Rich in history and heritage, and home to beautiful landscapes of rolling hills and abundant farmlands, Frederick in western Maryland is packed with things to see and do for the whole family. From outdoor activities and adventures like hiking, biking, camping, golfing, and fishing to touring local wineries, visiting covered bridges and exploring well-preserved 18th and 19th-century architecture in several historic districts, you won’t be hard-pressed to fill a day in and around the lovely city. There are also plenty of excellent museums, like the National Museum of Civil War Medicine, the Schifferstadt Architectural Museum, and the Rose Hill Manor Park & Museums, along with charming parks like the Gambrill State Park. Here are some of the top things to see and do in Frederick, Maryland.
1.Historic Downtown Frederick
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Historic Downtown Frederick is a quaint and charming section of the city that is home to beautifully preserved buildings, and over 200 specialty shops, museums, art galleries, and restaurants. Exciting things to see in the historic area include the Community Bridge, which features a mural painted by artist William Cochran; several excellent art galleries like the Delaplaine Art Center, the Tomandy Art Center, and the New Vision Gallery; and museums like the Civil War Medicine Museum. The district features world-class shops, specialty stores, and boutiques, making it a shopper’s paradise, and visitors can explore the area on self-guided walking tours or carriage or trolley rides.
2.Carroll Creek Park
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Situated along 1.3 miles through the charming historic downtown area of Frederick, Carroll Creek Park is a public urban area surrounding the 8.3-mile-long Carroll Creek, which is a tributary of the Monocacy River. Located on South Market Street, the park features a peaceful stream spanned by beautifully decorated footbridges and brick walkways where visitors can take a stroll. The park is flanked by some of the city’s top dining restaurants, which have outdoor seating and are packed in the summer months. A grassy amphitheater provides a perfect spot for picnics and hosts a variety of entertainment throughout the year.
Carroll Creek Linear Park, Frederick, MD 21701, Phone: 301-600-1380
3.National Museum of Civil War Medicine
Based in Historic Downtown Frederick, the National Museum of Civil War Medicine focuses on the medical, surgical, and nursing practices during the American Civil War. The U.S. historic education institution boasts over 7,000 square feet with five immersion exhibits spanning two floors, which explore medicine during the war and demonstrate the techniques used on the battlefields of the Civil War, and how they contributed to modern medicine. Exhibits recreate aspects of Civil War medical issues such as a field hospital, a field dressing station, a military hospital ward, getting wounded men off the battlefield, and life in camp. Displays include equipment, tools and other items, such as surgical kits, and the only known surviving Civil War surgeon’s tent.
48 E Patrick St, Frederick, MD 21701, Phone: 301-695-1864
4.Monocacy National Battlefield
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The Monocacy National Battlefield is the site of the Battle of Monocacy, which was also known as the “Battle That Saved Washington,” which was fought on July 9, 1864, during the American Civil War. Straddling the Monocacy River southeast of Frederick, the battlefield marks the last attempt by the Confederacy to seize Washington, D.C. Visitors can explore the park on self-guided auto tours or on several walking trails which wind through the park, which is open year-round.
5201 Urbana Pike, Frederick, MD 21704, Phone: 301-662-3515
5.Flying Dog Brewery
Flying Dog Brewery is a craft brewery that was founded in 1990 by George Stranahan and Richard McIntyre and is now the largest in Maryland. The brewery produces a range of craft beers, including year-round, seasonal, limited editions, and brewery exclusives, and is famous for its unusual labels, which feature illustrations by local artist Ralph Steadman. The artwork features bizarre, twisted imaginations of dogs with wings in bright and vibrant colors, making each bottle a masterpiece in its own right. Brewery tours are offered Friday through Sundays, and the Roasthouse Pub food truck serves fried mac and cheese bites out front.
4607 Wedgewood Blvd, Frederick, Maryland
McClintock Distilling is an award-winning organic-certified distillery that produces a variety of gins, vodkas, and whiskeys from significant brands to limited release batches. The distillery uses organic grains free of pesticides and chemical additives to produce whiskeys, which are milled in-house using an antique stone burr mill. Using heirloom grains supports small, locally owned farms and gives the whiskeys a different taste profile, character and flavor to standard whiskeys. McClintock Distilling offers guided tours Friday through Sunday, year-round.
35 S Carroll St, Frederick, MD 21701, Phone: 240-815-5259
7.Weinberg Center for the Arts
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The Weinberg Center for the Arts is a performing arts center that hosts a variety of entertainment such as music, theatre, films, and visual art shows throughout the year. Built as the Tivoli Theatre in 1926, the building was Frederick’s premier movie theatre for nearly 50 years before being damaged by a flood in 1976. The owners at the time, the Weinberg family, donated it to the city, which restored it to its former glory, maintaining the grand style in which it was built in 1926. The center features an original two-manual, eight-rank Wurlitzer organ, the only one of its kind in the state, and hosts several dozen events every year.
