If you’re wondering what is Bethesda Maryland known for, then you are in the right place. There is good reason why long-time residents of Bethesda, Maryland want to live here. From dining and recreation to schools and culture, let’s take a look at what Bethesda is known for.

What Is Bethesda Maryland Known For: Dining

Bethesda has some pretty amazing food options. You don’t need to travel into Washington DC for excellent dining options if you don’t feel like it. Here are some of the trendy hot spots in Bethesda.


Planta is chic and welcoming restaurant that is plant based. There are tons of options for vegetarians and vegans that are absolutely decilious. In addition to having a great happy hour, they also have a bottomless brunch option during the weekends. 

Spacious Dining Room at Planta Bethesda


Aventino is a tasty (and trendy) Italian restaurant that is very popular. The beautiful bar and glam style of the restaurant make it a great place for celebrating something special. This restaurant can get crowded nearly every day of the week and especially on weekends. Plan ahead by making a reservation or get there early when they open and snag a seat at their hip and happening bar.

Enjoy delicious Italian cuisine at Aventino


Opal is technically in Chevy Chase, Maryland but it is very close to Bethesda. Opal has been recognized by the Michelin guide as one of the best restaurants in the DC area. It is a short drive from downtown Bethesda.  It also has a great happy hour. 

The beautiful bar at Opal Restaurant

Mon Ami Gabi

Mon Ami Gabi is a classical French place located in the heart of Downton Bethesda. This restaurant has been a long time favorite of locals in Bethesda. Their dinner service is elegant giving you the feel of a classic French restaurant. They are also very well known for their brunch offerings. 

Woodmont Grill

Another dining institution in Bethesda is Woodmont Grill. This elegant restaurant is a favorite amongst locals in the Bethesda area and if you want to dine at prime times, be sure to make a reservation. 

What Is Bethesda Maryland Known For: Luxury Real Estate

Bethesda is well known as a very affluent community. With its beautiful tree-lined streets and luxury homes, any young family would be delighted to live here. All these positives do come at a steep price though. Let’s take a look.

Median Property Value In Bethesda

The real estate market in Bethesda is strong and highly competitive. The median property value in Bethesda, MD was $958,400 as of 2021. 

Homeownership Rate

The homeownership rate of single family homes in Bethesda was 65.6%, which is higher than the national average. The average car ownership in Bethesda was 2 cars per household.

What Is Bethesda Maryland Known For: Schools

Bethesda is part of the Montgomery County Public Schools system. In addition to public schools, there are many private schools as well.

Public Schools

The Montgomery County Public Schools . Many families choose to live here just for access to the public schools here. Here are some of the well known public schools in Bethesda:

  • Walter Johnson High School
  • Walt Whitman High School
  • Bethesda Chevy Chase High School

Private Schools

Bethesda also has many private schools. Here are a few of them. 

  • Landon School is an all-boys college preparatory school for grades 6–12. It was founded in 1892 and has a long history of academic excellence. Landon School is known for its rigorous curriculum, strong athletics program, and commitment to character development.
  • Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart is a Catholic college preparatory school for girls in grades PK–12. It was founded in 1959 and offers a strong academic program in a faith-based environment. Stone Ridge School is known for its small class sizes, commitment to the arts, and global education opportunities.
  • Holton-Arms School is a coeducational college preparatory school for grades PK–12. It was founded in 1883 and offers a rigorous academic program with a focus on the arts and sciences. Holton-Arms School is known for its small class sizes, dedicated faculty, and commitment to social responsibility.
  • Georgetown Prep is an all boys college prep school located in Bethesda Maryland.

What Is Bethesda Maryland Known For: Shopping & Entertainment

Commercial development has been exploding in Bethesda. The heart of Bethesda are two main areas – Bethesda Row and Woodmont Triangle. Let’s take a look at the fun things to do in Bethesda.

Bethesda Row

This is a very walkable part of Bethesda that is lined with dining, shopping and fun things to do. You can easily spend several hours in this downtown area. 

Some popular stores in this part of town are the Vuori Clothing Store, Veronica Beard, Mejuri, and Madewell Clothing. 

The pedestrian only part of Bethesda Row

There are ample parking garages in this area making it easy for Bethesda residents to enjoy this downtown area of Bethesda. 

Woodmont Triangle

Woodmont Triangle is another area of Bethesda which is more known for its restaurants and dining rather than shopping. In the past years of 2019 and 2023 the Taste Of Bethesda event was held along Norfolk, St. Elmo, Cordell, Del Ray and Auburn Avenues in Bethesda’s Woodmont Triangle. During covid the event did not take place, but in future years it is expected to continue. The Taste Of Bethesda event typically takes place in October. 

Popular restaurants in Woodmont Triangle include Alatri Brothers Pizza, Casa Oaxaca, and Woodmont Grill. 

What Is Bethesda Maryland Known For: Culture And History

This area of Maryland also has some significant cultural and historical activities.

Historic Landmarks

One of the most notable historic landmarks in Bethesda is the Bethesda Meeting House. This historic church was built in 1820 and rebuilt in 1849. It is one of the oldest standing structures in the area and is still in use today. 

Events And Culture

Bethesda has events happening fairly frequently throughout the year. 

Taste Of Bethesda

One past event that has been popular is the Taste of Bethesda event that typically takes place in the fall. 

