The Star-Spangled banner, Edgar Allan Poe, and Billie Holiday — what do these things have in common? They all called Charm City their home. Today, Baltimore is a thriving harbor town known for it’s growing foodie scene and, of course, it’s history-drenched existence.
We know, we know — how will you see it and eat it all in just 2 days? Simple. Follow us on this brief but comprehensive tour of all the must-sees. Here’s your ultimate B’more weekend itinerary!
Day 1 in Baltimore
Ready, set, PANCAKES! Start your day off right, with a hearty breakfast in Baltimore‘s picturesque and popular area of the Inner Harbor — Fell’s Point. Make like a local and grab a seat at Jimmy’s Restaurant, a popular diner where you can chow down on a fluffy stack of pancakes or a giant piece of French toast for just $3 – 5. Wash those down with a coffee for $1.65 or a mimosa at $3.95. A cheap, filling start to your day, all while gazing out at the waterfront… need we say more?
Sail into the scene — take a Baltimore Water Taxi ride (just $9 for an all-day pass) to Fort McHenry, a perfect place for you to walk off that heavy breakfast while getting a heavy dose of history. It was here that a tattered American flag saliently waving amidst the ruins after the Battle of Baltimore in 1814 inspired Francis Scott Key to write the words to the U.S. national anthem!
Hop back on to the water taxi and head back into the Inner Harbor area. Once you’re back, check out The National Aquarium, where you’ll find an array of marine life exhibits — some 600 species spread across a variety of ecosystems! Also on the waterfront, you’ll find the Historic Ships of Baltimore. Meander through history, without having to leave the shoreline, as you walk through four historic ships: the Taney, the USS Torsk, the Chesapeake, and the USS Constellation.
Hungry again? We thought you would be! After your time in Inner Harbor, take a short stroll into the town of Mount Vernon and grab a bite. Why here? Within a few blocks, you’ll find cuisine from all over the world. Choose from Nepali, Indian, American, Afghani, Spanish, or Italian … just to name a few!
Full? Good. Now it’s time to feast your eyes on more sights! Nearby, you’ll find the breathtaking Baltimore Basilica — better known as America’s very first Roman Catholic Cathedral, which dates back to the early 1800s. Even if you don’t go inside, you can admire its grandiose Neoclassical design set against Baltimore’s oldest neighborhood that is home to buildings dating back to the 19th century. After the Basilica, make your way to Mount Vernon’s epicenter, where you’ll find the 178ft-tall Washington Monument, with a statue of America’s first president sitting at the top. For an unbelievable view (and a chance to walk off all that food) climb up the 228 steps of the monument to get a look at the entire city of Baltimore!
You probably need a little break from the outdoors. Start off at the Walters Art Museum, a gorgeous and free exhibition space that contains an encyclopedic collection of art, including ancient Roman sculptures, Renaissance paintings, Japanese woodblock prints, Meso-American carvings and works by French impressionists. Sated on art, take a peek inside the George Peabody Library. Its centerpiece is a soaring atrium ringed with five stories of cast-iron balconies. The collection contains 300,000 volumes, many dating to the 18th and 19th centuries. End the afternoon at the Maryland Historical Society, which houses a staggering collection of old and odd artifacts (textiles, paintings, furniture, weapons, jewelry and much more), with pieces dating back some 400 years.
Dinner time! And what’s a day on a waterfront in Maryland without feasting on some Maryland crabs? Some crowd favorites in the Inner Harbor area are: Captain James — a Baltimore restaurant shaped like a merchant vessel, or Phillips Seafood — known for its award-winning crab cakes (don’t worry, if you’re someone who gets crabby at the thought of eating crabs, both places have plenty of menu choices other than seafood!). Once you’re done with dinner, grab a drink at Max’s Taphouse — that offers over 102 different beers on draft and 2,000 different bottled beer options!
We hope your first day was nothing less than thrilling! But it’s probably time to head back to your hotel and rest up before you start day two in B’more!
Day 2 in Baltimore
Rise and shine, traveler! By now, the historic Lexington Market has already been awake and open for three hours and that means — it’s time to get going! Established in 1782, this historic marketplace is as old as America itself. Start your day with a sugar rush and make your way over to Buttercup Bakery, a Baltimore favorite and must-visit featuring unforgettable cakes, pies nutrolls, and glazed doughnuts. Trust us when we say the build-up to this Buttercup is no letdown! As you’re chowing down, walk around the market, where you’ll find everything from fresh fish to quirky cosmetics!
After you’ve satisfied your sweet tooth, take a quick stroll over to Camden Yards, home of the Baltimore Orioles. Here, you’ll find the statue of Baltimore native George Herman Ruth (a.k.a Babe Ruth) and a museum dedicated to the legend for all of you die-hard baseball fans out there!
From one legend to another. As mentioned earlier, B’more was home to many famed individuals including Edgar Allen Poe, a legendary American poet known for his macabre short stories and poems. Just a short walk from Camden Yards you can pay homage to Poe’s home and grave, and walk through the museum also dedicated to his time spent in this area.
Fun Fact: Poe’s poem “The Raven” inspired the name of Baltimore’s professional football team.
You’ve probably worked up a bit of an appetite by now, huh? Luckily for you, you’re only a short drive away from one of the most coveted modern eateries of B’more — Woodbury Kitchen. This converted 19th-century flour mill on a tranquil riverbank is home to a busy restaurant that serves up exceptional farm-to-table contemporary American cuisine and wine (even the mozzarella cheese is made onsite!). Once you’re done with your meal, pop over next door to the Corradetti glassblowing studios, where you can see mindblowing multi-colored, handmade designs.
After you’ve had your fill of the awe-inspiring glassware and farm-fresh food, it’s time to relax and throw back some brews! Did you know that America’s first flag was actually assembled on the floor of a local brewery in Baltimore? Not too far from Corradetti, you’ll find the Union Craft Brewery. Although this isn’t the historical brewery that our first star-spangled banner was made, it is a local favorite. Be sure to try their signature Duckpin Pale Ale!
Would you like some kitsch with that beer? After the brewery, walk over to the ultra-hip Hampden neighborhood, a hub that’s quickly grown and is known for artist studios, wine bars, and trendy restaurants. At the heart of Hampden is a street simply known as “the Avenue,” where you’ll find quirky cafes and bohemian boutiques — a total change of scene from the tourist-filled Inner Harbor area. If you have the time, head over to Johns Hopkins University afterward and take a quiet nighttime stroll through one of Maryland’s most beautiful campuses as your last hoorah in Charm City!
…And there you have it, folks – 48 hours in Baltimore!
Have any must-see sights in Baltimore to add to the list? Let us know in the comments below!