Arts Itinerary: How to Spend a Weekend in Frederick
Frederick County, which is situated just one hour from Washington, D.C. and Baltimore, Md., is the perfect location for a weekend getaway. One of the best ways to spend a weekend in Frederick is by experiencing its arts scene. Downtown Frederick’s arts and entertainment district has an impressive number of theaters, galleries and entertainment venues, not to mention annual events and festivals like the Frederick Festival of the Arts, I “ART” Downtown Frederick First Saturday, and Easels in Frederick. If you have an inner arts critic, head to Frederick County and follow this weekend guide for the best in the Frederick arts!
Drop your bags off and check in at a historic bed and breakfast, like the Hollerstown Hill Bed and Breakfast or 10 Clarke. Hollerstown Hill has carved mantels, vintage dolls in the rooms, and a game room complete with a pool table. At 10 Clarke you’ll find gorgeous art nouveau touches, a room with peacock-themed decor, and a whimsical garden. Begin your first night by enjoying a show or classic film at The Weinberg Center for the Arts, a classic, Greek revival theater in downtown Frederick originally built in 1926 and beautifully restored after a 1976 flood. Once the curtain drops, head over to Bushwaller’s, a cozy Irish pub that serves Irish comfort dishes like fish ‘n chips and shepherd’s pie. Live bands play The Chieftains-style music until closing time at 2 a.m.
After breakfast, head up to the Rebecca Pearl Gallery in Emmitsburg, Md. Rebecca Pearl is known for her watercolor paintings of Frederick County landmarks and landscapes such as the Point of Rocks train station, the historic wooden covered bridges of northern Frederick County, Mount St. Mary’s University, and The National Shrine Grotto of Lourdes. Rebecca Pearl is also known for her watercolor portraits of animals and pets. Guests with fur babies at home can commission her for pet portraits, which she can have ready in just a few days.
For dinner, take a stroll from your bed & breakfast, down Market Street, to VOLT!, a restaurant where art comes alive through food. Every plate resembles a Pablo Picasso painting, and diners can sample new takes on flavor combinations, such as hazelnut with kale and mustard green soup.
After an early dinner, check out The Griffin Art Center’s current exhibit of abstract art. The center features oppressive and dark works alongside comical and light-hearted paintings. Make your way to The Maryland Ensemble Theater to catch a local act that evening. The theater hosts various types of shows including improv comedy troupes, seasonal musicals and classic plays. End your night at Firestone’s Culinary Tavern, a short walk from 10 Clarke and Hollerstown Hill, for a nightcap. Firestone's has an extensive wine list with varieties from around the world and the beer selection spans continents. European options from Belgium and Germany complement local brews like Flying Dog from Frederick and Tröegs microbrews from Harrisburg.
To bid adieu on your last day in town, stroll through downtown Frederick to check out some of the city’s public art, especially the Community Bridge mural, which turned an ordinary concrete bridge into an illusionary old stone bridge covered with ivy using trompe l'oeil paint techniques. The Community Bridge mural is located adjacent to the Delaplaine Visual Arts Education Center, a 40,000-sq.-ft. center with exhibit space, classrooms and an event pavilion. It’s located in the centuries-old Mountain City Mill building on Carroll Creek. The Delaplaine has a rotating list of annual exhibits, one-day workshops, gallery talks and master workshops. End your arts trip in Frederick County at Cafe Anglais, a traditional British tea room and shop, for lunch and tea in its beautiful outdoor garden. Be sure to try the baked goods – you won’t be sorry!