Frederick, Maryland is a unique and wonderful city because they are returning to their roots and preserving the small city downtown. Frederick’s historic downtown area is filled with locally owned shops, restaurants, and vendors. I loved the emphasis on returning to the locally owned stores and handcrafted goods. The community is progressive, accepting, and charming in a way that exists so rarely these days, no wonder they were ranked as the 8th Most Diverse Cities in America in 2016.
The beautiful historic buildings of downtown Frederick
Why Frederick, MD
Located less than one hour from Washington, D.C., Baltimore, and Gettysburg, the city of Frederick, Maryland is surrounded by mountain views, wineries, orchards and a vibrant downtown community. LGBT folks visiting the area can hike the Appalachian Trail, visit Maryland’s largest brewery, and antique through the town all in one day.
Best Budget Accommodations
AirBNB has some incredible options for accommodations these days. If you prefer to be in the historic downtown area you may want to book an apartment for rent. This downtown three bedroom home is perfect for a group of friends or a family. Another option is this giant historic home with adorable suites for rent. If you’re booking with AirBNB for the first time use this coupon for $40 off your stay.
Sleep Inn Frederick
The Sleep Inn Frederick is everything you need for your stay. This hotel is minutes from the Francis Scott Key Mall, downtown historic Frederick, Baker Park and dozens of restaurants. Your stay comes with free hot breakfast and free high-speed Internet access. At $50-$75 per night, you really can’t beat the price.
Best Mid Range Hotels
Frederick Inn Bed & Breakfast
Frederick Inn Bed & Breakfast is a Historical B&B dating back to 1897. The B&B is located in the small village of Buckeystown, which is just outside of Frederick. The house is surrounded by a large yard with curated gardens perfect for lounging and relaxing. The rooms are adorably decorated and filled with everything you need. Our room had a balcony overlooking the yard. We spent all evening watching a thunderstorm roll past. The delicious breakfast and fun conversation with lovely Innkeepers made our stay. This is the perfect place to step away and spend time with loved ones. Check out Lindsay’s review of our stay.
Hampton Inn & Suites
Hampton Inn & Suites Frederick-Fort Detrick hotel is ideally located in Frederick with easy access to a wide array of historical and cultural attractions. Here you can find many different styles of rooms to accommodate any group or family traveling together.
Best Luxury Hotels
Springfield Manor Wine and Brewery Inn
Springfield Manor Inn is basically an old school European style estate. Each of their suites reflects the prominent local history. The 135-acre estate adjoins Cunningham Falls State Park. Enjoy nearby fly fishing, hiking, biking, shopping, history, and fine dining during your stay. Accommodations include a farm fresh country breakfast as well as a complimentary wine tasting in our beautiful tasting room.
Things To Do
Walk Carroll Creek Park
This cute little urban park showcases multiple pieces of public art and a waterway. The park is also home to fountains, an amphitheater with events year round, and a bunch of restaurants offering waterfront dining. The entire park is over a mile long and leads to the historic downtown.
Head to Market Street and Patrick Street, to check out the most adorable downtown you’ve ever seen. Take your time exploring a few of the shops and taking in the picturesque Downtown scenery. Stop into the progressive bookshop, Curious Iguana Books and Gifts and grab a cup of tea next door at the Voila tea shop. Lindsay really loved Treaty General Store for some trendy, masculine of center clothing and accessories.
Everedy Square & Shab Row is downtown Frederick’s largest cluster of specialty shops, eateries, and services housed in beautifully restored 19th Century buildings in Historic Downtown Frederick, Maryland. Stop into I Made This! to paint your own pottery. Or visit Frederick Coffee Company for live music and a bite to eat.
Go Kayaking or Rafting
Just outside of Frederick is Harper’s Ferry Adventure Center where you can join organized kayaking or rafting tours. For those that are a bit more adventurous, they also have an aerial ropes course and zip line. Consider booking their white water rafting and zipline package to maximize the fun.
Peruse the Delaplaine Visual Arts Center
Home to multiple galleries, this art haven is full of unique art from both the local community and artists across the country. They also host regular classes, register in advance to reserve your spot in a pottery class and get your Patrick Swayze in Ghost on.
Hike Cunningham Falls State Park
Frederick is a short drive into the Catoctin Mountains where you’ll find yourself at the foot of two trails. The “lower trail” is the shorter and easier option, while the “cliff trail” is a bit more challenging. Both will take you to the same end point, Maryland’s largest cascading waterfall. After your hike, check out the beach at Hunting Creek Lake.
Tour and Taste at McClintock Distillery
McClintock Distillery uses organic grains to produce spirits that are milled in-house. Tour the incredible space and taste sustainably produced gin and whiskey. The venue is stunning and is also used for weddings. Their gin and whiskey are small batch, and limited release, using some unconventional (and delicious) ingredients.
