Are you craving a break from the hustle and bustle of the Capital Region? 

Consider a relaxing long weekend in Frederick, Maryland—a charming destination that’s just a train ride away. Frederick’s rich history, vibrant arts scene, and delightful culinary offerings make it the perfect spot to unwind and explore. You’ll find a weekend’s worth of adventure and enjoyment in Frederick’s 50-block historic district. 

 

Church Street Morning

Here’s your guide to enjoying a car-free weekend in Frederick, accessible via the MARC commuter train service from Washington's Union Station.

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Getting Here

 

The MARC Train provides convenient week-day service between Washington’s Union Station and Frederick (Brunswick Line), allowing you to skip the Friday evening traffic and start your getaway stress-free. Fares between Union Station and Frederick are only $9 (one-way). 

For a long weekend, take the Friday evening trains from Union Station to Frederick. Three trains depart Union Station for Downtown Frederick each Friday - 3:45PM, 5:20PM, and 6:40PM. 

The journey takes about an hour and forty minutes, dropping you off right in the heart of Downtown Frederick at Frederick's Transit Center. The ride follows the tracks of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, taking you out of the nation’s capital and into the Heart of the Civil War Heritage Area where you’ll see American history passing right by your window. 

Bring your bike! Bikes are allowed onboard every MARC train and will be perfect for exploring Frederick. Trains have either bike racks or allow you to secure your bikes using bungee cords. Make sure you’re prepared by bringing two bungee cords just in case!

 

MARC Train in FrederickMARC Train at the Transit Center in Downtown Frederick

When your restful weekend concludes, Monday morning trains are ready to whisk you back to DC, refreshed and ready for the week ahead. Trains depart Frederick for Union Station at 5AM, 6:05AM, and 7:10AM. 

Note - There is currently no weekend train service between Frederick and Washington’s Union Station. Trains run M-F and with trains going from Washington’s Union Station to Frederick only in the evening and trains from Frederick to Washington’s Union Station only in the morning. 


 

Stay Downtown

 

When it comes to accommodations to stay the night, Frederick offers a variety of charming options that highlight the city's historical and contemporary appeal. A notable upcoming addition is the Visitation Hotel Frederick, scheduled to open in August 2024. Located just four blocks from the train station, this hotel, Downtown Frederick’s first hotel in decades, will provide easy access to all downtown attractions. 

 

Visitation Hotel Architect

 

Consider staying at 10 Clarke Place, a lovely boutique bed and breakfast that combines comfort with the elegance of a bygone era, or the Hollerstown Hill Inn, set in a beautifully restored 19th-century mansion.

 

10 Clarke Place Exterior

Many hotels are also easily accessible by ride-sharing app as well. You can also utilize Frederick Transit as well which is free to ride! Matter of fact, Transit serves all of the following destinations below. 

 

Eat and Drink Downtown

 

Frederick's dining and craft beverage scene offers a rich palette of flavors, from artisan coffees to world-class cuisine and innovative spirits, all within walking distance in the picturesque downtown area. Here are some ideas! 

 

Morning Coffee at Gravel & Grind

 

Kick start your morning at Gravel & Grind, a unique coffee shop that doubles as a bike shop. Sip on expertly brewed coffee made from specially sourced beans while surrounded by the quaint ambiance of cycling culture in this historic former car showroom. Their handcrafted espresso drinks and inviting atmosphere make it the perfect spot to plan your day's adventures in Frederick.

 

Gravel and Grind in Downtown Frederick

 

Lunch at Brewer’s Alley 

For a delightful midday meal, visit Brewer's Alley. Frederick's first brewpub, this restaurant is located at the center of the historic district. You can enjoy their signature craft beers brewed on-site, paired with a menu of sophisticated yet hearty dishes. This historic location, formerly an opera house and theater, offers a warm, inviting atmosphere that epitomizes Frederick’s local charm. On nice weekend days, we advise trying to get a seat at their rooftop bar! 

 

Brewer's Alley - 2022

 

Dinner at Thacher and Rye

As evening sets in and the sun goes down, treat yourself to a dining experience at Thacher and Rye. Renowned Chef Bryan Voltaggio's flagship restaurant, this venue is a celebration of refined American cooking with a focus on seasonal Mid-Atlantic ingredients. The atmosphere is warmly upscale, making it ideal for a special dinner where each plate is both a visual treat and a culinary delight.

