I must admit I came to this city a bit sceptical. Not just me, but my companions as well. They all said the city was dangerous, they had seen one TV show or another (I’d watched The Wire), the statistics were horrible. ..
However, what we came across was completely different. Baltimore is an excellent choice.
All things conspired to make us love this city. The weather was wonderful, sunny and warm, which is not always the case in June along the Atlantic. We had good guides, saw interesting things, ate in good restaurants, and felt the city’s soul.
Baltimore was the third largest city at the time the United States were founded, and the main harbour because the starting point of the first railroad, B & O (Baltimore and Ohio), going inland, was precisely here. The reception center for immigrants, just like the one on Ellis Island, was the second most important point of entry into the country. The city was also where Edgar Allan Poe used to live, so it’s no wonder that one of the most popular tours is the night one – the so called ghost tour. The guide was quite the actor so I would definitely recommend this to anyone who wants to delve a little more deeply into the city’s legends and mysteries.
The city has been renovated and looks shiny and bright. The museums are good, especially the American Visionary Art Museum, one of the quirkiest and most interesting I’ve ever seen. The aquarium, located by the harbour, is quite decent and diverse.
A 45-minute boat ride through the harbour is an interesting excursion into the past and present. Besides the museums and attractions, the city also promotes good food. Different kinds of crabs and shells, fish and all things sea. As it is on the bottom of the large Chesapeake Bay, the sandy seabed is abundant in seafood. The most popular dish is definitely crab cake. In restaurants, crabs are usually served from a paper bag directly on the table. The only cutlery is a wooden mallet and a napkin around your neck, so just hit it until it cracks.
Halfway between Washington and the more northerly Philadelphia and further on New York, Baltimore is an excellent choice for a few interesting and tasty days after the slickness and hectic hustle and bustle of the big cities.