Frostburg

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Frostburg, often referred to as Mountain City, is a charming little town tucked in Allegany County, Western Maryland. The town is home to Frostburg State University and has a lively variety of student-oriented pubs. Frostburg has a slow, but rich history. Being one of the primary coach stops along the historic National Road, the town is built centered along Route 40 and is truly a Main Street community. The town is positioned in the Appalachian mountains, and its best attraction is its natural surroundings. From the center of town, once can take in a gorgeous, panoramic view of the surroundings mountains. Because of this natural setting, a wide range of outdoor, recreational activities are easily within reach. Frostburg is one of the primary stops along the Rails to Trails cycle path which connects Pittsburgh and Washington, D.C. Garrett County is just minutes away by car and is the least-densely populated region in Maryland, offering excellent opportunities for hiking, cycling, mountain-biking, kayaking, white-water rafting, skiing, and many other outdoor pursuits.

Frostburg itself can seem a sleepy town at times, especially when the university isn't in session. Yet the newly designated "Arts and Entertainment District" has spurred local growth, and an afternoon strolling the downtown area offers its relaxing charms. From the historic diner to the indie bookstore and art collective, Frostburg is probably the finest destination in Western Maryland for those wanting a slow-paced escape in a natural setting.

Get in[edit]

  • Baltimore - Approximate travel time three hours. Interstate 70 West to Interstate 68 West, Exit 33 or Exit 34.
  • Washington, D.C. - Approximate travel time three hours. Interstate 270 North to Interstate 70 West to Interstate 68 West, Exit 33 or Exit 34.
  • Harrisburg - Approximate travel time three hours. Interstate 81 South to Interstate 70 West to Interstate 68 West, Exit 33 or Exit 34.
  • Pittsburgh - Approximate travel time two hours. Interstate 79 South to Interstate 68 East, Exit 33 or Exit 34.
  • Morgantown - Approximate travel time one hour. Interstate 68 East, Exit 33 or Exit 34.

Get around[edit]

A car is best, but the town itself is small enough to get to most places by walking, typically within 20-60 min. There is also a public shuttle running 3 times an hour around the university campus during the day, switching to once an hour connecting campus to the stores in La Vale in the afternoons & evenings.

See[edit]

  • Dan's Rock (Take MD-36 and go south of I-68 for 4 miles before seeing the signs). Very popular Dan's Rock has probably the best mountain view in Maryland. You can drive right up Old Dan's Rock Rd almost all the way to the summit, leaving about 50 feet of rock scramble to the very top.
  • The Old Depot. Depot Street Abandoned in 1973, this lovely historic train station was renovated and reopened later and now houses a nice restaurant and some shops which welcome the passengers arriving on the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad steam passenger train and anyone else who happens by. Also, home to the Thrasher Carriage Museum.
  • The Palace Theatre33 E. Main Street. Once a nickelodeon, this was a theater where the public was able to view short films for a nickel. This once abandoned theatre has been restored and now hosts a variety of concerts and independent film screenings. However, film screenings are typically only shown once a month. The selection is also sometimes hit-and-miss. Screenings sometimes sell out.
  • Noah's Ark Being Rebuilt Here (Along the National Freeway (Route 68)). An icon of religious obsession, this undertaking has mostly been abandoned due to the controversial leader who commissioned its construction. Interesting to drive past, but not much of an attraction.

Do[edit]

Annual Soapbox Derby Every year, the big attraction on July Fourth is the Soapbox Derby which is run on a steep hill right in the middle of town on Main Street. Bring blankets or chairs and stake out a good spot. You will get to see youth from the area race in the soapbox derby cars they have been working on all spring. This event has occurred every year for over thirty years and is a great chance to experience the better things about small town living.

Mountain City Chili Cook-Off Judged event and a local favorite, this chili cook-off offers great family entertainment featuring local music and fun kids activities. Several contests take place during the event, one of which is an eating contest open to the general public.

Welcome Back Frostburg State University Block Party Annual event held on Main Street to welcome back the Frostburg State University students when they return from the sum me break. Some interesting things take place including live local music. But it isn't too much of an attraction for tourists. It is primarily a way for local businesses to advertise their services to local students.

Cruisin' Main Street Frostburg Late August Hundreds of nostalgic vehicles fill the streets for this day of fifties nostalgia. This one's a charmer.

  • Rails to Trails. Frostburg is a town along the Rails to Trails bicycle path which connects Pittsburgh and Washington, D.C. An excellent, scenic ride is from Frostburg into the historic canal area in Cumberland, Maryland. The ride makes or a gorgeous and relaxing summer afternoon.
  • Ride the train!. Running from Spring through early Autumn, with some trains running around the holidays, a popular tourist attraction is riding the old trains from the Cumberland Station to the Frostburg Depot. This is especially scenic in early October when the Autumn colors are brightest.


