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Things To Do and Places To See …

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Potomac Village offers many little cafes and shopping opportunities in a community atmosphere.

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Lynne Holloway lines up a practice swing on the first hole of Falls Road Golf Course.

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Potomac Community Center offers a range of sports and activities for Potomac residents of all ages.

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The Fairy Godmother (Susan Donnelly, left) and Cinderella (Stephanie Penet, right) during the Potomac Theatre Company’s 2006 production of "Cinderella."

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Magruder’s blacksmith shop is easy to spot on the right from westbound River Road.

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The Gibson Grove cemetery is worth the short walk from Seven Locks Road.

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River Road

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River Road

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Potomac Horse Center

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Glen Echo Park

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The Glen

Here are some of the more interesting places in the area. Sites include popular historical landmarks, outings and shopping centers along with information on a few local services.

<b>1. Potomac Village</b>

Arguably the heart of Potomac, the Village is a shopping center located at the intersection of River and Falls roads. Though in recent years more chain businesses have opened stores in the Village, it remains a quiet shopping center with a homey feel, with many stores still family-owned or operated. An excellent place to eat, there are several restaurants as well as coffee shops and a bakery for those on the go. Potomac residents often plan to meet in the Village, or they bump into each other there accidentally, a mark of the tight-knit community.

<b>2. Golf Courses</b>

Potomac offers a range of golf options. The public Falls Road Golf Course (2a), at 10800 Falls Road, Potomac, is a good choice for casual players looking for a reasonably priced round. The course does get crowded on weekends, though, and the pace of play can suffer as a result. More serious golfers may look to Potomac’s luxurious options. The newly renovated TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm (2b), at 10000 Oaklyn Drive, Potomac, provides a PGA Tour-quality golfing experience. Finally, residents looking to do their best Tiger Woods imitation should try Congressional Country Club (2c), at 8500 River Road, Bethesda. The area’s only PGA Tour event, the new AT&T National – Tiger’s signature event – is held here.

<b>3. Potomac Community Center</b>

The Potomac Community Center, at 11315 Falls Road, Potomac, is one of the town’s most popular spots. In addition to the standard gymnasium and exercise room, it features a social hall and art room. There are also outdoor baseball fields, basketball courts, and a roller-hockey rink, and it is also the hub of local competitive table tennis. One of the community center’s most-loved offerings is Club Friday, which provides fun games and activities for children in third through sixth grade during the school year.

<b>4. Potomac Theatre Company</b>

The Potomac Theatre Company puts on three performances per year — in the fall, spring and summer. The fall show is usually a musical, which makes it a great choice for families getting together during Thanksgiving. According to its director, the purpose of the group is to "enhance community spirit" while encouraging a "cohesive community." The company performs at the Blair Family Center at The Bullis School, 10601 Falls Road, Potomac. Also, the organization encourages residents new and old to volunteer with them as a way to support local arts and get involved in the community.

<b>5. Historic Sites</b>

Potomac is home to many historic sites. Blockhouse Point Conservation Park (5a), accessible at 15000 River Road, is an important part of local Civil War history. The Montgomery County Department of Parks offers guided tours of the area, including the remains of the blockhouse Union soldiers used to defend the Potomac River. Call 301-840-5848 to check the schedule of guided tours. Another significant local site is the Gibson Grove A.M.E. Zion Church (5b), at 7700 Seven Locks Road, Bethesda. A group of freed slaves founded the church in 1898. Just on the other side of the Beltway from the church is a short path leading to the Gibson Grove Cemetery, which the African-American community has used for nearly a century. A third historic location nearby is a blacksmith shop (5c) built by Ninian Magruder in the mid-18th century at the intersection of Seven Locks Road and River Road. Although it is not accessible to the public, the site is a reminder of the region’s history

<b>6. C&O Canal</b>

A distinct National Park located right in Potomac. Originally intended as a pathway for goods flowing from the eastern seaboard into the interior of America when it opened in 1836, the C&O Canal has since become a National Park. The park is open year-round during daylight hours. Visitors have a number of activities available to them. Many choose to hike or bike the towpath, or explore the numerous hiking trails available. Often, these hikers and bikers choose to camp at the various campgrounds located along the canal. A walk to Great Falls is also popular. These waterfalls are the second largest in the state of Maryland, cascading 76 feet over two-thirds of a mile. Also available are rides on the historically accurate canal boats and interaction with historical impersonators.

