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Like a Local: Baltimore

Baltimore Travel Guide

Close the guidebooks and let a local lead the way

By Joe Sugarman

There’s a reason why Baltimore’s nickname is Charm City. Oh, sure, you may know about our famed Inner Harbor, with its glittering hotels and renowned aquarium, but to discover the soul of the city, you have to venture beyond the glitz.

In neighborhoods like Fells Point, Federal Hill, and Hampden, you’ll find cobblestone streets lined with ancient row homes, bubbling arts scenes, and women with beehive hairdos who call you, “Hon.” I’ve lived here since 1991 and have written about Baltimore’s quirky characters, fascinating history, and best attractions as a guidebook author and magazine editor. Once you arrive, you’ll quickly discover a town that wraps you up in unexpected warmth.

Tourist Tips

If you haven’t been to Baltimore, you’ll likely want to start in the Inner Harbor to see what all the fuss is about. There you can catch a water taxi, which is a great way to get around and see the city. A $14 all-day pass lets you get off and on the boat while spending time in more interesting locales such as Fells Point, Canton, and Harbor East. Spring through fall, taxis also stop at Fort McHenry. (See “The Best $10 You’ll Ever Spend.”)

If It’s Free It’s for Me

Two of Baltimore’s best museums — the Walters Art Museum and Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA) — cost absolutely nothing to get in. The BMA boasts a fantastic collection, including the….


Photo: © Visit Baltimore


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