One of my favorite day trip destinations under an hour’s drive away from Washington DC is Frederick, Maryland. It’s a old city, dating back before the Civil War, and is laid out in a easily navigable street grid. It looks very similar to Fredericksburg, Virginia–so similar that I often mix up my memories of the two. I don’t know how much of stems from the similarity in the city names, or the fact that the city’s buildings and street-scapes look so much alike.
Frederick is booming. I last was up there about a year ago, and even since then, I have noticed that there are less boarded up shops, more people on the street, and a lot of new restaurants and shops. I think part of Frederick’s resurgence from post-industrial decline is owed to the growth of Washington, DC, but this city of 70,000 has benefited from the increasingly evident trend of people eschewing the burbs for more walkable neighborhoods.
I walked with Ollie down Market Street, the main street in the historic downtown district, to get my bearings and look for a place to eat. I settled on a luncheonette called Beans and Bagels and got a club sandwich ($6) that was surprisingly good. I ate outside and took in the scene.
I made my way over to Carroll Creek, a little waterway that runs east-west through the downtown. It was likely of much use to the factories and warehouses in the old days. The town has spent some money in cleaning up the canal, putting up a little greenway and path along both sides of the water. The canal was even filled with coy and other huge fish. I regretted my lunch choice after seeing some cool places set right on the creek like Doner Bistro, a German restaurant serving curry wurst and schnitzel.
I didn’t have a specific plan in mind for the town; I walked around and took in the sights and took some pictures and shopped. I liked how the town has a program to let patrons know which shops are dog-friendly. Just look for the “dog-friendly” sticker on a shop window and it tells you if it’s OK to bring your knew it was OK to bring my dog in.
The first dog-friendly place I went to was a wine store called Viniferous. The shop owner had a dog of his own–it was sleeping next to the counter in a dog bed. I browsed for a bit, spoke with the owner and got a couple Spanish wines for a pretty good price.
The next place I went to was a pet store called Paws and the City. This little shop also had its own resident dog. I had a good conversation with the owner and snagged a few treats for Ollie.
All in all, this was a short but enjoyable day trip from DC. On the way home I contemplated going to Sugarloaf Mountain, one of the area’s best nature areas in my opinion, but both I and Ollie were a little tired. He was sitting in the front seat looking at me with his tongue hanging out. I could tell he was not into it. I look over as I write this and he’s completely zonked out.