<b>7. Cabin John Regional Park </b.

Cabin John Regional Park, located off of Tuckerman Lane, provides Potomac with a wealth of recreational opportunities. The park consists of a large area with playground equipment and walking trails as well as a variety of athletic fields (baseball, softball, indoor and outdoor tennis courts, and a Pee-Wee soccer field), an ice rink featuring different rinks of varying size, the Locust Grove Nature Center, and the Robert C. McDonnell campground. The park is open from sunrise to sunset, with the individual facilities each having their own hours of operation. While some athletic fields and the campground require a permit to use, the park and Nature Center are open to all, free of charge. A special feature of the park is the miniature train ride. The miniature train is a replica of an 1863 C.P. Huntington locomotive and it takes riders on a 10 minute, 2-mile ride around the park. Visit http://www.mc-mncppc.org/Parks/facilities/regional_parks/cabinjohn/index.shtm.

<b>8. Scotland</b>

One of the oldest neighborhoods in Potomac, historic Scotland is located along Seven Locks Road. The community dates back to 1879, when a former slave bought 36 acres for $210 that would eventually form the beginnings of the neighborhood. Other former slaves settled down in the area, resulting in 48 acres becoming a rural African-American community. As a traditionally African-American neighborhood in a generally white affluent community, Scotland embodied the racial struggles of the civil rights movement in Potomac. Running water, indoor plumbing, and electricity were all slow in coming to Scotland, with many residents living in the original 19th century homes well into the 1960s and ‘70s. Eventually, due to development and the gradual change of the surrounding area, Scotland developed into its current design of a ten-acre townhouse neighborhood.

<b>9. River Road</b>

River Road offers more than just a central point for the Potomac area. Take a northwest drive on the scenic road for about 20 minutes on a weekend with the windows rolled down and the radio turned off. River Road’s serenity offers a relaxing drive or bike ride with a heartland landscape. The farther one drives, the narrower the road becomes, eventually turning into a dirt road. Golden waves of wheat border the road from various farms in the area. Watch out for wildlife, especially turtles crossing the road around the bridges. Since many cars do not drive down out that far, feel free to pullover and help one of those turtles cross the road. River Road: Potomac’s most obvious hidden treasure.

<b>10. Potomac Horse Center</b>

Horseback riding is a traditional activity of the Potomac area and the Potomac Horse Center located on Quince Orchard Road in Northern Potomac offers many great opportunities to continue that tradition. From May until August, various summer camp programs teach people of all ages the correct and safe way to ride horses. The center is also popular for birthday parties. Therapeutic riding is an opportunity for people recovering from illnesses, people with development problems, or autistic children. For more information on the Potomac Horse Center visit www.potomachorse.com.

<b>11. Glen Echo Park,</b>

Glen Echo Park was a premier amusement park in the Washington D.C. area from the early 1900s to 1968. Today it is a center for classes in the arts and crafts. From drawing and painting, to calligraphy, and to dance programs, today Glen Echo Park offers an activity for everyone. The historical carousel is a central landmark of the park and continues to operate. The park also offers a great area for walking and there are plenty of benches to enjoy on a nice day. The park is located at 7300 MacArthur Blvd.

<b>12. The Glen</b>

Though not a specific landmark on any Potomac map, the Glen is the tree-covered area where Glen Road, South Glen Road, and Glen Mill Road meet together. Joined by a one-way bridge, drivers must drive carefully, because the bridge will only fit one car. A swampy waterway runs beneath the bridge along with varieties of wildlife. There are no sidewalks to stroll around the area, but the Glen is a local landmark of natural beauty and a glimpse into Potomac’s rural past and rustic present. South Glen road takes one back to Democracy Boulevard, which leads to Seven Locks, finally, leading to River to go back into Potomac Village, or get onto I-495.