Discover Frederick: A Local’s Guide to Things to Do in Maryland’s Hidden Gem

If you’re yearning to explore a treasure trove of culture, history, and small-town charm, venturing into Frederick, Maryland, should be at the top of your list. With “Discover Frederick: A Local’s Guide to Things to Do in Maryland’s Hidden Gem,” you’ll unlock a world brimming with quaint bookstores, scenic parks, and a dynamic calendar of local events that infuse the city with life. You’ll get to weave through the tapestry of Frederick’s soul, meeting the people and businesses that pulse at the core of this endearing locale. Whether you’re a longtime resident hungry for fresh adventures or a curious traveler seeking an authentic slice of Maryland life, this guide is your ultimate compass to experiencing the very best Frederick has to offer.

Table of Contents

Historical Landmarks and Museums

Frederick, Maryland is steeped in history, and you can explore its rich heritage through a variety of landmarks and museums that tell compelling stories of the past.

Explore the National Museum of Civil War Medicine

As you step through the doors of the National Museum of Civil War Medicine, immerse yourself in the captivating tales of care and healing during one of America’s most tumultuous periods. The museum offers interactive exhibits and real artifacts that highlight the innovations in medical treatments that were born out of wartime necessity. It’s an eye-opening experience that provides a unique perspective on the Civil War.

Visit the Monocacy National Battlefield

Take a short drive to where the Battle of Monocacy took place—an often-overlooked battle that played a significant role in the Civil War’s outcome. As you walk the fields of the Monocacy National Battlefield, picture the soldiers and strategies, and learn about this critical event. The park offers self-guided tours, interpretative trails, and a visitor center filled with historical insights.

Step back in time at Schifferstadt Architectural Museum

Discover the beauty of early American architecture at the Schifferstadt Architectural Museum, one of the oldest and most historic building in Frederick. Built in the 1750s, this stone house serves as a testament to German-American life during colonial times. You’ll marvel at the craftsmanship and learn how early settlers lived and adapted in the New World.

Discover the Heritage of the Historical Society of Frederick County

The Historical Society of Frederick County awaits to share with you the stories and artifacts that span over several centuries of local history. From art exhibitions to their research center, you have the opportunity to delve deeper into Frederick’s past and connect with the lineage and lore that binds the community together.

Outdoor Adventures

With its picturesque landscapes, Frederick invites you to revel in the beauty of nature through an array of outdoor adventures.

Hike the Scenic Trails of Cunningham Falls State Park

Lace up your hiking boots and hit the scenic trails of Cunningham Falls State Park. Known for Maryland’s tallest cascading waterfall, this park offers trails that range from easy to challenging, ensuring that everyone from beginners to experienced hikers can enjoy the natural splendor. Don’t forget to bring a camera for that postcard-perfect shot of the waterfalls!

Enjoy Boating and Fishing at Baker Park

A sunny day is best spent out on the water, and Baker Park is the ideal locale for your aquatic leisure. Rent a boat to drift lazily on the pond or cast a line to see what you can catch. The park also boasts walking paths and picnic areas if you prefer to stay on dry land.

Experience the Beauty of Carroll Creek Park

Carroll Creek Park is a vibrant urban oasis that runs through downtown Frederick. Stroll along the creek’s edge, enjoy the public art, and watch the carefully curated gardens burst with colors. It’s the perfect place to refresh your mind and enjoy the company of nature amidst the cityscape.

Take a Bicycle Tour Along Clustered Spires High Wheel Race

If you’re into biking and history, the Clustered Spires High Wheel Race is your kind of adventure. This unique event, which features a race of penny-farthing bicycles, is a nod to Frederick’s rich cycling tradition. Even if you don’t participate, it’s an exhilarating spectacle to witness and a great starting point for your own bicycle exploration of the city’s historic district and beyond.


Cultural Experiences

Frederick’s cultural scene is vibrant and diverse, with experiences that captivate the spirit and stir the soul.

Attend Events at the Weinberg Center for the Arts

The Weinberg Center for the Arts is a hub for cultural events, offering everything from concerts and plays to films and comedy shows. Check their calendar and catch a performance in the beautifully restored historic theater for an evening of high-class entertainment.

Experience the Frederick Festival of the Arts

Join artists and art enthusiasts for the Frederick Festival of the Arts, an annual event that transforms the Carroll Creek Park into an outdoor gallery. Marvel at the work of talented artists and craftsmen, enjoy the live performances, and maybe find that perfect piece of art to take home.

