Pier Six Pavilion
Moored on a spit of land that juts into the Inner Harbor, this nightspot feels like being on a ship (minus the seasickness) and serenades with top talent. Music fans sit under a soaring canopy, held aloft by 70-foot masts, or lounge on the lawn, relishing panoramic views and cooling breezes. This season’s acts include Boston on May 7 and Barenaked Ladies with OMD and Howard Jones on June 26. See piersixpavilion.com.
When it comes to palate-pleasers, Baltimore’s sizzling dining scene delivers. Here, a few restaurants catering to appetites, big and small. For details, see listings starting on page 26. FAMILY MEAL Youngsters at “Top Chef” alum Bryan Voltaggio’s harbor-side digs have their pick of fun—and tasty—fare from spaghetti and meatballs served up TV dinner style to housemade fried chicken. Bonus: It’s a mere hop and a skip from the National Aquarium. MO’S Mo Manocheh’s empire includes Mo’s Seafood Factory, Mo’s Crab & Pasta Factory and Mo’s Fisherman’s Wharf. All are family friendly, with the crab and pasta outfit serving up an extensive noodle menu with plenty of options for tykes. JOE SQUARED Teens at this funky Station North pizza joint experiment with outof-the-box toppings like chicken and Granny Smith apples. Each sourdough- crust pie bears the restaurant’s namesake shape and is baked in a 900- degree, coal-fired oven until nicely blistered. KOOPER’S TAVERN Inside this fun-loving Fells Point pub is a picture of a yellow lab seemingly popping open a bottle of wine. The family dog, it appears, loved to have a good time, and the restaurant that bears his name pays homage with good food (build your own burgers!), live music and an all-around convivial vibe. MCCORMICK & SCHMICK’S This popular upscale chain offers a buzzy atmosphere and prime patio seating with views of the Inner Harbor. Mom and dad indulge in catches of the day and surf and turf, while children dig into cheeseburgers and popcorn shrimp, plus activity sheets. PHILLIPS SEAFOOD Located at the Inner Harbor, this famous seafood mainstay serves up popular kid fare (fish and chips, chicken tenders) plus frozen hot chocolate and ice cream sundaes. Parents appreciate the popular crab deck with its water views and proximity to attractions like the aquarium and historic ships. MOTHER’S FEDERAL HILL GRILLE This gustatory matron feeds her guests well with a menu of comfort foods, “95 percent” of which are made from scratch. Young ones salivate over burgers and sandwiches and burn off those calories with arcade games in the Purple Patio, a popular gathering spot for Ravens fans.
UNO PIZZERIA & GRILL
The Inner Harbor outpost of this popular Chicago-based group encourages hands- on involvement at mealtime. Wee noodle lovers play chef, building their own pasta dishes, while pint-sized pizzaioli-intraining assemble their very own pies.
Harpers Ferry National Historic Park
Francis Scott Key penned “The Star-Spangled Banner” aboard a vessel here, Frederick Douglass labored in the shipyards, and later the waterfront became a model of urban renewal. The harbor has always played an integral role in the city’s history. That’s why visitors craving an authentic experience hop on a boat. It might be one that ferries them from downtown to Fells Point or a historic ship moored at a pier. Some choose to captain their own crafts, like paddle boats in the shape of mythical sea monster “Chessie.” For details, see pages 20 and 36.
CRUISES AND TOURS
For a historical overview, take the Legends of Maritime Baltimore Cruise aboard Watermark’s “Raven.” Learn about onetime local Edgar Allan Poe and the development of Fells Point. In addition to sightseeing, passengers aboard Spirit Cruises savor a buffet and boogie to the tunes of an onboard DJ. Visitors who want to feel the wind in their hair hop on the speedboat Seadog, which accelerates up to 46 miles per hour. Families take their budding buccaneers on Urban Pirates’ adventure cruises, during which mateys blast water cannons at landlubbers and learn pirate speak. For easy access to all the major sites around the harbor, look no further than the Baltimore Water Taxi, in operation for 40-plus years. HISTORIC SHIPS Four illustrious vessels float within walking distance of one another. Built in 1854, the USS Constellation was the Navy’s last sail- only warship. History buffs tour the vessel and watch the daily cannon firing. On the USS Torsk, visitors see the torpedo rooms of the sub that sank three Japanese ships during WWII. A tour of the USCGC Taney reveals the ship’s role at Pearl Harbor. Completed in 1930, the lightship Chesapeake guided maritime traffic for 20 years. Its exhibits include a look at sailors’ canine companions.
Colorful “monsters” are an Inner Harbor fixture. Visitors rent these Chessie Paddle Boats, which hold up to four people, or the cozier two-person models.
Uno Pizzeria & Grill