46 miles W of Baltimore; 45 miles NW of Washington, D.C.; 33 miles S of Gettysburg

Once a largely agricultural community, Frederick is now Maryland's third-largest city (behind Baltimore and Rockville, a D.C. suburb). Though its downtown district is surrounded by housing developments that have given Frederick a population of 59,000, the 33-block historic area maintains its small-town charm. The 18th- and 19th-century buildings and cluster of church spires that make up Frederick's skyline are still a main attraction. Antiques and crafts shops dominate the shopping area, and there's a vibrant restaurant and bar scene. Like a scenic drive? Frederick lies at the junction of two national scenic byways, the Historic National Road (alternate U.S. 40) and the Catoctin Mountain Scenic Byway (Rte. 15). North and west of the city, the agricultural community still thrives, with produce stands popping up among the fields.