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I will always have a soft place in my heart for this unique city. It is beautiful, filled with culture and diversity, has one of the best ball parks in the whole country (second to Fenway of course!), is home to my undergraduate university, filled with eclectic restaurants and shops, and above all else it was my home for four of the most wonderful and challenging years of my life.
Mike and I love to travel to Baltimore every year or so to see some of our best friends and visit some of our absolute FAVORITE restaurants. While we only had a few days in Baltimore this time around, honestly you can really explore so much of Baltimore in just two days if you need to. The key to Baltimore is knowing how to navigate the city, it is the kind of city that has very specific neighborhoods with various vibes to them, all of which are unique and amazing in their own right.
Here of some of my favorite things to do, eat, and explore while traveling in Baltimore:
[ where to explore ]
- Hampden: This is one of my favorite neighborhoods, with a mix of young and long-time residents, this neighborhood is totally up and coming and very eclectic...not to mention Hampden is home to some of my favorite restaurants and drink spots.
- Canton: Right on the water this neighborhood is just minutes from downtown and has a total marina feel to it. Canton is also a favorite of young professionals and has easy access to restaurants, super markets, and shopping.
- Federal Hill: This is one of the favorite neighborhoods for recently graduated students and definitely has a bit of a young vibe. There is a lot going on in Fed Hill and with its close proximity to downtown Baltimore it is one of the most accessible Baltimore neighborhoods from most of the major hotels in downtown Baltimore.
- Fells Point: Ahhh fells point, do I have many many college memories in this Baltimore neighborhood. Fells Point is right on the water and home to many many restaurants, bars, my all time favorite gelato, and so much more.
- Mt. Vernon: Cobblestone streets, filled with history, very family-friendly neighborhood. Loaded with restaurants and coffee shops, museums, and theaters. Very walkable and worth making a stop to walk around and take in all the pretty scenery.
- Inner Harbor: While the inner harbor isn't exactly a true neighborhood it is worth highlighting here. The inner harbor is absolutely Baltimore's largest tourist attraction and is filled with chain and upscale restaurants, as well as shopping, and beautiful water views of the harbor.
[ what to eat ]
- PAZOs - Ahhh where do I begin...this is by far one of my favorite restaurants in the entire world. I absolutely love the tapas style food PAZOs offers and the incredible decor. This restaurant is built in an old warehouse building, with incredible ceilings and a cool bar scene at night. It is a great place for date night, and all around an incredible experience worth having.
- Pitango Gelato - This is by far my favorite place to get "ice cream" in the Baltimore/DC area. Pitango Gelato offers a variety of non-dairy flavors that are so decadent they remind me of my favorite gelato in Italy.
- Blue Agave - This is a great place to go to for happy hour margaritas, and some killer tacos. I loved their fresh ingredients and the overall feel of this restaurant. Not to mention it is in a fun part of the city with lots to do and see around.
- Baltimore Fish Market - Do you want the best oysters of your life? Of course you do. So walk down to fells point, in the center is a fish market. Walk to the back (far end from the harbor) and ask for a dozen 1 dollar oysters. They literally will blow.you.way.
- Liquid Earth - AHH vegans unite! This joint is perfect for our health obsessed freaks, and meat eaters will forget that they are missing any meat when they order one of this incredible vegan burritos. Mike and I both enjoy this restaurant for its food, but you can also just stop in for a fresh juice or smoothie if that is more your thing.
- Blue Moon - If you want a killer breakfast this is your spot!
- Woodberry Kitchen - Another of my favorite restaurants, especially for date night, Woodberry Kitchen has an incredible feel to it and a truly impressive farm to table menu, which I greatly appreciate.
- Holy Frijoles - Another excellent Mexican restaurant with great mid-week options like half-price tacos and margaritas. This is a great place to come with a group of friends and have a good time!
[ tasty drinks ]
- PAZOs - Not only is their food amazing, but their drinks are killer too. I have come here many times for both food and drinks and their wine list is incredible! So are their cocktails if that is more your thing, and the ambiance cant be beat.
- 13.5% Wine Bar - Absolutely adore this wine bar in Hampden, it has a supper eclectic vibe to it and is perfect to grab a glass of wine and relax with friends.
- The Brewers Art - I LOVE this place. Literally everything about it is great! There food is amazing, their french fries are some of the best I have ever had, and of course their beer and wine are killer! Give it a try, you won't regret it.
- Max's Taphouse - If your a beer person this place is for you. With a constantly changing list of draft beer choices this is a great choice for a casual night, and some delicious beer (#sadface for having celiacs)
- Bin 604 - Sells an incredible selection of wines and offers wine tastings. Definitely recommend trying to hit this spot up for a wine tasting if you can!
[ fun activities ]
- Camden Yards - You HAVE to check out Camden Yards while in Baltimore. Whether you are a baseball friend or not this park is incredible, cheap to get into, and so much fun!!! The last time we were there we same a free fire works show after the game, and it was amazing!
- Fort McHenry National Monument - If you are a history buff you have to check out this national monument and enjoy walking around the area.
- Boat Tour - There are so many boat tours that you can do in Baltimore, as well as rent kayaks to explore the harbor. If you like being on the water this may be a nice way to spend an afternoon.
- Walk Around the Inner Harbor - Baltimore's Inner Harbor really is beautiful and while there are a lot of chain stores and restaurants, that isn't necessary a bad thing. The inner harbor is great to spend an afternoon in just walking around and taking in the pretty water views.
- National Aquarium - Okay so this may sound like a 10 year old activity, but Baltimore has one of the best, most famous Aquarium's in the country and is definitely worth checking out...especially if you are caught in Baltimore on a rainy day.