Gaithersburg Gives the Renter a Great Place to Live, Play

Paddle boat

Come sail away: Paddle boats are available to rent from April through October at Gaithersburg’s Lake Washingtonian.

In 2008, Gaithersburg ranked 29th on’s “Best Places to Live” list, probably because it combines big-city accommodations with a small-town feel, all within 13 miles of the nation’s capital.

Let’s see, you’ve got active arts programs – including theater and free outdoor concerts in the summer – the Gaithersburg Community Museum, the convenience of Lakeforest Mall and the RIO Entertainment Center.

Connected to the larger Washingtonian Center shopping venue, the RIO Entertainment Center houses AMC Loews Rio Cinemas 18. A massive movie theater with stadium seating and Dolby® Digital sound, the RIO is a great place to take a date, friend or even the odd acquaintance.

OK, so it shows movies. So do scores of other places. Ah, but does your theater complex also house Guapo’s Cantina? What about the Village Green Restaurant House of Kabob (probably favored by rock band The Kinks)? Or, Tara Thai? A joint with a name like that is worth the visit alone. They even offer an eatery called Hamburger Hamlet.

And, if the renter in Gaithersburg gets sick of those places, they can nurture their prana at Karma, which serves up Indian cuisine. And, get this: All these bistros offer waterfront seating on Lake Washingtonian.

OK, now you’re thinking, “Alright, so it has colorful, waterfront restaurants and gives patrons a chance to see that goofy-looking Jake Gyllenhaal on screen and maybe Jessica Alba or, I don’t know, Nicole Kidman. Is there more?”

There’s also an impressive Summer Concert Series, which occurs from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. every Friday and Saturday from May to September. The facility also features the Rio Sport & Health Club, where you can work off all those refried beans, fried rice and delectable peanut sauce you wolfed down.

The RIO also gives you the chance to improve your golf game at Clubgolf Performance Center. If you’re not sold on a trip here yet, let it be known that in the spring, summer and fall months, there are paddle boats to rent … that’s right, paddle boats. Provided by Washingtonian Paddle Boats, these foot-propelled vessels let you take to the lake and leave the world behind for a few gracious minutes.

Now when CNN was making its list and checking it twice, might have the great RIO Entertainment Center pushed Gaithersburg up a few notches? We’ll never know. And, if not, it’ll be our little secret.

Check out Apartment Showcase for more information anytime.

Scott D

Scott D

Scott is a local writer and has been with the Apartment Showcase blog since its inception in 2010.

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