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Hi Thank you so much for visiting the blog! Whether you're looking for more pretty pictures, inspiration for your wedding day, or some useful Deep Creek info, I hope you'll find a comfy seat, maybe a cup of coffee, and read on!

The Wedding & Family photographer with the MOST Deep Creek experience!

Holler! I'm Jessica

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deep creek lake state park

2024 Summer Deep Creek Things To Do List



Yorkie Acres Farm – Go pet the goats! This place is so charming…run by a young family with three cute kiddos, this farm is crawling with animals that love to meet and greet. Set up a family tour and check out their homemade products like herbal tea, lotion and honey. The farm is located in Friendsville at the very northern end of Garrett County and they take visitors all year round!

Candyland – “Locally famous” with two locations: one in Grantsville and one in Oakland, both located inside farmers market buildings. Half the store is fruits, veggies, snacks, and cooking supplies/ingredients and the other half is candy! Loose candy for less than $5 per pound, every gummy candy you could ever want, and so much more. Everyone loves this place, not just kids!

Deep Creek Fun Zone offers a family-friendly arcade + pizza atmosphere! Recently remodeled with new games, laser tag and a small outdoor ninja course…they also have go-carts, mini golf and bumper boats outside. You can also try Funland and Fun Unlimited for similar activities.

Hiking – Swallow Falls State Park is one of the most-visited places here with three waterfalls to see and the biggest one, Muddy Creek Falls, is only a 5-minute walk from the parking lot. There is a handicap accessible parking area in the forest making it an even shorter walk.

Deep Creek Lake State Park has lots of trails to explore and makes a great hangout spot in summer because of the large beach area. There’s a roped-off swimming area with lots of sand and SUPs + kayak rentals are available. Insider tip: to avoid a potential long car line to get into the beach area, or just a crowded beach overall, when the weather is nice, go before 10am or after 5pm.

deep creek lake state park

The Fork Run Recreation Area on Shinglecamp Road has climbing boulders to explore and there’s the Rock Maze on Cranesville Road between Swallow Falls and Herrington Manor State Parks…very cool place – not “advertised”, so if you’d like to visit, ask me for more specific details.

You can find out about Garrett County trails and hiking options at And if you’re looking for quick food during your hiking + outdoor time, Swallow Falls Country Store (go to their Facebook page to check hours) and Casselman Bakery & Cafe are two places to consider. 

Deep Creek Pottery – We love Miss Lorie! She has a new studio place at The Fort in McHenry where she offers classes. You can drop in when they’re open or sign up for a scheduled activity.

Deep Creek Lavender Farm – In peak bloom NOW! Open daily 10am to 5pm from June 21st to July 15th. Lavender ice cream and lemonade available, and make sure you fluff the plants while there. Owner Anne taught me years ago that by fluffing, you get the most of out of your lavender-sniffing. 🙂

deep creek lavender farm

Bowling – The Alley in Oakland is such a great space! A big food menu, clean place, family-friendly, sometimes filled with high energy. Highly recommend for an indoor activity.

Movies – Garrett 8 Cinemas is centrally located at Deep Creek across from Arrowhead Market/Honi Honi/UNO’s. I’ve heard tickets are less expensive than most movie theaters.

Biking – Herrington Manor State Park offers bike rentals for both adults and kids. My friend Sarah of Deep Creek Times and Deep Creek Adventure Bureau highly recommends this park for biking and has some info online as well: – if you scroll to fat tire biking, you’ll see rental info. Bonus: She said if you message her through either Deep Creek Times or Deep Creek Adventure Bureau on social, she can chat more about biking. 


Mountain State Brewing is located just a few minutes from Wisp Resort and offers a long list of brews along with a menu of wood fired pizzas. It’s a kiddo-friendly space during lunch and dinner times. Definitely a great “bar atmosphere” for the older crowd in evening times too! Insider tip: There’s a wonderful sunset view from their outdoor patio, so if you’re there during the final hour of daylight, be on the lookout. There’s a grass area the kids can run around in just beyond the patio, too.

mountain state brewing deep creek

SUPER UNIQUE! Englander’s Antiques Grill and Soda Fountain/Downtown Oakland – A flea market/antique/thrifting + old diner setup in downtown Oakland! They’re open for breakfast and lunch, they’re food is good (especially the milkshakes) and my kids always find some neat things to look at throughout the store. Also in downtown is a super cute bookstore that kids + adults love! This area is also where you’ll find The Gallery Shop – run by the Garrett County Arts Council with lots of local artists’ work on display/for sale – and both the Garrett County Museum of Transportation and Oakland B&O Railroad Museum.

CONTINUING WITH DOWNTOWN OAKLAND – A collection of food and drink options has appeared in recent years – 206 Alder Street BistroStephanie’s Sweet Shop, and Vagabond Taproom.

Firewater Kitchen & Bar and Ace’s Run – Two lakefront dining options that are wonderful! Firewater is the newest place to wine and dine at the lake and offers a unique menu – especially great for date night! Ace’s is right next door with a larger, family-friendly menu…AND Pasta Nights on Wednesdays where kids only pay their age to eat at the pasta bar!

