Hopefully you already found a game. I play in Rockville (Game Wizards). I believe there is also a place in Silver spring that runs AL. However you should be able to find stuff a lot closer to you on warhorn.
For me, AL replaces casual pickup games I used to have in college. I'm busy with work and family, so for me it's an opportunity to have some fun. It has its quirks, and there are some weak DMs out there, but for the thing it is... it's pretty great, IMO.
I have a job that requires me to travel a lot. I have AL characters that have been played in CA, AZ, CO, VA, GA, PA, MD, NC and Qatar. Adventurers League is Portable. This is it's strength. You can play as you can, and even missing a week should not disrupt the entire group.
While each individual table experience may vary, it is still D&D. In literally hundreds of sessions I have found the ratio of Great-to-Bad experiences has been favorable. Many sessions played with laughs and new friends and only one example of truly *bad* gaming. Most sessions are 6/7 of 10, and frankly that is good enough.
In regards to expectations, I don't know any Matt Mercers (a very high bar, indeed), so, I don't expect phenomenal voice acting, professional caliber game prep, or story lines developed specifically for my character. But I do get to find a LGS and get my game on, and I am very happy with what AL is, and what is has to offer.
A lot of grief is still in the air irt the Season 8 changes. While I don't particularly like what the AL administrators did (knee jerk fixes for problems that just created different problems) the tables I have been at are still D&D, and I still enjoy spending time with all my favorite nerds :)
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"Untrained and undisciplined troops take heavy casualties; trained and disciplined troops inflict them."
AL has been worth it to me. I have been playing D&D since 1978 but I stopped around 2000. In just the past month I have dropped in on a number of AL games. The first one was a disappointment but still enjoyable, my expectations were higher. Later I discovered the DM was new to the game which explained my issues. But soon afterword I managed to get into a number of AL games that were wonderful. The AL scene in the greater Seattle region appears to pretty good. Out of the 4 DMs that I have seen running AL I would happily play with 3 of them any time. The organization here is pretty good so I am able to get on good DMs tables regularly.