Written by: Laura Walker, Nat Swyer, Jordan Scharf
Inner Harbor, Baltimore
Baltimore is a city that marches to the beat of its own drum. The eclectic and spunky art and culture is the heart of the city’s personality. With world-class restaurants, spirited sports scene, esteemed universities and hospitals, along with several galleries, theaters, and museums, there’s never a dull weekend in Baltimore. Local cult writer and filmmaker, John Waters, said of Baltimore: “You can look far and wide, but you’ll never discover a stranger city with such extreme style. It’s as if every eccentric in the South decided to move north, ran out of gas in Baltimore, and decided to stay.” Bursting at the seams with a sense of culture and community, Charm City is the perfect 36-hours for a dose of quirk, class, and charisma.
Brew House No. 16
Located in a stately, refurbished firehouse (831 N. Calvert St), the eclectic Brew House No. 16 sets the mood for the most relaxing and intimate happy hour experience. In addition to being located in chic Mt. Vernon, home to The Peabody Institute, the atmosphere welcomes both large and small parties to meet, dine, and try the on-site brewery beers. Try out the bacon and oyster pie or the butternut squash baklava to immerse yourself in the thought and process that went into creating this delectable menu. The Brew House No. 16 is comfortable for both locals and out-of-towners to unwind after a week of work or travel to kickstart the weekend.
Brew House 16, Mount Vernon
Orioles Game at Camden Yards
End your first night with a ballgame at one of the most widely acclaimed baseball parks in America. Built in 1992, the gorgeous Camden Yards baseball stadium started the retro ballpark trend, in which high tech, all purpose stadiums were replaced with a charming, old school baseball experience for the whole family. Adjacent to to stadium, check out historic Eutaw Street, which is only open to ticket holders in the evening. Make sure to catch a glimpse of the famed Babe Ruth statue, or grab a Baltimore classic Natty Boh beer while navigating the lively avenue of vendors, bars and souvenirs.
The Book Escape
After a busy Friday of drinks and ballgames, start your Saturday with ease. Head over to Federal Hill for a quick stop at the neighborhood’s local book shop, The Book Escape (805 Light St.). With a range of books from new copies to old editions, the collection of over 40,000 publications is a bibliophile’s dream. Books overwhelm the shelves piling into stacks towered on the floor, transforming the shop into a fantastical world of reading and decor. Flip through hundreds of used books, wrought with the classic smell of aged paper and history. The endless intellectual depth and incredible Edgar Allen Poe collections are typical Baltimore, combining curiosity and character into an indisputable charm. The Book Escape is absolutely a cozy way to start your Saturday morning.
The American Visionary Art Museum
The American Visionary Art Museum, located across the harbor in the iconic Federal Hill (800 Key Hwy), epitomizes Baltimore’s quirkiness. It’s definitely not your typical art museum, it is comprised of artist’s works that haven’t been formally trained, which adds an extra kick of originality. This museum is an entertaining way to spend an afternoon getting to know this lively city.
American Visionary Museum
Founded in 1782, Lexington Market is one of the oldest markets in America and continues to stand on its original grounds to this day. Located on 400 W. Lexington Street, walking distance from the Inner Harbor, this is the place to go for an authentic Baltimore experience. The indoor market features over 100 different vendors, with food ranging from fresh vegetables and jumbo chicken to Willy Wonka-esque candy to the best crab cakes you’re gonna find anywhere in the world. On weekends local rock’n’roll and jazz bands often perform to match the local taste with some local sounds.
Geppi’s Entertainment Museum
Head over to one of the wackiest and most interesting museums one can find, dedicated to the history of Pop Culture. Adjacent to Camden Yards (301 W Camden St), this museum features thousands of artifacts from movies, newspapers, toys, radio, comic books, video games and everything pop culture dating back to the 18th century. Revisit your youth and feel the nostalgia in a place that only Baltimore could offer.
Before calling it a night, head over to Fells Point to test your beer knowledge at Baltimore’s notorious Max’s Taphouse (737 S Broadway). The local favorite has a stock of over 100 different taps and almost 2,000 bottles. If that was not impressive enough, it has also been named one of the top beer destinations for all beer-loving comrades. All this beer brings everyone together, in a singular eclectic Baltimore crowd. To your left may be the violin player from the Baltimore Symphony while on your right is a local artist living in the quirky Baltimore neighborhood of Hampden. The atmosphere is busy, but never over-stuffed. With an easy-going vibe and a wide range of backgrounds, the patrons at Max’s Taphouse are as varied as the beers.
Brunch at Bond Street Social
After a weekend in Baltimore, it’s clear this city knows how to do food. The perfect way to cap off the weekend is with brunch at Bond Street Social (901 South Bond Street) in Fell’s Point. Bond Street Social puts a lively edge on a classy brunch. Order a Maryland-themed breakfast like crab eggs benedict or opt for a remade classic like raisin bread french toast. Either option, be sure to wash it down with a specialty mimosa before it’s time to head home. The motto of Bond Street Social is to, well, socialize and what better way to get a sense of the Baltimore community than joining them on brunch?
Bond Street Social, Fells Point
The quirk of Baltimore culminates itself in the music scene, stretching fandoms over all genres of music. For a quick taste of the Baltimore music scene, stop into The Sound Garden, the holy grail of record shops in the DC-Baltimore-Virginia area (1616 Thames St). Located right across the street from Bond Street Social, the eclectic mix of music is lined up in rows upon rows of albums overwhelming the store. The edgy shop sells both new and used vinyls, CDs, blu-rays and more. Be sure to check on the Sound Garden’s website before stopping in; they occasionally hold shows in their small space! From Red Hot Chili Peppers to the Goo Goo Dolls, the walls of the Sound Garden have held some of the greatest performers of all time. The alluring record shop has also been known to entice some of Baltimore’s own quirky celebrities, including none other than John Waters, who mindlessly tinkers with guitar strings and flips through vinyls like the rest of us.
Baltimore Marriott Waterfront
The Waterfront, located in Harbor East (600 Aliceanna St),
is one of the most vibrant areas in Baltimore for shopping, dining, and nightlife. Be sure to grab a room with a view to enjoy the Inner Harbor every morning from above!