It's easy to see how Baltimore earned the nickname "Charm City." Home to poet Edgar Allan Poe, baseball great Babe Ruth, and jazz musician Eubie Blake, this harbor city has been defined by its small-town friendliness and eclectic inhabitants throughout its 200-year-old history. From the bustling Inner Harbor to the famous row homes of Hampden, Baltimore has no shortage of things to see and do.
Dine on a spicy pile of crabs fresh from the Chesapeake Bay, soak in the history of Fort McHenry, where Francis Scott Key was inspired to write "The Star Spangled Banner", or catch a baseball game at Oriole Park. For those inclined to cultural pursuits, the Mount Vernon area is home to the renowned Peabody Conservatory and the Walters Art Gallery. And one of the most prestigious medical schools in the world is at Baltimore's Johns Hopkins University.
The city is made up of many small neighborhoods, radiating out from the revitalized Inner Harbor area. Head east along the water and you'll find Little Italy, the culinary heart of the city. Next is Fells Point, a hot spot for antique shoppers by day and bar hoppers by night. Close by is Canton, an up-and-coming neighborhood where young professionals live alongside blue-collar families. South of the harbor is historic Federal Hill, the site of dozens of restaurants and cafes. Travel north to find Mount Vernon, the cultural epicenter of the city, and Hampden, an artsy, working-class community. Druid Hill is home to the Baltimore Zoo, and further north is Johns Hopkins University and the large homes of the residential Roland Park area.
A bite to eat is never far in Baltimore. From the casual atmosphere of Lexington Market to the upscale restaurants of Little Italy, dining options abound. To get around town, ride a horse-drawn carriage along the harbor or take a water taxi to the cobblestone streets of Fells Point. The moderate climate is suited for all kinds of outdoor activities in the summer and ice skating in the Inner Harbor's outdoor rink is a favorite pasttime in winter.
Though it is often overshadowed by its larger East Coast counterparts, Baltimore is a unique city with vibrant, enchanting neighborhoods that will make visitors feel at home in no time.