This morning at work, I mentioned to a colleague that I just spent the weekend in Baltimore. He replied, “that sounds about as exciting as saying you went to Jersey.” On the contrary, I felt that Baltimore had a lot to offer, even to a seasoned traveler. I, of course, had the great fortune of being in Baltimore over Preakness weekend. For those of you who are not familiar with Preakness, it is the second race that makes up the Triple Crown horse racing circuit, preceded by the Kentucky Derby and just prior to the Belmont Stakes. Although we were not able to attend Preakness, we did experience the great excitement of the race all around the city, including in our own hotel lobby, as picture above.
Beyond the once-a-year Preakness, Baltimore does lend itself to a wonderful long weekend, especially if the weather is nice. In fact, Baltimore has been called the Charm City because of the appeal of its neighborhoods and its friendly, unpretentious citizens.
A Few of My Favorite Things about Baltimore…
- Inner Harbor Area – The stretch of land that encircles a narrow section of Chesapeake Bay is home to museums, restaurants, bars, water tours, and shops – not to mention a few street performers.
- Fell’s Point – If you go anywhere in Baltimore, let it be Fell’s Point. This historic hotspot – line with uneven brick streets and walkways – spans a 3-4 block radius that offers bars, cafes, trés chic shopping, and many places just to take a stroll or people watch. Think the inner harbor but way less touristy. Be sure to check out Pitango Gelato, the chocolate noir is heavenly.
- Restaurant variety – Baltimore may not be a foodie mecca, but it definitely has nothing to be ashamed of. You can find just about any type of food in the downtown area, from Lebanese to Asian, to steak houses, to tapas bars and cafes. And who could forget those famous crab cakes!
- History – If you’re a history buff, Baltimore is the place to be. Aside from former civil war ships docked in the harbor, it’s also home to Federal Hill, which earned its name in 1788, when thousands of Baltimoreans marched from Fells Point to the hill in celebration of the Maryland General Assembly’s ratification of the Constitution.
- Proximity – One of my very favorite things about Baltimore is how everything seems to be within walking distance in the downtown area. A 15-25 minute walk can take you from the inner harbor to Fell’s Point and not without passing dozens of sites to peruse along the way.