Trip Overview: This DC Day Trip is perfect for those looking for a last minute afternoon out of the city. With more than 1,400 farms spread out over 200,000 acres, Frederick County is truly an escape to a simpler time. Here, winding country roads, open fields and fresh country air await in some of Maryland’s best farm country.
Time needed: 4 hours
Distance from DC: Around 120 miles, roundtrip
Best time to visit: Year round
Best suited for: Friends, Families, Couples… this trip is for everyone
DC DAY TRIP TO FREDERICK, MARYLAND
1. Sugarloaf Alpaca Co. (1347 Buckeystown Pike, Adamstown, MD 21710)
Everyone loves alpacas! Their super soft fur, soft humming sounds and gentle demeanor melts the hearts of children and adults alike. But it’s rare to have the opportunity to see them up close. Open year round, the Sugarloaf Alpaca Co. has over 130 of these lovable creatures for your viewing and photo-taking pleasure. There’s also a small shop with alpaca-fiber items, making this a fun stop on your rural escape.
TIP: Be sure to check their events page. The May shearing event and — SQUEE! — Alpaca Babypolooza in June are worth building a weekend around.
2. Rocky Point Creamery (4323 Tuscarora Road, Tuscarora, MD 21790)
All this Frederick Country farmland is home to over 100 dairy farms and over 14,000 milk cows. Rocky Point Creamery, known for decadently creamy homemade ice cream, is the natural complement to the region’s emerging agritourism scene. Located right near scenic Point of Rocks, it’s a convenient stop for daytrippers and locals looking for a scoop or sundae. It’s not cheap (a cone with a single scoop costs about $4) but the flavors are so rich and delicious, it’s worth every penny. (“Banana Pudding” was my favorite flavor!)
3. Distillery Lane Ciderworks (5533 Gapland Road, Jefferson, MD, 21755)
In addition to the many wineries and growing list of craft breweries, Frederick County is home to another spirit: hard cider. Distillery Lane Ciderworks celebrates the apples that grow on their farm (their cider is 100% made with apples grown on site— a rare find) and offers $5 tastings and a surprising amount of varieties by the bottle. Sweet or tart, sparking or still — a stop here is sure to open your eyes to a new understanding of the diverse offerings of hard cider.
4. Downtown Frederick
All this farm-hopping is sure to work up an appetite. Head into the charming historic district of downtown Frederick for some window shopping and good eats. Ayşe, the Wine Kitchen and Brewer’s Alley are all good bets. (Check out this recent post all about the Frederick restaurant scene.) But, think ahead! Tables here book up really fast, so be sure to make a reservation in advance.