1. Experience sports culture
Baltimore is HUGE on sports. It’s an essential part of the city’s culture and people take their sports teams very seriously in Baltimore. The people bleed orange and white in the summer and black and purple in the winter. If you want to get taste of Baltimore culture, this is a great way to do just that.
Baseball season is between April and October/November and Baltimore boasts arguably the best baseball stadium built to date. Camden Yards opened in 1992 and has a spectacular “vintage” vibe to it. It’s the perfect place to spend a summer evening; make sure to get the beer with Old Bay Spice in it!
Between August/September and May is football season. The Baltimore Ravens bring a ton of fans to the stadium. It’s a loud, rambunctious experience, but one that you’ll surely love!
2. Find your inner hipster in Hampden
Hampden is a neighborhood outside of downtown Baltimore that is unique in more ways than one. It is the heart of the “hon” culture. “Hon” (short for honey) stems from the dialect of people from Baltimore as well as the lifestyle of Baltimore back in the 1950s’. If you really want to fit in at the Oriole’s game, make sure to say, “How ‘bout dem O’s, hon?”
Hampden is filled with tons of Mom n’ Pop shops and restaurants. There are record stores, gift shops, cute coffee shops, Italian restaurants, and oh so much more! Hampden throws some great events; from HONFest to its 34th street Christmas lights display. It’s a Baltimore experience you shouldn’t miss.
3. Make your way Federal Hill
Federal Hill is one of the best (free) views you can get in Baltimore. It overlooks downtown Baltimore and is a very relaxing way to observe the city. It’s a public park so you can even bring a little picnic if you’d like!
If you’re a history buff this is a great place for you to visit, as well. The hill was used as a battle fort in the Civil War and the cannons still remain to this day!
4. Take a step back in time and stroll along the cobbled streets in Fells Point
Fells Point contains a ton history in one concentrated little neighborhood. It was populated even before America became a country! It runs along the bay providing for great vibes as you stroll along the water’s edge.
On Saturdays between April/May and November you’ll even find a farmer’s market! It’s a fabulous market with all kinds of fruits, veggies, street foods, fresh squeezed lemonade and all types of homemade goods. If you make your way to the market for just one reason, my goodness let it be the street food!
5. Eat crabs at LP Steamers and crab cakes at Faidley’s
Crabs are the most important part of Maryland cuisine and arguably the culture as well. You haven’t experienced Maryland until you’ve had yourself some form of crabs; whether it be the classic crab covered in Old Bay Spice or a crab cake infused with Old Bay Spice. With either one, you can’t go wrong.
LP Steamers is located in Locust Point, a neighborhood just south of downtown Baltimore. LP Steamers a little place on the corner that serves perfectly spiced, perfectly cooked Maryland crabs. You won’t be disappointed! If you’ve never eaten crabs before, ask the staff for a tutorial to be sure you get all the meat out.
Faidley’s is located inside Lexington Market, which has it’s own long history! Lexington Market has some of the best, truly traditional food. It’s a gastronomic must see, a foodie bucket list location! Faidley’s is one of the best known vendors in Lexington Market, and with good reason. They have the best crab cakes you will ever taste, hands down. Make sure to get a lump meat crab cake and have them broil it; it’s the best way to eat ‘em!
6. Check out Graffiti Alley
Baltimore has become a very artsy city with some of the best art schools around, including MICA, a leader in art degrees. While it is known that Baltimore’s population has its problems with drug use, Baltimore artists and gallery owners have found a way to help; with a graffiti alley!
Right in between Howard Street and North Avenue you’ll find the graffiti alley. It’s covered in an array of color and stunning designs. The beauty behind the graffiti wall is not the art itself, but the reason it came to be.
It came to be as a way to combat drug use. It used to be an alley that was regularly used as a place to use street drugs, but was soon transformed into a place where people could express themselves through art and have a safe place to do their art without getting in legal trouble.
7. Explore American history
The Star Spangled Banner was written in Baltimore by Francis Scott Key. He wrote the poem that became the national anthem while watching the British troops invade Baltimore at Fort McHenry during the War of 1812. Today you can tour Fort McHenry and understand where Francis Scott Key was and try to image under what conditions he wrote the his poem that became such an important part of the identity that America has today.
To get to Fort McHenry, you can take a water taxi from the Inner Harbor of downtown Baltimore. It’ll bring you to the National Monument that is Fort McHenry where you can explore the fort and walk through the museum provided by the National Park Service.
8. Find accommodation in Baltimore, Maryland
Where to Stay in Baltimore, USA
Best Budget Hostel in Baltimore, USA – HI Baltimore Hostel
HI-Baltimore Hostel is located in the heart of downtown Baltimore City. Nestled between the Washington Monument and the Inner Harbor just off Charles Street; this stately youth hostel is within walking distance of everything that makes Baltimore City terrific!
HI-Baltimore Hostel is part of Baltimore City’s long and rich history. Located in an 1857 mansion across the street from America’s First Cathedral – the Baltimore Basilica, now have 44 beds (12, 8, and 4 bed dorms) have ensuite bathrooms, with the smaller dorm and private sharing a hall bath.
Best Budget Hotel in Baltimore, USA – Baltimore Plaza Inner Harbor
This hotel is located in Baltimore’s city center, less than 10 minutes’ walk from the Inner Harbor, Baltimore Convention Center, and 1st Mariner Arena.
A large work desk and coffee maker are provided for added convenience.Baltimore Plaza Hotel offers a business center and free newspapers in the lobby, along with laundry facilities. The tour desk can help guests explore the city and maximize their experience.
Best Mid-Range Hotel in Baltimore, USA – Lord Baltimore Hotel
Located in the city center of Baltimore, this hotel is 643 m to the Inner Harbor and is 965 m drive to Oriole Park at Camden Yards.
Guests staying at the Lord Baltimore can enjoy on-site features like a restaurant, a business center, and a fitness center. The property also boasts LB Skybar, a rooftop bar, open on selected days of the week with views of Baltimore and music.
Best Luxury Hotel in Baltimore, USA – Sagamore Pendry
Showcasing a seasonal outdoor pool and fitness center, Sagamore Pendry Baltimore is located in the Fells Point neighborhood in Baltimore, just 201 m from Fell’s Point. The hotel has a sun terrace and views of the sea, and guests can enjoy a drink at the bar.
The rooms include a flat-screen TV. Certain units feature a sitting area for your convenience. You will find a coffee machine in the room. For your comfort, you will find bathrobes, free toiletries, and a hairdryer.
The hotel also provides car rental. Harbor East Marina is half a kilometer from Sagamore Pendry Baltimore, and Pier Six Concert Pavillion is 1.1 km from the property. The nearest airport is Baltimore – Washington International Airport, 12.9 km from the property.
About the Writer
Jamie Lee is an American expat living in Italy. She grew up in Arizona and spent some years Maryland before making the big move to Europe where she now manages her travel blog, ABiteofCulture.com where she writes about all things travel. She has a special place in her heart for languages, architecture, and pizza! Be sure to check her out on her blog, her Instagram, her Facebook, as well as her Twitter.