By Mindie Burgoyne
Maryland has 157 municipalities and hundreds of neighborhoods and villages. Twenty-four towns and cities have been awarded the Maryland Main Street designation, a recognition designed to strengthen the economic potential of traditional main streets and neighborhoods. Two of these Main Streets – Easton and Frederick – are highlighted in this post.
To be a designated Main Street, the town must revitalize the traditional commercial center, preserving the architecture and historical streetscape while modernizing the design for present day community needs. This offers both locals and visitors an authentic downtown experience when they venture out for shopping, dining, arts, entertainment and recreation.
Town of Easton
Contact Talbot County Office of Tourism
11 South Harrison Street
Easton, Md. 21601
Located on the Eastern Shore about 40 minutes from the Bay Bridge, Easton prides itself on having metropolitan art, big city dining and sophisticated shopping with a small town feel. Easton is rich in main street details with mature trees and brick sidewalks lining the streets. City parks, outdoor markets, public art and Colonial and Victorian architecture are the backdrop for upscale shopping, dining, art galleries, museums and entertainment.
Named #8 in John Villane’s book Top 10 Best Small Towns in America (Avalon Travel Publishing), Easton is the cultural hub of the Eastern Shore. The town has 15 restaurants in its downtown area, including the #1 rated new restaurant by Zagat Dining Guide (2012) for Baltimore, Washington, Annapolis and Eastern Shore – the Barlett Pear Inn. Dining choices include casual, ethnic, and fine dining.
The Academy Art Museum is one of 176 museums in the country that is accredited by the American Association of Museums. Galleries and studios abound in Easton, as do art events such as the Plein Air and Waterfowl Festivals.
More than 70,000 people are entertained each year at the historic Avalon Theater. It hosts nationally known performers and most recently became the only location on the Eastern Shore to host the Metropolitan Opera Live in HD. Small nightclubs like Night Cat and the Stoltz Listening Room offer casual entertainment with local flare.
22 S. Market Street, Suite 2A
Frederick, Md. 21701
Though Frederick is Maryland’s second largest city, the historic downtown still retains that small town feel. Known for being a dining mecca, Frederick has more than 30 restaurants including Volt, co- owned by Top Chef runner-up, Bryan Voltaggio. For a dose of culture, check out the National Museum of Civil War Medicine with exhibits on embalming, field medicine, army camp life and how the wounded were evacuated from the battle area. Be sure to wander through the arts and entertainment district and see the Weinberg Theater, and its Wurlitzer organ. Installed in 1926, and used to accompany silent movies, it is now the oldest theater organ in continual use in Maryland.
Frederick is also known for its beer. A string of micro breweries are scattered around town making it the second largest concentration of brewers along the Blue Ridge. Brewmaster Tom Flores of Brewers Alley partnered with Greg Clabaugh, a Frederick County farmer, to brew Maryland’s only beer made with local barley grown as a cover crop. Barley helps reduce nitrogen runoff, so when you drink Amber Fields Best Bitter, you’re helping to saving the Bay. The Frederick Beer Trail includes nine locations where local brews are made and served.
Mindie Burgoyne is an author, travel writer and tour guide living on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Her blog, The Travel Hag http://travelhag.com> shares information on outdoor travel for women. She is the author of Haunted Eastern Shore: Ghostly Tales from East of the Chesapeake.