Have you ever heard of Frederick, MD? I hadn’t. I stumbled upon this great spot when I was planning a weekend trip to see one of my best friends that had recently moved to Baltimore.
Visiting vineyards became a favorite activity during the pandemic – lots of outdoor space and wine! So for every city I visit, I type “vineyards near…” into Google just to check, even if I don’t think any will be nearby. When I began my search for this trip, The Frederick Wine Trail populated as a result for “vineyards near Baltimore”. An entire wine trail?! Sign me up.
Plans went from very basic – hanging out at my friend’s apartment and seeing a few sites in Baltimore – to way more fun (and as we joke, very romantic)! I had a lot of Marriott points from previous hotel stays and was able to find two nights for free in Frederick! So I booked our room and began planning our vineyard-hopping weekend.
I landed in Baltimore on a Friday – travel was easy since it was just me and I only packed a carry-on. I took the shuttle to the rental facility and picked up my car from Hertz (if you’re a Gold Club member, this airport has President’s Circle!). I checked-in to the hotel and then impatiently waited for Supriya to arrive! As soon as she was off work, she made her way straight to the hotel. Being the annoying friend that I am, I was sitting at the window waiting. I opened it and began yelling the moment I saw her!
We were shocked and excited to find out that the hotel had a rooftop bar! We enjoyed drinks and dinner up there that night and then prepared for our jam-packed two days that I had planned!
I loved all of the vineyards that we visited but the first might have been my favorite with their eco-friendly touches all around the property, beautiful views, great wine, and lots of yummy food to order! We arrived right as they opened and were the only ones there for quite some time. Once it started to fill up, we packed up and made our way to stop #2.
I said our first stop was my favorite, but I really did love every single place that we visited. Stop #2 was a small and adorable spot, where two resident dogs were ready to let us give them all the pets. There was also a tire swing! Again, we were the only ones there for quite some time and it was wonderful!
Stop #3 included an outfit change. Why, you ask? No reason other than two best friends being ridiculous and wanting to. We enjoyed live music, wine, snack mix, and chocolate at Loew Vineyards!
Stop #4 had the most beautiful property, live music, and a food truck. I wasn’t a fan of the wines I chose, but we had a great time enjoying the perfect weather and listening to music.
After our final vineyard, we drove to Cunningham Falls and enjoyed a quick hike. Can you believe this was all in one day?? Don’t worry, we were very safe to drive – at each location, we ordered flights so that we would just have a small taste of each wine that we wanted to try. And the ones that we didn’t like, we dumped out. Also, we ate a ton and drank a plenty of water!
On our second morning, we didn’t skip a beat. We were up early getting ready, having breakfast, packing, and loading our cars since we wouldn’t be back before checkout. Our first stop of the morning was the Catoctin Mountain Orchard for some snacks. We may have gone a little overboard…
After loading up on snacks for the day, we made our way to the Catoctin Wildlife Preserve before the vineyards opened. We were so lucky that we were there when all of the male peacocks were doing their mating dances! I’ve only ever seen that on TV and it was really incredible to see in person. And also funny at how easily the females ignored their advances…
At noon, we arrived at the Catoctin Breeze Vineyard & Winery, where I had made a pergola reservation for 12:00-2:30. This property continued with the theme of being absolutely gorgeous! A storm was rolling in that day so it was a little overcast and a little cold for these two Florida natives. But having a little wine and running around like little kids warmed us right up!
After Catoctin, we had a little more time than I originally planned so we stopped at another spot on our route. Unfortunately, the storm was getting closer and it was extremely windy! The outdoor area was huge, but it was jam-packed with visitors listening to live music and enjoying the outdoors before the rain arrived. We played with a cute little puppy, tried to hide from the wind, and then left for our final stop.
This last stop was the most fun because I booked a local photographer while I was planning this trip! We’re so fortunate that the direction we were heading ended up putting some space between us and the storm. This was my first time booking a photographer for a best friend session and now I will do it again and again! Supriya and I had the best time and everyone at the vineyard was congratulating us on our marriage (HA! told you it was a romantic weekend). We cannot recommend Sarah Laughland Photography enough. She was so fantastic!
RIGHT after our session was over, the heavens opened and it POURED. Sarah made a run for her car, while Supriya and I took shelter to enjoy the storm. We stayed for a few hours and then left to get her car from the hotel, grab a pizza for dinner, and made our way back to Baltimore.
The next morning, we said our goodbyes and I drove to BWI and flew home to my sweet little family.
Supriya and I decided that this will be an annual tradition so we’re already working on our 2022 wine-weekend-getaway!
- Black Ankle Vineyards https://www.blackankle.com/
- Elk Run Winery https://elkrun.com/
- Loew Vineyards https://www.loewvineyards.com/
- Hidden Hills Farm & Vineyard https://hiddenhillsfarmandvineyard.com/
- Catoctin Breeze Vineyard https://catoctinbreeze.com/
- Springfield Manor https://www.springfieldmanor.com/
- Linganore Winecellars https://www.linganorewines.com/
The Photographer: https://sarahlaughlandphotography.com/