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What to see/do in Baltimore without a car?

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Apr 18th, 2014, 09:10 AM
  #1
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What to see/do in Baltimore without a car?

I have to attend a wedding in Detroit (in August!) and will stop in Washington for four nights on the way. I'll travel to/from the Washington area by train. On the way back I will probably fly into BWI and rather than spending another night in Washington or leaving Detroit really early I was considering a two or even three nights in Baltimore, a place about which I know essentially nothing.

I'm interested in architecture, arts and crafts rather than fine art, food and wine (although not at Michelin star level), especially Asian food (although not sushi), and history. What is there that might interest me that I could access by public transport (or on foot)? I will not rent a car.
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Apr 18th, 2014, 10:13 AM
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http://www.charmcitycirculator.com/
This is what you need to know about getting around the city.
Any interest in seeing the O's play at Camden Yards?
There are many interesting things to see and do in the Inner Harbor area.
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Apr 18th, 2014, 10:39 AM
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Baltimore is one of our fav cities in the US, and you can easily get to many interesting places on foot and in the inexpensive "Water Taxis"--really more like ferries Stay in the Inner Harbor or, our choice, funky Fells Point. We stay at the Admiral Fell Inn (less than $200/nite) at Fells Point.

Fort McHenry, Edgar Allen Poe's burial site, older architecture downtown and at Fells Point (and between). The American Visionary Arts Museum in the Inner Harbor is supposed to have arts and crafts (although we haven't been).

More than enough to keep you occupied for two or three days without a car.
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Apr 18th, 2014, 11:09 AM
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I would say that 2 days in Baltimore would be plenty although I went in the fall and it was not so busy. The aquarium in the Inner Harbor is nice. There is a ship docked in the Inner Harbor that could be interesting.

The American Visionary Museum would be a must see. I don't think that I would describe it as arts and crafts but the art is definately not "fine" art. All the pieces are done by unknown artists. I found it to be very interesting. Not at all stuffy.
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Apr 18th, 2014, 11:25 AM
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Listening in...as we will be in Baltimore for a Road Scholar classical music program at the Peabody Institute. We've known about the Peabody for years. So what's close or not too far from this location which is where we stay Apr.26-May 3? Arriving from Boston on Amtrak.
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Apr 18th, 2014, 11:52 AM
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Thanks! Keep it coming.... Love the sound of the Water Taxis, and thanks for the transport link. Public transport is so bad where I live I always expect the worst in the US - and am sometimes pleasantly surprised.

I'm at B&N reading the Moon guide. It lists the top attraction as the Aquarium, but even for a senior it seems very expensive at $30. I've seen quite a few, given my standard is Sydney's any views on whether it would be worth it?

At a first pass I'm interested in the historic ships, just possibly the railway museum, the Robert Long House, the Walters Art Museum (art nouveau jewelry), the Maryland Historical Society, possibly the Amaranthine Museum, the Museum of Art (impressionists), the Homewood House and the Evergreen Museum, plus the Fell's Point area. Anything else along these lines?

Sorry, I'm afraid I'm totally uninterested in sports, although I would want to avoid any crowds.

I would hope to get my lodging cost under $150, the further under the better... I might want to schedule an appointment at John's Hopkins, to get a second opinion on an eye problem (one of the top specialists in the US is there) in which case I might need an extra night, and I seem to already have a fairly long list of things to do.
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Apr 18th, 2014, 04:56 PM
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Hi thursdaysd,

I lived in Baltimore for almost 3 years without a car. Suggestions so far of taking the water taxi from the Inner Harbor to Fort McHenry and Fells Point are good ones. The Walters Art Gallery is walkable from the Inner Harbor, in the Mount Vernon neighborhood across from the Peabody Institute.

The Baltimore Museum of Art by the Johns Hopkins campus is quite good too, but you'd have to catch a bus (the #3 or #11 bus) from the Inner Harbor to get there or catch a cab.

I would also recomend checking out the markets in Baltimore. The Lexington Market has a primarily African-American clientele and a unique ambience in the USA in my experience. Faidley's there is an institution for seafood; sometimes the Lexington Market has musical entertainment going on. The Cross Street Market is worth checking out also for its vibe and seafood, found in the Federal Hill neighborhood (the Federal Hill neighborhood has some lovely colonial-style architecture).

I hope you have a great trip to Baltimore. The city really grew on me over the years lived there. Funny enough, the area that tourists visit most, the Inner Harbor, I find far less interesting than other parts of the city.