Explore the Local Art Galleries

Frederick’s local art galleries reflect the city’s creative pulse. Wander through these spaces to view contemporary pieces, traditional crafts, and everything in between. These hubs for artistic expression are not just places to observe art—they are places where you can feel a part of the city’s creative community.

Join the First Saturday Celebration in Downtown Frederick

Your exploration of Frederick’s cultural landscape isn’t complete without joining a First Saturday celebration in the heart of downtown. On the first Saturday of each month, the streets come alive with themed events, live music, and late-night shopping. It’s the perfect way to mingle with locals and experience the community’s festive spirit.

Local Eateries and Breweries

In Frederick, your taste buds are in for a treat with a delectable array of food and drink options that showcase the best of local flavors.

Savor the Flavors at Frederick’s Top Restaurants

Your culinary adventure in Frederick will take you to top-notch restaurants serving mouthwatering dishes that range from upscale dining to casual eats. The city’s chefs are known for their creative use of local ingredients, so expect every meal to be a fresh and delightful experience.

Embark on a Frederick County Craft Beverage Tour

Sip your way through Frederick County on a craft beverage tour, where local vineyards, distilleries, and breweries welcome you to taste their expertly crafted drinks. Each stop on the tour offers a unique taste profile, ensuring that whether you prefer wine, whiskey, or beer, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

Enjoy Farm-to-Table Dining Experiences

Frederick is proud of its farm-to-table movement, where the relationship between farmers and chefs is celebrated. Enjoy dining experiences that highlight sustainable and locally-sourced foods, transforming simple meals into something truly special.

Sample Craft Beers at Local Breweries

Beer enthusiasts, rejoice! Frederick’s local breweries artfully balance traditional brewing methods with innovative techniques to create exceptional craft beers. Sample a wide array of brews, from hoppy IPAs to smooth stouts, and discover your new favorite pint.


Family-Friendly Activities

Families will find Frederick to be a playground filled with activities that both entertain and educate young minds.

Have Fun at Adventure Park USA

Set aside a day for thrills and laughter at Adventure Park USA. This family-friendly amusement park offers a variety of rides, games, and attractions that are sure to delight children and adults alike. Be it go-karts, mini-golf, or a wild ride on a roller coaster, there’s endless fun to be had.

Learn and Play at the Rose Hill Manor Park & Museums

At Rose Hill Manor Park & Museums, give your kids a unique educational experience as they learn about early American history, agriculture, and industry. Interactive exhibits and hands-on activities ensure that learning is fun and engaging for the whole family.

Spend the Day at Catoctin Wildlife Preserve

Get up close and personal with exotic animals from all over the globe at the Catoctin Wildlife Preserve. The preserve offers interactive experiences that give you a deeper understanding of wildlife conservation and the importance of preserving natural habitats.

Enjoy Seasonal Activities like Summers Farm Adventure

Summers Farm Adventure epitomizes family fun with its seasonal activities. Depending on the time of year, you can navigate through corn mazes, pick pumpkins, or enjoy hayrides. The farm also hosts special events that add to the festive atmosphere.

Shopping and Boutiques

When it comes to shopping, Frederick offers a unique selection of stores and markets where you can find everything from contemporary designs to antique treasures.

Browse the Shops at Everedy Square & Shab Row

Take a leisurely stroll through the historic Everedy Square & Shab Row, where boutiques line the cobblestone streets, offering everything from fashion to homemade goods. It’s a charming spot to shop for unique finds and enjoy the quaint architecture.

Discover Local Wares at Frederick’s Farmer’s Markets

Frederick’s Farmer’s Markets are bursting with local produce, meats, cheeses, and artisanal products. These gatherings are as much a community event as they are a place to shop, supporting local farmers and artisans while getting to know the heartbeat of the city.

Find Unique Gifts at Downtown Frederick’s Specialty Stores

Downtown Frederick’s specialty stores are a haven for those seeking something different. Here, you can find one-of-a-kind gifts, handcrafted jewelry, and niche items that reflect Frederick’s diverse character.

Attend the Annual Sidewalk Sale Event

For a shopper’s delight, don’t miss the annual Sidewalk Sale event where local retailers bring their best deals to the streets. This is your chance to score amazing bargains and enjoy the bustling atmosphere as the community comes together for this shopping extravaganza.

