The city of Bethesda was named after a biblical place of salutary waters and some of the best known institutions in the city are medical in nature: the National Institutes of Health, the National Library of Medicine and the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. Bethesda features world-class research facilities, educational institutions, technology corporations and federal laboratories and agencies. The service industry is the largest employer followed by retail trade and finance, insurance and real estate. Some well-known employers are Bell Atlantic, Blue Cross & Blue Shield of the national Capital Area, Marriott International, Inc, IBM, Citibank, Lockheed Martin Corporation, and Sprint PCS.
Attractions & Points of Interest
Approximately 97,000 people live within a three-mile radius of downtown Bethesda, a population that enjoys touring historic homes, strolling through the spectacular McCrillis Gardens, The Capitol Crescent Trail (CCT), or taking in the flavor of other local festivals and special events.
For the art enthusiast, experience downtown Bethesda's unique and inspiring art galleries. Fabulous works of art created locally, nationally and internationally adorn the walls of Bethesda's fascinating gallery community. Spend a Friday evening after work or dinner or take an entire day to delight in the paintings, sculpture, photography, pottery, jewelry and mixed media. Dozens of entertainment venues, such as the Round House Theatre, the Imagination Stage, Strathmore Hall Arts Center and the Dennis and Phillip Ratner Museum, delight residents and visitors alike. The free Circulator trolley service makes getting around downtown even easier. In addition, the Bethesda region offers a wide choice of transportation options for business, sightseeing, or commuting needs and is a short drive away from three major airports, Dulles International (IAD), Ronald Reagan Washington National (DCA) and Baltimore-Washington International (BWI).
Bethesda is home to a wealth of hotels and motels including the upscale Hyatt Regency - Bethesda, guaranteed to suit the leisure traveler, the business traveler, the individual or the family. In addition, Bethesda hosts a wealth of restaurants, from French to Mexican to Greek and Indian. Bethesda's diverse assortment of restaurants offers anything a person's appetite could desire. If you're in the mood for shopping, Bethesda offers a collection of boutiques, specialty stores and malls, which provide everything in the latest fashion and styles.
Leisure-time and cultural activities are abundant in Bethesda. Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy 27,000 acres of parkland preserved for hiking and biking as well as exciting canoe trips down the Potomac River. Walking through Bethesda is like strolling through a huge contemporary art gallery. Three immense sculptures, Rainbow Forest, Girl with a Hoop, and Neptune, are on permanent public display in the busy urban center.