Baltimore’s Best Sights
Best Rooftop Rainforest: Sure, the National Aquarium in Baltimore has huge tanks filled with sharks and dolphins, but take the escalator up to the wonderful rain forest early in the morning to see and hear birds, primates, lizards, and other denizens of this hot, humid, lush aerie greet the day.
Best Aerial View: There’s no finer way to get a completely 360° view of the city of Baltimore than from the huge glass windows around the Top of the World Observation Deck, located on the 27th floor of the World Trade Center at the Inner Harbor; go around sunset for the most dramatic photo opportunities.
Best Park: You can judge the success of a city park by the diversity of the residents who use it; that makes Canton’s Patterson Park the finest in Baltimore, with 155 acres of rolling hills and trees; don’t miss out on climbing the pagoda for a great view of the city’s waterfront neighborhoods.
Best Neon Sign: No amount of flashy new waterfront condos or upscale residences can dim the warm red industrial glow of the enormous Domino Sugars sign in Federal Hill that watches over the Inner Harbor and Fell’s Point.
Best Place for a Picnic: Grab a freshly made crab-cake sandwich from nearby Cross Street Market and walk a few blocks up to the top of Federal Hill Park for a regal view of the boats and bustle of the Inner Harbor.
Best Cathedral: America’s first cathedral has just undergone a stunning renovation and restoration that makes the Basilica of the Assumption shine even more brightly than the day it was opened in 1821.
Best Museum: It’s hard to understand the breadth and quality of the collections at the Walters Art Museum in Mount Vernon until you see them yourself; from Old Masters to Asian artifacts and ancient empires, there’s something astounding and unexpected in every gallery and around every corner.
Best Historic Mansion That’s Not Downtown: Head north up Charles Street, past the grand homes and universities of northern Baltimore, to the soaring columns, amazing art collections, and lush landscapes of the house known simply as Evergreen.
Best Place to Rekindle Your Patriotism: From a squat, star-shaped fortress perched on a spit of land southeast of downtown, some 60 brave soldiers held off an invading British fleet in 1814 and spared the city of Baltimore; thus was born the U.S. national anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner,” and the legend of the Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine.
Best Museum the Likes of Which You’ve Never Seen Before: Built by the vision and will of one determined couple, the National Great Blacks in Wax Museum will change the way you view the history of race relations in America, and inform you about how African Americans have made their place in an often hostile society.
© Geoff Brown from Moon Baltimore, 1st Edition