Gaithersburg, Maryland, is a suburban community outside the Washington, DC metropolitan area, in Montgomery County. With a population of nearly 59,000, it is the fourth largest city in Maryland. Gaithersburg was originally founded as a small farming community in 1765, and was incorporated as the City of Gaithersburg in 1878. Connected with the DC metro area by the Shady Grove terminus station on the Metrorail system, Route 355 (North Frederick Avenue), and I-270, Gaithersburg has fast become part of the inner suburbs of the national capitol area, as opposed to the fringe outer suburban area it was in the past. It is an eclectic mix of traditional architecture in Old Town, urban townhouses, high rise condominiums, and suburban single family dwellings. While it is not quite as trendy as places like Chevy Chase and Bethesda, neither is it quite as expensive, and unlike these close-in suburbs, parking in Gaithersburg is not a big problem. In addition to parking in the shopping centers, there is plenty of on-street parking as well. A family-oriented city, Gaithersburg has a variety of year round activities, including the Montgomery County Fair, one of the state's biggest agricultural exhibitions; the Sugarloaf Crafts Festival in October, and the Winter Lights Festival throughout the month of December. Eating out is something of a local pastime in the Washington area, and Gaithersburg has its fair share of eateries, from American cuisine to a variety of international foods.
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