Less than 50 miles from Baltimore is the town of Frederick, county seat of Frederick County. Recently, on a lovely weekend day just asking for a daytrip, I took the drive out route 40 West. It wasn’t long, a bit less than a hour, I was parked on Market Street ready to take in the sights.
What I didn’t do, but what I’m recommending you do, is to drop by the Visitor Center first (151 South East Street). Make that your first stop and pick up a copy of Visit Frederick. It will be of immense help. The key to this visit, other than driving to a restaurant (read on), you can park the car once and that’s it.
As I have said in other features on towns, or cities, etc, there isn’t enough room here to tell the entire story. So what you’re about to read, is a thumbnail report, though written quite well if I must say so.
You can go in any direction once you get the visitor guide, but I’ll begin at Carroll Creek. This is a relatively new area, located in the historic district. It is a mile long and was part of a flood control project started in the 1980’s. And yes there is a creek there.
You take a leisurely walk and pass restaurants, retail and many people. So people watching is on the schedule. At the far end (opposite of Market St) is what residents call the Community Bridge Mural. It is fascinating, worth seeing. In simplistic terms, it is an illusion of stone and ivy.
Another stop should be Mt. Olivet Cemetery (515 South Market) For this you may have to get back in the car, so do it at the end of your historic visit. The first burial here was in 1854. The most distinguished resident is Frances Scott Key.
A walking tour might be a good idea. You can do a self guided tour taking you by about 25 attractions. There are also civil war tours (out of the area) and in the fall ghost tours. I did this once and it is fun and a bit frightening.
During the summer you can enjoy summer concerts in Carroll Creek and on any weekend after 9 pm it’s Downtown Frederick After Dark. More close by attractions include Barbra Fritchie’s reconstructed house (154 West Patrick). She was immortalized in a popular poem written in 1863.
At 40 South Carroll it’s the Delaplaine Visual Arts Education Center, originally used to mill flour; Trinity Church (10 West Church), site of the first German Reformed Church in town; Schifferstadt Architectual Museum (1110 Rosemont Avenue), oldest building in the city, the National Museum of Civil War Medicine (48 East Patrick), tells the medical story of the Civil War.
And that’s not all, additional attractions include the Monocacy National Battlefield; the Frederick Wine Trail, visit wineries and breweries; Harry Grove Stadium, home of the Fredrick Keys, High A minor league team of the Orioles. This by the way is lots of baseball fun. There isn’t a bad seat and the cost to get in is family friendly.
Antietam Battlefield is just 23 miles away, Washington is 49 miles and Gettysburg is 35. In other words, if you decide to spend the night, Frederick is a good central location. Plenty of hotels, motels and B & B’s are available. Incidentally, there are three covered bridges in Frederick County.
The town was founded in 1745. It is 23 square miles with a population of about 67,000. It is the second largest incorporated city in the state. Once upon a time it was an important commercial crossroads situated on a north south Indian trail.
It was known during the 19th century for its religious pluralism, with one of its main thoroughfares, Church Street, hosting about a half dozen major churches. It also became one of the new nation’s leading mining counties in the early 19th century.
When touring is done and you feel those pangs of hunger, let me suggest Madrone’s, 7810 Worman’s Mill Road, about a 10 minute drive from the historic district.
It is open seven days for lunch and dinner. Seating for about 140, it is casual, Sunday Brunch from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m, locally owned, a real fireplace, happy hour weekdays from 3:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. and about 24 craft beers.
I’m told I have to come back for either the french toast at the brunch or any one of their burgers at lunch or dinner, especially the Madrones’ Burger Le Grand.
Every Monday through Friday until 3:30 you can order a lunch special for just $8.99. Just for the record, I had and thoroughly delighted in the Asian Salmon dinner. (madrones.net)
So instead of lounging around watching TV everyday, get in the car and enjoy a day or overnight in Frederick, Maryland. I guarantee a good time. You can even take me with you to point out the sites.(visitfrederick.org)
Eddie Applefeld is a Baltimore native and a graduate of Towson University. He has been in the broadcasting profession for over 30 years. Currently he is the Promotions Director of WCBM radio. Before that, he was part of the Rouse & Company show on WQSR, host of a cable TV show called Dining Out and adjunct instructor at Towson.
His past accomplishments include being named a finalist in Baltimore Tourism’s Employee of the Year Program and winner of Toastmaster’s Speaker of the Year contest. He was also twice a heartthrob for the American Heart Association’s gala fund raiser.