My Favorite Things - Baltimore, Maryland
My Favorite Things is a series to help you quickly find and save all my recommendations. From sites to see, places to eat, and everything else - if I find a new favorite, I want to share it with you!
Baltimore has always been a city that I largely ignored, besides having to drive through it in order to get to Washington D.C. More recently, I’ve realized that Bmore is actually a hidden gem that was always right under my nose.
Billed as a worker cooperative, radical bookstore and vegetarian/vegan restaurant, Red Emma’s lives up to all of those titles. Head downstairs for a selection of radical books not always commonly found in other stores. Stay on the ground floor for the coffee shop/restaurant where the options may be vegan but the food is delicious. I had a BLT, which tempeh bacon and vegan mayo. My recommendation is to ask for some Tabasco and give this sandwich just a hint of heat. Gratuity is also already included in your bill so you can pay happily knowing that the workers are making a living wage - and you don’t have to do any math!
Edgar Allan Poe House
No list of Baltimore sites would be complete without a nod to the city’s favorite son. The little house on Amity Street was home to Poe for only a few years, but, according to our tour guide, Baltimore was the first place where he was paid to write. Easy to miss (if you blink at the wrong time), the house is the last in a line of brick row homes. Located in the West Baltimore Poppleton Neighborhood, we didn’t have any issues parking or walking to the site.
*Poe is also buried in Baltimore. Read about why there are two graves in the Westminster Burial Ground Cemetery.
*There is also a rather macabre sign outside a hospital (that is now part of Johns Hopkins) marking where Poe supposedly died.
Babe Ruth Birthplace
Besides Poe, Baltimore’s other favorite son is definitely baseball legend Babe Ruth. If you are very interested in Ruth specifically or baseball generally, this museum is for you. If you, like me, have more of a passing interest and just like to remind everyone that Ruth was on the Red Sox before he became a Yankee, this might be something to skip. Although it contains a fair amount of artifacts, the museum is small and covers Ruth’s life in a way that left me wanting more. Note, parking can be really tricky in this area. (Don’t be fooled by the lot that seems to be reserved for visitors to the museum, apparently its actually for the staff and heavily monitored.)
Sagamore Hill Distillery
Located with a great view of the water, Sagamore Hill prides itself on trying to bring back to passion and popularity that once came with Maryland Rye Whiskey. As it is the passion project of Under Armor CEO Kevin Plank, it should be no surprise that this young distillery already has an expansive and beautiful campus. At $15 a person tour is pretty much in line with the cost at other distilleries and it does come with a tasting afterwards. If you’ve been on other tours, this one isn’t any different, but if you’re looking for something to do, the ambiance is nice and the whiskey is pretty good.
Suggested to us by a local, Nick’s Fish House was a stellar recommendation for dinner. Located just down the road from the distillery, Nick’s has great seafood and a great deck overlooking the water. There doesn’t seem to be a bad thing to order at Nick’s, so choose whatever strikes your fancy and enjoy their laidback atmosphere.
The Horse You Came in On Saloon
Billed as the last place that Edgar Allan Poe drank before his premature death, we originally came to the Horse You Came In On for this sole reason. (Read more here about whether or not that may be true) However, with at least three bars and more rooms that I would’ve thought possible for a storefront in the Fell’s End neighborhood, this bar is a keeper. Themed as something of a Tex-Mex saloon the prices are pretty good and the ambiance is fun. Any bar where live music can be jamming in one room and I can have a non-screaming conversation in another is a winner.
Baltimore American Indian Center
Originally a center that worked with local Native families, the BAIC has now expanded and has a small museum on premises. Their two rooms are split between artifacts from the past and art from the present. While not a big place, the staff member (whose name I did not catch) gave us an engaging and passionate talk about the items on display. If nothing else, come to support the important work this organization does and to enjoy looking at beautiful arts and crafts. I guarantee you will learn something and also wish you were skilled at making things. (Or maybe that’s just me…)
Do you have any favorites in Baltimore? Let me know in the comments!