Pick Your Path: Fascinating Tours in Frederick, Maryland

There is so much to see, eat, drink and do — from a 50-block historic district to scenic byways and beyond.

Brewer's Alley, Frederick, Maryland, restaurant, brewery, downtown, rooftop, bar
Brewer's Alley Restaurant & Brewery in historic downtown Frederick, Maryland
Frederick, Maryland, Visitor Center, travel, attractions
Start your visit at the Frederick Visitor Center
Frederick, Maryland, downtown, shopping, shops, boutiques
Explore Frederick's 50-block historic downtown district
Chimney Rock, Maryland, hiking, overlook, mountains, Blue Ridge, Appalachian Mountains, USA
The view from Chimney Rock in Maryland's Catoctin Mountain Park
Roddy Road Covered Bridge, Maryland, scenic drive, bridge, historic, byway
Travel the region's scenic byways and discover Frederick's three historic covered bridges
Monocacy National Battlefield, Civil War, battleground, historic site, Frederick, Maryland, USA
Monocacy National Battlefield
Brewer's Alley, Frederick, Maryland, restaurant, brewery, downtown, rooftop, bar
Frederick, Maryland, Visitor Center, travel, attractions
Frederick, Maryland, downtown, shopping, shops, boutiques
Chimney Rock, Maryland, hiking, overlook, mountains, Blue Ridge, Appalachian Mountains, USA
Roddy Road Covered Bridge, Maryland, scenic drive, bridge, historic, byway
Monocacy National Battlefield, Civil War, battleground, historic site, Frederick, Maryland, USA

Whether you’re passionate about American history, local spirits (from craft beer and whiskeys to pre-Revolutionary War ghosts) or the great outdoors, a variety of self-guided and expert-led walking, driving and adventure tours in Frederick, Maryland can help you discover the intriguing past and vibrant present of this amazing city. Here are a few to put on your list.

1. Learn the Stories & Secrets of Downtown

Not sure where to begin your Frederick adventure? Start at the Frederick Visitor Center and pick up the brochure for a free, self-guided tour of downtown Frederick’s 50-block historic district — from parks to churches to centuries-old structures.

2. Immerse Yourself in Star-Spangled History & Culture

If the streets of Frederick could talk, they’d tell stories of Founding Fathers, pioneers and Civil War battalions. These walking tours of Frederick’s diverse past are the next best thing:

The Museum of Frederick County History conducts tours on a range of topics and interests, from general history to the American Civil War to lively “Murder & Mayhem” walks. 

An extension of the National Museum of Civil War Medicine, the museum’s signature walking tours cover downtown Frederick, which was known as “one vast hospital” following the battles of Gettysburg, South Mountain and Antietam during the American Civil War.

The self-guided African American Heritage Sites Walking Tour points you to some of the most hallowed sites in Frederick’s history, including Asbury United Methodist Church and the Laboring Sons Memorial Ground. Tour brochures are available at the Frederick Visitor Center.

Free, docent-led tours of Evangelical Lutheran Church give you an inside look at Frederick County’s oldest church, which served as a hospital during the Battle of Antietam. (Every first Saturday, April–October.)

Get backstage access to a 1926 Art Deco movie palace on a free tour of the Weinberg Center for the Arts, where you’ll learn about architectural details and local theatre lore.
(Offered weekly during the summer.)

3. Cruise Frederick County’s Scenic Byways

Five of Maryland's 18 designated byways pass through Frederick County. Guided by the official Maryland Scenic Byways guide (pick up a printed version at the Visitor Center), you can traverse carefully mapped routes with incredible historic significance and scenic beauty, including:

Maryland Civil War Trails. Drive the roads where Union and Confederate soldiers once marched during the pivotal Battle of Antietam. And at Monocacy National Battlefield, take a self-guided auto tour of key locations where an impactful conflict occurred right in Frederick — and became known as “The Battle That Saved Washington.”

Journey Through Hallowed Ground. Travel through the scenic Catoctin Mountains past some of Maryland’s — and America’s — most significant historic and cultural sites on this heritage corridor that connects Monticello, Virginia, to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

Historic National Road. Follow America’s first federally funded highway, where settlers began their journey west beginning in the early 1800s.

Covered bridges. Visit Frederick’s three historic covered bridges — all situated in lovely northern Frederick County — stopping at a local orchard or country market along the way. Historic Covered Bridges Driving Tour brochures are available at the Visitor Center. 

4. Visit Ghosts of Frederick’s Past

With public executions and other early-American devilishness in our history books, it’s no mystery why Frederick is “Maryland’s Most Haunted City.” On Maryland Heritage Tours ghost tours, master storytellers in period attire will lead you through historic Frederick after dark, spinning bone-chilling tales of legendary hauntings. If you dare, take a candlelight tour of the historic and eerily beautiful Mount Olivet Cemetery. 

5. Eat Your Way Across Market Street

You can learn a lot about a city through its food, and you’ll leave Taste Frederick Food Tours with more than just a full belly. This three-hour guided tour lets you feast your senses on Frederick’s offerings for foodies (think local beer and pastrami worth writing home about) while getting a taste of local history and culture. 

6. Sip & Sample Local Spirits — No Driving Required

Flying Dog Brewery helped put Frederick’s craft-beer scene on the map, and that map is now chock full of amazing breweries, wineries and distilleries that you should definitely visit. Let these tour providers play designated driver:

Maryland Brewery Tours hosts monthly tours of Frederick County breweries and distilleries, including Attaboy Brewing, McClintock Distilling and Springfield Manor Winery, Distillery and Brewery.

Frederick Brew Bus is public transportation for beer lovers. Plot your own hop-on/hop-off tour of area breweries, like Flying Dog, Monocacy Brewing Co. and Brewer’s Alley.

Frederick Hops and Vines Tours brings a more personal touch, with custom, private tours and door-to-door service — all in the comfort of a luxury SUV.

7. Explore Frederick’s Great Outdoors

Frederick County is blessed with an abundance of mountains, rivers and scenic beauty. With so much to explore, consider enlisting one of these great guides to help show you around:

River & Trail Outfitters provides tours for the active traveller, including hiking, biking, paddling/canoeing, tubing and rafting the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers. They even have packages combining hiking or kayaking with beer and wine tastings. Paddle faster!

Harpers Ferry Adventure Center is located just over the Virginia border and boasts a wide range of guided outdoor tours, from fishing to ziplining to whitewater rafting.

You can also pick up an "Explore the Outdoors" self-guided tour brochure at the Frederick Visitor Center for more great tips.

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