Downtown Silver Spring, MD
Downtown Silver Spring, like many urban centers in the DC area has experienced nearly two-decade renaissance that brought new housing, restaurants, retail and entertainment offerings. It now hosts festivals, concerts, and farmers markets. It also offers convenient transportation and relatively affordable housing.
Restaurants, Retail, and Entertainment
After years of disinvestment and disinterest, around the year 2000 over $1 billion in public and private funds jumpstarted Silver Spring, and arts and entertainment began to attract additional investment and residents. The American Film Institute, which now holds annual film festivals moved into and old movie theater and Discovery Communications made Silver Spring its headquarters (though it has since announced its plans to move out of the area). Today, the neighborhood boasts multiple grocery stores, including a Whole Foods, and an open-air mall anchored by a 20-screen megaplex cinema with fine dining and retail shops peppered throughout. The Fillmore Silver Spring offers live music with national acts.
Silver Spring is an eclectic mix of architecture and culture. Montgomery Community College has a campus near downtown, with a new health sciences facility, a performing arts center with a 500-seat theater and a dance studio close to completion. Silver Spring is friendly to all ages and familial statuses: entertainment options include the CREATE Arts Center; the Silver Spring Gymboree, offering music, art and sports classes; and School of Rock, at which professional musicians teach students.
Things To Do
AFI Docs Film Festival. Billed as the nation's premier documentary film festival, it offers insightful screenings, industry panels and creative workshops. It brings in speakers like former mayors and Lebron James event spoke a few years back. But you don't have to wait around for the festival, the American Film Institute regularly offers programs and lectures.
Hike Sligo Creek Park and Rock Creek Park. Located to the east and west of Downtown Silver Spring, they west offer huge woodsy expanses for biking, hiking, playgrounds and tennis courts, and their parkways provide good weekday thoroughfares for commutes north and south.
People Watch in Fountain Plaza. Watch residents and visitors stroll from shop to shop, reading by the fountain, playing in the water features in this vibrant enclave protected from the busy traffic.
Catch A Show At the MC Cultural Arts Center.
Fenton Street Market. Peruse antiques, jewelry, crafts and furniture and the farmers’ market veggies, cheeses, meats and breads.
Silver Spring shares its southern border with the Takoma and Shepherd Park neighborhoods in DC, and
residents can get downtown quickly. Silver Spring has a Red Line Metro Station and is home to a new Purple Line Station. Street parking is abundant, and there are and abundance of parking lots and garages downtown. Traffic becomes heavy at rush hour (no surprise here), especially on Colesville Road. The Metro’s Red Line stop in the center of downtown is currently under an eight-acre redevelopment project that will create a multi-level, pedestrian friendly complex for Metro, MARC, bus and taxi traffic as well as retail space. The Silver Spring MetroBus and RideOn routes are too numerous to list (so we won't!).
Schools & Safety