Frederick, MD is a mid-size city nestled between Baltimore and Washington D.C. It’s the perfect blend of historic meets modern day, and the new Public Art Trail is the perfect representation of that! With 17 stops scattered throughout town, this guide will help you make the most of your visit! I was invited as a guest of Visit Frederick to explore the new Public Art Trail and share my experience with you!
Carroll Creek Waterfront
Carroll Creek is one of my favorite features in Frederick, MD and also happens to be the perfect place to start the Public Art Trail.
Frederick is known for it’s trompe l’oeil (fool the eye) murals and one of the grandest examples of that is the Community Bridge Mural. Each block of “stone” on the bridge is handpainted and the base of the bridge is home to even more trompe l’oeil paintings.
The bridges along Carroll Creek are so unique and individual, and I love how they each tell a story. We even witnessed a family photo shoot happening on the Iron Bridge while we were there, and it’s easy to see why! It looks like something straight out of a fairy tale!
Frederick, MD Downtown Art
As you head down Carroll Creek, you’ll reach an intersection with Market Street. Turning right onto Market Street will bring you into the main area of downtown Frederick and also the next section of the Public Art Trail.
And guess what your first stop is??
Yep, a trompe l’oeil painting! The “Edge of Gravity” mural is so realistic that the first time I visited Frederick, I turned this corner and let out a little yelp because I thought it was an actual person! It’s a great place to get a #VisitFrederick selfie too because it’s right at ground level.
Historic Frederick MD
It’s really impressive how well the historic spots in Frederick are integrated into the daily life of the city. The best way to view this is by heading down Market Street and turning left onto West Patrick Street.
From the John Hanson Statue in front of the courthouse,
to the Clarke Fountain in front of City Hall, you’ll want to just to turn in a circle a few times and absorb this whole area!
It’s one of my favorite spots in Frederick and fortunately, it’s loaded with benches so you can take a rest for a bit while you gawk at all the gorgeous buildings!
And since I highlighted some of the trompe l’oeil paintings throughout Downtown Frederick, it’s only fair that I also share some of my favorite sculptures.
“Guess” the Greyhound Sculpture is one of my very favorites! Maybe because it’s home is guarding a green door and I have a special affinity for green doors or maybe it’s because it just looks so regal! I’ve loved this greyhound from my first visit to Frederick, and I love it even more now that I know how it got it’s name, Guess!! You’ll have to grab the Public Art Trail pamphlet from the Frederick Visitor’s Center to read the backstory!
Once you finish at City Hall, I recommend heading east on Church Street back towards Market Street again. You’ll pass right by the Earthbound Mural and can continue north on Market towards the Uptown Art Walk.
Tips for Visiting the Frederick Public Art Trail
- I highly recommend parking at the East All Saints Street Parking Garage. It’s the parking garage closest to the Visitor’s Center and it only costs $1/hour for parking. It’s clean, safe and incredibly convenient!
- After you leave the parking garage, head straight to the Frederick Visitor’s Center at the corner of S. East Street and Commerce Street. You’ll be able to see it from right outside the parking garage! Be sure to pick up your map for the Public Art Trail as well as information for anything else you might want to visit during your stay. It’s also a great place to use a public restroom before you start exploring!
- I recommend setting aside around 2 hours for the entire trail. It’s a leisurely stroll, but there are lots of shops and places to stop along the way.
- Frederick is incredibly dog-friendly! You’ll see lots of bowls of water outside of shop doors for our furry friends. In the warmer months, there are also lots of outdoor dining options where pets are welcome! We ate lunch at Pistarro’s and there were 3 or 4 dogs out on the patio enjoying lunch with their families.
- Frederick is home to so many amazing dining options so be sure to time your visit to allow a stop for lunch or dinner. I highly recommend The Wine Kitchen right on Carroll Creek. They have indoor or outdoor seating and everything I’ve tried from there has been amazing!If you’re looking for something a little more casual or towards the other end of the Public Art Trail, Brewer’s Alley is a great option! A historic pub right on North Market Street, it has delicious food at great prices and their own selection of craft brews on tap. One of the stops for the Art Trail is also located directly behind it, so you’ll be passing right by anyways!
- The Art Trail is around 2 miles, so be sure to wear comfortable shoes. It’s all through downtown, though, and you can go at your own pace so it’s a very easy walk!
- The trail is also handicap-accessible with paved roads and sidewalks the entire way.
Guide to Visiting the Public Art Trail in Frederick, MD
While you’re visiting Frederick, be sure to stop by some of my other favorite activities! There is so much to see and do in Frederick that I highly recommend making a weekend out of your visit!
And I’m confident that you’ll fall in love with Frederick after you first visit too, so be sure to come back during the holidays! It’s like a Hallmark movie during December and my kids have already decided this should be part of our annual Christmas traditions!
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