Explore Charm City
A city of independent neighborhoods that form an eclectic conglomeration, Baltimore (a.k.a. Charm City) is a mix of color, ethnicity, history, and culture that enjoys its collective diversity. We are one of America’s oldest cities and a city of firsts. In fact, it is said that we have done more things first than has any other city in the country. We had the first railroad train, the first shopping center, the first Catholic cathedral, and the first American rabbi. We welcome you with open arms and invite you to explore our distinct neighborhoods, which are all described in greater detail below.
Baltimore’s neighborhoods are worth a visit not only in themselves, but also because they each provide inspiring stories about America’s heritage. We recommend exploring these neighborhoods and stories by taking a walking tour. Our favorite walking tour is called the Baltimore Civil War Riot Trail, a self-guided adventure that takes you to sites which reveal the deeply divided loyalties of Maryland and the nation during the American Civil War. Stand where the first fatalities of the War occurred, one week after the first shots at Fort Sumter, and pause at Greenmount Cemetery where John Wilkes Booth is buried. Other areas of interest include:
This year’s conference will take place 5 minutes east of the Inner Harbor, Baltimore’s historic seaport, tourist attraction, and landmark. Having undergone massive redevelopment over the past three decades, the Inner Harbor is now one of the places to be in Baltimore. The area is home to a wide variety of entertainment options to explore, as well as an enormous amount of dining options. Some of the most popular attractions include:
Most Popular Attractions:
- National Aquarium – Widely considered to be one of the best in the United States, if not the world!
- USS Constellation – The last Civil War-era ship still afloat, includes an in depth museum documenting the history seafaring.
- Baltimore Maritime Museum – Includes the USS Torsk (one of two World War II-era, Tenth Class submarines still located in the United States) and the Chesapeake, a ship that served as a lighthouse near locations that were unsuitable for lighthouse construction.
- Babe Ruth Birthplace and Museum at Camden Yards – Exhibits on Babe Ruth and related topics.
- The Gallery Mall and the Harborplace Mall – Two malls with locally-themed gift shops as well as popular national stores.
- Shake Shack $ – The classic burger joint, located right in front of the Inner Harbor!
- Chick-Fil-A $ – Every Southerner’s favorite chicken sandwich-seller. The best alternative to burgers!
- Miss Shirley’s Cafe, Inner Harbor $$ – Baltimore’s favorite brunch spot- come early, they’re often packed!
- Cheesecake Factory $$ – Come for the cheesecake, stay for the lengthy and creative dinner menu!
Just north of the Inner Harbor and the downtown area lies Mount Vernon, one of the city’s oldest neighborhoods and originally home to the city’s wealthiest and most fashionable residents. The area contains the original Washington Monument, which was completed over 50 years before the one in Washington, D.C. was finished. Although the neighborhood is filled mostly with beautiful architecture adorning residential buildings, there are a number of destination spots for delegations.
Most Popular Attractions:
- Washington Monument – Climb to the top of this 178-foot monument and see the surrounding parks and neighborhood from a bird’s eye! Wed-Sun 10am-6pm; only $6.
- Peabody Conservatory – Home to the famous and beautiful George Peabody Library. Library hours depend on the season; check this website to see the current hours.
- Walters Art Museum – An internationally-renowned art museum whose collection includes Egyptian sacrophagi, Old Master paintings, and 19th-century American and European paintings. Free admission!
- Maryland Institute of College Art – One of the oldest art colleges in the United States!
- Dooby’s $$ – Korean-inspired cafe that serves breakfast through dinner. Typical dishes include Pork Buns, Rice Bowls, and Ramen.
- Mt Vernon Marketplace $ – 14 vendors that offer artisanal foods like gourmet cheese, sandwiches, seafood, and salad bars.
- Akbar $$ – Offers Indian dishes and a daily all you can eat lunch buffet.
- The Helmand $$$ – A local staple since 1989, serving Afghan dishes in an elegant setting.