20 W Patrick St, Frederick, MD 21701, Phone: 301-600-2828
8.Harry Grove Stadium
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Harry Grove Stadium is the home of the Frederick Keys, a class A minor league team affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles. Opened in 1990, the 4,500-seater stadium is named for Harry Grove, one of the founders of the Frederick Hustlers, a professional team that existed in the mid-1900s and in addition to hosting baseball games, also hosts various concerts and several autocross clubs. The minor-league ballpark has a grandstand built into the side of a hill with concourse that declines to a seating bowl and the playing field. Concession stands offer some tasty treats, and there is ample free parking.
21 Stadium Dr, Frederick, MD 21703
9.Community Bridge Mural
The world-renowned Community Bridge mural is a trompe l’oeil mural created by Frederick artist William Cochran in 1993. Using the trompe l'oeil art style to create an image that fools the eye, Cochran transformed the simple Carroll Street Bridge into the illusion of a beautifully carved, ivy-covered stone bridge. The idea for the mural was conceived by Cochran as an alternative to using artificial stone cladding to adorn the bridge over Carroll Creek and took five years to complete, during which Cochran translated the symbols on the bridge into individually painted stone carvings. The mural boasts four significant features represented by circular medallions on either side of the bridge to represent commonalities found within a myriad of diverse ideas.
Carroll Creek Park, Frederick, MD 21701
, Michigan beaches
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Summers Farm is a family-friendly farm that offers a variety of fun-filled activities and adventures for the whole family. Established in 1934, the farm became a top attraction after creating the Summers Farm Fall Festival in 1996, and today offers an array of exciting activities such as apple blasting, pumpkin picking, pig races, wagon rides, jumping pillows, farmer golf, hay slides, and animal petting. The farm also has a 12-acre themed corn maze and a Corn Kernel Pit and hosts several events such as nights at the farm with campfires and a Moonlight Maze adventure. Other attractions at the farm include a Country Market, a Sweet Shoppe, and a Barnyard Grill.
5620 Butterfly Ln, Frederick, MD 21703, Phone: 301-620-9316
11.Gambrill State Park
Based on Catoctin Mountain, Gambrill State Park is a public recreation area in Frederick County that offers an array of recreational activities such as hiking, mountain biking, picnicking and fishing, and is renowned for its spectacular views of the surrounding countryside. Visitors can soak up breathtaking vistas from stone lookout points that were built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s, and enjoy other amenities such as wooden picnic shelters, several color-schemed hiking trails with interpretive signs, a children’s playground, a small fishing pond, and a modern tea room.
8602 Gambrill Park Rd, Frederick, MD 21702, Phone: 301-271-7574
12.Dragon Distillery, LLC
Located directly across from the airport in Bay Runner Shuttle, Dragon Distillery is a small, veteran-owned business that produces a range of handcrafted, artisan spirits using sustainably-sourced, natural ingredients. Continuing the tradition of working the land as their forefathers did in the mid-1700s on a 200-acre tract of land about 25 miles away, the team at Dragon Distillery specializes in small-batch artisan spirits. Visitors can enjoy guided distillery tours, tastings, and purchase the products at the distillery.
1341 Hughes Ford Rd Suite 108, Frederick, MD 21701, Phone: 301-378-2514
13.Rose Hill Manor Park & Museums
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Rose Hill Manor Park & Children's Museum, once known simply as Rose Hill Manor, is a historic home that features family-friendly exhibits that explore the history of Frederick and the agricultural and transportation industries in Frederick County. The museum is based in a beautifully preserved neoclassical 1790s brick house with notable features such as a large patio supported by fluted Doric columns and a balustraded second floor with Ionic columns. Once the retirement home of Maryland’s State Governor Thomas Johnson, the building is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
1611 N Market St, Frederick, MD 21701, Phone: 301-600-1650
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Schifferstadt, also known as Scheifferstadt, is the oldest standing house in Frederick and one of the finest examples of German-Georgian colonial architecture in the country. Built in 1758, the house has several unique architectural features such as two-foot-thick stone walls, hand-hewn wood beams, stone arches, a giant "wishbone" chimney, jamb stoves, and a tightly winding staircase to the second floor. The designated a National Historic Landmark is surrounded by beautifully manicured gardens, and grounds and both the gardens and the house is open to the public for tours on Saturdays and Sundays.
1110 Rosemont Ave, Frederick, MD 21701, Phone: 301-663-3885
15.Mount Olive Cemetery
Located on South Market Street in historic Downtown Frederick, Mount Olivet Cemetery is a famous cemetery that is home to several notable people, including Thomas Johnson, the first elected governor of the State of Maryland, the author of the National Anthem, Francis Scott Key, and one of the top female heroines of the American Civil War and author of Whittier's Poem, Barbara Fritchie. Established in 1854 and operated by the Mount Olivet Cemetery Company, Inc., the Cemetery is steeped in community pride and American patriotism and is considered one of the most beautiful and distinguished burial grounds in the country.
