From Washington, D.C., take I-270 to Frederick, where it becomes U.S. 15 and continues north to Gettysburg. From Baltimore, take I-70 west. From points west, take I-68 east to I-70. To get to the historic district, take Route 15 to the Rosemont Avenue exit to Second Street, across the street from the exit ramp.
Greyhound (tel. 800/231-2222; www.greyhound.com) operates daily bus service to Frederick to the MARC train station, 100 S. East St. (tel. 301/663-3311).
The MTA's MARC train runs between Frederick and Washington, D.C., with service Monday through Friday. Call tel. 866/RIDE-MTA (743-3682) or go to www.mtamaryland.com for schedule and fare information.
The Tourism Council of Frederick County operates a visitor center at 151 S. East St. (opening in early 2010; tel. 800/999-3613 or 301/600-2888; www.fredericktourism.org). This office supplies maps, brochures, and listings of accommodations and restaurants, and conducts walking tours of the historic district. The African American Heritage Sites brochure outlines historic African-American sites -- churches, homes, and slave quarters in Frederick and the surrounding county. Though some buildings are gone, signs mark the locations.
The best way to get around Frederick is by car -- that is, when you're not walking through the historic district. Parking is cheap and sometimes free: At downtown meters and garages, Monday through Friday, it's $7; Saturday $1; and Sunday it's free. Parking garages are located at 17 E. Church St., 44 E. Patrick St., and 2 S. Court St. Stop at the visitor center to have your Church Street garage ticket validated for up to 3 hours of free parking. If you park in a residential district, check for the signs that restrict nonresident parking.
Frederick County operates TransIT (tel. 301/694-2065; www.co.frederick.md.us/transit), a bus service that connects outlying hotels, malls, and colleges with the historic district and Frederick-area train stations. See the website for maps and schedules.
Fall colors are at their peak in mid- to late October -- which is also the peak time for special events. Thurmont's Catoctin Colorfest (tel. 301/271-7533; www.colorfest.org), a crafts show of enormous proportions, is held in mid-October. First Saturday Gallery Walks are held monthly in Frederick. Shops, galleries, and restaurants stay open until 9pm. Call tel. 301/698-8118 for details.
A couple of events mark the anniversaries of Civil War battles. The commemoration of the Battle of Monocacy, the "battle that saved Washington," is held the weekend closest to the July 9 anniversary (tel. 301/662-3515 for information). The Battle of Antietam is recalled in September (tel. 301/432-5124 for information).
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.