Following a 20 minute walk from the Hilton Baltimore Hotel east of the harbor, delegates will find Little Italy, named after the huge number of Italian immigrant families that moved to the area in the early 20th century. Here, delegates will find an overwhelming number of restaurants serving every type of Italian food imaginable. It is definitely the place to go for dinner on Saturday night!
Most Popular Attractions:
- Main Street – The main area in Little Italy packed with some of the best restaurants in Baltimore!
- Robert Long House – Baltimore’s oldest surviving residence, which was built around 1765.
- Broadway Pier – This pier located at 920 South Broadway makes for an enjoyable walk out into the Inner Harbor. It is surrounded by many restaurants and store fronts, making it a hub for culture and tourism in Baltimore.
- Vaccaro’s Italian Pastry Shop $ – An Italian pastry shop which has been a staple in Baltimore for over 60 years offering classic sweets such as their famous cannoli and gelato. They offer some light meals but focus on delicious treats!
- La Scala $$$ – An upscale Sicilian restaurant with a wide range of dishes that offer options for vegetarians, vegans, and gluten-free visitors as well. It includes typical pasta, salad, chicken, and fish dishes.
- Amicci’s $$ – A casual Italian eatery with a variety of affordable options, which includes a gluten-free menu as well as a “make your own pasta” option.
Right next to Little Italy lies Fells Point, one of Baltimore’s trendiest and most historic districts. Perhaps most famous for its support for dozens of privateers who preyed on British shipping in the early 19th century, Fells Point today still retains that independent spirit. Go explore the many shops, restaurants, and pubs, many of which lie on the area’s original cobblestone streets. Fells Point is home to several of Baltimore’s best seafood restaurants, which are some of the city’s most popular attractions.
Most Popular Attractions:
- Baltimore Water Taxi– A water taxi service that offers transportation and sightseeing throughout Baltimore’s Inner Harbor.
- Bite of Baltimore – The only food tour in Baltimore that focuses not only on the culinary aspects but also the historical and cultural aspects of Baltimore city.
- Frederick Douglass-Isaac Myers Maritime Park Museum – This maritime museum is an old shipyard turned African American heritage site with hands-on-activities and galleries.
- Ekiben $ – A no-frills Asian fusion restaurant that serves steamed buns, small plates, and plus bowls.
- Papi’s Tacos $ – A family friendly restaurant inspired by Mexican street food trucks that offers happy hours, outdoor dining, and build-your-own tacos.
- Pitango Gelato $ – A homemade artisan gelato and sorbet experience!
A 15-20 minute walk from the hotel, Federal Hill is named for the prominent hill that provides a panoramic view of Baltimore City. Given its name in 1789 after it served as the ending point for a parade celebrating the ratification of the new “Federal” Constitution of the country, today the area is one of the most important cultural centers in Baltimore. Some of the main attractions include:
- Fort McHenry – The fort that served as the inspiration for our national anthem, now a national park!
- American Visionary Art Museum – Unique museum that focuses on displaying and preserving outsider and self-taught art, it showcases different themed exhibitions.
- Maryland Science Center – A science center that has a planetarium, an observatory, and over three levels of exhibits. Some of the most famous exhibits are a full scale model of two dinosaurs, a demonstration stage, and a tour inside the human body.
- Baltimore Museum of Industry – Museum showcases different types of industry and manufacturing from the 20th century like oyster shucking and blacksmithing.
- Lexington Market $ – Founded in 1782, this market sells seafood, meats, and includes some food stalls.
- Matsuri $$ – A Baltimore favorite known for its cheap, high-quality sushi.
- Zaatar Mediterranean Restaurant $$ – Delicious Mediterranean comfort food in a relaxed, homey setting.
For more information on Charm City, we recommend getting a hold of the “Insiders’ Guide to Baltimore, Fifth Edition” by Mary K. Tilghman or visiting Baltimore.org by clicking here.