 

Hangtime Media Orientation Film Still

 

Drinks at Local Distilleries and Breweries

Frederick’s vibrant spirit scene is not to be missed. Begin with a visit to McClintock Distilling, located right on Carroll Creek. Award-winning for their organic spirits, this distillery offers tours and tastings and their cocktail bar - Back Bar - is right next door. Just a short walk away, Tenth Ward Distilling specializes in unconventional whiskeys and spirited liqueurs, providing a taste of local innovation that mix up well in craft cocktails. 

 

McClintock Distilling Company Back Bar photo shoot 2022

Conclude your evening at the Carroll Creek Brewing District, a collective of breweries that highlight the best of Frederick's craft beer scene. Explore this lively area as you hop from one brewery to another, each offering unique brews that showcase the creativity and passion of Frederick’s master brewers. Whether you're a fan of hoppy IPAs or smooth stouts, you'll find something to savor as you enjoy the vibrant night scene along Carroll Creek Park. 

 

Group sitting at Idiom Brewery patio

Each of these destinations provides a unique glimpse into the culinary and craft spirit world of Frederick, ensuring your taste buds are as thrilled as your spirit is by the end of your visit. Looking for something else - explore our Downtown Dining Guide for a full list of options! 

 

Things to Do Downtown

 

Frederick is brimming with cultural and historical activities, each offering a distinct experience that enriches any visit. Here’s where you can immerse yourself in the arts, history, and outdoor beauty—all within an easy stroll through the city’s vibrant streets.

 

Explore the National Museum of Civil War Medicine

Dive into America’s past at the National Museum of Civil War Medicine. This unique museum offers a fascinating look at medical innovations from that turbulent time period that have shaped modern medical practices. Through interactive exhibits and carefully preserved artifacts, you’ll gain insights into the challenges and advancements in medical care during the Civil War. It's an enlightening experience for history enthusiasts and anyone interested in the evolution of healthcare. The Museum offers downtown history walking tours on Saturdays and Sundays from April to September. 

 

Visitors at the National Museum of Civil War Medicine

 

Visit the Delaplaine Arts Center

Art lovers will delight in a visit to the Delaplaine Arts Center, situated in a historic mill adjacent to the beautiful Carroll Creek Park. The center showcases an array of artworks from local, regional, and nationally-recognized artists across multiple galleries. With a dynamic schedule of workshops, classes, and exhibitions, the Delaplaine offers a creative space not only to view art but to engage with the artistic process and community.

 

Delaplaine Arts Center - 2022

 

Follow the Public Art Trail

Frederick's commitment to public art is showcased through the Public Art Trail through Downtown Frederick. This self-guided walking tour (you can pick up a brochure at the Frederick Visitor Center or download it online here) leads you through a series of installations and sculptures that beautify the city and reflect its rich history and cultural diversity. 

From murals to sculptures, the public art trail is a testament to Frederick's thriving art scene and a perfect activity for those looking to combine a leisurely walk with aesthetic enjoyment.

 

Lester Bowie from VG Cover

 

Relax in Carroll Creek Park

No visit to Frederick would be complete without spending some time in Carroll Creek Park. This nearly mile long linear park, which transformed the creek into a vibrant cultural district, is the hub of weekend events in Downtown Frederick.

 

Carroll Creek Park

Stroll along the creek, enjoy the lush landscapes, seasonal flower displays, and the series of beautifully designed footbridges. The park also hosts numerous events, including live music, cultural festivals, and has great opportunities for outdoor dining, making it a lively center for entertainment and relaxation.

 

Shop Downtown 

 

For those who love shopping, Downtown Frederick is a treasure trove. With more than 200 locally-owned businesses, stores, and boutiques, the area offers a diverse range of products, from fashionable attire and unique jewelry to handmade crafts and delicious foods. Strolling through the historic streets, you'll find charming shops that provide a personal touch not often found in larger chain stores. Shopping here not only supports our devoted entrepreneurs but also gives you a taste of Frederick’s local flavors and craftsmanship.

 

Shopping in Downtown Frederick, MD

Frederick is a city where history and modernity blend seamlessly, where each corner offers a new adventure without the need for a car. The MARC train’s accessibility makes it all the more convenient to enjoy this picturesque city. Book your train tickets, pack your bags, and prepare for a memorable escape to Frederick, Maryland, where the past and present meet.

 


 

Experience More of Downtown Frederick