"The Land of Pleasant Living and...." Top 5 Page for this destination Baltimore by ellielou

Baltimore Travel Guide: 1,231 reviews and 3,482 photos

...HL Mencken, Anne Tyler, John Waters, & Divine

There are only a few appealing things about summer in Baltimore: steamed crabs, baseball when the O's aren't losing, and snowballs.

But, one of the best things is the local festivals, especially when different neighborhood 'steppers' or drum corps show up. I don't understand much about them, but they are huge affairs, with tons of men and boys playing drums, and usually young/ish girls with pom-poms and batons. The costumes are generally great....and you have to give them tons of credit of working so hard in the hazy, hot, and humid miserable Baltimore summer!

I grew up in Baltimore, went away for a while, and then returned. I always say that I would really just love Baltimore if I weren't originally from this fair city.

In these pages, I've tried to provide advice to travelers who may have stumbled upon this city, perhaps as a day trip from its more glamorous neighbor to 40 mile to the south, DC, or not too far up the road, maybe an hour and a half or so, from Philadelphia, or about 3 hours from NYC.

Baltimore works for a day, but is a fun destination in its own right. It won't wow you with a well known skyline, and its not the top tourist destinationever, but, then again, besides visiting the aquarium, you really won't have to wait in lines with other travelers. (As long as you avoid the tourist trap places mentioned in this pages.)

There's something amazingly likeable about a some time in Baltimore. If you find yourself there, I hope these pages help you have a great trip. Please feel free to email me with any questions or if you'd like someone to show you around.

Welcome to Baltimore, hon.

it's ROWhouses NOT TOWNhomes

The Baltimore skyline does look like this anymore (I was just searching the web, found this photo & loved it) but the foreground shows some iconic Baltimore architecture, the ROWhouse. (I also liked this because it is the sklyine view from my rowhouse...)

Please don't call them TOWNhomes. Townhomes are in suburban developments, complete with cul de sacs and numbered parking spaces. Rowhouses are what make Baltimore architecture unique.

Different neighborhoods have different rowhouses. Perhaps the largest concentration of them are in Highlandtown, about 2-3 miles east of the Harbor. There you can see rows and rows of identical houses, along with the equally famous white marble steps. In addition, you can find some local folk art there, the painted screens.

Besides Highlandtown, here are some other neighborhoods ti get a flavor of different rowhouse styles:
Butchers Hill (I'm partial to this, since it's where I live....)
Bolton Hill
Fells Point
Federal Hill
Greektown (and you MUST eat there....)
Little Italy (get dessert, go over to the bocci court, and watch the neighborhood folks play)

Baltimore's "Image Makeover," or Land of Slogans

This May, the Baltimore Convention and Visitor's Bureau unveiled it's newest slogan to entice--or is it fool--people to come to Baltimore. It is, ta-da: Baltimore-Get in on it. Makes you want to make your reservations now, doesn't it?

In order to understand this a bit better....this had been on this page prior to May's big news:

This article was from that fine newspaper, USA Today, on November 8, 2005. (If you care, I still call it "Charm City....") If I were you, I'd get to Baltimore before it cleans up its image...that's no fun!

Baltimore seeks image makeover
BALTIMORE (AP) — The city wants a makeover, or what's known in the tourism industry as "destination repositioning."
The Baltimore Area Convention and Visitors Association is paying Landor Associates $500,000 to revamp the city's image. The company already has built brands for such locations as Madrid, Spain; Florida and Hong Kong.

Baltimore has tried slogans before, including "Charm City," "The City that Reads," and "The Greatest City in America." None of them caught on. There have been other unflattering nicknames, though: The Heroin Capital and The Murder Capital.

Three critically acclaimed television crime and drug dramas shows are partly to blame, according to a recent report by the image consultants.

"The perception of Baltimore is The Wire, The Corner, Homicide (Life on the Street) ... a hopeless, depressed, unemployed, crack-addicted city," the report states.

The company is expected to come up with a half dozen concepts for Baltimore by next month, and a decision on the brand is expected by April.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:just about the nuttiest people you can imagine
  • Cons:just about the nuttiest people you can imagine
  • In a nutshell:the city's motto didn't use to be "charm city" for nothing!
  • Intro Updated Jun 3, 2007
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Reviews (44)

Comments (78)

  • Nov 23, 2009 at 10:17 AM

    Good news! Here's a link to the restored building: traditionalbuildingshow.com/...

  • ViajesdelMundo's Profile Photo
    Nov 14, 2009 at 7:57 PM

    HI there! been a long time! the restaurant write-ups are priceless and make me wish I was 'back home'!

  • jelw's Profile Photo
    Dec 1, 2008 at 7:02 PM

    It was great to see you even if only for a brief visit. Have you recovered from Haiti yet?

  • raytor's Profile Photo
    Nov 6, 2008 at 5:51 AM

    That sure sounded like gloating to me ;-) Hugs anyway

  • Gillybob's Profile Photo
    Jul 10, 2008 at 1:28 AM

    Wow - Haiti! Even with doctors, that's got to be a real eye-opener trip!! Lots of TU stuff on at present - big transfer of staff to outside management - lots of reconfiguration of services - new hospitals (3) opening in 8 months! Oh boy!Gillybob greetings

  • Hexepatty's Profile Photo
    May 6, 2008 at 6:46 PM

    "After the wedding, Jenna Bush and fiance plan to live in Baltimore. She plans to return to teaching; Hager, who receives an MBA from UVA, will work for a power company." Ahhh.. your new neighbors!

  • Knoto's Profile Photo
    Apr 21, 2008 at 9:02 AM

    Great overview! Nice Pictures. Greetings from Germany,Peter

  • Hopkid's Profile Photo
    Apr 9, 2008 at 7:40 AM

    Good luck in Tampa and have a safe trip!

  • travelfrosch's Profile Photo
    Mar 31, 2008 at 5:06 PM

    Sorry, I assumed "Candidate X" was the Witch, not Dorothy. So does that make "Mr. X" Toto? And "Candidate Y" the Witch?! While I'm at it, I can't decide what "Candidate W" should be. I thought the Scarecrow, but perhaps the Wizard is more appropriate.

  • Feb 13, 2008 at 2:00 PM

    The sad part is that this is all completely true...

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