Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Things to do in Baltimore

This isn't a city that sees a lot of tourism, but for being so close to Washington DC it is common for people to spend a night or two. Especially if you fly into BWI. If you find yourself in Baltimore, don't count this city out! There are many things to do, and this town has amazing food!

Where is it: Baltimore is approximately 40 miles north of Washington DC, which can take 1 - 1.5 hours driving depending on traffic.

Getting There: You can arrive to Baltimore in several ways, the airport, train, and driving. We have done it all three from different areas. The Baltimore airport (BWI) is very easy to figure out, and you can take an Uber from the airport to your hotel fairly easy as it isn't far out of the main part of town. We have also drove into Baltimore, and were able to find a garage to park our car in. Street parking isn't the friendliest as it is a city, but is possible if you have the patience to figure it out. There is also a great train that costs $8 which will take you from Union station in DC to Penn Station in Baltimore. 

Things to Do
Washington Monument (Mount Vernon Place): This monument might look vaguely look familiar to you, as it should! It was designed by Robert Mills, who later designed the Washington Monument in Washington DC. The idea of this monument in Baltimore began in 1783, when people wanted a place to honor George Washington. After years of debate and collaboration, Robert Mills won the competition to build, and construction commenced in 1816. The building didn't take long, and visitors were coming barley a year later. What we see today is small gallery and exhibit at the bottom of the tower, which is free to the public. You can also choose to pay $6 to climb the steps for a view of the city. We didn't do the climb as we had a great view from our hotel, but did like the exhibit and learning more about the history of the Mount Vernon Place. 

 Walters Art Museum: Right next to Mount Vernon Place is this great museum, and with an added perk that it is free! Before you visit make sure you see what the exhibit is and that there is something that interests you. I love free museums because I'm not super knowledgeable on art, and tend to speed through looking at the exhibits, and not doing much reading. This is the perfect museum for doing just that! When we visited there was lovely Russian faberge that can even impress an art novice like myself!

Edgar Allen Poe House and Museum: I really wanted to visit this since I remember having to memorize Poe's poems in high school. This would be the perfect site for around Halloween as it can easily be spooky reciting the Raven in your head over and over again while visiting. The hours are limited, so make sure you plan ahead! You get to take a self-guided tour throughout the home to see where Poe's poems and short stories were created.

Edgar Allen Poe's Grave: Also approximately a half a mile away is Poe's grave. When he was originally buried, it was in an unmarked grave, but became overgrown. Family and friends had the grave moved and had a monument created to be placed in the graveyard where we can still see it today. 

Baltimore Farmers' Market: Every Sunday there is a farmers market right under the highway, which may seem like an odd place, but it is truly fantastic. It is the perfect mixture of fresh food, arts, and performances. If you are in town and close by, it is a great option and way to begin your day. Make sure you try the donuts with the multiple selections for toppings!

Inner Harbor: The gem of Baltimore! This area has everything from a walk near the marina, shopping, and fancy dining. It is a lively place to be any time during the day or night. I would suggest starting at one end and walking to the other. It is relatively flat and a great walk for people watching and wandering. You can stop at what interests you like the marina or National Aquarium (see full list below). I ended in Little Italy and enjoyed a delicious meal after my walk around the city!

Little Italy: You can smell the garlic and other amazing aromas a mile away! This part of town used to have multiple streets with family run Italian restaurants back in the day. Now due to the housing around the area, it has been narrowed down to one street, but still has amazing food. I don't think you can really go wrong at any of the restaurants in the area. Do a quick Yelp check before you go as the prices and fanciness of the places vary. We wanted affordable and amazing Italian food, so we went to Joe Benny's. 

Day trip to Washington DC: Maybe Baltimore isn't a stop as you make your way to Washington DC, but you would still like to visit the city. At first we thought that it would be a $70 Uber ride to get to the city, but we asked our hotel, and she mentioned that metro will take you directly to Union Station for $8. We went in and saw some sites, and the train runs so regularly, we were able to come back anytime.

Must Eat: 
  • Joe Benny's: This is some of the best Italian I have ever had. My husband and I stumbled into Little Italy and the aroma immediately hit us. It was a busy night, and we didn't have reservations, but Joe Benny's was willing to take us in. Oh my goodness, this was some amazing Italian food, and we just kept ordering more and more food. It also had a family atmosphere and everyone was warm and welcoming. 
  • Amicci: We wanted to come back to Little Italy and try another place. While I will suggest Joe Benny's for everyone, this is another great option. The portions are much bigger, and you will definitely leave with the full feeling of a great Italian meal. 
  • Shake Shack: This might seem like an odd suggestion, and I don't normally suggest fast food. However, Baltimore was the first place I had Shake Shack, and it lived up to the hype. On top of that, the customer service was better than what we experience in some sit down places!

Where to Stay:

I have been suggesting the Hotel Indigo to anyone who asks about places to stay. See here for my post on my hotel stay! 

Things to do in Baltimore


  1. Baltimore seems like an indeed awesome and awe-inspiring travel destination. Your suggestions are so excellent and useful. How many days would you recommend staying there to see all the highlights?

  2. Great! You don't need much time there as everything is fairly close together. It isn't a city that is spread out and commute time is pretty easy between these locations. I would say at a jammed pack day it can be done, but two might be a bit more relaxing and give you time to explore a bit more than just the top sights. I hope you have a great time in Baltimore!