Gaithersburg, Maryland (population 58,000), is 50 miles west of Baltimore and 27 miles northwest of Washington, D.C. The city is named after the family that built a house in 1802 at the site of the Forest Oak tree, a landmark which lived about 300 years old before it was killed in a severe storm in 1997. Gaithersburg's National Institute of Standards and Technology complex attracted science-related firms, giving the city the nickname of "Science Capital of the United States.”
1. Gaithersburg Latitude Observatory. See an historic observatory. In 1899, the Gaithersburg Latitude Observatory and five others around the world were built to gather information for measuring the Earth's polar motion and determining its size, shape, and physical properties. The tiny, 13-square-foot, one-story building is now a historical landmark. The nearby Meridian Mark Pier azimuth marker was used to align the Zenith Telescope. Five Coast and Geodetic Survey monuments on the property are used to establish exact geographic longitude and latitude positions, elevation above sea level, the direction of the magnetic north field of force, and perform positional testing the Global Positioning System (GPS) Receiver, which tracks orbital satellites.
2. National Institute of Standards and Technology. Tour the National Institute of Standards and Technology. The complex maintains standards for scientific research and houses the standard meter and kilogram to which all others are compared for accuracy. NIST offers technically oriented, guided tours for professionals in government, industry, and the scientific and technical communities, including research universities. NIST also offers guided tours for science and engineering college students and for students in grades 8 through 12.
3. Gaithersburg Annual Block Party. Whoop it up at a citywide block party. Each September, the Celebrate Gaithersburg Street Festival includes food, live music, amusements, arts and crafts, and more. Kids can enjoy games, interactive theatre, and demonstrations, including a Health and Fitness Area featuring karate and tumbling demonstrations, speed and agility drills, and the chance to star in your own safety video. At a Taste of Gaithersburg, local restaurants offer samples from their wide-ranging menus. The World Market displays a wide variety of items for sale from around the globe.
4. Stare Directly at the Light. Ooh and aah at holiday lights. Winter Lights is a December display featuring more than 380 illuminated vignettes and 65 animated displays along a 3.5-mile drive through Gaithersburg's Seneca Creek State Park. Driving through the forest setting, festival-goers experience also see themed areas, including Winter Woods, Teddy Bear Land, Victorian Village, and the North Pole. Trolley rides through the display are also available.
5. Great Falls. Get drenched in a waterfall's spray. At nearby Great Falls of the Potomac Park, the Potomac River builds up speed and force as it falls over a series of steep, jagged rocks and flows through the narrow Mather Gorge. The Patowmack Canal offers a glimpse into the early history of the U.S. The park has many opportunities to explore history and nature in an 800-acre setting. Gaithersburg is lovely city located in the sate of Maryland, United States. Gaithersburg is part of Montgomery County and has a population of about 59.900 residents on a surface of exactly 10.2 square miles (26.3 square kilometers). Gaithersburg was incorporated as a city in 1878. Numerous landmarks and historical buildings can be found in Gaithersburg, making it one of the most important historical centers of the area. More than 60 galleries, 22 theaters, many shopping centers and more than 33.000 acres of natural parks, make Gaithersburg the perfect place for an amazing vacation.