Baltimore has its own unique identity as a city, but where it presents its true quirks is by way of its different neighborhoods and their distinct personalities. One can experience many different facets of Baltimore simply by traveling a few blocks. In fact, as Hopkins students quickly learn, these different neighborhoods each give a different vibe and cater to particular moods or interests.
Charles Village is the neighborhood around the Homewood campus, so if you don’t feel like walking, this is the neighborhood for you – no travel required! Charles Village is home to several great restaurants, both local and chain. If you’re craving culture, the Baltimore Museum of Art is right on the perimeter of campus, and it’s free!
You should probably check out:
1. The Book Thing (Free books galore!)
2. Baltimore Museum of Art (For the art lover inside of you; also a great study spot.)
3. Waverly Farmers Market (Support local farmers and get delicious produce!)
4. Papermoon Diner (Eclectic setting, delicious food.)
5. Homewood House Museum (You don’t even have to leave campus!)
Just west of campus is Hampden, home to the Hampden Hons and thick Baltimore accents. Delightfully tacky, Hampden boasts some of the best thrift shops in Baltimore, along with the famed Café Hon and its giant pink flamingo. Hampden has several other great restaurants and fun boutiques. Accessible by Hopkins escort shuttle or by a fifteen-minute walk, Hampden is a great place to spend an afternoon or evening.
Don’t you dare miss:
1. Café Hon (Who doesn’t love flamingos?)
2. Atomic Books (Best comics around.)
3. Charm City Cakes (As seen on the Food Network)
4. Avenue Antiques (For when your grandma’s birthday comes along.)
5. Holy Frijoles (Best Mexican Food in Town)
Mount Vernon is home to the first Washington Monument and the Peabody Institute. A ten-minute shuttle ride from Homewood, Mount Vernon just oozes culture. Its cobblestone roads and art museums set the scene, while the boutiques and restaurants range from casual to very trendy and upscale. Mount Vernon’s beautiful setting is also home to several historic churches.
Make sure to stop by:
1. Walters Art Museum (In case the BMA wasn’t enough.)
2. Basilica-America’s First Cathedral (Another way to bring out your cultured side.)
3. Concerts at Peabody (It’s like music to my ears…literally.)
4. My Thai (Who doesn’t love Thai food? If you don’t, they have sushi, too!)
5. Restaurante Tio Pepe (A 40 year tradition! Old-timey and authentic Spanish cuisine.)
Fells Point is on the waterfront and provides a glimpse into Baltimore’s past as a major port. Fells Point’s waterfront location and cobblestone roads set an eery setting perfect for Baltimore’s largest Halloween celebration each year. During the off-season, Fells Point is another great spot for local restaurants, antiques, and other boutiques. Fells Point is also the go-to for the ghostbusters out there – different groups offer haunted tours of the area, and for those of age, its pubs.
Put these on your Fell’s Point bucket list:
1. Mr. Yogato (The best frozen yogurt around!)
2. Original Fells Point Ghost Walk (Boo!)
3. Fashion Attic (Bringing consignment stores to a whole new level.)
4. Fells Point Corner Theater (Time for a show!)
5. Broadway Market (Fresh foods for a deal!)
Little Italy is a ten-minute walk from the Inner Harbor, and after a trip there, you’ll be glad to have time to “walk it off.” Little Italy is very traditional, very authentic and the best place in Baltimore for a big meal. There are several Italian restaurants, ranging from casual to very upscale. Of particular note is Vaccaros, a pastry shop, which offers all-you-care-to-eat desserts on Monday nights.
Bring an empty stomach to:
1. Vaccaros (Dessert!)
2. Amicci’s (Dinner! And a casual one at that.)
3. Chiapparelli’s (More dinner!)
4. Ciao Bella (Even more dinner!)
5. Della Notte Ristorante (You guessed it, more dinner!)
Just down the way from the Inner Harbor, Federal Hill is a fun neighborhood for young professionals and young families. It’s also well known for being very dog friendly and visitors who miss their dogs may find some four-legged companions by simply strolling through Fed Hill and greeting the many dog-walkers they encounter. It’s another great neighborhood for local restaurants, too!
Be sure to check out:
1. Federal Hill festivals (Fest of All, a celebration of everything Federal Hill!)
2. Lucky Lucy’s Canine Café (to spoil your own furry friend or just play with others.)
3. Mother’s Federal Hill Grille (great for watching sports or just hanging out.)
4. Blue Agave (one of Baltimore Magazine’s Best Restaurants).
5. American Apparel (missing Los Angeles or just love t-shirts? Get your fix here.)
The Inner Harbor is particularly popular among visitors and new students – home to the Baltimore Aquarium, shops, tons of restaurants and not too far from the Ravens’ stadium or Oriole Park, the Inner Harbor is the place to be if you’re looking to hit all the big hotspots.
We saved the best for last:
1. National Aquarium (The coolest place ever – check out the rainforest exhibit.)
2. American Visionary Museum (For the eclectic artist.)
3. Hard Rock Café (Rock out!)
4. Rusty Scupper (Some of the best seafood around!)