Carroll County, Maryland, is a picturesque rural area, just 45 minutes from Baltimore and Washington, D.C., and 25 minutes from Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Participants in Carroll County Tourism group tours can visit an 1844 country house hotel, a farm museum, a homestead and a grist mill.

A Civil War driving tour retracing the county’s involvement in the Civil War and a tour to see barn quilts are also available. The tourism office’s most popular tour is the progressive lunch.

“They (participants) like to eat,” said Bonnie Staub, tourism manager. “I guess it’s the food that makes the tour popular, but then they do enjoy looking at the Farm Museum or Union Mills.”

A step-on guide is on the motorcoach for the seven-hour tour, Staub said.

Carroll County food
Participants in Carroll County Tourism’s progressive lunch tour enjoy a stop at Antrim in central Maryland for the entree of the meal. Credit: Kelly Heck

The tour starts at Johansson’s Dining House in Westminster, where participants order soup or salad — whichever they’ve paid for. Then, the group travels through historic Uniontown on the way to Antrim 1844, an elegant antebellum-era mansion set on a 24-acre estate.

Tour participants have a lunch entree there followed by a tour of the mansion and grounds. Then they head to Westchester to visit the Carroll County Almshouse and Farm, also known as the Carroll County Farm Museum, a historic farm complex of 15 buildings. The tour ends with a visit to Kate Pearl Tea Room for dessert.

The Grist Mill at Union Mills Homestead can substitute for the Farm Museum if desired, Staub said.

Another tour follows the county’s barn quilt trail.

“We have 31 (barn quilts) right now, but I don’t think you can do all of them in one day,” Staub said. “We might visit eight or nine barn quilts and stop somewhere for lunch. We then do another seven or eight depending on how long of a day they want it to be.”

There’s no charge for parking at stops on the progressive lunch tour. Comps are provided for the group leader and motorcoach driver.

For more information on Carroll County Tourism call 410-386-2898 or go to

Article by Kathie Sutin