Frederick, Maryland

Welcome to our Amazing Frederick, Maryland Travel Guide

About 30 minutes to Harper’s Ferry or an hour to Washington, DC, Frederick, Maryland is a historic town bustling with a variety of things to do for the whole family, so many, in fact, it’s one of my favorite small-big towns. Gas lights flickering at dusk highlight the architecture along the downtown streets. Frederick, Maryland offers tantalizing sweets to savory bites and plates in cafes or elegant dining rooms. There is so much to see and experience in this Maryland small town. Pick any of them and you’ll have a great time. We hope our Frederick, MD travel guide, will help you to do just that.

Frederick, MD Travel Guide
Gregg Enjoying the Street Art

Things To See in Frederick, Maryland

Historic Downtown Area- an expansive historic downtown with over 150 shops and 50 dining venues, tall wooden exteriors with narrow doors remind you, you’ve stepped back in time to the Civil War era with insides dressed in modern charm

Historic Downtown Shops– One of the best historical downtowns I’ve seen. It’s quaint, with beautiful architecture, and blocks of unique shops. You can even get a palm reading! 

  • Firestone Market on Market– Firestone Market on Mark has gourmet foods and gifts and a rich atmosphere.
  • Lebherz Oil & Vinegar Emporium– Infused, fused, balsamic, or wine, Lebherz Oil & Vinegar Emporium has so many delicious options to choose from. Try them all!
  • The Pasta Palette– Like an artist’s paint studio, The Pasta Palette has pasta with an array of colors, textures and exciting and engaging varieties.
  • The Muse– Find your inspiration at The Muse, along with American handmade gifts.
  • Pop Shop– With 400 varieties of soda pop, the Pop Shop also has local ice cream and hot dogs, the ingredients to a fun treat.
  • Tiara Day– Tiara Day, where every day and every woman is special. Bask in the “vintage glamour” vibe.
  • Dancing Bear toys and Games– Unique hands-on imaginative play abounds at Dancing Bear Toys and Games.
  • Voila in Frederick– Voila in Frederick offers 350 cold or warm brew teas to choose from, with accessories and adorable teapots. It’s a wonderland for tea lovers.
  • Retro Metro– Novelties, décor, and gifts for your fun side await you at the Retro Metro. Be sure to look for Borrow My Pen, it’s hysterical.

Art Trail– Will you accept the secret mission to find the murals on the Art Trail in Frederick? They are simply fun, beautiful, and emotional.

Catoctin Wildlife Preserve– Catoctin Wildlife Preserve has a wide variety of animals to see, feed, and interact with. You can even take the narrated safari ride to visit animals you otherwise can’t view.

Tree Trekkers– With 14 aerial courses for ages 4 and up, Tree Trekkers brings adventure to the trees! 

Cunningham Falls State Park– The Cunningham Falls State Park is a beautiful state park offering a variety of trails, including a view of the falls. You have plenty of hiking options here; located on the opposite side of the street as the National Park.

Catoctin Mountain Park– Many well-marked long or short trails are found in Catoctin Mountain Park with vista views or interior forest beauty.

Covered Bridges Driving Tour– I was so excited to see my first covered bridge. It was so fun driving through the countryside and spotting a bridge in the distance. The Covered Bridge Driving Tour showcases bridges that are all very well preserved. You can still drive through them today!

South Mountain Creamery– Bottle feed calves, lick fresh ice cream from a cone, tour the farm, pet goats, or buy fresh dairy products from the South Mountain Creamery store. I have to say bottle feeding calves was a trip highlight for me. 

@VR– Find out what all the fuss is about for Virtual Reality @VR. Each session is a customizable Virtual Reality experience for all ages.

Baugher’s– A farm wonderland of seasonal fruit picking, Baugher’s has barn yard animal petting, wagon rides, restaurant and farmer’s market

Earthbound Mural, Frederick, MD Travel Guide
Earthbound Mural, Angels in the Architecture
Downtown Shops, Frederick, MD Travel Guide
Downtown Shops

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Places to Eat in Frederick, Maryland

You won’t get stuck deciding what restaurant to eat at in Frederick, MD. It feels like there are a hundred of restaurants in Frederick, with food from around the globe. There is something for everyone here. 

I almost had to drag Gregg out of the Bakery and Cafe. He loves his milkshakes and Sodas! Truth is, there were several amazing places to eat in Frederick, MD, that I hope these recommendations help you find that treat you’ve been craving. 

4 The Love of Suites Bakery & Cafe– Gourmet cupcakes, milk shakes, waffles, funnel cake fries, and French toast are a few of the decadent desserts you’ll be craving when you walk into 4 The Love of Suites Bakery and Cafe. If you can’t decide, get both, try their milkshake topped with a cupcake. 

Candy Kitchen– Candy Kitchen has a wide assortment of chocolates and truffles of every flavor.

jojo’s Restaurant and Tap House– Upscale American with creative twists on fan favorites jojo’s Restaurant and Tap House has root beer bbq on pulled pork or grilled chicken with lump crab meat.

Café Nola– Serving vegan, vegetarian and gluten free, Cafe Nola has breakfast favorites like their Migas or sandwiches and wraps. 

