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Historic haunts, stellar sports, amazing art. Slow down, Baltimore—you had us hooked with your famed crab cakes! Whether you’re seeking the storied tales of Charm City’s past or a day of top-notch shopping, you’re sure to find your fill in this waterfront metropolis. Let’s get crackin’!
By Amanda Gleason
Hilton Baltimore Baseball fans dash to this downtown spread for instant access to Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Ask for a room that overlooks the outfield.
Four Seasons Hotel Baltimore Cool down with an ice cream cookie sandwich or the praline orange sorbet served at Wit & Wisdom, the on-site restaurant at this luxurious high-rise.
Admiral Fell Inn Soak up views of sailboats drifting by from this historic hotel in Fell’s Point, which has served as both a ship chandlery and a boarding house for sailors.
Sports fan? Take a field trip and…
Get Your Game On
Long before it was the home of this year’s Super Bowl champs, Baltimore harbored another sports legend. George Herman “Babe” Ruth was born in 1895 in his grandfather’s house on Emory Street, and that humble abode is now the site of the Babe Ruth Birthplace Museum: two floors of exhibits that tell the incredible tale of the great Bambino. Scope out his birth certificate as well as game-worn jerseys and mitts. Once you’ve made your way around the bases, walk three blocks to the Sports Legends Museum at Camden Yards to dig up more of Charm City’s athletic roots. This shrine to sports history invites visitors to try on a Baltimore Ravens uniform and gawk at photos of Cal Ripken Jr.’s first Major League game. When you’re done, catch an Orioles game next door to see where the magic happens today.
Pay A Visit to:
National Aquarium, Baltimore Debuting this month, the Blacktip Reef exhibit at this aquatic arsenal allows guests to get close with whiprays, sea turtles, angelfish, and zebra sharks.
Geppi’s Entertainment Museum More than 700 comic books are part of this pop culture museum’s massive artifact collection, which includes everything from Howdy Doody dolls to an original Mickey Mouse Club uniform.
Treat your inner aesthete as you…
Marvel at Artwork
What do you do with 193,000 toothpicks? If you’re artist Wayne Kusy, the answer is obvious: Create a 16-foot replica of the Lusitania. This monstrous ship model, along with 4,000 other rotating works by self-taught artists, make up the permanent collection of the American Visionary Art Museum. Located at the base of Federal Hill, this treasure trove wows guests with idiosyncratic masterpieces, including a life-size throne built of bottle caps. Continue your creative quest at The Walters Art Museum, where works range from 13th-century English gold brooches to early 20th-century porcelain statues from France. Final stop: The Baltimore Museum of Art, home to the largest holding of Henri Matisse works in the world. Impressionnant!
Treat Yourself to a Stop at:
B&O American Brasserie Try carbonated cocktails like the genever-based Grape Drink at this restaurant, housed in the original headquarters of the B&O Railway.
Pazo There are 350 varieties of wine to choose from at this buzzworthy eatery. Pair one with an inventive Neapolitan pizza (the Catalan is covered with chorizo and green apple).
L.P. Steamers Get your fill of steamed crabs at this Baltimore fixture, set inside a brick row house in the Locust Point neighborhood.
Uncover the history of the red, white, and blue as you…
Salute the Flag
If you thought just hearing “The Star-Spangled Banner” was enough to shoot your patriotism sky-high, try visiting the star-shaped fort that inspired the ballad. On September 13, 1814, the British attacked Fort McHenry during the War of 1812. Twenty-five hours later, our flag was raised, signaling an American victory and inspiring onlooker Francis Scott Key to write the poem that, in 1931, became our national anthem. Gain an insider’s perspective on this iconic landmark during self-guided tours of the barracks and guard house, or watch the past come to life as cannon firings and fife-and-drum performances captivate crowds every weekend from Memorial Day through Labor Day. “You can almost see the British fleet on the river,” says Jim Bailey, a park ranger. “And you can imagine the pride felt when the flag was hoisted in victory.”
Ma Petite Shoe Heels, flats, and wedges fill this boutique in the Hampden neighborhood. As you browse, refuel with the shop’s other claim to fame—chocolate from around the world.
The Sound Garden With nearly 100,000 CDs, and a slew of records, DVDs, and video games, this indie shop in Fell’s Point caters to all music mavens.
Klein’s Antiques Top off your history tour with a souvenir from this Federal Hill hotspot, where everything from vintage seltzer bottles to Victorian stained glass windows can be found.
Still craving crustaceans? Then it’s time to…
In a land where blue crab is king, catching your dinner is a rite of passage. Pull ’em in during an excursion with Trophy Rockfish Charters, available June through October. Led by Captain Rob Hunter, these guided getaways set sail from the Hard Yacht Café in Dundalk, about eight miles east of Baltimore. Hop onboard a commercial fishing boat for the 15-minute ride to Bear Creek or the Patapsco River, where your quest begins. After the crabs latch onto a 1,200-foot line baited with chicken necks, you and the other crew members gather on the side of the boat to net the sea creatures as the line is pulled out of the water. Come hungry, since guests can take their catch home or have it steamed back at the café. “Trying this Chesapeake delicacy is a must,” says Hunter. Aye aye, Captain.
Getting There Fly into Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI).
Getting Out Artscape, the country’s largest free arts festival, features works from more than 150 artists and transforms downtown from July 19–21.
Watch This To see some of our adventures come to life, visit our YouTube channel, SWASpiritMagazine.
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