When trying to make a rough plan for our mega vacay this summer, I asked a number of friends for tips and recommendations for the areas we were hoping to visit and didn’t get as much guidance as I had hoped. So I thought it might be helpful to share what we learned here.
The first major stop on our trip was Baltimore, Maryland, so let’s start there. I’m sharing things we did as well as things that sounded fun when I was doing my trip planning.
How to Get Around in Baltimore
Spin electric scooter rental
What to See in Baltimore
Baltimore has a ton of cool neighborhoods but there are two you’re definitely going to want to check out.
Fells Point is a hip waterside neighborhood with cobblestone streets surrounding a main square. It is known for its hip pubs and taverns, many with live music, as well as seafood joints serving Chesapeake Bay crab and oysters. Small galleries, record stores, fashion boutiques and eclectic restaurants line the streets. Grab a hot dog at Stuggy’s or an Orange Crush cocktail at The Horse You Came In On Saloon, which first opened it’s doors in 1775.
The Inner Harbor is the focal point of the city. It’s home to the National Aquarium (featuring giant turtles and dolphins), the USS Constellation (the only surviving ship from the civil war), Maryland Science Center (three floors of science-focused hands on exhibits), Port Discovery Children’s Museum (in a former fish market building). Power Plant Live! is a complex for restaurants, bars, and music venues. There are also tons of local and chain restaurants to choose from in this area as well as fun shops to check out. This is also a cool spot to people watch while running or riding a bike. In part because we were there during covid, we didn’t actually go into any of these Inner Harbor spots but still enjoyed exploring the architecture of the area. Don’t leave without visiting Mr. Trash Wheel.
Where to Stay in Baltimore
Do NOT stay at Hotel RL Baltimore Inner Harbor. Trust me.
But here are a few places that look nice and have good recent reviews.
What to Do in Baltimore
Baltimore is where the beer cap was invented and where beer was first canned. So clearly a tour of some of the craft breweries is in order and was definitely our favorite thing to do in the city. We walked, but grabbing a scooter might be more efficient.
- Ministry of Brewing is housed in the beautifully restored St. Michael’s Church. Go for the atmosphere and insta ops, but enjoy some solid beer while you’re there. They brew a variety of beer styles and offer flights so that’s a great way to go.
- Monument City Brewing Company is located in a converted warehouse with a giant parking lot. It is a dog and kid friendly place with ping pong and corn hole. Favorites include the hoppy 51 Rye and the Penchant Pils.
- Mobtown Brewing is the only brewery in the Brewers Hill neighborhood. It is a funky, cat friendly and people friendly spot with many varieties of adventurous beers. Try the magical One-Two-Punch, the amazing Farm To Charm Belgian Quad, or whatever else they happen to have on tap.
For a luxury experience, I considered a helicopter sightseeing tour.
A historical sightseeing tour could be fun too.
Where to Eat in Baltimore
I loved the super cozy vibe in 3 Bean Coffee by Vagrant Coffee. And they make a mean mocha too so it’s a great way to start your day.
Taqueria El Sabor del Parque is a perfect little taco spot. It’s the kind of place that is always packed full of Mexican people looking for authentic and affordable Mexican food. It’s straight across the street from Patterson Park so you could even order your food to go and enjoy a picnic in the park.
We didn’t make it to Charleston but it’s apparently a magical blend of French cuisine and Lowcountry cooking that would make a perfect fancy date night.
If you are like me and love stuffed stuff and Vietnamese coffee, then you ought to make the trek to The Bun Shop. It’s a super cozy cafe with empanadas, turnovers, pasties, perogies, sweet and savory stuffed puff pastries … basically any sort of stuffed pastry you can imagine.
Itinerary for a Weekend in Baltimore
From my experience, 2-3 days is a good amount of time for a first visit to Baltimore. That said, I’m not going to spell out a detailed itinerary for you because you may want to do slightly different things than we did, but hit me up if you want help coming up with your own personalized itinerary. Here’s my Google Map that you can use to start planning your own adventure in Baltimore.