Guests at Four Seasons Hotel Baltimore can easily explore the city’s bustling harbour area and beyond by foot, boat – even a free hybrid bus. Start by visiting the Hotel’s upscale Harbor East neighbourhood, then branch out to discover nearby museums, historical areas and quaint locales in the town that locals endearingly call “Charm City.”
Hop aboard the complimentary Charm City Circulator bus in Harbor East and head to the B&O Railroad Museum—the birthplace of American railroading. The historical national landmark captures the nostalgia of the era with artefacts from locomotives to dining-car china. On the way, stop at Corned Beef Row on Lombard Street for one of the famous inches-thick sandwiches at Attman’s Delicatessen.
Since 1849, Little Italy has been home to many residents of Italian descent. Today, a sense of community still exists with the beautiful St. Leo the Great Roman Catholic Church serving as a hub. The neighbourhood is also home to more than 20 restaurants and trattorias dishing out hearty Old World fare. Vaccaro’s Italian Pastry Shop is the place to go for a delicious cannoli and espresso.
Photography National Geographic Creative / Alamy Stock
Certainly Baltimore’s most popular attraction, the National Aquarium houses more than 16,000 specimens in a whopping 1 million gallons of water. The gliding sharks, dolphin show (don’t sit in the “Splash Zone” if you want to stay dry!), tropical rain forest and Australian exhibit are among the hundreds of displays to check out.
Baltimore’s iconic Harborplace Gallery, in the Inner Harbor area, transformed the city’s waterway from a deteriorating lineup of old-time wharfs and tugboats to a shopping-and-eating destination. Check out the two pavilions for trinkets and nibbles, and, during warmer months, the free outdoor entertainment at the amphitheater—from local bands to street performers.
This trendy neighbourhood offers a host of rollicking bars and restaurants. Stroll along the brick promenade from Harbor East and discover watering holes with quirky names: Dead End Saloon, The Horse You Came In On and the Cat’s Eye Pub, which captures the area’s free spirit with nightly live music. Locals get the weekend started at the “Cat” with a free cheese happy hour on Fridays, before tapping their toes to some of the best blues in town.
Grab a water taxi near the hotel and zip around the harbour. One stop you don’t want to miss is Fort McHenry, where Francis Scott Key penned the national anthem from a nearby ship during a crucial War of 1812 battle. Learn about the fort’s history at the Visitor Center; then, take a one-hour, self-guided tour.
Familiarly called AVAM, this museum is a must-see on the water-taxi circuit. The quirky space offers some of the most ingenious original works by self-taught artists that you’ll ever see. Don’t miss the Universal Tree of Life, with its twinkly mirrors, or the 8-foot Cosmic Galaxy Egg in the permanent collection. The always-engaging main exhibit changes annually.
Photography RosaIreneBetancourt 4 / Alamy Stock Photo
Just a short drive or ride from the Hotel, BAM’s holdings encompass American and international works of art, including the world’s largest collection of works by Henri Matisse and masterpieces by Picasso, Cézanne, Gauguin and van Gogh. Another museum showcase is the outdoor sculpture garden of contemporary and modern works.