Dutch’s at Silver Tree and Honi Honi Bar + UNO’s – Dutch’s has some of the best food at the lake, Honi Honi and UNO are Deep Creek staples and share a backyard. Both offer a deck/patio space for outdoor eating and drinking and lots of lawn space for hanging out. Honi is especially fun when there’s a band because you can just throw a blanket or some chairs on the lawn and relax!

honi honi bar deep creek lake

The Cornucopia Cafe is one of my favorite places to eat in Garrett County! It’s located in Grantsville, a 20-25 minute drive from McHenry/the lake area. They have a cozy atmosphere, indoor and outdoor seating and a very intriguing menu. Be sure to check their Instagram and Facebook for updated hours of operation. Little Crossings is also next door and is a unique little shop!

Pawn Run Bar & Kitchen – Deep Creek’s oldest bar! Renovated in the last couple of years, new owners and new outdoor seating area for the warmer months! Their food and drinks are just so darn good.

DONUTS – The Casselman Bakery & Cafe at the lake makes them Thursday-Saturday (call ahead and ask if you can reserve a box or two because they sell out…their pepperoni rolls are also warm and delicious (A MUST-EAT according to my kids) and they sell out, too). The Rolling Pin Bakery in Accident that makes giant, gooey donuts (ALSO A MUST-EAT) on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Both Casselman and Rolling Pin offer made-to-order breakfast and lunch items as well! Deep Creek Donuts and Glazed & Confuzed Donuts offer cake donuts where you can customize toppings.

casselman bakery donuts deep creek

PIZZA – The Abbondanza Pizza at Brenda’s Pizzeria is always a hit…because it’s HUGE and can feed lots of people, or just make lots of leftovers! Mountain State Brewing, which I already mentioned, is one of my husband and I’s favorites. Ledo’s makes it easy to feed a group at a smaller cost. Deep Creek Pizza is run by a local family! And of course Deep Creek UNO’s…everyone loves their deep dish! NEW to the lake scene is Fox’s Pizza Den and they offer delivery!

THE FORT IN MCHENRY – A place for eating, drinking and shopping! Deep Creek Fun Zone is part of this location, along with Black Bear TavernBlack Bear Wine & WordsPine Lodge SteakhouseCashmere Clothing CoShort Story Brewing, and OMG Relax. Two new retailers at this location: Deep Creek Apparel Co. and The Beeff Jerky Experience. Lots of options for various interests and ages if you want to park and walk around.

WINERIES – We only have two in the county, Deep Creek Cellars and Branch Bender Cidery (they make hard cider and they told me they’re considered a winery). Deep Creek Cellars is a small operation at the very northern end of the county and their wines are delicious! Branch Bender Cidery is especially worth checking out because they’ve got such a unique farm setting. Call/check info online ahead of time for both places to see if and when they’re holding tastings.

WINE & CHEESE – At FireFly Farms Market in Accident! Locally made goat cheese and everything you can think of to go with it! Wine, meats, snacks, unique bottled and canned beverages…they also make coffee drinks and made-to-order sandwiches featuring their cheese.

COFFEE – First up, Traders Coffee House…a big time favorite for locals and visitors. They have both food and drink for breakfast. Canoe on the Run has food and drink (coffee included) for both breakfast and lunch with outdoor seating only – I recommend the chili omelette! Moonshadow Cafe at Moonshadow Restaurant just recently opened and is a nice place to sit and enjoy coffee…inside! Espresso Alley – it’s a drive-thru coffee option with some of the most delicious coffee drinks I’ve ever had and is located just one minute from the water in McHenry. The Travel Mug in Grantsville, The Root Cafe in Friendsville, Bear Creek Coffee and Creamery in McHenry, and Black Hawk Coffee Company and Shoofly Java in downtown Oakland are all worth noting too.

traders coffee brendas pizza deep creek

Wow, that’s a lot, right? If you read the whole list, thank you! If you’d like more Deep Creek info, head over to For The Love of Deep Creek. It’s a passion project of mine, a brain dump, if you will for all my Deep Creek knowledge. I live here and love it, so why not share as much as possible about it so that others can enjoy and love it too!? 

If you’re reading this and not already part of a summer photo session at Deep Creek and want to learn more about getting your family photographed while visiting our mountains and lake, contact me here!


get to know ME more!

Hi Thank you so much for visiting the blog! Whether you're looking for more pretty pictures, inspiration for your wedding day, or some useful Deep Creek info, I hope you'll find a comfy seat, maybe a cup of coffee, and read on!

The Wedding & Family photographer with the MOST Deep Creek experience!

Holler! I'm Jessica

Browse the Blog:

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Scenes and thoughts from deep creek

Well hey now! I thought for sure it had been more than seven months since I blogged last! Wish I could do it more…and plan to as soon as the new JFP website comes out.

I’m not sure I’m starting anything consistent here, just sharing some random thoughts and scenes from Deep Creek on this random Wednesday…

Scroll through some favorite blog posts!

- Dani

Jessica is amazing and she made us feel so comfortable! Having her capture our wedding was like having my best friend with me for every moment! Jessica's photos are fun, whimsical, and sophisticated!

We are not a stoic couple and did not want posed (or trying-too-hard) photos! Jessica was able to capture our personalities and the elegance of the day! I can't stop looking at our photos!

"Jessica is amazing!"

- Jessica and brandon

The best decision I could have made for my wedding was hiring Jessica Fike as a photographer! I was in a wedding prior that she was a photographer for and seeing how organized and easy and strategic she was to work with is what convinced me! She makes you feel so comfortable and helps teach you how to pose and smile and look so natural! She keeps you on schedule throughout your day and captures so much emotion in her photos. She is worth every penny plus more!

" the best decision."

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