Getting Oriented

Laid out in a more-or-less regular grid pattern, Baltimore is fairly easy to navigate. Pratt Street runs east along the Inner Harbor; from there the major northbound arteries are Charles Street and the Jones Falls Expressway (I–83). Cross-street addresses are marked "East" or "West" according to which side of Charles Street they are on; similarly, Baltimore Street marks the dividing line between north and south. Residents refer to areas of the city by the direction of these major arteries: thus, South Baltimore, North Baltimore, East Baltimore, West Baltimore, Northeast Baltimore, Northwest Baltimore, etc. The major downtown north–south thoroughfares are Charles and St. Paul streets (north of Baltimore Street) and Light Street (south of Baltimore). Downtown, east–west traffic depends heavily on Pratt and Lombard streets. The downtown area is bounded by Martin Luther King Boulevard on the west and by the Jones Falls Expressway (President Street) on the east.

Mount Vernon. Baltimore's arts and culture scene is focused on Mount Vernon. Some of the city's grandest architecture can be seen on Charles Street.

Charles Village. Students, professors, writers, and artists are drawn to the area's intellectual environment, centered around Johns Hopkins University.

Inner Harbor and Harbor East. South of the city center, the Inner Harbor is the city's biggest destination, filled with popular attractions like the National Aquarium, Harborplace shopping centers, and the Maryland Science Center.

Fells Point. To the east of Inner Harbor, Fells Point is just a water taxi away. Shops, two small museums, and the neighborhood's many pubs—most of which host live local bands daily—attract both locals and tourists.

Station North. The formerly blighted area around Penn Station has become a hub for galleries, theaters, artist studios, and hipster bars and restaurants.

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