515 S Market St, Frederick, MD 21701, Phone: 301-662-1164
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Attaboy Beer is an independent brewery and taproom in Frederick that produces a range of craft beers, including IPA, Sour Ale, Saison, and Hibiscus Blonde, among others. Located just off Carroll Creek, the brewery features a family-friendly beer garden and an indoor and outdoor area where the range of products can be sampled. Visitors can enjoy tours of the brewery and beer tasting, and several food trucks serve a variety of food just outside the brewery. Visitors can also enjoy picnics in the beer garden, and dogs are welcome. Attaboy Beer is open for lunch and dinner, Tuesday through Sunday.
400 Sagner Ave #400, Frederick, MD 21701, Phone: 301-338-8229
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17.The Delaplaine Visual Arts Education Center
Housed in the 100-year-old Mountain City Mill on the banks of Carroll Creek in historic downtown Frederick, the Delaplaine Arts Center celebrates the works of regional and national artists in five galleries. Established in 1986, the 40,000square-foot center is a flagship of the arts and features eight spacious studios, where visitors of all ages can enjoy classes and workshops. The center is also home to Etchison Davis Library, one of the largest, free art reference libraries in the state; the Community Art Gallery and the Community Outreach Gallery, where works by local students and community groups are shown; and the magnificent Gardiner Hall. The Gift Gallery at the Delaplaine sells a variety of art-related items, gifts, and souvenirs supporting local artists in the community.
40 S Carroll St, Frederick, MD 21701, Phone: 301-698-0656
Located along the National Pike in a beautifully restored old brick building in the heart of historic downtown Frederick, Emporium Antiques sells a wide variety of antiques, period furnishings, and vintage home décor. Built in 1912, the 55,000-square foot building houses over 130 antiques dealers and a vast consignment section selling a wide range of products, including 18th Century antiques and furniture, architectural findings, art, fine art, oil paintings, and early prints, books and ephemera, cameras, Civil War relics and militaria, decorative traditional antiques, folk art and Americana, and American and European antique furniture.
112 E Patrick St, Frederick, MD 21701, Phone: 301-662-7099
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19.Hidden Hills Farm & Vineyard
Set on a 100-acre horse farm in the heart of Frederick County, the Hidden Hills Farm & Vineyard is a female-owned and operated horse farm and winery that produces a notable range of fine wine from grapes such as Cabernet Franc, Sauvignon Blanc, Vidal Blanc, and Chambourcin that thrive in Maryland’s climate. Inspired by the beautiful rolling hills of Frederick County, the environmentally-friendly horse farm and winery features a state-of-the-art wine-making facility that crafts wines in small blocks, highlighting their best characteristics with a refined complexity. Visitors can sample the estate’s fine wines at the tasting room and can join the Equestrian Wine Club to make the most of the farm.
7550 Green Valley Rd, Frederick, MD 21701, Phone: 301-660-8735
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The Hessian Barracks is a historic barracks and school building that were used during the 19th century for a variety of uses, ranging from a state armory and silkworm production site to a hospital during the American Civil war and possibly prison. Originally comprised of two L-shaped buildings, one of which was demolished in the 1870s, today, the barracks consist of a two-story stone structure with a gable roof and gallery porches. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Hessian Barracks are closed to the public, pending restoration, except for special events.
242 S Market St, Frederick, MD 21701
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21.Serenity Tearoom & Fine Dining
Serenity Tearoom & Fine Dining is a relaxed, refined café that specializes in the traditional afternoon high tea and Southern-style dinners. Owned by Blanch Henry, the spacious restaurant has a beautifully decorated dining room and a private dining room for special celebrations, and Executive Chef Brandon Sumblin creates a seasonal menu that includes several Southern-inspired lunch and dinner dishes such as salt and pepper catfish with creamed succotash, sweet potato ricotta gnocchi with bacon lardons, and smoked Prince Edward Island mussels. Traditional Afternoon Tea features a variety of exotic and imported loose-leaf teas, along with freshly baked scones, pastries, and sweet treats, and the tearoom sells 70 different loose-leaf teas and tea accessories. Serenity Tearoom & Fine Dining is open for lunch and dinner, Tuesday through Saturday.
162 W Patrick St, Frederick, MD 21701, Phone: 301-695-8327
Set in a beautifully restored 1890s brownstone mansion in the heart of the historic district, Volt is an elegant fine-dining destination that serves award-winning New American cuisine and fine wines from around the world. Celebrity chef and Frederick native Bryan Voltaggio use fresh locally sourced ingredients to create a six-course, a 15-course and a 21-course tasting menu featuring regionally sourced meats, fresh seafood, and organic salads and vegetables. Attentive, knowledgeable staff serve the cuisine with passion and flair, and professional sommeliers offer advice on which world-class wines to pair with each dish. Volt is open for lunch and dinner, Friday through Sunday, and dinner only Tuesday through Thursday.
