Before my trip to Baltimore I compiled a decent list of sights to potentially visit- Fort McHenry, the Peabody Library, several art museums, the National Aquarium the B&O Railroad Museum… Too many things to accomplish in my visit, but I wanted to start with that list and narrow it down with help from my friends. I didn’t end up checking out most of them, but that was fine as I at least checked out the most important- Fort McHenry. My friends and I also had a great visit to a bluegrass festival with wine tasting at the Boordy Winery that hadn’t been on the original list. Plus I spent a lot of time hanging out with my Baltimore friends and spending time just walking around and exploring a few of Baltimore’s many neighborhoods, which is one of my favorite things to do on trips.
I stayed with my friend who lived on the border of Highlandtown and Canton and then spent a good amount of time hanging with friends, eating at restaurants, and walking around Fells Point. Even if I hadn’t spent a lot of time there, I think Fells and Canton would have been two of my favorites for all the restaurants and bars in historic buildings along town greens. Fells seemed a little bit more touristy, because of its location on the water, but I liked that it still had character and a neighborhood feel. It was more a neighborhood that tourists could enjoy than a neighborhood defined by tourists (which felt more like my brief experience with the Inner Harbor).
On my last day in Baltimore I also decided to walk back to Canton from my visit to Fort McHenry in the morning. It was quite a trek (it was probably close to 7 miles with my wandering and less than direct route), but I love to do this, again just to see what I discover and hopefully get a better feel for the city (at least parts of it). This route took me through Locust Point, Federal Hill, the Inner Harbor and Harbor East, Fells Point, Patterson Park, and back through Canton.
I had a lot of friends who at one time lived in Fed Hill, which was always described to me as a little bit more “fratty” than other neighborhoods with its recent college graduate population and all of its bars. It being 11 AM on a Monday (albeit a holiday), I really didn’t experience this side, but I enjoyed seeing the historical architecture, walking down a few of the main drags, and especially a visit to Federal Park Hill and some beautiful views of the city. There also is a somewhat ritzy part of Fed Hill near the park, where I would guess recent college grads do not live!
I took a quick walk through the Inner Harbor, which kind of reminded me of Bayside Marketplace in Miami (saw a lot of the same national chains and attractions for tourists), but on a larger scale with more sights. It seems like a great place for visitors, especially families, with the National Aquarium and a lot of activities to do (think Ripley’s Believe It Or Not). With my limited remaining time I walked along the water, but focused more on getting back to Fells/Canton.
Pictures are the best way to show and explain my somewhat unfocused wanderings through a city, so this will be a photo blog of sorts. I’m always a proponent of just exploring and walking around neighborhoods in cities and seeing where you end up, but I especially enjoyed it in Baltimore. I’ve also included pictures from earlier explorations through Canton and Fells. Check out the sights that interest you (especially if you have kids), but also try and find some time to just explore the neighborhoods. I only got a chance to check out the more popular ones, but look forward to checking out some more on a return visit!