The 15 Best Things to Do in Frederick, Maryland

Frederick, Maryland

Walter Bibikow/Getty Images

Looking for things to do in Frederick, Maryland? The area has a variety of attractions, parks, recreational facilities, wineries, antique shops, restaurants, and entertainment venues. As the gateway to western Maryland with its mountainous views and "clustered spires" skyline, Frederick is best known for its civil war history and its 40-block historic district. Located within an hour drive of Washington DC and Baltimore, the historic town is an easy and fun place to explore. Plan your visit with this guide to the "must see" attractions in Frederick.

  • 01 of 15

    Tour Monacacy National Battlefield

    Monocacy National Battlefield sign
    Tourism Council of Frederick County, Inc.

    The Civil War site is one of Frederick, Maryland's most notable historic attractions where the Battle of Monocacy Junction was fought on July 9, 1864. The battle was one of the last that the Confederates carried out in Union territory and saved Washington DC from being attacked. Take a walking tour and stop by the Visitor Center to see electronic maps, historical artifacts, and interpretive displays. Participate in a ranger-guided program or attend a special event.

  • 02 of 15

    Visit the National Museum of Civil War Medicine

    Display in the National Museum of Civil War Medicine
    Tourism Council of Frederick County, Inc.

    Located in Downtown Frederick, the museum contains five galleries and more than 1200 artifacts that illustrate the medical story of the American Civil War. Visitors learn about the history of medical care and technology as it relates to the military and the wounded. There is also a gift shop and research facility.

  • 03 of 15

    Attend a Performance at the Weinberg Center for the Arts

    Weinberg Center for the Arts
    Courtesy of Weinberg Center for the Arts

    Looking for something fun to do to entertain the whole family? The 1926 restored movie palace, located in Downtown Frederick, is a thriving state-of-the-art theater that features a variety of concert and theatrical performances. The facility seats 1,500 and is also available to rent for film festivals, studio screenings, conventions, weddings, business meetings, etc.

  • 04 of 15

    Attend Events

    Frederick Maryland Fireworks
    Celebrate Frederick, Inc.

     A wide range of family-friendly events is held in Frederick throughout the year. Enjoy some of the most popular festivals and events including:

    • Restaurant Week - March - Participating restaurants will offer fixed-price lunch and dinner options to entice diners to try something new.
    • Bell and History Day Tours - April - Across the county, participating museums and historic sites offer free admission along with special events, tours, music, living history programs, and various bell-themed activities.
    • Festival of the Arts - June - The juried art show takes over the historic downtown area with fine art, music, and food.
    • Fourth of July Fireworks - July - The Independence Day event includes a full day of entertainment and fireworks.
    • Great Frederick Fair - September - The annual county fair features agricultural exhibits, contests, rides, and lots of family-friendly activities.
    • Oktoberfest - September/October - The German festival includes beer, wine, dancing, music, children’s events, and much more.
    • Christmas Events - December - The community celebrates the holiday season with a wide variety of festivities.
    Continue to 5 of 15 below.
  • 05 of 15

    Shop for Antiques Downtown

    Shab Row
    Tourism Council of Frederick County

    Downtown Frederick boasts over 200 antique shops, many within an easy walking distance of each other. The historic area includes retail shops specializing in home furnishings, fashion, outdoor gear, toys, specialty foods, books, art, and more.

  • 06 of 15

    Attend a Frederick Keys Baseball Game

    Baseball player swinging at a pitch
    J. Leggett

    The Minor League Baseball Team is a Class A affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles. The Harry Grove Stadium seats 5,500 fans and is family friendly, offering a Fun Zone and postgame fireworks on the weekends.

  • 07 of 15

    Take a Bike Ride Through Historic Frederick

    View of the Hessian Barracks
    Acroterion/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 3.0

    The Frederick History Bicycle Loop is a 10-mile loop through the City of Frederick with stops at 22 historic sites including Schifferstadt Architectural Museum, the Francis Scott Key Memorial, the Hessian Barracks, and Civil War sites.

  • 08 of 15

    Enjoy Fine Dining in Downtown Frederick

    Firestone's Culinary Tavern - Frederick
    Andrew Murdock

    Downtown Frederick offers a variety of great restaurants including some award-winning establishments like VOLT, the Dutch's Daughter, and Firestone. Enjoy a wide range of cuisine from Italian to Japanese to Seafood to Spanish Tapas.

    Continue to 9 of 15 below.
  • 09 of 15

    Explore Baker Park

    View of a pond and man-made waterfalls and a tower in Baker Park
    Jennifer Boyer/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

    The 44-acre park, located in Downtown Frederick features a carillon, a lake, a public swimming pool, tennis courts, athletic fields, and several playgrounds. The park serves as a venue for summer concerts, a children’s theater, and many other outdoor events.

  • 10 of 15

    Explore Cunningham Falls State Park

    People swimming at the park
    Rachel Cooper

    Located just north of Frederick, Cunningham Falls State Park features a beautiful 78-foot cascading waterfall, a 44-acre lake, 140 campsites, playgrounds, picnic areas, and hiking trails. This is a local favorite destination for outdoor recreation with plenty of things to do for the whole family.

  • 11 of 15

    Tour a Local Winery

    Linganore Winery
    Tourism Council of Frederick County

    The Frederick Wine Trail is made up of six wineries and their combined 120 acres of vineyards. Enjoy a ride through the Maryland countryside and discover some of Frederick County's best agricultural bounty with its beautiful vineyards and outstanding wines.

  • 12 of 15

    Take a Brewery Tour at Flying Dog Brewery

    Line of flying dog tap handles
    Maryland GovPics/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

    Visit Flying Dog Brewery, the largest beer producer in Maryland and home of beers like Deadrise, a light, Old Bay-infused brew perfect for seafood, that has won gold medals around the world. Tours are free and offered on Thursdays through Sundays.

    Continue to 13 of 15 below.
  • 13 of 15

    Take the Kids to Rose Hill Manor Park and Children's Museum

    Rose Hill Manor Park and Museum
    Frederick Visitors Bureau

    Rose Hill Manor provides visitors with a look at early American life, transportation history and the agricultural history of Frederick County. The property features a manor house, icehouse, log cabin, blacksmith shop, carriage collection, and two barns. Guided tours are offered daily. Special programs are available for children and groups.

  • 14 of 15

    Ride on a Vintage Train on the Walkersville Southern Railroad

    Walkersville Southern Bridge
    Karl Kyhl/Flickr/CC BY-ND 2.0

    Located just northwest of Frederick in Walkersville, MD, the historic railroad offers a variety of excursion rides including mystery dinner trains, Jesse James Day, special events, and private charters. The Santa Train is especially popular during the holiday season.

  • 15 of 15

    Visit Schifferstadt Architectural Museum

    Schifferstadt Architectural Museum
    Tourism Council of Frederick County, Inc.

    The Schifferstadt Architectural Museum is an 18th-century museum and gardens in Frederick, Maryland. It is one of the oldest and most historic buildings in the City of Frederick and among the best examples of early Colonial German Architecture in the country. Special events are held onsite throughout the year.