Holiday shopping in Frederick


What good presents we found at the Potters’ Guild, Molly’s Meanderings and Retro-Metro.


A bib for the baby. From The Muse.

Good grief, holiday shopping is upon us!! I love the malls with all their stores, children lined up to see Santa Claus, the food court. and all in well-heated comfort. I can spend hours in these pavilions of consumerism.

Then there is the small town shopping district. Suddenly I’m in Mayberry or talking to George in “It’s a Wonderful Life.” There’s something special about “shopping small.”


Shab Row shops are housed in a cluster of historic buildings as fascinating as the wares.

I started my shopping a few days early. I had to stop in Frederick, Maryland, for an errand and decided I had to stay. (Frederick is about an hour west of Baltimore and an hour northwest Washington, D.C.) I love the shopping here: from the small shops centered around Market Street to the specialty shopping districts a few blocks away, Everedy Square and Shab Row.


We giggled our way through Retro-Metro, beginning with the sign out front.

Downtown you can get everything from those wonderful girly gifts (soap and candles, earrings and scarves) to the outdoors fan’s favorite fleece jackets and pocket knives, from rocks to crystal, from chocolate to pasta. And don’t get me started on vintage and antiques.


Handmade ornaments at the Potters’ Guild are only the beginning.

In a town oozing with history like Frederick, of course, it has plenty of antiques shops. I like to give handmade articles and I always have two go-to shops, The Muse, and the Potters’ Guild of Frederick.

My day isn’t complete without seeing what everybody has to offer. It’s got to take all afternoon — with a stop in one of Frederick’s great restaurants. I’m not one to tell you what restaurants are the best in Frederick. I haven’t met one I didn’t like. I prefer a casual lunch, from Wag’s sandwiches to The Tasting Room‘s sleek style in both decor and food to the tasty pizzas at Pissarro’s. But these don’t even begin to tell the story of Frederick’s wonderful restaurants, including Bryan Voltaggio’s Volt and Family Meal….you see what I mean? There are just too many to make recommendations.


The Record Exchange specializes in vinyl.

Even with a day set aside, I know I’m not going to have time to get to every shop I want to see. This visit was devoted to Market Street. Last time I visited, I made sure I stopped in every shop in Everedy Square and Shab Row.



Keep an eye out for the fantastical murals around Frederick. This is just a painting: the window, the wood trim, and of course the angel.

When we packed up the car and headed home, we were happy to have had a day out, surrounded by pretty Frederick, knowing we had bought something special. Now that’s shopping.

PS— Frederick isn’t convenient? Try another small town — they’re all fun.

ⓒ Text and photos Mary K. Tilghman


2 responses to “Holiday shopping in Frederick

  1. Love to read all your posts. This interested me, but also confusing. Being new to your emails, I could not discover where Frederick existed! After clicking on your helpful guides, I soon learned you were in Maryland.

    I’m going to save some of your posts for next year when I retire and plan to explore. You have done much of the digging beforehand that a traveler needs to invest.
    I’ll need to get my Fitbit!

    Thank you,

    • Thanks, Dru! Point well taken. (I sometimes forget my readers come from everywhere). I have revised my text to help orient readers.
      And thank you for your kind comments. I try to write with other travelers in mind (and usually wear my Fitbit!) All the best as you plan retirement.

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