Frederick has a flourishing economy — thanks, in large part, to its proximity to the nation’s capital and to Baltimore (both about 50 miles away) and the large employers that call the city home (like Fort Detrick, a U.S. Army installation, and the Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research). Over the next four years, Frederick’s job market is expected to grow 10%; one of the highest-anticipated spurts of growth in the country.

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People sitting on an outdoor patio during sunset
Natural Artistry / Visit Frederick

But make no mistake: This Eastern Seaboard city has a rich local identity that extends far beyond its economic pull. Residents enjoy access to a 50-block downtown historic district with more than 200 shops, art galleries, restaurants and a public art trail. When families go out to eat, they’re spoiled with choice — local favorites include aka Friscos, Isabella’s and Thacher & Rye, the newest outpost from “Top Chef” alum (and Frederick resident) Bryan Voltaggio. Craft beer enthusiasts can wind down at Attaboy Beer, which has a dog-friendly garage, or Milkhouse Brewery. North Market Pop Shop, which lays claim to the largest selection of bottled sodas on the East Coast, is a great kid-friendly option.