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Welcome to the Guide

It is hard, when you're stuck in traffic on Interstate 270 or Rockville Pike, or somewhere on Wisconsin Avenue, to imagine that Montgomery County was once a rural community.

With steady growth and changes, we know how confusing the place can be, which is why this Guide is produced each year, as something that we hope helps you make sense of this county of nearly 1 million people, its three large cities and its towns. We've also included information about neighboring Frederick County.

What you will find in these pages is a mosaic of governments, events, activities and opportunities for participation and enjoyment. We have tried to include places that might be your favorites or might become your favorites once you know about them.

Our essay takes a look at the history of Montgomery County, offering a glimpse of some of its significant changes since it was formed in 1776.

Of course, there are special features, too: a look at the Washington area's professional sports teams, where to go for theater and places to shop. Food writer Nancy Lewis lists some places where you can go to find good and interesting eats.

The regular features of the Montgomery Extra were suspended this week to make room for the Guide. We hope it is something that you'll use throughout the year.

Next week, the regular features will be back.

Enjoy the Guide. We welcome your comments and suggestions about the Guide. Send them to theguide@washpost.com or call 202-334- 6005.

-- Mae Israel, Editor, Montgomery Extra

» Looking for crime, home sales and animal reports from April 26? Click here.

From the Extras

Want to learn more about your community? Experience your neighborhood events captured in photos, through the Washington Post Community Guides.

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Archive: Previous weeks »

In Once-Rural Montgomery, a Rich History

It’s been 231 years since Montgomery was created. The county’s history is rich with tales of early settler families such as the Pooles, Gaithers and Clarkes and those who followed them to help shape the local culture. ... READ MORE

Heroes, Drunkards and Royalty — Captured in County Names

It would have been hard for Richard Montgomery to visit every place in the United States named after him. First of all, there are a lot of them, at least 18 counties and towns. Second of all, he was dead. ... READ MORE

Maryland Weathers Slump in Housing Market

Fast growth and comparatively moderate housing costs helped home price appreciation in Prince George’s County blast past the rest of the area last year, even as the real estate market wallowed in most of the nation. ... READ MORE

More resources in the Montgomery Extra

Everything you need to know about Montgomery County -- government, emergency and other services, utilities, health care, food, recreation and performing arts ... READ MORE IN THE COMMUNITY GUIDE

Getting Around the Washington Area

Slug lines are a way to form impromptu carpools and help drivers meet passenger minimums.
Slug lines are a way to form impromptu carpools and help drivers meet passenger minimums. (By Marvin Joseph -- The Washington Post)
Traveling on Metro
Carpool, Vanpool and Commuter Information
Commuting 101: Becoming Fluent in Traffic Talk
Major Airports
Toll Roads
Commuter Rail
Transit Information On the Web
Up-to-Date Traffic Information

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