Traveling Like a Local: How to Plan an Overnight Visit to Frederick, Maryland
The best way to explore a region is to take in the local culture — the businesses and attractions that are unique to the area. That’s especially true in Frederick, Maryland, a place filled with people passionate about their hometown who aren’t afraid to show it. Frederick is a great destination to explore all things local, from crafts, wine and delicious food to the variety of outdoor activities to get out in nature. Here’s how you can curate your own homemade Frederick experience.
Explore Downtown Frederick
Before you can start your Frederick adventure, you first have to pick a place to stay. Thankfully, Frederick has more than 20 nationally branded hotels, so you can rest and refuel when the day comes to a close.
And if you’re doing Frederick right, you’ll have a full day planned. A great place to start is its downtown area, which has plenty of local shops and spots to eat and drink. Stop by Art Collective to take in artwork from female artists — there’s work from more than 20 creatives on hand to shop from Thursday through Sunday. If you’re looking for more home decor, Chappelle Candle Company offers hand-poured eco-friendly candles with scents like grapefruit and mint and white sage and lavender.
Downtown Frederick also offers scenic views, too — at Carroll Creek Park, you can stroll along the water and pop in and out of shops. Don’t miss out on buying some wares from McCutcheon’s Apple Products, which traces its history back to 1937.
And when the time comes to get a bite to eat, you can’t go wrong with Downtown Frederick’s many great restaurants. For some more history, check out Brewer’s Alley Restaurant & Brewery, housed in a building dating back more than 153 years. Chow down on an Alley Burger and wash it all down with a house-made light kölsch.
Hikes and Pies
If you’re visiting Frederick, hiking is a must for outdoor enthusiasts. Thankfully, there’s plenty of places around the area to get some elevation. At Cunningham Falls State Park, a 25-minute drive from downtown Frederick, you’ll hike through the Catoctin Mountains and can go swimming, take in the waterfall — the largest cascading waterfall in Maryland — and have plenty of opportunities to go fishing.
Elsewhere, at Catoctin Mountain Park, a 20-minute drive from Downtown Frederick, you have 25 miles of hiking trails to choose from based on your experience level. After you’ve worked up an appetite, pack lunch for a picnic by the nearby 166-year-old Roddy Road covered bridge, one of three covered bridges in the area. Be sure to save some room — just five minutes away, Catoctin Mountain Orchard is a can’t-miss spot for homemade pies in flavors like classic apple and peach crumb.
Alternatively, you can make plans to visit Catoctin Breeze Vineyard, which prides itself on its approach to producing authentic wines sustainably. Catoctin Breeze gets its name from the unfiltered nature of its wines, so you’ll be drinking sipping something truly homemade.
Exploring Outside Frederick
To fully take in Frederick’s makers and crafters, you have to get outside the city, too. Start your travels with some exercise outdoors at South Mountain State Park. Its 40 miles of trails stretch from the Potomac River to the Pennsylvania border. South Mountain is also the site of an 1862 Civil War battle, so you’ll be traversing on hallowed ground as you explore its geological wonders and breathtaking views.
Cap off the day with a sweet treat at South Mountain Creamery, a family-owned business that makes its own ice cream, with craveworthy flavors like cookie butter and sea salted caramel at its locations in both Middletown and Downtown Frederick.
Sampling Wines and Meads
A multiday Frederick getaway means you can go at your own pace. Before you leave, check out what its local distilleries and wine-makers are getting up to these days. Over in Middletown, Orchid Cellar Meadery and Winery makes complex honey wines that run the gamut of flavor from dry to spicy. Orchid Cellar takes its aging process seriously — times can vary from three to 36 months, and it’s this process that gives their meads a signature taste.
The facility is also just a skip and a jump to local favorite The Main Cup, which has developed a legion of followers for its sandwiches and pastas at both its Middletown location. As always, drink responsibly.
For more information on how to plan a getaway to Frederick Maryland, head here.This is a paid partnership between Visit Frederick and Philadelphia Magazine's City/Studio