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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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