From hipster Hampden to funky Fells Point, Baltimore is a city made up of eclectic and interesting neighborhoods. No matter what your interests are — sports, shopping, or symphony — there’s a little bit of everything in this Maryland town, which truly makes it the Charm City.
Wake Up Your Taste Buds: Start your morning off with the right bite at Miss Shirley’s. This Baltimore favorite is known for its decadent dishes such as the Bay-O Po’ Boy served with crab cakes and the Funky Monkey Bread (to be shared with your table!). Be sure to ask your waiter about the pancake, French toast and omelet of the month. If you’re feeling stuffed after your meal, take a stroll through the Sherwood Gardens, down the road from the original Miss Shirley’s location in the Roland Park neighborhood.
Catch a Flick: Take a step back in time at the Senator Theatre. Listed in the National Register of Historic Places, this movie theater shows a mix of current blockbuster hits and favorite throwbacks. It originally opened in 1939 and was restored to its art-deco flair in 2013, kicking off with the original Hairspray, directed by Baltimore native John Waters.
Get in Some Retail Therapy: The Towson Town Center, in nearby Towson, is any shopaholic’s dream. This mall is four levels of practically every store you’d ever want to browse, including a brand-new ALEX AND ANI. Stop in to say hi and get yourself a memento of your trip to Baltimore, like the Crab Charm Bangle or the Baltimore Orioles Cap Logo Charm Bangle. Follow the Towson team on Instagram and Facebook to be the first to know about in-store events and promotions.
Check out Hampden, Hon: The north Baltimore neighborhood of Hampden will give you a sense of authentic Baltimore charm. For lunch, check out Golden West Café or Café Hon, both of which offer kitschy décor and quirky menus. Afterwards, wander the streets and stop in at some of the hipster stores. Then get an ice cream cone from The Charmery, which offers Maryland-inspired flavors. During the holiday season, Miracle on 34th Street is a must-see. Each house on the block goes all out with its decorations, to the point where it’s become a national phenomenon.
Admire Some Art: The Mount Vernon neighborhood is a cultural hub for the arts. The Walters Art Museum is internationally renowned with a range of styles from the ancient, medieval, and renaissance periods. Visit Center Stage for one of their engaging performances of musicals and plays. Bookworms should be sure to peek into the George Peabody Library to admire the ornate building with rows and stretches of books. Lastly, take in some music at the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, which puts on over 100 shows a year.
Cheer Like a Local: Baltimoreans are especially passionate about their baseball team the Orioles. If you can’t score a ticket to the game, Pickles Pub across the street from the Camden Yards is a favorite among many to watch. Another way to catch the game during the summer months is to hit Nick’s Fish House, where you can nosh on a bushel of steamed crabs (generously sprinkled with Spicy Old Bay seasoning) and a bucket of beer while you cheer on the O’s. And if you really love baseball, check out the Babe Ruth Birthplace Museum, the row house where the baseball legend was born.
Cap off in Canton: Conclude your day of sightseeing and shopping in Canton at Nacho Mama’s. There will almost certainly be a wait at this tiny Baltimore-Meets-Mexican restaurant, but it’ll be well worth it. Decorated with Elvis Presley portraits, the best part about this joint is the hubcap margaritas, which are literally served in repurposed hubcaps. Check out the House Rules on the menu, such as, “Journey will be played every night at 10 p.m.” That one is strictly enforced!
Written by Katie Nolan