There’s much of what you would expect in an area directly adjacent to our nation’s capital in the Capital Region of Maryland, but some surprises as well. There are governmental institutions to visit, like NASA, the Andrews Air Force Base, and the National Harbor, but also the C&O Canal Historical Park, an amazing green respite from the hectic city. Keep your eyes peeled for a bald eagle if you go for a stroll in the Park: spotting the national symbol so close to the capital in this peaceful setting is quite a treat. Nearby, from the National Colonial Farm to the Northampton Slave Quarters Archaeological Site to the Seventh-Day Adventist World Headquarters, there is no shortage of small museums paying tribute to America’s multihued history just minutes from D.C. Along with the variety of monuments to the past are a range of residential areas. If you want to feel like you’re strolling through the Maryland of centuries gone by, take a trip to the suburb of Gaithersburg for a walk through the historic downtown area. For a visit to a true university town, College Park is your best bet. And for exciting dining and hopping nightlife, Bethesda is the place to be.