48 hours in: Bal­ti­more

For­get The Wire these days Bal­ti­more is known as Charm City, voted by Forbes Mag­a­zine as one of the U.S.’s top 10 coolest, says Anna Selby

Selling Travel - - Contents -

Day 1: Head for the Har­bour

Morn­ing: Bal­ti­more is built around its vast say which was once a ma­jor ship­build­ing cen­tre and port ex­port­ing sugar, fish and to­bacco.

Now it’s full of shops, res­tau­rants, lux­ury flats and mu­se­ums. The mu­se­ums in­clude four his­toric ships (well, one is a sub­ma­rine) that you can visit and I rec­om­mend the USS Con­stel­la­tion, a sloop-of-war built in 1854 that stages a daily live can­non ex­er­cise.

A short walk around the bay and you’ll come to a great Sci­ence Mu­seum, A a lit­tle fur­ther on still you’ll find the unique Amer­i­can Vi­sion­ary Art Mu­seum. This is full of the work of self-taught artists in­clud­ing a film on the mur­mu­ra­tions of star­lings, works fo­cused on mys­ter­ies (the moon, the hu­man heart, near-death ex­pe­ri­ences) and a life-size sculp­ture of lo­cal au­thor Edgar Al­lan Poe made of Peeps marsh­mal­low can­dies. Go in scep­ti­cal, come out en­tranced!

Af­ter­noon: Take a wa­ter taxi to Fort McHenry. This was where the lo­cals held out against the das­tardly Brits’ bom­bard­ment of their base in 1812. See­ing the flag still wav­ing in the next day’s dawn above the dev­as­ta­tion,

Fran­cis Scott Key was in­spired to write The Star Span­gled Ban­ner.

Evening: Take the wa­ter taxi back to the cob­bled streets of Fell’s Point, once home to Bil­lie Hol­i­day and now to the city’s best de­signer shops, bars and res­tau­rants. Try Bar Vasquez on Aliceanna Street, a vast ware­house space with live mu­sic, per­fect Ar­gen­tine beef and lo­cal soft­shell crabs.

Day 2: High Cul­ture, Low Cul­ture

Morn­ing: Take the Charm City Cir­cu­la­tor – Bal­ti­more’s free bus sys­tem – to Mount Ver­non. This is Bal­ti­more’s cul­tural heart, packed with pala­tial 19th cen­tury houses, parks, gal­leries and mu­se­ums. It was once home to the likes of F. Scott Fitzger­ald and Wal­lis Simp­son. Must-sees in­clude the Wash­ing­ton Mon­u­ment (built be­fore DC’s), Wal­ters Art Mu­seum and the awe-in­spir­ing Pe­abody Li­brary.

Af­ter­noon: Lo­cal brew­ing is big in Bal­ti­more. Head for Brew­ers Hill and visit the many mi­cro-brew­eries across town. The Brewer’s Art is in a grand Mount Ver­non town­house. Al­ter­na­tively try Heavy Seas and its pi­rate-themed beers. Evening: Bal­ti­more loves sport. At M&T Sta­dium you can cheer for the only NFL team named af­ter a poem (the Ravens by Edgar Allen Poe). The Ori­oles play at Cam­den Yards, renowned as the U.S.’s most beau­ti­ful ball­park sta­dium. And don’t for­get to see the Babe Ruth Birth­place Mu­seum on Emory Street, a shrine to base­ball’s great­est star.

“Fort Henry, birth­place of the U.S. na­tional an­them, The Star-Span­gled Ban­ner, sits at the mouth of Bal­ti­more's In­ner Har­bour”

Top pic­ture: Mount Ver­non, Bal­ti­more's cul­tural heart; above: great food and drink by the har­bour

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