by 9:45am to participate in the bike parade. Follow the KVFD Fire Truck through the streets of town from 10am – 11am.

2. Enjoy Live Music, Food, and Fireworks at SummerFest. Celebrate America’s independence with friends and family at SummerFest, Gaithersburg’s illuminating summer festival on the expansive grounds of Bohrer Park at Summit Hall Farm. Featuring live music, food trucks and local breweries, and family-friendly activities, all leading up to a spectacular fireworks display and SummerGlo After Party.

3. Create Your Own Craft Beverage Tour. Sip and savor your way around farm-chic tasting rooms and sophisticated urban wineries. Grab a pint on a working horse farm or hit a few breweries along the red line metro. Try out local hard cider or sample craft spirits at the county’s first and only distillery. Plan your stops for a personalized craft beverage tour along the Tastemakers Trail.

4. Stop by Rockville’s Independence Day Celebration. Rockville’s Independence Day Celebration is held annually at Mattie J.T. Stepanek Park in King Farm. This location offers wonderful spectator viewing, and ample and convenient parking for the 4th of July festivities. Enjoy live music by Vertigo Red and a 20-minute fireworks display

5. Check out Montgomery County Recreation’s Fireworks. Mid-County Sparkles will begin at 6:00 pm on Saturday, July 1 with music by Ocho de Bastos and the Earth, Wind, and Fire Tribute Band. The fireworks display will begin at approximately 9:15 pm. Located at Albert Einstein High School. Shuttle services are available starting at 5:30 pm from the Westfield Wheaton Mall.

Maryland’s Trail System Second-to-None

Hike, bike or paddle — Maryland’s trails span land and water.

1. Everglades of the North; Nearly 50 square miles of forests, fields, marshes, and open water await at Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge. Its shady reaches are alive with the sights and sounds of waterfowl, bald eagles, and ospreys. Trails are color-coded by skill level so you can choose the best route for your group. Outfitters like Blackwater Adventures offer equipment rentals along with guided tours.

2. Calling All Daredevils! Test your paddling skills with Class IV and V white-water adventures on the breathtaking Youghiogheny Scenic and Wild River. This extremely challenging 21-mile stretch of river flows through forests and wilderness, with public access points at Swallow Falls State Park and off Sang Run Road. Local outfitters offer rentals and guide services. River guides are highly recommended.

3. History & Heritage; The swift and storied waters of the Potomac River shaped our nation, and boating on it remains an unparalleled way to experience the excitement of American history. One of Maryland’s longest rivers, the Potomac offers 300 miles of pristine paddling. With plenty of camping and lodging along the way, the river is perfect for single- and multi-day trips. around after you drop anchor.

4. Fulfilling the GAP; The award-winning, beautiful Great Allegheny Passage (GAP) trail stretches 159 miles from Cumberland to Pittsburgh. The terrain is mostly flat and smooth and takes you through a series of tunnels, viaducts and bridges. As you wind through the Appalachian Mountains, you’ll find plenty of charming small towns that roll out the welcome mat for cyclists.

5. Hike Through History; The C&O Canal is a beautiful transportation artifact of 20th-century engineering. Now, it’s a beloved route for thru-hikers and bikers as well as day trippers. It’s also a hub for outdoor activities like hiking, biking, bird-watching and even old-fashioned, mule-drawn barge rides. At the heart of this remarkable trail is the C&O Canal National Historical Park with its 74 unique lift locks and the 184.5-mile C&O Canal Towpath.

Your Nearcation Awaits

Stay at these local hot spots for an adventure close to home

1. Fairmont Washington has the best bed in town besides your own. Thanks to the Georgetown property’s devotion to “the science of sleep,” as they call it, you can take the staycation to the next level of luxury in their two new suites-the Magnolia and Shenandoah their Fairmont Gold level.

2. The Canopy by Hilton is at the heart of Pike & Rose's premier shopping block, steps from nightlife and entertainment. The perfect place to meet with friends to sip on orange crushes and local beers while enjoying the elevated neighborhood views. Explore the local area using their free Canopy Bikes.

3. The Dōgon opening in DC brings Chef Kwame Onwuachi together again with Sheila Johnson, founder and CEO of Salamander Collection, with whom he has built a special relationship. The pair created The Family Reunion, which has quickly become the premier gathering of culinary professionals of color in the country and takes place at Johnson’s Five-Star Salamander Middleburg resort in Virginia. Salamander Collection was recently voted Best Luxury Hotel Brand by readers of USA TODAY and is the largest Black-owned luxury hotel company in the United States.

4. Elegantly restored to its historic grandeur, the iconic Old Post Office has been reimagined as Waldorf Astoria Washington DC. Sip cocktails under the glittering crystal sconces and chandeliers in Peacock Alley (open 6:30 am – 11 pm) or experience the delights of Chef Daisuke Nakazawa in the Michelin-starred Sushi Nakazawa.

5. The Ritz-Carlton Spa, Georgetown offers wellness-focused experiences that refresh and rejuvenate with every moment. The finest treatments and therapies from the experts at ESPA and relaxation lounges, saunas, and steam rooms come together to provide unparalleled relaxation and comfort in a luxurious urban sanctuary.

Memories Made in Gatlinburg Tennessee

Potomac Vacations at Dollywood and Pigeon Forge in the heart of the Smoky Mountains

1. Explore the History of Titanic. Titanic Museum Attraction opens the door to the past, letting “passengers” experience what it was like to walk the hallways, parlors, cabins, and grand staircase of the Titanic while surrounded by more than 400 artifacts sourced directly from the ship and its passengers. After the fascinating self-guided tour, visitors can head next door to the Titanic Frozen Custard & Chocolate Attraction. More information is available at

2. Unique Festival Offerings for Every Season; If you’re headed to Dollywood for a summer vacation, the Smoky Mountain Summer Celebration presented by Food City is a must. From bubbles galore and splashy fun to fireworks, this summertime festival has it all. 

3. Follow Dolly’s Life and Dreams; New in 2024, the Dolly Parton Experience is an interactive area with multiple attractions that takes Dollywood guests on a one-of-a-kind inspiring journey. In Songteller, visitors will experience an immersive experience that traces Dolly’s roots from the Smokies to Nashville and around the world. 

4. Dollywood’s Splash Country; Voted a Top 10 Outdoor Waterpark by USA Today Readers, Dollywood's Splash Country is the perfect summer retreat for the whole family. Explore towering slides, sparkling pools, and family-friendly splash zones all tucked into the shaded beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains.

5. The Gazillion Bubble Show- Watch as millions, billions, gazillions of bubbles envelop the entire theater in a one-of-a-kind show that kids (and parents) of all ages will love. Due to its rousing success, the bubble will run from June through August 6th, 2024.

  • The Fairmont Washington DC
  • Montgomery County Recreation’s Fireworks
  • Bohrer Park Summer Fest
  • C&O Canal
  • History & Heritage
  • Great Allegheny Passage
  • Everglades of the North
  • Great Allegheny Passage
  • The Canopy Hilton
  • Hike Through History
  • Youghiogheny Scenic and Wild River
  • Kensington Bike Parade
  • Create Your Own Craft Beverage Tour
  • Rockville’s Independence Day Celebration
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  • Splash Country
  • The Titanic Museum
  • Dollywood’s Splash Country
  • Dollywood’s Splash Country;
  • 2024, the Dolly Parton Experience
  • Gazillion Bubble Show