Once upon a time we thought we wanted to live in the country, in Frederick, MD to be precise.  We bought a sweet little brick house that just happened to sit in the middle of five acres of pretty pasture grass.  Fast forward 2 1/2 years and we sold the house and bought one way tickets to Europe.  As much as we loved the small city of Frederick and our little brick house, it turned out we didn’t love living in the country. As a friend said, “How could you know you wouldn’t enjoy living in the country if you didn’t try?”  With that being said though, here’s why you should visit Frederick, MD.

Frederick MD

Our little brick house surrounded by five acres of pretty pasture grass.

Here’s Why You Should Visit Frederick, MD

Located in western Maryland, just about 1 1/4 hours from Washington, DC, a day trip to Frederick promises a day full of adventure.  The historic little city, with a population of 70,000, was founded in 1748.  Quick math check, that’s 270 years ago.  For such a small city, there is so much going on.  Even though we no longer live in Frederick, it is still one of our favorite daycation spots.

The Visitor’s Center

Start your day at the visitor’s center.  It’s very well-done and the happy helpers are super friendly.  There is a brief video on the history of Frederick, as well as a plethora of information on how to best map out your day.  Actually, we’d encourage you to spend the night because one day is simply not enough to really get a good introduction to the city.

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Carroll Creek Linear Park

From the visitor’s center begin your walk along Carroll Creek.  It’s our favorite walk in Frederick.  The park began as a flood control project in the 70’s and over the years has transformed in to a multi-million dollar urban linear park.  It’s a fabulous (easy) walk through the historic downtown out to Baker Park and back again.  There are bridges and fountains, and depending on the time of year water lilies float gracefully on the water.  It’s not to be missed.

Carroll Creek Linear Park offers visitors a 2-mile loop walk.

The Public Art Trail

As you begin your walk along Carroll Creek, near the visitor’s center you’ll walk under a bridge.  Be sure to pay attention to the excellent examples of trompe l’oeil (fool the eye) murals that line the walk way.  They are amazing and they do indeed fool the eye.

Frederick MD

Trompe l’oeil along Carroll Creek

At any point you can branch off to follow the public art trail; get a map at the visitor’s center.  Frederick is well-known for the street art and murals.  There are 18 stops on the trail in the historic core, and they really are special.

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Antiques and Consignment Shops

While I don’t know the exact number of antique and consignment shops in Frederick, I do know there are a lot.  Our favorite store is Emporium Antiques on East Patrick Street and Fabulous Finds, also on East Patrick.  We never miss an opportunity to take a stroll through each store.  If you like to shop for antiques, or you’re looking for a good bargain, there are ample options.

Emporium Antique

While shopping along East Patrick Street be sure to visit Beans and Bagels.  It’s a little hole-in-the-wall cafe that serves good bagels, full breakfasts, sandwiches and of course, coffee.  It’s a local favorite. Other shopping experiences include bookstores, outdoor gear, jewelry, gourmet foods, ice cream, bakeries and chocolate shops.  Dining options include everything from counter service delis to fine dining.  For a small historic core, Frederick’s options are wide and varied.  There truly is something for everyone.

The Evangelical Lutheran Church

Now, you may wonder why a church is included in our list of reasons why you should visit Frederick, MD.  Here’s the thing.  Inside the church there is a chair which is said to be the chair that President John Adams once sat upon to listen to a sermon. That alone is worth seeing, but the interior of the church is beautiful. Each Wednesday afternoon a retired pastor spends time at the church speaking to visitors and sharing his knowledge of the church history and community.  It’s quite a nice experience.

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in downtown Frederick.

The Covered Bridges of Frederick County

Be sure to pick up a map at the visitor’s center before hitting the back roads to find the covered bridges.  To date, we have found eight of the covered bridges and they are wonderful.  What is it about a covered bridge that seemingly appeals to most everyone?  For me, it’s the history and the stories they hold.  That, and they always seem to be built in the most picturesque places.

Frederick MD

The covered bridges of Frederick County

Monocacy Battlefied

If you’re a civil war buff, or just interested in exploring, the Monocacy Battlefield site is definitely worth visiting.  Operated by the National Park Service, the site has a very informative visitor’s center with interactive maps to help visitors understand the history of and the scope of the Battle of Monocacy.  One can easily spend an hour or so in the visitor’s center reading about the history of the battle before going out to explore the site.  It’s quite something to walk in the path of those who walked in battle.

Operated by the National Park Service, the Monocacy Battlefield is well-worth visiting.

Leaf Peeping

If it’s fall, which just happens to be my most favorite time of year, the leaf peeping in and around Frederick is picture perfect.  When you’re in town and walking along Carroll Creek, you’ll be treated to multiple hues of colors in the trees that line the canal.  If you want to get out of town for a bit, nearby Gambrill Park is beautiful for both hiking and leaf peeping, as is Catoctin Park.

Leaf peeping in and around Frederick.

As you can see there are a multitude of reasons why you should visit Frederick, MD.  This is just a short list to catch your attention.  We loved Frederick so much that when we sold our house in the country, we gave serious thought to buying a house in town… but those one-way tickets to Europe won us over.  No regrets.  None whatsoever.

 

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