The Bethesda Literary Festival was also popular at one time, but after the pandemic has not been reinstated. 

Bethesda Arts Festival

The Bethesda Row Arts Festival is a top event for fine arts and crafts in the mid-Atlantic area. It attracts high-quality artists who have been selected through a strict judging process. 

During this Bethesda fine arts festival, Bethesda Row turns into an open-air art gallery. Visitors can enjoy a variety of artistic styles including ceramics, sculpture, photography, painting, and more, spread across fourteen different categories.

2024 Information:


Saturday, September 7th, 2024, from 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM

Sunday, September 8th, 2024, from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM


Bethesda Row, Bethesda, MD

You can also experience the Bethesda arts scene by walking through the downtown area and checking out some of the galleries. 

Arts & Live Entertainment

Bethesda also has a vibrant arts culture.

Imagination Stage

imagination Bethesda is a vibrant performing arts and education center that was founded in 1979 as the Bethesda Academy of Performing Arts (BAPA). The organization was renamed Imagination Stage in 2001 ahead of its relocation to a state-of-the-art theater arts center in downtown Bethesda in 2003 (Imagination Stage).

The mission of Imagination Stage is to empower young people to discover their own unique voice and identity through the performing arts. Imagination Stage is recognized for its comprehensive arts education offerings. This include classes in acting, dance, musical theatre, filmmaking, and more, for children and youth from ages 4 to 18. They also host special events and offer summer camps for a more immersive artistic experience.

Strathmore Music Center

The Music Center at Strathmore in Bethesda is a well known cultural and artistic hub. It is celebrated for its exceptional acoustics and diverse programming. 

The center was designed by William Rawn Associates and acousticians Kirkegaard Associates. It opened in 2005 and features a 1,976-seat Concert Hall renowned for its acoustic design.

Strathmore serves as a venue for a range of performances including orchestral concerts, world-class music events, and educational programs. It houses several resident artistic partner organizations and annually hosts performances by both international artists and local ensembles.

Because Strathmore has multiple spaces, it is also a popular event venue. Whether you are looking to host a wedding or a music festival, this could be a unique venue for your event. 

Major Employers

Marriott International which is a leading hotel company has its main headquarters in Bethesda. The company employs over 176,000 people worldwide. The headquarters are located right near one of the Marriotts in Bethesda which also has the popular restaurant Seventh State that is great for happy hour. 

Lockheed Martin, a global aerospace and defense company, also has a major presence in Bethesda. The company is one of the largest employers in the area and provides jobs for thousands of people.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH), a federal agency that conducts medical research, is located in Bethesda. The agency employs over 20,000 people and is responsible for significant medical breakthroughs. The NIH is one of the largest employers in the city.

What Is Bethesda Maryland Known For: Outdoor Activities

During the warmer months, there are many outdoor activities you can enjoy in Bethesda, Maryland.

  • The Capital Crescent Trail is a very popular trail for jogging, biking, and rollerblading because it is mostly flat. The 11-mile trail runs from Georgetown in DC to Silver Spring, Maryland, and passes right through Downtown Bethesda. It is a great way to enjoy the beautiful scenery of Bethesda while getting some exercise.
  • Cabin John Regional Park is another popular outdoor spot in Bethesda. The park has a variety of activities for visitors, including hiking trails, picnic areas, and a playground. The park also has an ice skating rink, a miniature train, and a nature center.
  • Outdoor Shopping & Dining: Bethesda Row is a pedestrian only area that has many cute shops and restaurants. You can enjoy sitting outside at many places in this area.

What Is Bethesda Maryland Known For: Easy Access To Washington DC

Bethesda’s proximity to DC makes it a popular place to live as well as to visit. There are excellent transportation and accessibility options when it comes to visiting the surrounding areas. 

Public Transportation

There is a metro station right in the heart of the Bethesda entertainment district. It is located right along Wisconsin Avenue right between Bethesda Row and Woodmont Triangle. The red rail line services this station in Bethesda. 

If you are visiting the DC area from out of town, staying at hotel near this metro station can be convenient. Hotel prices are much lower and you still have very easy access to Washington DC.  

Driving To Washington D.C.

Bethesda’s close proximity to Washington D.C. makes it an ideal location for anyone working in DC. You can easily drive into the nation’s capital. 

What Is Bethesda Maryland Known For: The NIH

The National Institute of Health (NIH) is a very famous research institution located in Bethesda. The NIH is the largest biomedical research agency in the world. It employs more than 6,000 scientists and staff and does cutting-edge research in a variety of fields. 

What Is Bethesda Maryland Known For: Summary

Bethesda is considered the urban core of Montgomery County, MD. It is a vibrant town and a top destination dining including having many ethnic restaurants. From Downtown Bethesda to North Bethesda, you will find some of the best places to dine, shop, and enjoy artistic and cultural events. 

Bethesda is also one of the most affluent and highly educated communities in the United States. With its high cost of living comes access to great public schools, excellent dining, and many recreational outdoor activities. It is also a great place for anyone who enjoys live music as well as art. In this metropolitan area, you can enjoy the Bethesda Arts Walk, classical music at Strathmore, and live theatre at Imagination. 

With major highways nearby, you can easily access other parts of Washington DC as well as Northern Virginia very easily from Bethesda. For both young people and long time residents, Bethesda is a great place to live as well as visit. It is one of the most renowned communities and popular suburbs in the DMV.

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