Frederick County, Maryland, is located less than an hour from Washington, D.C., and Baltimore, and just south of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The county is the perfect base camp for exploring the city of Frederick and the surrounding region. Frederick is the second largest city in Maryland and is home to a historic downtown with dozens of specialty shops and world-class restaurants. Experience the area’s storied past at Civil War battlefields and unwind at wineries, breweries, and distilleries.
“Groups should begin their tour of Frederick County at the Frederick Visitor Center,” says Becky Bickerton, assistant director at Visit Frederick. “Visitors can explore informative exhibits, shop for some Frederick souvenirs, and get a taste of what there is to see and do in Frederick County.”
Visit Frederick suggests these tour stops for groups.
Museum of the Ironworker
The Museum of the Ironworker at Catoctin Furnace in Thurmont shares the stories of the highly skilled enslaved workers who toiled at this industrial heritage site in northern Frederick County. Highlights of this museum include two forensic facial reconstructions of enslaved workers, developed in partnership with the Smithsonian Institution, that help give voice to the generations of enslaved people who had largely gone undocumented.
National Museum of Civil War Medicine
Follow in the footsteps of soldiers and surgeons to discover the harsh conditions, personal sacrifices, and brilliant innovations of Civil War medicine—innovations that continue to save lives today. This museum in downtown Frederick can tailor group tours to a variety of topics, including a behind-the-scenes look at artifacts from its collection.
Monocacy National Battlefield
Explore the Visitor Center and extensive grounds in Frederick to learn about the July 9, 1864, “Battle that Saved Washington” from Confederate Lieutenant General Jubal Early’s advancing army.
The National Shrine of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton
Explore this historical site in Emmitsburg dedicated to St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, the first American-born saint. Discover her inspirational story on a guided tour of the Visitor Center, two historic homes where she lived, the stunning basilica dedicated to her, and the peaceful grounds.
Historic Covered Bridges
Frederick County is home to three beautiful and historical covered bridges. All three bridges are accessible via motorcoach and make a great photo stop!
To learn more about touring Frederick County, check out visitfrederick.org.
Carroll Creek Park, Downtown Frederick
Credit: Courtesy of Visit Frederick