Nestled in the picturesque mountains of western Maryland is the charming town of Frostburg. This historic town is a must-see destination for road-trippers and adventurers alike. From the stunning Great Allegheny Passage to unique shops and restaurants, Frostburg, the “Mountain Side of Maryland”, has something to offer for everyone. In this blog post, we’ll guide you on a 24-hour journey through Frostburg, MD, so you can make the most of your visit.
Frostburg is accessible from I-68, US-40, and US-220. You can visit Allegany County via Amtrak. The station is in nearby Cumberland.
Make your way to historic downtown Frostburg and Depot Street, the hub where the railroad runs through Frostburg. The town boasts several alluring historic houses that are definitely worth a visit: Standish House (built by a descendent of Captain Miles Standish), Frost Mansion (circa 1846, one of Frostburg’s prettiest landmarks), and Getzendanner House (circa 1855, two-story Greek-revival).
There are quite a few magnificent churches in Frostburg, including St. Paul’s Lutheran, a red brick gable-front church, United Methodist with stained glass windows depicting the town’s early residents, and United Church of Christ, with imported German stained glass windows and the oldest in Frostburg.
The Palace Theatre is one of downtown Frostburg’s iconic and Instagram-worthy places and currently shows classic films and nationally known acts. It opened in the early 1900s.
Shopping in Frostburg
Frostburg has an abundance of unique shops that offer one-of-a-kind items. Check out Main Street Books, a locally-owned bookstore that specializes in Appalachian literature, puzzles, and super cool trinkets and gifts.
Or LadyBug Boutique with hand-crafted soaps and candles, or Yellow K Record Store with awesome throwback vinyl. The Frostburg Fiber Depot also offers a wide range of yarns and fibers for knitting enthusiasts.
Where to Eat and Drink in Frostburg
Start your day off right with a delicious breakfast and great coffee from Clatter Cafe, serving tasty cold brew and all your favorite tea and coffee drinks daily from 7 AM to 2 PM. Clatter Cafe also serves bagels with flavored cream cheeses, soups, and frittatas in a warm and inviting atmosphere.
For lunch, visit the Princess Restaurant, an 80+ year-old eatery with a retro vibe, great burgers and shakes, and the friendliest staff. I love the charm of this nostalgic eatery. The Miner Steak Sandwich and macaroni salad were excellent.
Fun Fact: President Harry S. Truman ate at the Princess Restaurant on Father’s Day in 1953; you can sit in the same booth.
End the day with dinner at Toasted Goat Winery inside the Hotel Gunter. Tempting appetizers include spinach artichoke dip and house-made ranch potato chips.
I recommend the homemade Ravioli of the Day for your main course; mine was sun-dried tomato, a 10/10 delicious pasta dish. You can add grilled chicken for a few dollars more. My friend chose the Maple Glazed Salmon and thought it was delicious.
Or, should you be jonesing for some Italian food, Mario’s is great for price, service, and selection of pizzas and pasta dishes. My server recommended the Chicken Fettuccini Alfredo, so that’s what I went with.
I chose the smaller portion, and still had leftovers. Mario’s food is really good!
At snack time, consider Lorenzo’s Frostburg Bakery’s beautiful selection of cookies, pastries, and donuts for satisfying your sweet tooth and even homemade peanut butter dog treats for your pet. I had a dozen of buttery Italian cookies and savored every bite.
McFarland Candies is a third-generation candy store with amazing truffles and peanut butter squares if you’d prefer a more traditional candy shop. The smell alone is worth stopping by the shop.
What Frostburg is Famous For
Frostburg is primarily known for its rich history, particularly its past as a transportation hub for coal and iron. The town is also home to the Frostburg State University, which was founded in 1898 and is a prominent institution in the community.
Additionally, Frostburg is known for its beautiful natural surroundings, including the nearby Savage River State Forest and Rocky Gap State Park.
Be sure to catch the Savage Mountain Punk Festival, offering two days of old-school punk rock music, if you visit Frostburg in August. In September, Frostburg State celebrates the Appalachian Festival, showcasing folk art, dancing, music, culture, and history. Stage shows feature regional bluegrass, acoustic blues, Irish music, and much more.
Hitting the Allegheny Trail
Stretch your legs and take in the fresh mountain air by hiking or biking the Allegheny Trail, a 15-mile trail that runs from Frostburg to Cumberland, while the entire Great Allegheny Passage (GAP) runs from Cumberland, Maryland to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
The trail offers breathtaking views of the mountains and the chance to encounter wildlife such as deer and birds. It is accessible from various points in Frostburg and is suitable for all skill levels.
Near the trailhead is an art installment, the Great Allegheny Passage Bicycle Trail, with cool pieces made from salvaged bike parts from artist Scott Cawood.
Western Maryland Scenic Railroad
You’ll find the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad hub by the old C&P Depot, where a heritage train makes weekend trips from Cumberland to Frostburg and back. The ride rolls through mountain vistas, picturesque landscapes, and farms. There is even an ice cream train!
A newer offering in Frostburg is Rail Bike Tours. This unique non-strenuous activity allows guests to pedal alongside the Great Allegheny Passage hiking and biking trail along the mountain ridge. The experience is perfect for everyone, including kids, date night, and time spent with friends.
One of the most interesting tours is Track and Yak, a combo of 15 mile downhill rail bike excursion and four mile float on the Potomac River by kayak or tube. A shuttle bus ride back to Frostburg is included.
Staying For An Overnight
The Allegheny Trail House is a small “bicycle-friendly” bed and breakfast with comfortable bedrooms, free Wifi, and parking. The farm-fresh breakfast is excellent, and one of the choices is the totally scrumptious banana oat pancakes. Allegheny Trail House caters to vegans and vegetarians and has a shuttle service upon request.
I stayed in the Depot room, feating double queen beds, an excellent desk area, and a full bathroom with a shower. The perfectly-made beds offered a great night’s sleep, and the innkeeper’s hospitality was appreciated.
Angie (my friend) stayed in the room beside mine (Dixon) and had an awesome clawfoot tub and shower. Rooms run between a little over $100, depending on the season.
Allegheny Trail House is just a short pedal away for those enjoying the Appalachian Trail. The property’s shared common rooms include comfortable places to read, visit, relax, and sit outside.
I especially enjoyed the late afternoon’s vegan chocolate chip cookies.
Another option is to book a room at The Hotel Gunter, a historic hotel and Frostburg landmark. The hotel dates back to the 1890s and was built along the National Road, hosting those traveling along America’s first federally-funded route. It has been beautifully restored, offering an unparalleled experience for guests.
Rumor has it that spirits were smuggled in the Hotel Gunter during Prohibition—you can even see a replica coal mine, railroad tracks, and memorabilia from those days. Pop into the Speakeasy for a drink in the place where gatherings took place all those years ago.
24 Hours in Frostburg: More Than Meets The Eye
Whether you’re a road-tripper passing through or a local looking for a weekend getaway, Frostburg is a must-visit destination that will leave you with unforgettable memories.
Click this link to learn more about the Mountain Side of Maryland: Allegany County.
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