If you are planning a trip back east you must find some time to spend in Baltimore! There is lots to see in this wonderful city on the Chesapeake from historic sites to wonderful food and fabulous museums.
Summertime travel to the East Coast requires a completely different wardrobe than it does here on the West Coast. On the hottest of nights in San Francisco I couldn’t image leaving my apartment without a sweater or scarf. During the hot sweltering summer months on the East Coast my sweaters and scarves are pretty much worn only on the plane and in over air-conditioned rooms. The wet heat of those days might have some choosing to spend their time in loose shorts, tanks and flip-flops. But never let the scorching weather deter you from being chic is my rule!
After packing my carry-on with cotton shirts, cotton tees, cotton dresses and cotton skirts I was ready to step into the sweltering biosphere of Baltimore.
On our first day we headed to the inner harbor which is in Baltimore’s historic seaport. There is so much to do in this area from visiting museums to taking in the gorgeous views. You will also enjoy eating alfresco at great restaurants. However, a word of warning; check out reviews before you plop down just anywhere for a bite. Like any area with tourist attractions there is a lot of food which is best left uneaten.
Dinning was a pleasure in Baltimore. Our first of many meals was close to the inner harbor— Cinghaile. The menu is filled with wonderful seafood dishes, pastas, salads and antipasti. You will most likely eat plenty of crab cakes on your visit to Baltimore so experiment with the chef’s tasting menu for other delectables from this outstanding restaurant!
For some of the best crab cakes just about anywhere check out Faidley Seafood located in the Lexington Food Market. The portions are large and the price is inexpensive. You will be entertained by some banners fastened to walls while you chow down on your delicious crab cake. My favorite reads, “If the Lexington Market were in LA we’d charge twice as much and I’d have a show on cable.”
Back to the harbor we caught one of the many water taxis that took us to the historical Fort McHenry which is best known for its role in the War of 1812. They even have a cast of characters who re-enact life on the fort in that period—hokey but fun as well. Note that there are not a lot of shaded areas and that means it gets crazy hot. My advice is to always wear a hat and bring a bottle of water.
Time to eat again. We made the mistake of walking to another restaurant about 45 minutes away instead of taking yet another water taxi but once inside the cool and cavernous restaurant, Gunther’s & Co, we forgot the pain of strolling in the relentless heat. We loved this establishment! The food was wonderful, the people were friendly and the bar was well-stocked.
The museums here, like the ones in Washington, DC, are free and spectacular! The Walter Art Museum located in Mt.Vernon holds collections established during the mid-19th century.
Just a few feet away is the Washington Monument of Baltimore. Climb the 227 steps to the top for spectacular views the city. But be advised there is no AC climbing up those narrow stairs. The delightful staff will offer you a bottle of water because they know you will need to hydrate as you begin your ascent.
The other must see in the Mount Vernon area is the Peabody Library. The architectural detail will blow you away!
Hungry again after an afternoon of exploring made us hungry. Thankfully, the Marie Louise Bistro was a short 15-minute walk away. This restaurant is small so reservations are advised for dinner. However, we arrived around 3 and had the pick of the few tables that are outdoors.
Just one more museum before we leave—The Baltimore Museum of Art. It is not to be missed! You can linger through the many rooms which house Picasso’s, Monet’s, Cezanne’s, Van Gogh’s, Rodin’s and so much more. And here is the best part—there are no crowds so take your time and appreciate the magnificence of these incredible masterpieces.
Eat well, laugh a lot, and be chic!