Best Neighborhoods to Visit in Baltimore

Baltimore is truly a city of neighborhoods, so when you visit it's best to divide and conquer. While Inner Harbor is undoubtedly the most famous area of Charm City - it's the centerpiece of downtown and home to the famous National Aquarium - but many of Baltimore's best neighborhoods merit exploring (and you won't have to fight throngs of tourists in order to do it). If you happen to be staying at a bed and breakfast in Baltimore, it's a good idea to schedule your trip so you can visit these must-see neighborhoods.

Federal Hill

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If you want to see a great view of Inner Harbor and the Baltimore skyline, Federal Hill is where you need to be. While you're in the neighborhood, be sure to stop by the American Visionary Art Museum. Not only does it have some pretty wacky art on display (haven't you always wanted to see a 55-foot tall whirligig?), but it also hosts Flicks on the Hill, which is a free outdoor movie series held on Thursday nights in July and August. Head to Cross Street Market, pack a picnic and enjoy a film under the stars.



Canton

As one of Baltimore's revitalized neighborhoods, Canton is a favorite area among young urban professionals and artists. It feels like a small town inside of a large city, and Cantonites love relaxing at Chesapeake Wine Co. and hanging out in the village square. If you want to see something unique, catch one of the Charm City Roller Girls' roller-derby matches at DuBurns Arena. There's also some amazing green space and an inexpensive public pool in Patterson Park.



Hampden

Hampden is the quintessential Baltimore neighborhood, and its residents have the accents to prove it (don't be surprised if everyone calls you "'hon"). The area was made famous from its starring roles in many of John Waters's films, and locals love to hang out on the Avenue or attend one of the neighborhood's annual festivals (Honfest in the spring, HampdenFest in the fall). While you're in the area, grab a drink at cozy Griffith's Tavern.



Harbor East

Harbor East is one of Baltimore's newest neighborhoods, and lately there have been mumblings that it's Charm City's version of NYC's SoHo. It's just a short walk from Inner Harbor, and is the happy host of Landmark Theatres - the only movie theater in the city that allows you to bring in drinks from the bar. This is a great area for shopping, and if you get hungry along the way you can stop at one of Baltimore's delicious food trucks like Gypsy Queen Cafe.



Mount Vernon

The home of Baltimore's elite during the Gilded Age, today Mount Vernon is an epicurean center with cobblestone streets. Visit the first monument ever built for George Washington, browse the Walters Art Museum and eat at one of the fantastic restaurants along Charles Street (or head to Iggie's for one of the best slices of pizza in the city). If you're a history buff, don't forget to stop at the Maryland Historical Society and check out the original copy of "The Star-Spangled Banner."



Little Italy

Little Italy is the perfect place to spend a Friday night in Baltimore, because that's when the locals gather with their lawn chairs to partake in the Little Italy Outdoor Film Festival. Not surprisingly, this authentic Italian neighborhood is home to some of the best eateries in the city: Be sure to check out Cafe Gia and Aldo's Ristorante Italiano. Bocce ball is extremely popular in Little Italy, and you can catch a game among elderly residents from the "old country" and swap stories.

By Nicole Martinez