Nightlife and Entertainment

When the sun sets, Frederick’s nightlife comes alive with numerous entertainment options to suit any mood.

Experience Live Music at Frederick’s Music Venues

Music lovers will find a haven in Frederick’s music venues where local and touring bands perform live. From jazz clubs to open-mic nights, the city offers venues that pulse with melodies and rhythms of all genres.

Join the Lively Atmosphere at Downtown Bars and Pubs

For a night out, downtown Frederick boasts an array of bars and pubs where you can enjoy craft cocktails, fine wines, and local beers. The lively atmosphere, complete with socializing locals and welcoming bartenders, makes for an enjoyable evening.

Catch a Movie at an Independent Theater

For those who enjoy a quieter night, an independent theater is the place to catch the latest indie films or cult classics. Cozy up with some popcorn and settle in for a night of cinematic discoveries.

Try Your Luck at a Trivia Night at a Local Brewery

Test your knowledge and enjoy some friendly competition at a trivia night hosted by a local brewery. It’s the perfect combination of brain-teasers, laughter, and good company.

Health and Wellness

In Frederick, you can easily find ways to rejuvenate your body and mind, thanks to various health and wellness options available throughout the city.

Relax at Frederick’s Spas and Wellness Centers

Indulge in relaxation and pampering at one of Frederick’s spas and wellness centers. From massages to beauty treatments, these havens of tranquility offer the perfect respite from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Join a Yoga Class in Baker Park

Center your mind and body with a yoga class in the serene setting of Baker Park. Whether you’re a seasoned yogi or new to the practice, outdoor yoga is a fantastic way to connect with nature and the community.

Participate in Local Fitness Challenges and Events

Stay active and motivated by participating in local fitness challenges and events. Whether it’s a charity run, a cycling race, or a unique obstacle course, these events are not only a great way to maintain fitness but also to bond with fellow health enthusiasts.

Explore Holistic and Alternative Health Options

Frederick also offers a variety of holistic and alternative health options for those seeking non-traditional paths to wellness. Explore acupuncture, chiropractic care, naturopathy, and more as you discover what works best for your well-being.

Education and Workshops

If you’re eager to learn and create, Frederick’s educational workshops and classes provide ample opportunity to expand your skills and knowledge.

Take a Cooking Class with a Local Chef

Unleash your inner chef by taking a cooking class led by one of Frederick’s culinary experts. You’ll not only learn new recipes and cooking techniques but also enjoy the fruits of your labor with a delicious meal at the end of the class.

Attend a Workshop at The Delaplaine Visual Arts Education Center

Nurture your creative side at The Delaplaine Visual Arts Education Center, where workshops in painting, drawing, photography, and more are offered. It’s a place to let your creativity flow and connect with other art enthusiasts.

Enroll in History and Cultural Classes

Expand your understanding of the world with history and cultural classes offered in the city. Through lectures, discussions, and tours, you can deepen your appreciation for the past and the diverse cultures that shape our world today.

Participate in Maker Workshops and Craft Gatherings

Join the maker movement with workshops and craft gatherings. From woodworking to jewelry making, these hands-on activities provide a space for you to create tangible works of art while meeting fellow crafters.

Seasonal Events and Festivals

Frederick’s calendar is dotted with seasonal events and festivals that celebrate the city’s spirit and bring the community together.

Experience the Color of the Fall Fest

Embrace the autumn season at the Fall Fest, where the changing leaves are accompanied by live music, festive foods, and family activities. It’s the ideal way to experience the beauty and bounty of Frederick in the fall.

Celebrate at the Frederick Oktoberfest

Don your lederhosen or dirndl and join in the festivities of the Frederick Oktoberfest. Savor traditional German food, beer, and music while enjoying a variety of entertainment that reflects Frederick’s rich cultural tapestry.

Participate in the Summer’s Alive @ Five Series

The summer months in Frederick are made even livelier with the Alive @ Five series. End your Thursday workdays with live bands, refreshing drinks, and a sunset over Carroll Creek Park.

Enjoy the Holiday Magic at Frederick’s Christmas in April

Christmas in April is your chance to revel in Frederick’s holiday spirit. The city comes alive with decorations, themed activities, and a sense of wonder that envelops you in the warmth of the season.

In Frederick, Maryland, every street, corner, and venue has something unique and exciting to offer. You’re not just exploring a city; you’re uncovering a treasure trove of experiences that create memories to last a lifetime.