Frederick, Maryland: amuse me.
June 4, 2008 10:03 PM   Subscribe

What interesting, different, off-the-beaten path things can I do in Frederick, Maryland?

What quirky but tasty restaurants, non-tourist trap shops, funky pedestrian areas, yummy microbreweries/wineries, and additional noteworthy sites should I visit in Frederick, Maryland? I'll be making a day trip there, probably on a Saturday afternoon. Also, is there anything I should avoid? Horrible restos, for example? I'm fairly easily amused, but would like some quality in my amusement. And if I were to be so amused that I spent the night, what interesting B&B or inn would capture my attention?
posted by December to Travel & Transportation around Frederick, MD (12 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I can't speak to brewpubs directly, but Wild Goose is a great local brewery. They were bought last year by Flying Dog, who moved out here from Denver and who are also awesome. So that location brews both lines of beer now, I gather. Should be a sweet tour!
posted by mindsound at 10:22 PM on June 4, 2008

Wow, a question I'm very qualified to answer. I grew up just south of Frederick and spent most of my teenage years trying to find something interesting to do in Frederick.

But okay, seriously. Caroll Creek Linear Park is kind of interesting. It runs through downtown; you could pick it up over by the Delaplaine Center for Visual Arts just south of Caroll and East Street (check out the bridge over the creek next to the Delaplaine building; it's painted with a very interesting mural!) and walk west over to Baker Park. There are some decently interesting shops and restaurants along S. Market St (MD355) in town, which Caroll Creek crosses under as well. I recommend Isabella's, which is a pretty classy restaurant/bar. The same area of town has a Museum of Civil War Medicine (south side of E. Patrick east of S. Market) that I've never been to, but I hear is worth a look. There's also the Barbara Fritchie house around town somewhere -- I don't think that's really good for much more than a walk past the exterior, though.

A bit further outside of town, there's the Monocacy Battlefield, with a visitor's center just south of the river on 355. I've honestly never stopped, but I've driven by it more times than I care to think about.

If you're willing to drive about an hour out of your way, Sugarloaf Mountain (south on 355 to Urbana, then right on 80, left just past the interstate overpass, then several miles out to Sugarloaf Road) has some pleasant day-hiking on very well maintained trails, but nothing I'd consider strenuous (well, you could do the 15-miler, I guess). It might be mobbed with families on a weekend this time of year, though.

For shopping, you might check out the Shab Row stores, which are on the corner of N. East Street and Church Street. It's not exactly anything to write home about, but it's a few steps above garden variety strip-mall. Just north on East Street, there used to be a small shop owned by an artist who built sculptures out of found industrial equipment. I toured it when I was younger -- very cool stuff. He died probably ten years ago, but the shop might still be there. Look for a large robot dog on the east side of East Street north of E. Patrick St, but if you get to the big strip mall, you've gone too far north.

If I think of anything else in the next day or so, I'll comment again, but that's really all I've got for now.
posted by Alterscape at 12:43 AM on June 5, 2008

There's Wonder Books, a huge used bookstore. I recommend the Golden Mile location on W. Patrick Street.
posted by armage at 1:16 AM on June 5, 2008

This weekend is the Frederick Festival of the Arts, which means despite any forecast to the contrary, it will rain. The first Saturday of every month, well, there's First Saturday - shops stay open late, activities and music are planned in the street, there's a "theme" - see more info here. The Mudd Puddle is a cool little coffee shop - there was an article in last Sunday's paper about some zinesters that are starting up a library there, so that's cool. Isabella's is very good, as is The Tasting Room, Bombay Grill, and Il Porto. The most walkable, shoppable, browsable area really is the whole "Market/Patrick/East Street" area. I like The Muse for browsing and Zaruba for dreaming. Here's the Frederick Arts Council calendar of events, there's a monthly Artist Market that I've never attended but adore in theory, and we all love the Weinberg. And the Delaplaine. Yes. I live here.
posted by ersatzkat at 3:49 AM on June 5, 2008

Cool shops:

Flights of Fancy (on N. East St. in Everedy Square)

Emporium Antiques (100 block of East Patrick St.)

Cinegraphic Studios (S. Market St.)

Also, if you're coming on a Sunday and want to stick around until 7 PM there's a free concert every week at the Baker Park Band Shell; everything from jazz to concert bands. These run from June 8 through August 6.

All of the locations above are within easy walking distance for most people.
posted by imjustsaying at 4:16 AM on June 5, 2008

I love Cafe Kyoko. If you like sushi and Thai, I highy recommend it.
posted by pmbuko at 7:04 AM on June 5, 2008

Unfortunately Cafe Kyoko is no longer in business. The new restaurant in its former second floor location on E. Patrick St. is Quynn's Attic.

Both my son and my wife give the new restaurant rave reviews, but since I don't get out much I can't really comment on it.
posted by imjustsaying at 12:27 PM on June 5, 2008

Tajitu Ethiopian Restaurant.
posted by bad grammar at 4:58 PM on June 5, 2008

I will 2nd Tajitu. Also, it just occured to me that there is an excellent Vietnamese restaraunt on the corner of S. Market and 7th, I believe. It might be further south than that, actually, but it's on the northeast corner of S. Market and something, across the street from an interesting "park" with a fountain. Great food to be had!
posted by Alterscape at 6:37 PM on June 5, 2008

It may not be "amusing", but it's definitely interesting. Mt. Olivet Cemetery. Robert E. Lee is buried there and the place is huge. Graves dating back to the early 1800's and in the newer section are are some pretty impressive headstones.

My parents and ancestors are there... Section H.

Beyond this, the downtown area is interesting to walk around. Lots of little shops and cafes.

Snd that's all I know of Frederick, MD.
posted by SoftSummerBreeze at 8:31 PM on June 5, 2008

When I lived in Frederick (which was a few years ago, it has improved significantly since then), one of the few places that helped make it tolerable to be there was Mirage at 243 N. Market St. It's a hookah place with a full middle eastern menu. I can't speak to the quality of the food, but it's a great place with a good mix of people. Don't go if you're not looking to be social- every time I've gone there, I've ended up on a first name basis with every other customer and most of the employees within an hour or two.

Also, Beans & Bagels (49 E. Patrick St) is one of the less busy coffee places. Most people would recommend Frederick Coffee Company, but I prefer to drink my morning coffee in peace, which Beans & Bagels is excellent for.
posted by cheerwine at 3:30 AM on June 6, 2008

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