Marie is not from Baltimore, so she has a different perspective on the city than me. Here are her top things to do when family or friends visit. One similarity is that we both have Fells Point on our Top 5 List.
1) Thames Street Oyster House in Fells Point
When you step into Fells Point, it brings you back to the days of Prohibition. There’s even a sign that is still on one of the buildings (I dare you to look for it!). This town has lots of shops and restaurants and has a beautiful walkway along the water. The Thames Street Oyster House is Marie’s favorite restaurant in Baltimore because the outdoor patio is “AMAZING” and the seafood is delicious. She takes everyone from out of town here and recommends you get the seafood salad and the appetizer with octopus (both pictured below).
Parking: I recommend downloading the Premium Parking app before you go to park in this lot, or parallel park on the streets around Broadway St. & Fleet St., or Caroline St. & Thames St. Some parallel parking uses Pay to Park stations, you just need to leave the ticket on your dashboard.
2) Historic Streets near Federal Hill Park
Federal Hill offers one of the most majestic views of the city. As you leave the Hill, walk around the charming historic streets of row homes. One street that I love is Montgomery Street. Here is just one example that brings you back into the olden-days.
Parking: West street parking garage is near Cross Street Market. There’s always parallel parking with the Pay to Park stations along Key Highway, Light Street, and Charles Street.
3) Fort McHenry
This National Monument and Historic Shrine is very scenic spot to enjoy for picnics or a nice walk. Along the water, there is a 1-mile path around the Fort and a large field area. The museum is not open yet, but it is worth a visit when it does! The gates are open 9AM-5PM. Afterwards, grab a snow cone at Ice Queens along Fort Avenue, and head to Under Armour Promenade (see Rosie’s Top 5 list about UA).
Parking: There is a FREE parking lot inside the gates of the park. Also, there’s free parallel parking along Fort Avenue in Locust Point.
4) The Walter’s Art Museum in Mount Vernon
This museum is located very close to the Baltimore Basilica, Peabody Library, and the Washington Monument. It opened its doors in 1934 and is free, thanks to donors and city grants. Marie’s favorite part about this museum is that it is connected to a mansion that people used to live in. When you walk in this section, there is a beautiful stained-glass dome at the very top of a spiral staircase. The Sculpture Court in the museum is breath-taking; a lot of weddings are held here. Unfortunately, the Sculpture Court and the mansion are closed, but only until mid-November due to covid regulations. You can donate any amount to the museum and be invited to their virtual gala on October 17.
Parking: We had no issues parallel parking on the street a few blocks away, but here is more information for a nearby parking lot.
5) Baltimore Museum of Art in Charles Village
This historic building is located on the Johns Hopkins University campus and was designed by architect John Russell Pope in the 1920s. This museum is on Marie’s top 5 because it has the largest collection in the world of Henry Matisse (more than 1,000 pieces), and there is one magnificent room in the museum entirely covered by paintings. It also features two landscaped gardens with sculptures from the 1900s. BMA is free to the public! It is open 10AM – 5:30PM on the weekends, and right now they have timed entries to limit the amount of visitors and promote social distancing.
Gertrude’s Restaurant is attached to the museum and is one of the best restaurants in the city. The crab cakes are fantastic, and desserts are mouth-watering. I go here for journal clubs with my coworkers and it never fails to impress.
Parking: Click here for parking information.
*When we wanted to go to the museum, the timed entries were all booked. We will go here soon to add pictures 😉 I will post when it’s updated!