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Baltimore for the Weekend: An Insider’s Guide

One of the greatest perks of living in Washington, D.C., is having quick access to the great states of Maryland and Virginia, both just a hop, skip and a jump on the Tenleytown metro. Whether it’s your first year in D.C. and you’re feeling adventurous or you’re a senior who is seriously over the tourist laden sites, you should consider a quick weekend getaway to the DMV before the weather turns glacial. Baltimore is the perfect place to start for a taste of authentic Maryland flavor, so here’s a guide to the best of the Hon city!

Museums and Attractions:

1. The National Aquarium

If you don’t do anything else in Baltimore, at least make sure you explore the incredible National Aquarium. With over 20,000 species, this Baltimore institution features an incredible array of habitats from the Amazon river forest, to the coral reef to shark alley. Just make sure you get an early start since lines form quickly on the weekends.

2. Camden Yards

You don’t have to be a baseball fanatic to appreciate the magic of Camden Yards. When the weather is right, enjoying a game in person rather than on the screen can be great fun. Not to mention Camden Yards is one of the country’s premier baseball stadiums with delicious food and one hugely enthusiastic crowd. While you’re there, stop in at the Sports Legends Museum for a quick education on local athlete professionals.

3. Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum

For something a bit wacky and totally unique, make a visit to Ripley’s Believe It or Not museum, which features over 350 bizarre exhibits and attractions like a 12-foot transformer sculpture, a shrunken heads display, a mirror maze and a 4D movie theater. 

Shopping:

1. Harborplace and Harbor East

Baltimore’s inner harbor features some of the greatest shopping around, with stores ranging from Urban Outfitters to Michael Kors to Anthropologie. You’re sure to find something to fit your style and budget, and when all that shopping leaves you majorly hangry, hit Shake Shack or Hard Rock Café for a power lunch.

2. Fell’s Point

If you’re in the mood for quaint boutiques and charming cobblestone streets, venture over to the Fell’s Point neighborhood. Unique stores like Poppy and Stella and Fell’s Point Surf will make for a well-spent afternoon of browsing, after which you can relax on the piers or take the Baltimore Water Taxi back to the harbor for dinner.

Nightlife:

1. Ram’s Head Live

Ram’s Head Live is an intimate music venue located in the Power Plant Live section of downtown Baltimore. Power Plant is the city’s very own entertainment mecca with dozens of bars, clubs, restaurants and nightlife hotspots in one compact location. Ram’s Head should definitely be at the top of your list though, with big name artists making regular appearances and ticket prices generally staying well below $30. Upcoming performers include Matt Kearney and Kip Moore, so keep your eye on the online calendar so you don’t miss out on the chance to see your favorite artist up close!

2. PBR Baltimore

For something a little more on the wild side, check out Power Plant’s country themed bar, PBR, which also stands for Professional Bull Riding. Yup, that means there is a mechanical bull for those brave enough to face the impending bruises and embarrassment. If you’d rather just watch others tackle the bull, you can also hang out by the pool table or maybe catch one of their live country music concerts.

 

Dining:

1. Rusty Scupper

The Rusty Scupper is your go-to for an elegant evening on the water and a taste of Maryland’s finest seafood. The crab cakes here are frequently ranked best in Baltimore, which basically means the best anywhere, so get ready for a treat. The restaurant also offers a great brunch if mimosas and crab egg benedicts are more your style.

2. Bertha’s

Even if you know nothing about Baltimore, chances are you’ve heard of Bertha’s Mussels. Bertha’s is a Baltimore institution in the Fell’s Point neighborhood serving up tasty seafood in a tiny, funky dining room. The walls are plastered with their iconic bumper stickers, the ceilings are dripping in glass bottles and the wood paneling makes you feel like you’ve taken a trip back to the ‘70s. That said, the entire experience is quintessentially Baltimore, and not to be missed.

3. Miss Shirley’s

For a southern style brunch with a water view, check out Miss Shirley’s, which is serving up decandent brunch classics with a twist, like chicken n’ waffles, coconut cream French toast and crab mac and cheese. Founded by Baltimore natives, Miss Shirley’s is dedicated to preserving the Chesapeake flavor with the bonus of a little southern hospitality.

 

Photo Credits: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

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