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Summer months in suburban Maryland are humid just like the rest of the region. Although the winter is generally mild, the area doesn't handle snow very well so spring and fall are the best bets for a trip. Major events in D.C. such as the Cherry Blossom Festival in March and April do affect hotel prices and crowds in these areas.

Every May, Andrews Air Force Base plays host to the Joint Services Open House & Air Show. It's the largest military open house in the United States, complete with demonstrations and an impressive air show. 301/981–4424. www.jsoh.org.

The first Saturday of October, Bethesda restaurants sell samples of their fare at the food festival, Taste of Bethesda. 301/215–6660. www.bethesda.org.

Each June, the American Film Institute's Silver Theatre hosts SILVERDOCS, a star-studded documentary film festival 301/495–6700. www.afi.com/silver.