Day Pass: The Best Shops, Eats, & Vino In Historic Frederick

Lazy summer weekends are the perfect time to escape the concrete streets of the District. Our favorite nearby destination? The historic town of Frederick. Better known these days as a mini-mecca for foodies, it's also home to a thriving antiques scene, an arts center, and some divine vintage shopping. Best of all, the hour-long drive from D.C. winds through pretty-as-a-postcard farmland. Read on for our cheat sheet to this suburban oasis.
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Venus on the Half Shell
Retro aficionados will love sorting through the racks at this vintage haven. Last time we checked in, the goods skewed heavily in favor of '50s and '60s styles, making this an ideal place to source your next Mad Men-inspired ensemble. Also in stock: plenty of Western shirts for guys, and a small selection of furniture and home goods.

Venus on the Half Shell, 101 East Patrick Street, Frederick; 301-662-6213.


Photo: Courtesy of Venus on the Half Shell
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Silk & Burlap
With a constantly evolving mix of artsy-cool clothes, vintage-inspired home decor, and colorful kitchen supplies, Silk & Burlap is the indie girl's answer to Anthropologie — and that makes it one of our favorite places to shop. We routinely make the trip to shop one of the most extensive selections of James Jeans in the area, but usually pick up a floaty top or an ikat throw pillow in the process.

Silk & Burlap, 28 East Patrick Street, Frederick; 301-360-9648.


Photo: Courtesy of Silk & Burlap
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Lunchbox, Family Meal, and Volt
If you only plan on being in town for one meal, make sure it's at one of these three eateries. Chef/proprietor Bryan Voltaggio rocketed to fame after a second-place finish on Top Chef (he lost out to his brother, Michael), and critics have been calling his cuisine some of the best in the region ever since.

Family Meal serves gussied-up diner favorites for breakfast, lunch, and dinner (think pineapple-mint waffles or venison chili). Lunchbox is a fast-casual sandwich shop situated just off the Carroll Creek canal. Really want to be wowed? Get reservations in advance for Volt. Voltaggio has earned two James Beard nominations for his cooking at the brownstone-mansion-turned-restaurant, which offers modern, cerebral twists on regional dishes. Go all out with spots at Table 21, the in-kitchen setting where you can experience a 21-course tasting menu prepared by the chef himself.

Family Meal, 880 North East Street, 301-378-2895; Lunchbox, 50 Carroll Creek Way, 301-360-0580; Volt, 228 North Market Street, 301-696-8058.


Photo: Courtesy of Family Meal/Under A Bushel Photography/R. Lopez
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Harry Grove Stadium
We love minor league baseball for the cheap tickets and kooky promotions. Home to the Minor League's Frederick Keys, Harry Grove Stadium has regular fireworks nights and all-you-can-eat picnics. Grab a hot dog, down a beer, and settle in for a game filled with the excitement that comes from watching players who haven't been molded into perfect Major League machines just yet.

Harry Grove Stadium, 21 Stadium Drive, Frederick; 301-662-0088


Photo: Courtesy of the Frederick Keys
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Velvet Lounge
Love the laid-back Los Angeles look, but don't have the cash for regular shopping trips on the West Coast? Velvet Lounge has you covered. Inside the sprawling women's boutique, you'll find boho dresses from Free People, flowy tees by Splendid, colorful IMSY bikinis, and House of Harlow's signature rocker jewelry. Definitely consider stopping in before your next music fest.

Velvet Lounge, 203 North Market Street, Frederick; 301-695-5700.


Photo: Courtesy of Velvet Lounge/Erick Gibson
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Emporium Antiques
Frederick's Emporium Antiques is the ultimate destination for thrifters who love the thrill of the hunt. Costume jewelry, kitschy decor, vintage secretary desks, you name it — with over 100 vendors spread across 55,000 square feet of selling space, you never know what you'll uncover.

Emporium Antiques, 112 East Patrick Street, Frederick; 301-662-7099.


Photo: Courtesy of Emporium Antiques
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The Tasting Room
Locals love The Tasting Room for the large portions of truly decadent food. Wear your roomiest dress, then indulge in tender filet mignon, fluffy lobster-whipped potatoes, and creamy cheddar-crab dip. At $10 each, the massive craft cocktails are practically a bargain when it comes to getting you properly buzzed.

The Tasting Room, 101 North Market Street, Frederick; 240-379-7772.


Photo: Courtesy of The Tasting Room
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Great Stuff By Paul
Interested in a more curated selection of antique furniture? Check out the Martha Stewart- and Southern Living-approved Great Stuff by Paul. Interior designers from all over the area regularly raid owner Paul Berkowitz's two locations for one-of-a-kind items imported from Germany, France, England, China, and other far-flung regions. If you've got an outdoor area to outfit, Berkowitz's selection of planters, pots, and industrial-style patio furniture is especially worth checking out.

Great Stuff by Paul, 257 East Sixth Street, 301-631-5340. Secondary location at 10 North Caroll Street, 301-631-0004.


Photo: Courtesy of Great Stuff by Paul
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The Weinberg Center for the Arts
What better way to end a day of antiquing and good eating than with a night at the movies? The Frederick Film Festival takes over the Weinberg Center for the Arts starting Thursday, June 27, through Saturday, June 29, and flick options include shorts and limited-run foreign films. Like horror films? Frederick's own Eduardo Sanchez (director of The Blair Witch Project) is hosting a special screening of his new anthology, V/H/S/2, on June 27.

The restored 1920s theater hall (which has hosted everyone from David Sedaris to Colin Powell) has a pretty bare calendar for the rest of the summer, but comedy lovers should consider booking tickets for Lewis Black's appearance in mid-November.

Weinberg Center for the Arts, 20 West Patrick Street, Frederick; 301-600-2828.


Photo: Courtesy of Weinberg Center for the Arts
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The Wine Kitchen
Gather up the girls for wine flights and gossip at The Wine Kitchen's Frederick outpost. Cozy couches, large picture windows, and an exuberant approach to wine tasting make this American-style bistro a good place for a long catch-up. Be sure to order the "Local Flavor" flight for a sampling of grapes grown nearby.

The Wine Kitchen, 50 Carroll Creek Linear Park, Suite #160, Frederick; 301-663-6968.


Photo: Courtesy of The Wine Kitchen
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