Where We Live: Rockville

Photo courtesy of
‘RV’s New Town Square & Beall Ave 6-09’
courtesy of ‘brad.rourke’

We’re heading back to Maryland this week to check out a DC suburb that has grown to become the second-largest incorporated city in Maryland: Rockville.    Read on to find out what Rockville residents like about it, and why it’s worth a visit.

History: Rockville was one of Maryland’s oldest towns and had an important role in the Revolutionary War.  It got its name in 1801 because of its proximity to Rock Creek, and developed slowly for most of the 1800s.  In 1873 the B&O Railroad came through town, and the area grew even more.  But the real surge in growth in Rockville didn’t happen until after the 1950s, when the population increased sevenfold in thirty years.  Today Rockville is home to over 60,000 residents.  For a more detailed view of Rockville’s history, check out the city’s historic preservation website.

Photo courtesy of
‘Rockville MD Town Square’
courtesy of ‘ShashiBellamkonda’

Neighborhood Character: Rockville isn’t just a neighborhood, it’s a growing urban center with several different neighborhoods.  The area is home to both more urban areas like Rockville Town Square as well as smaller, quiet residential neighborhoods.  Rockville is 13 square miles, and includes a lot of residential areas, some shops along Rockville Pike and the Town Center, and county offices downtown, and some office parks along I-270.  Many of the residential neighborhoods have grown into attractive suburbs, with tree-lined streets and sidewalks, and more people are choosing to live downtown close to the Metro.

Transportation: Rockville has two Metro stations, Rockville and Twinbrook.  It also has a train station, right next to the Rockville Metro station, that serves Amtrak and MARC.  There’s great bus service through RideOn and MetroBus from Downtown Rockville.  And it’s really easy to get around the downtown area by foot or by bike.  There’s great highway access here too, with I-270 and the Beltway just minutes away.

Photo courtesy of
‘Civil War Memorial in Rockville’
courtesy of ‘Mr. T in DC’

What to See: Next time you’re in Rockville, here are a couple places to go and things to do:

What’s Nearby: Rockville is north of Bethesda (it’s actually north of North Bethesda), and south of Gaithersburg along I-270.

Why We Love Rockville: Rockville offers a wonderful balance of suburban and urban life.  There’s highway access, great housing options, and a well-respected school district, but there’s also an urban center that hosts community events almost every day and offers great restaurants and shopping.  It’s far enough from DC that neighborhoods are quiet and you can have a yard, but close enough that you can get downtown easily.  And not only does Rockville offer the best of both worlds, it has so many festivals, gatherings, and things to do that you’ll always have something to do.

Shannon grew up in the greater DC area/Maryland suburbs, went to Virginia for college and grad school (go Hoos!), and settled in DC in 2006. She’s an urban planner who loves transit (why yes, that is her dressed as a Metro pylon for Halloween), cities, and all things DC. Email her at Shannon (at) WeLoveDC.com!

7 thoughts on “Where We Live: Rockville

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  3. Rockville, as the entrance to the I-270 science corridor also hosts a monthly Science Cafe. The Cafe on August 12 at 8PM will be a Star Party at the Redgate Golf course ( our excellent city facility ) and you are all welcome to join us for this free event. With luck, the sky will be clear and we will be able to view the Perseids meteor shower but in any event we will learn a bit about the night sky. Further information- Ruth at 301-424-4777 or 301-674-RUTH

  4. Rockville has a decent sized Taiwanese population, and there are a handful of Taiwanese restaurants in town. Bob’s Noodle 66 is the best of the bunch, in my experience.

  5. Don’t forget Moti’s Grill (in KosherMart) for the best and most authentic falafel in the area, and El Patio for delicious and authentic Argentinean cuisine.