228 N Market St, Frederick, MD 21701, Phone: 301-696-8658
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23.Firestone's Culinary Tavern
© Firestone's Culinary Tavern
Firestone's Culinary Tavern is a casual gastropub with contemporary décor, a vintage tin ceiling, and a large mahogany bar that serves upscale, comfort food and fine wines in a historic neighborhood tavern setting. Open for lunch, dinner, and Sunday brunch, the restaurant serves farm-to-table menus of mouthwatering dishes, tapas-style small plates, and signature specialties such as imported charcuterie and cheese boards, and freshly shucked raw oysters from the East Coast. The full-service bar serves a list of over 80 craft and draft beers, globally-inspired wines from around the world, and handcrafted cocktails made with premium spirits. Firestone's Culinary Tavern is open for lunch and dinner, Tuesday through Sunday.
105 N Market St, Frederick, MD 21701, Phone: 301-663-0330
24.Hootch & Banter
© Hootch & Banter
Hootch & Banter is a sophisticated metropolitan hot spot in the heart of historic old town Frederick that serves imaginative Modern American cuisine and world-class wines in a stylish, yet relaxed space. Exuding a lively atmosphere, the restaurant has modern décor with crisply dressed tables and serves a seasonally-inspired menu of market-driven modern American fare with French Influences made with locally sourced ingredients and regional produce. A world-Class bar program feature craft and draft beers on tap and by the bottle, fine wines from around the globe, and handcrafted seasonal cocktails made with premium spirits. Hootch & Banter is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, daily.
49 S Market St, Frederick, MD 21701, Phone: 301-732-4971
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© a.k.a Friscos
a.k.a. Friscos is an upbeat restaurant, sandwich shop, and catering company that serves a variety of gourmet sandwiches, house-roasted meats, fresh salads, and baked potatoes prepared using fresh, locally sourced ingredients. Established in 1990, a.k.a. Friscos is a popular spot for lunch and dinner, where locals and visitors alike come to enjoy huge portions of fresh salads, gourmet sandwiches, hearty entrées of chicken and prime steaks, organic vegetables, and a variety of baked potatoes with different toppings. The bar serves around 75 craft and draft beers on tap and by the bottle, a variety of casual wines from around the world that can be enjoyed by the glass and bottle. a.k.a. Friscos is open for lunch and dinner daily.
4632 Wedgewood Blvd, Frederick, MD 21703, Phone: 301-698-0018
25 Best Things to Do in Frederick, MD
- Historic Downtown Frederick, Photo: Christian Hinkle/stock.adobe.com
- Carroll Creek Park, Photo: Christian Hinkle/stock.adobe.com
- National Museum of Civil War Medicine, Photo: Olexandr/stock.adobe.com
- Monocacy National Battlefield, Photo: Zack Frank/stock.adobe.com
- Flying Dog Brewery, Photo: pressmaster/stock.adobe.com
- McClintock Distilling, Photo: stock.adobe.com
- Weinberg Center for the Arts, Photo: Maksym Yemelyanov/stock.adobe.com
- Harry Grove Stadium, Photo: Augustas Cetkauskas/stock.adobe.com
- Community Bridge Mural, Photo: jonbilous/stock.adobe.com
- Summers Farm, Photo: U. J. Alexander/stock.adobe.com
- Gambrill State Park, Photo: methaphum/stock.adobe.com
- Dragon Distillery, LLC, Photo: Nestor/stock.adobe.com
- Rose Hill Manor Park & Museums, Photo: phanthit malisuwan/stock.adobe.com
- Schifferstadt, Photo: Igor Tarasov/stock.adobe.com
- Mount Olive Cemetery, Photo: jonbilous/stock.adobe.com
- Attaboy Beer, Photo: Monkey Business/stock.adobe.com
- The Delaplaine Visual Arts Education Center, Photo: guruXOX/stock.adobe.com
- Emporium Antiques, Photo: painless/stock.adobe.com
- Hidden Hills Farm & Vineyard, Photo: lacodk/stock.adobe.com
- Hessian Barracks, Photo: jonbilous/stock.adobe.com
- Serenity Tearoom & Fine Dining, Photo: jlcst/stock.adobe.com
- Volt, Photo: Volt
- Firestone's Culinary Tavern, Photo: Firestone's Culinary Tavern
- Hootch & Banter, Photo: Hootch & Banter
- a.k.a Friscos, Photo: a.k.a Friscos
- Cover Photo: Christian Hinkle/stock.adobe.com