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An aerial view of the Inner Harbor in Baltimore, Maryland
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A deeper look at this historic waterfront city.

I’ve been to Baltimore a few times, but on this trip I got a chance to explore beyond the Inner Harbor and visit some of the distinct neighborhoods that have recently undergone urban renewals. The historic charm, waterfront views and bustling culture impressed me in an unexpected way. I felt like I truly got to see an authentic side of Baltimore.

Water Taxi at Federal Hill

I began my trip to Baltimore on top of Federal Hill, one of the best vantage points for sweeping views of the Inner Harbor and the spectacular city skyline, all from a neighborhood dating back to the Civil War. After taking in the breeze and the picturesque landscape I made my way to catch the Baltimore Water Taxi. What better way to see a waterfront city than from the water? With no worries about traffic or parking, I was able to take in the sights, the history and the different neighborhoods in a unique and relaxing style. From the Inner Harbor and Federal Hill to Fort McHenry and Fell’s Point, the Baltimore Water Taxi is the best way to explore the city’s waterfront attractions and neighborhoods.

The Baltimore Water Taxi docked in the Fell’s Point neighborhood

The Baltimore Water Taxi docked in the Fell’s Point neighborhood
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Historic Fell’s Point

After my ride on the Baltimore Water Taxi, I decided to explore the Fell’s Point area, just one of more than 200 neighborhoods in Baltimore. I fell in love with the cobblestone streets, public art and nautical touches. The streets are lined with boutique shops, restaurants and cafes. I took a peek inside the Sagamore Pendry Baltimore, a luxury waterfront hotel noted for its exquisite renovation and design on the 100-year-old Recreation Pier. Inside the hotel, be sure to check out the Cannon Room, an American whiskey bar, and Rec Pier Chophouse, a soulful urban Italian restaurant. I highly recommend trying the locally distilled Sagamore Spirit whiskey, followed by the restaurant’s signature linguini pasta with Maryland’s famous blue crab.

The ornate exterior of the Sagamore Pendry Baltimore, an incredible renovated property on the city’s historic Recreation Pier

The ornate exterior of the Sagamore Pendry Baltimore, an incredible renovated property on the city’s historic Recreation Pier
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Cultural Mount Vernon

Mount Vernon Square was next on my itinerary. Many consider this the city’s cultural heart and it only took me seconds to understand why. While I was mesmerized by the charm and architecture with every step, there was so much more to enjoy, like the breathtaking views in the Peabody Library or the centuries of art in the Walters Art Museum. My journey through Mount Vernon continued at the Washington Monument, the first monument in the USA dedicated to George Washington. I climbed all 227 steps to the top for views spanning in all directions of Baltimore and beyond. It was well worth the climb! Mount Vernon is not only filled with history, but also home to Baltimore’s growing artisan and maker culture. I had the opportunity to browse local boutiques selling handcrafted goods and unique accessories. I even came across an adorable vegan-friendly shop called Knits, Soy & Metal, where you can hand pour your own soy candles. Watching and learning from artisans making some of these items right in front of me was surely a highlight.

The Washington Monument, a landmark in the Mount Vernon neighborhood

The Washington Monument, a landmark in the Mount Vernon neighborhood
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Hip Hampden

When I finally checked the time, it was already 5 p.m., time to transition into the city’s happy hour and dinner scene. I took a Lyft ride to Hampden, yet another adorable neighborhood full of creative concept shops and unique places to eat and drink. I had to stop in Ma Petite Shoe, where it’s all about designer shoes and decadent chocolate. After shopping, it was cocktail time, so I opted to check out the Bluebird Cocktail Room. This extra-trendy, literary-themed bar has a great vibe and friendly staff, and makes a fantastic Old Fashioned!

To top the day off, I went back to my hotel in Fell’s Point and had dinner overlooking the water to end an incredible day.

A colorful place for a beverage at the Bluebird Cocktail Room in Hampden

A colorful place for a beverage at the Bluebird Cocktail Room in Hampden
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A panoramic evening view of the Baltimore Inner Harbor

Destination

Baltimore