Germantown is an urbanized census-designated place in Montgomery County, Maryland, United States. With a population of 90,494 as of 2016 U.S. Census Bureau estimates, Germantown is the third most populous place in Maryland, after the city of Baltimore, and the census-designated place of Columbia. Germantown is located approximately 25–30 miles (40–48 km) outside the U.S. capital of Washington, D.C. and is an important part of the Washington metropolitan area.
Germantown was founded in the early 19th century by European immigrants, though much of the area's development did not take place until the mid-20th century. The original plan for Germantown divided the area into a downtown and six town villages: Gunners Lake Village, Kingsview Village, Churchill Village, Middlebrook Village, Clopper's Mill Village, and Neelsville Village. The Churchill Town Sector at the corner of Maryland Route 118 and Middlebrook Road most closely resembles the downtown or center of Germantown because of the location of the Upcounty Regional Services Center, the Germantown Public Library, the Black Rock Arts Center, the Regal Germantown Stadium 14, and pedestrian shopping that features an array of restaurants. Three exits to Interstate 270 are less than one mile away, the Maryland Area Regional Commuter train is within walking distance, and the Germantown Transit Center that provides Ride On shuttle service to the Shady Grove station of the Washington Metro's Red Line.
Germantown has the assigned ZIP codes of 20874 and 20876 for delivery and 20875 for post office boxes. It is the most populous Germantown in Maryland and is the only "Germantown, Maryland" that is recognized by the United States Postal Service.
In the 1830s and 1840s, the central business area was focused around the intersection of Liberty Mill Road and Clopper Road.