Brewer’s Alley Rooftop Bar
Enjoy a cold brew with a gorgeous view at Brewer’s Alley. The rooftop bar is incredible for the views of the Alley’s new mural and for grabbing a quick bite to eat. The beer menu offers a variety of year round brews and a rotating seasonal menu for tastings.
Rockwell Brewery is one of Frederick’s newest microbreweries. Sit outside in the beer garden with your pup or head inside to the bar and sample a flight of locally made brews.
Firestone’s Culinary Tavern
Firestone is set in a 1920-era building once served as a department store but is now a warm and friendly restaurant. The interior has large windows with great views of the activity on Market street. The Tavern represents the classic combination of upscale bistro and friendly neighborhood gathering place. Try the Hot Pastrami Sandwich ($12) and the Maryland Crab Dip ($12). The real surprise was a delicious cucumber salad. It was so good we were still talking about it days later.
Pistarro’s is a restaurant specializing in traditional Naples style wood fired pizza. They offer family style seating and a pizza bar option where you can watch them make your pie. All of the dough and mozzarella is handcrafted in house. We had the Bianca Pizza ($11) and the Spaghetti Con Polpette ($11). Both were great portions, we left full with to go boxes in hand.
Cafe Nola has been voted “The Best Breakfast In Frederick”. They serve high-quality classic dishes with organic and local produce. Some favorites are the Chesapeake Benedict ($18) and the Vegan Scramble ($11). Cafe Nola’s interior decor is constantly changing, reflecting the hip sensibilities of the surrounding area while paying tribute to Frederick’s artistic past. It has the perfect patio to sit and enjoy a cup of coffee.
Rex’s Downtown Grill
Rex’s is an airy cafe with exposed brick walls. Their focus is to deliver fresh food and quick service for people on the grow. They offer classic sandwiches and burgers with tons of topping options. You can try Rex’s Club ($9.49) or the Chili Cheddar Burger ($12.49). While we were there It was super hot out so my favorite part was the handspun chocolate milkshake.
La Paz is a Mexican restaurant located in a gorgeous building on Carroll Creek Promenade. There is a beautiful dog-friendly outside patio. They have a large menu with tons of options ranging from the stuffed avocado ($9.25) to the combination dinners ($11-15). The Super Shredded Beef Burrito ($11.95) was what spoke to my Mexican food loving heart.
Festivals and Events
Brunswick Railroad Days Festival
The first weekend in October for the annual Brunswick Railroad Days festival, which is probably the cutest small town festival ever. There’s lots of great home cooked food, family type fun, and trains. In addition to the coolest train set I’ve ever seen in the Brunswick Railroad Museum, there are actual running trains that can take you back and forth to the City of Frederick during the two-day event.
Boat and Brew
Every Saturday morning from June to October, River & Trail Outfitters partners with Barley And Hops Brewery, in Frederick, MD to create the Boat and Brew. The mornings start off with a relaxing guided 5.8 miles kayak or canoe tour along the Monocacy River. Paddlers of all levels will share the waterways with wildlife of the adorable variety while enjoying the water. At the end of the Kayak tour, you cap your day off at Barley and Hops Microbrewery, where the folks there believe “Life’s too short to drink bad beer.”
Frederick Festival of the Arts
The Frederick Festival of the Arts, is held the first week in June along Carroll Creek Linear Park in downtown Frederick, Maryland. Each year the festival brings in judges to critique the work of artists from across the country. Art-lovers come from far and wide to experience the quality fine art, exceptional musical talents, and of course food and drinks.
Maryland Craft Beer Festival
The Maryland Craft Beer Festival is an exciting one-day festival in mid-May includes beer tastings from 40+ Maryland breweries -including a few breweries not yet open to the public!). Join the fun and enjoy over 180 unique local craft beers – though you may not want to try them all in one go. In addition, there is live music, delicious food and an eclectic display of Frederick art.
Pride on the Creek
Frederick Pride is celebrated at the end of June each year at Carroll Creek Linear Park in downtown Frederick. This past year they had more than 6,000 attendees and over 100 participating organizations celebrating LGBT Pride.
This mixed LGBT bar from the outside looks like something out of the Matthew Shepard documentary but once you get past the exterior, the inside is designed like a Chelsea lounge. Check out the drag shows on Friday and Saturday nights and really bask in the community at this small town LGBT bar.
Dublin Roasters is a lesbian-owned coffee shop that makes small batch roasted coffee. What makes them truly unique is their emphasis on community-based activism and passion for improving their community. Stop in for a morning yoga session and stay for breakfast. Dublin Roasters has a kitchen and bakery, enjoy their breakfast bagels all day, or grab a lunch panini, soup, and salad.
Frederick is the second largest city in Maryland and is only one hour outside of Washington DC. They actively support the LGBT community with classes and resources at the local LGBT Community Center. They also have an LGBT Meetup Group for those looking to meet others in the Frederick area.