• Photo: Amanda Koehler / Shutterstock

West Baltimore

Though some sections are still dodgy, Baltimore's West Side is undergoing a much-needed transformation for the better. A multimillion-dollar renovation turned the old Hippodrome movie house and its neighboring buildings into an elegant performing arts center. Up and down Eutaw and Howard streets, once-abandoned buildings are being converted into high-end loft apartments. The Bromo Seltzer Tower is now a mecca for artists: visitors can tour their studios and the clocktower at top.

But the neighborhood's most popular draws are the Oriole Park at Camden Yards and M&T Bank Stadium, where the Baltimore Ravens football team plays. West Baltimore is also home to birthplaces and former residences of historic figures such as Babe Ruth, Edgar Allan Poe, and Charles Carroll, a member of the Continental Congress. The University of Maryland medical campus, including the Dr. Samuel D. Harris National Museum of Dentistry, occupies a large swath of the neighborhood. A few blocks west of the school, the B&O Railroad Museum, with more than 100 trains on display, is captivating to most small children (and the inner kid in train-loving adults).

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