With roots dating back to the 1700s, Frederick was once known mostly for its American history, museums, and federal-style architecture. But in recent years, the city has undergone a renaissance. Thanks in part to new residents from nearby Washington, D.C., the downtown is now lauded for its thriving arts community, and upscale boutiques and restaurants.

In fact, Frederick has emerged as a dining destination, fueled in part by fresh produce from some of the region's best farms, and a growing selection of local beers and wines. The Frederick Wine Trail, even has a stop at a winery in downtown. There are some 60 restaurants, specialty food shops, cafés, bakeries, and coffee and teahouses within just a few short blocks of one other.

You could spend a day or more meandering the cobblestone streets of the leafy, expansive historic district and admiring the city's famed "clustered" spires. Be sure to browse the antiques stores and assortment of artsy shops.

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