Baltimore hits a happy medium between the hectic frigidity of the Northeast and the lazy mugginess of the South. It has a homey, blue-collar atmosphere, much like Philadelphia or Boston, that is universally appealing. Known as 'Charm City,' Baltimore is unique and endearing in many ways.
It can even claim to be home to the Star Spangled Banner. Literally: this is the city where Francis Scott Key first wrote the song that’s droned through before every major sporting event. The city has a long and impressive history, having once fought the first of the British invaders as the location of the opening shots of the American Civil War, as well as being at the very core of the American Civil Rights movement.
These days the history still shines through a pleasant modern façade, especially at spots like Fort McHenry, a key defensive location against a British naval attack in 1812. The cannons still line the harbor wall, while the surrounding area still consists of many of the cobbled, thin and winding streets that were found here a century ago. Stopping for a local beer or two in the old-world pubs around the waterfront makes for an unusual and impressive Baltimore experience.
Foodies will quickly fall in love with Lexington Market, a spot where the cuisine is pointedly off the wall, and includes a ‘pit beef sandwich’ (pit beef is cooked for 24 hours in a hole in the ground) served with horse radish, local seafood including crab and eels, and lake trout, which is neither a trout nor from the lake, but does taste good. You could quickly fall in love with local Baltimore cuisine: this is a real weight gain holiday. You can wash all the impressive foodstuffs down with an array of local craft beer, too.
The trendy neighborhood of Fell's Point has long been a hot spot for restaurants, nightclubs and art galleries; more recently, Federal Hill and Canton have joined it in attracting a diverse crowd of locals.
Throw in an impressive zoo, a vast selection of museums (including the intensely eccentric American Visionary Arts Museum) and one of the most progressive outlooks on life of any American city and plenty see Baltimore as an essential part of any American travel experience.
Hop on the water taxi through the bay, make the most of an unusually well maintained and old-world selection of history and revel in the independence of a city that’s culturally refined and interesting around almost every corner.
Annapolis, Maryland USA is located on the west side of the Chesapeake Bay between the Severn River and the South River, almost center of the state, if the state was a square, which it is defi…