Best wishes, Daniel
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Apr 18th, 2014, 05:17 PM
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Thanks Daniel! I am totally not a shopper, but I love produce and meat and fish markets. I suspect I may agree with you about the Inner Harbor....
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Apr 19th, 2014, 04:15 PM
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thurs, at the Baltimore Museum of Art, the Matisse collection is excellent, and I think you'd enjoy it very much. If you go in the late afternoon/evening, the restaurant there, Gertrude's, is very well regarded and has a strong Maryland focus.
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Apr 19th, 2014, 05:36 PM
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Thanks smetz. I mostly associate Maryland food with crabs, what else should I be thinking?
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Apr 20th, 2014, 10:12 AM
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I just came back from Baltimore, and really enjoyed a good meal at My Thai. Nothing fancy, but good solid Thai, not too far from Hopkins and downtown, in Little Italy. 323 S Central Ave.

If you go to the Baltimore Museum of Art, walk on over to Hampden, a cool little neighborhood, and have lunch at The Verandah, a small Indian restaurant. It has has an equally small menu, but it is delicious, and the service is pretty perfect. 842 W 36th St.
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Apr 20th, 2014, 10:38 AM
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Think soft shell crabs will still be in season, try some. Cannot recommend anyplace since we usually went to Annapolis.
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Apr 20th, 2014, 11:53 AM
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Maryland food- Berger cookies, codfish cakes, crab cakes.
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Apr 20th, 2014, 12:11 PM
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Thanks for the Thai and Indian suggestions.

Definitely soft-shell crabs and crab cakes. Not so sure about the cookies - had to look them up - I don't have a sweet tooth.
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Apr 20th, 2014, 12:17 PM
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I liked the Aquarium in Baltimore. Never been to the one in Sydney so can't compare. It does compare favorably to the one in Long Beach though. I agree $30 is pretty steep.

The American Visionary Arts Museum is a great museum, a bit different than most.

Hampden is a quirky little piece of Baltimore. Not much there other than cute shops and a few ok restaurants.

MD is best for crabs, crabs and more crabs.
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Apr 20th, 2014, 05:55 PM
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I did not see the American Visionary Museum on your first cut. As others have said, it is a must visit and should be there. As far as crab cakes, IMO and in that of many others, the crab cakes served at Faidley's in Lexington Market is the bench mark for crab cakes. Faidley's will also have any other seafood that is fresh and will cook it up for you. This is NOT an upscale place but funky and fun. You could easily spend a few hours roaming Lexington Market. If there is something going on at the Meyerhoff (home of the Baltimore Symphony) you might enjoy that. It is on public transportation from downtown B'more. It is a small enough hall that there are no really bad views of the stage - just different distances - and acoustics are great throughout. The OMNI hotel may be in your price range since it is mostly a convention hotel and popular with school groups visiting the city. Still, it is well located, It has no charm but is not bad at all.

If you are visiting Johns Hopkins, I assume you mean the Wilmer Eye Institute which is part of JH and on the B'more campus. It is world class.
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Apr 21st, 2014, 09:31 AM
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About 3 years ago I stayed at the Mount Vernon Hotel and got a good rate. Nothing fancy but breakfast was included. If I remember correctly it was about 10 blocks from the Inner Harbor but it is in the neighborhood of the places on your list.
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Apr 21st, 2014, 10:14 AM
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@basingstoke2 - sorry, but I read the descriptions of the Visionary Museum, and took a look at the website, and it does not appeal. My interest in art stops with the surrealists. Also, I'm tone deaf, so no symphony, although I would be interested in ballet or theater.

Yes, I mean the Wilmer Eye Institute, or, more accurately, one specific doctor at the institute.

@gardendiva - thanks for the recommendation. That's much more the price range I was thinking of!
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Apr 22nd, 2014, 06:46 AM
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Baltimore is also kind of known for pit beef sandwiches, which are available at various shacks around town - usually not in high class or trendy neighborhoods though. They cook beef top round roast over hot coals, then slice it thin on a slicer, and people like to eat it on a sandwich with mayo, horseradish, and onions. The good ones are really satisfying. One of the best is in a stand that's in the parking lot of a strip club on Pulaski Highway - not too far from Hopkins!
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Apr 22nd, 2014, 07:17 AM
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"The Baltimore Museum of Art by the Johns Hopkins campus is quite good too,"
This is a good museum, and Gertrude's is fun for a light meal.

But, it is next to Johns Hopkins University, not the JH Med Center. Big difference.

And if walking in the neighborhood near JHU, be aware there are some iffy sections. I'd stay close to the campus, and the shops where the students go, because the campus police patrol there.
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