Just a short trip from the Nation’s Capital sits one of the most beautiful cities in the state. Spend some time in the lovely city of Frederick Maryland.
The two sides of Carroll Creek. The the enchanting light boats,”Sailing Through the Winter Solstice,”on the ice in the winter, and the vibrant greens of the four thousand newly planted lilies, lotus, and other aquatic plants in the summer.
Founded in 1745 by German settlers who found the gently rolling hills and fruitful soil comparable to their homeland.
The city is now the second largest in Maryland with 65,000 inhabitants. The forty block historic district, with its award winning artscapes, distinguished restaurants, prolific Civil War history, and legendary ghost stories make Frederick an intriguing city to visit any time of year.
Having fun is not hard to do here. As part of the city’s First Saturday series, that take place twenty-two weekends during the year, there are events happening all the time. Whether it be the merry National Clustered Spires High Wheel race (The only one of its kind in America) held each August, or the highly anticipated, “Fire & Ice” celebration held the first weekend in February.
CROSS TIP: Stop by the Frederick County Visitor’s Center to enhance your visit
Or perhaps you’d should pop up for the evening to indulge in the culinary delights of James Beard nominee (Twice) and Top Chef semi-finalist (Twice) and Frederick native Bryan Voltaggio’s outstanding fine dining restaurant, VOLT?
If history is what you are searching for, Frederick is renowned for it. The author of “The Defence of Fort M’Henry,” or as you may know it, “The Star-Spangled Banner,” Francis Scott Key, was born here and laid to rest here. The Civil War raged all around Frederick County Maryland, and Frederick City itself was ransomed to General Jubal Early for $200,00 in July of 1864 as payment for not reducing the city to embers on his march to Washington.
Antiques, old records, imported Olive oil, and coffee shops, are just a sampling of the two-hundred speciality shops, restaurants and art spaces within Frederick. You’ll find an eclectic mix of eateries here, Tapas from Isabella’s, authentic Italian from Il Porto’s, or Mexican from La Paz. Or stop by to see for yourself why Fredericktonians love long-time staples, Firestone’s and Brewer’s Alley.
For a fun diversion, you and your designated driver should head outside of the historic district and visit the Flying Dog Brewery. Here you can sample the latest award winning suds while waiting to tour the brewery, or just hang out with the locals in the brightly lit and homey feeling tasting room.
If wine is more to your liking, I recommend the short trip to Big Cork Winery in lovely Rohrersville. Where you just might enjoy a little Russian Kiss!
Besides the incredible restaurant choices, the weekend events, and the wide-range of shopping venues, Frederick is also well know as an art destination. Everywhere you look (And do look) you will find hidden artistic gems.
Whether it be in the community centric Delaplaine Arts Center, whose vision statement of, “Everyone deserves art!,” simply states their goals of creativity and inclusion.
Or linger around one of the most spectacular examples of environmental art you will find, the celebrated Carroll Creek Linear Park Community Bridge. An astounding example of wide scale use of Trompe l’oeil which took the master artist, William Cochran, and his ten assistants, five years to complete. Notice the detail in the over three thousand “Stones.” You’ll want to reach out and touch the ivy just to make sure it’s not real. And keep a keen eye as you walk along the underpasses, you just never know what you might see!
SIDE NOTE: As you stroll around the Historic district also keep your eyes open for “Angels in the Architecture,” three more Trompe l’oeil paintings by William Cochran and Paul F. Wilson. These playful ethereal paintings will unveil themselves to you if you are willing to truly look.