Buy[edit]

Frostburg Farmer's Market Enjoy fresh produce, baked goods, plants and flowers on Frostburg's Main Street as local farmers and merchants sell their wares and crops. Every Friday beginning at 9:30 from June to September.

  • Mountain City Traditional Arts25 East Main St. Offers a wide selection of hand-crafted arts from local artists, most working in traditional Appalachian arts. A fine variety of pottery, hooked rugs, jewelry, scarves, and local music is available here. Free events are held throughout the year.


Eat[edit]

  • The Princess Restaurant12 W Main St +1 301 689-1680. Nostalgia is not the right word... that might indicate a re-creation. This diner is the real thing, just as it was when Harry and Bess Truman stopped in for dinner on their way east on Father's Day in 1953. The booth where they ate is marked with a plaque. The place began as a confectionary in the 1930s by the same family that owns and operates it today, and the tradition of making delicious home-made candies and chocolates continues. The service is good and the food is excellent down home cookin'. Don't leave without trying something from the chocolate case. $5-10.
  • El Canelo167 E Main St +1 301 687-0750. Authentic Mexican cuisine in a cozy, relaxed atmosphere. The service is slow, but the food is always fresh and tasty, and the selection is impressive. Good frozen drinks, and vegetarian friendly too!
  • Sand Springs Saloon188 W Main St +1 301 689-8085. Settle in to a dark wood booth or table in one of the several dining rooms in the large house that was converted to this country restaurant. Friendly, quick service and a menu that encompasses everything from BBQ ribs to nachos to gyros. Nice bar if you're just stopping in for a drink as well.

Drink[edit]

  • Main Street Hanger. Located on the east end of Main Street, the Hanger is a bar in a beautifully renovated former hardware store. All of their servers are friendly and knowledgeable. Live music most Saturday nights, as well as occasional special events during the week.
  • Wild Things Restaurant and Bar113 E. Main Street +1 301 687 0210. A student-oriented bar with a student-oriented menu, Wild Things offers a wide range of burgers, wings, pizza, and vegetarian fare. A variety of late-night events occur here when school is in session. If you want to mingle with the younger-set, this might be your best bet on Main Street. $5-10.
  • Sand SpringsWest Main St. Excellent food - eat outdoors on the deck (seasonal) bar and restaurant.
  • The Hen HouseRoute 40 west (approx 5 miles west on Route 40). Out of town further up the National Road, the Hen House is a popular locals joint, specializing in chicken and seafood. Vegetarians should keep a great distance. But those dying for some good seafood won't find a better option for miles.
  • Dante's Bar16 West Main St.. 5pm - 2am. Dante's is the best bar in town for the arts and live music. It draws a trendy, artsy crowd from the surrounding region, and hosts some fantastic concerts from local and touring bands. They now also serve dinner and Sunday brunch under the name Red Giant. The food is good, but on the pricy side. The drink selection here is, also, the best in town with a wide-range of quality draft beers (some exquisite pilsner beers on tap) as well as a wide range of canned and bottled beers.


Sleep[edit]

  • The Castle15925 Mt. Savage Rd NW Mount Savage +1 301 264-4645. Andrew Ramsey, the one-time owner of Mt. Savage Enameled Brickworks Company in the nineteenth century, made enough money to build a replica of one Craig Castle from his native Scotland. Today, the castle is a unique B&B with beautiful quarters and gardens. The town of Mt Savage is a neat stop too, a historic mining village well off the beaten path. $135-175.
  • Day's Inn & SuitesRoute 36 Frostburg Industrial Park Frostburg, MD 21532.
  • Failinger's Hotel Gunter. A charming renovated hotel found at the top of Main Street.
  • Hampton Inn11200 New Georges Creek Road, Frostburg, MD 21532.


Go next[edit]

  • La Vale is the nearest commercial area, where most of the stores & restaurants are, including the Country Club Mall. There is a public shuttle service between Frostburg and La Vale.
  • Nearest train station (AMTRAK) is in Cumberland (Maryland). There is no way to take public transportation from Frostburg for outgoing eastbound trains, due to the transfer time in La Vale.
  • Nearest major airport is Pittsburgh International in Pittsburgh, which is also the nearest major city. Dulles International in Washington, D.C. and BWI near Baltimore are not that much further in travel time though.
Routes through Frostburg
Morgantown/WashingtonGrantsville  W I-68.svgnoframe E  La ValeCumberland



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