Visiting in Winter
Usually winter with us is not very harsh. You will want a warm jacket and appropriate footwear.
Here are a few photos of winter. This year was an especially cold and snowy (finally!)
Check ahead of time if there is supposed to be tough weather when you visit. We often get ice storms in winter, so you have to be sure to have good footwear as the sidewalks are not always cleared.
You will also need to check if the museums are open downtown. Metro will usually run with snow/ice. however they will often slow down service when the snow goes above eight inches or if there is significant icing. Check the metro website for further information
- Budget Travel
Rockville Town Center
As I mentioned before, in the last 10 years downtown Rockville has changed quite a bit. a number of strip malls, older housing and businesses were replaced with brand new housing, shopping, some more entertainment opportunities and the new Rockville Library, which I have to say is very very nice.
Most of the restaurants in the new Rockville Town center really cater to all the office workers that are clustered around.
Once the weather starts getting warm there are more activities on the lawn area in front of the Library. If you remember what the older Rockville was like this will be quite an eye opener.
And now, even more change is coming. A major hotel chain decided to built its headquarters right on the corner of Rockville Pike. A new hotel is being built, which will be the only hotel in central Rockville, which will no doubt be a good thing as metro access is very good from there. The hotel itself is still a while from completion. All this building, however, has made parking in downtown rockville much more limited. I guess there is good and bad to new buildings
Old Rockville Train Station
Rockville was once a stop on the B&O (Baltimore and Ohio) Railroad. Its station, built in 1873, is one of the only surviving stations that were once part of the B&O Metropolitan Branch. The station served as the Amtrak Station in Rockville until 1981, when the whole thing was picked up and moved 50 meters to the south, making way for the modern station that is in use today.
You can see the old station but you have to look for it. Easiest way is look on your left as you are arriving in Rockville Station (if you are coming from DC). If you want to see it in person get off at Rockville Metro and walk to end of the parking lot on the Rockville Pike side of the station. There are no signs on the street guiding you to it. Just follow the little street along the fence, its less than 5 minutes walk from the Metro station. From what I can tell the main station is now occupied by some offices, while the freight house remains empty.
- Historical Travel
Red Brick Courthouse
The Courthouse in downtown Rockville was originally built to replace previous court/administrative buildings. We call it the Red Brick Courthouse for obvious reasons. Throughout most of its history it served as Montgomery County's local government center. The present courthouse was built it 1891.
It should be noted that Montgomery County at that time was still very rural. Rockville only had a population of about 400. Roads were mostly dirt and the train passed through here on the way to Washington.
With the building of the Gray Courthouse (right next to it) in 1931 the Red Brick Courthouse started to fade in importance as gradually its court functions were taken away. Plans to demolish the building were met with protest from residents, so it remains. Today it still has a court though much of it is ceremonial.
- Historical Travel
This years' celebrations will be held May 25-27 at Rockville Town Center.
There will be up to 30 free concerts of different stages. The concerts are usually pretty good, we have had some good bands play over the years. On the final day, the main concert is always really good.
Enjoy it while you can, this may be the last time this is held at this location. With the new buildings going up in Rockville Town Center this event will likely be moved. Sad, all you had to do was go to Rockville Metro and cross the street. They haven't really announced where events will be held in the future, but I doubt this festival will be going away.
For a somewhat smaller city, its impressive that Rockville puts on such a good show.
9/11 Memorial in Rockville
I still remember that day. We were informed that there had been an attack but none of us quite believed it at first. The thing was, a lot of us in this area know people that work in the Pentagon,(a personal friend of mine did) and the frantic phone calls to check on them.
On September 11, 2003 a memorial was unveiled to remember 11 Rockville residents who lost their lives in the attacks. It is a simple, quiet memorial. Interestingly, most of the empty chairs have sayings rather than names.
Located in the small park (more of a green space really) behind the Red Brick Courthouse in Rockville Town center.
- Historical Travel
On July 4 they used to have a great festival in what is now Rockville Town Center.
You had your typical fair type entertainment but once the sun fell we had some fantastic bands
(the Neville Brothers played here, Kansas did too (without Kerry L.)
Now the celebration is held on the grounds of Montgomery College- Rockville.
Metro- Rockville or Shady Grove (red line)
You can take bus 55 which will drop you right at the front of the campus.
a. bus 55 (Transit Center) from Rockville Metro Station
b. Bus 55 (Rockville) from Shady Grove metro or points northward
The Music Center at Strathmore
The county is in the process of building a major music center in Rockville, which is set to open in early 2005 with scheduled performances from artists such as Itzhak Perlman, Eileen Ivers, Natalie MacMaster & more (these are just the ones I have heard of...)
Just another sign that Rockville is growing & thriving...
- Theater Travel
The second phase fo the downtown makeover is now open - very pedestrian friendly, plenty of garage parking, and lots of public art. Ok, the restaurants and shops are a bit pricey, but that doesn't seem to be stopping the folks hanging out in the plaza in front of the new library building.
- Arts and Culture
- Family Travel
Israeli Dancing at Tikvat Israel
Every Thursday night, at least 100 people, old and young, Israeli and American, really all kinds of people - gather to dance at Tikvat Israel synagogue in Rockville. Israeli dancing consists of circle, couples, and line dances, which are choreographed not only to Hebrew music but also to Arabic, Turkish, Greek, Spanish, etc... There's plenty of space, refreshments, it's a great atmosphere in general and it's my favorite Israeli dance session I've ever been to. It might be intimidating for a beginner, but come early (7:30? I have to double check) and the teacher, Moshe Shem-Tov, teaches a few dances step by step. By 9 the place is packed with all the energetic "regulars" and it's a lot of fun to watch, even if you decide to sit out for a few dances.
The Glenview Mansion
The Glenview Mansion, often referred to as simply "The Mansion" in Rockville, has an art gallery upstairs and hosts concerts and other events. The first Sunday of every month from 1-4 PM is the reception for that month's art exhibit, and there is usually some sort of free concert downstairs. The art is nice, usually by local artists, and there are free refreshments too!
- Arts and Culture
- Historical Travel
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