Brewers Alley– Take a brewhouse tour, sample award winning beer, or devour wood oven roasted snacks and hearty entrees at Brewers Alley. 

Pop Shop, Frederick, MD Travel Guide
Gregg at the Pop Shop

Places to stay in Frederick, Maryland

Where to stay in Frederick, MD is easy! Both of these beautiful accommodations offer settings for any occasion. From a honeymoon or anniversary celebration to a girl’s trip. You can’t go wrong with either of these! 

10 Clarke– A luxurious Victorian B&B experience 10 Clarke includes a gourmet three course breakfast, evening wine and goodie reception, and European chocolates. A 24 hour coffee and tea bar will have you winding down and cuddling with a soft blanket. 

Springfield Manor Winery Distillery Brewery– Eight unique suites in the quiet countryside will have you dreaming among the lavender fields, vineyard, or finding adventure in the hills and trails at Springfield Manor Winery Distillery Brewery. 

Roddy Road Covered Bridge, Frederick, MD Travel Guide
Roddy Road Covered Bridge
Street Art, Frederick, MD Travel Guide
Gregg and Alise Admiring Street Art; Photo Credit: Jody Saunders

Seasonal things to see and do in Frederick, Maryland

Year round

Carroll Creek Linear Park– Check out the seasonal events including Sailing Through Winter Solstice.

Downtown Frederick 

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Cycling in Frederick, Maryland

Gregg is not a high wheel cyclist but loved cycling the smooth roads in Thurmont, starting at the middle school, riding toward the Loy’s Station covered bridge to the Roddy Road covered bridge. The farm roads were much quieter than the city, with less traffic.

Also, near Cunningham Falls State Park, at the intersection of Highway 70 and 66, is a bike path on the road shoulder that ebbs and flows over hills and flat paved highway. The Dollar General at 77 and 66 might be a great place to park.

Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Park Ride to or from Nolands Ferry or other nearby entry points while many parts of the C&O are not suitable for thin road bike tires, at least from the Shepherd’s town (and a bit before) entry point to Seneca boat ramp just before lock 24 (22 miles before the trail ends in Washington) it is a well packed and sufficient for my road tires.

Cycling Harper's Ferry, WV
Gregg Cycling the C&O
Gregg Riding West Virginia Travel Guide
Gregg Cycling the C&O

Best In Show

With so many amazing things to do in Frederick, MD it’s hard to choose the best in show, but I will tell you, a vacation here will be fun. I would say it’s a top small town in the US to get away if you are looking for a mid-pace getaway, with time to relax but also time to be out having a great time. 

Accommodation10 Clarke – An experience of luxury and opulence framed in a Victorian B&B setting, the 10 Clarke caters to the tiny details with a thoughtful staff.

Food4 The Love of Suites Bakery & Cafe – Where else can you get a milk shake topped with a flavor matching cupcake? 4 The Love of Suites Bakery & Cafe has savory and sweet, my favorite combination. 

Things to Do Downtown Frederick – Frederick is one of the best historic downtowns I’ve seen, with so much funk, diversity, and cool architecture. There are so many other things to do, like Carroll Creek Park, a small waterway to stroll and view wall art and wildlife, or the art trail of painted building murals.

South Mountain Creamery, Frederick, MD Travel Guide
South Mountain Creamery Calf Feeding
Catoctin Wildlife Preserve
Catoctin Wildlife Preserve
South Mountain Creamery, Frederick, MD Travel Guide
South Mountain Creamery Calf Feeding

Alise’s Favorites and Suggestions

  • There are many garages for parking throughout the downtown. Just beware, the garages are narrow and low, so don’t get trapped, like we did, with a storage shell on the top of your car screeching along the ceiling of the garage. LOL 
  • Street parking in Frederick is widely used, coin-operated or pay via app. Just remember there is no meter charge on Sundays or in the evenings (check the times on the meters)
  • The National Park is free, however, the State Park has a fee
  • Check hours and make reservations where possible

Day Trips

Harpers Ferry, WV Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, close to DC, Maryland, and Virginia, has multiple pieces of the civil war puzzle of the area from the battle field to the actual town existing today, much as it did in the late 1800’s telling the story of abolitionist John Brown who raided Harpers Ferry in attempts to end slavery. Make the most of your visit to this fascinating town with our Harpers Ferry travel guide.
Martinsburg, WV Away from the noise of big cities, this small town lightly impacted by the pandemic, that has so much to do, and needs people to visit and revitalize their economy. Why not use our Martinsburg WV travel guide to help! Quaint downtown, outdoor hiking and cycling, and down-on-the-farm activities.
Ocean City, MD Ocean City is an exceptional sea-side summer-fun destination with splashes of delicious dining, ocean view accommodations, wild horses running on the beach, water sports, and an old-fashioned boardwalk and midway. Choices for sand, romance, fun and family time seem endless here and time suspended. Our travel guide helps you to make the most of what Ocean City, MD has to offer.

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These items will make your travels memorable.

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Garmin Varia RTL510, Bike/Cycling Radar Tail Light, Alerts for Rear-Approaching Vehicles
Garmin Edge 530 (Sensor Bundle) GPS Bike Computer
Maryland State Silhouette Box