With the weather finally breaking and the temperatures staying in the range where people like to hang out, now’s the time to Visit Baltimore. After being invited to come to visit this city with its rich history, I was elated to take a tour since I had not been to Baltimore in over 12 years. Plus, my favorite television drama ever is, of course, The Wire. I’ve always promised myself that the next time I visited the Maryland city, I would find someone local to take me to the neighborhoods where the gritty drama was filmed and represented. Luckily for me, the Visit Baltimore team had that in mind.
Outside of the crabs that the city is famous for, Baltimore also has a bad rap due to a show like The Wire and I, growing up in New York City, would always hear stories of grief, poverty, crime, and not the type of city you’d want to live or visit. With that in mind, I also had preconceived notions of what Baltimore was about. But, also coming from New York, who am I to speak about bad neighborhoods, crime, and murder when New York was once a leader in all those categories?
Taking my very first ride on an Amtrak, yes, my VERY first time boarding the famed train. I’m thinking the purpose of this trip is to show outsiders that Baltimore is safe and can be visited with the rich culture it possesses, I would be a fool not to give it a chance.
Al Hutchinson, who is President & CEO of Visit Baltimore assured us of the great aspects of Charm City.
“Baltimore is a resilient city on the rise, where its authenticity is shaping the narrative, we are trying to share with the world. We are proud of our passionate community of artists, makers, entrepreneurs, and change-makers who not only call this city home but continue to innovate and make Charm City an ever-inspiring place.”
I must admit that after arriving there, my mind was ready for what Charm City had to offer.
There is always beauty in knowing when you are surrounded by Black ownership so the first stop was at Hotel Revival, where we were to rest our heads while exploring the goodness of the city. I only wish that I can go into detail about each place we visited but, even then, it probably wouldn’t do those venues justice. Yet I will mention all the places we did go to for the southern (Can it be called southern if it’s Maryland, since I’m from the north?) hospitality displayed towards us.
Every city and state has its history and I find it intriguing to learn what the city’s backstory is. That curiosity was fulfilled when we went to The Underground Railroad, where we viewed the latest permanent exhibition: Freedom Seekers On The B&O Railroad. My Wire goal was fulfilled while taking a walk through Baltimore’s Marble Hill section as we walked through the “hood” where some of us recalled scenes from the HBO show as we were getting a guided tour.
The convenience of visiting Marble Hill landed us at the Lillie Carroll Jackson Civil Rights Museum where we learned so much about “How A Neighborhood Shaped the Civil Rights Movement.” And why would you go to Baltimore without heading to the Reginald F. Lewis Museum.
Hungry minds need to be fed, so we made a stop at Hood Fellas.
After gaining cultural knowledge throughout the day, the night took us to Magdalena, which is located in the Black-owned The Ivy Hotel where we were treated like royalty with exquisite foods, drinks, and tasty desserts.
Hutchinson reminds us of the cultural experience one can gain while in Baltimore.
“Baltimore is truly one of the last places in America where you can have an authentic cultural experience — where art is seen as a catalyst for conversation, food as a means of connection, and history as an opportunity for education. When travelers come to Baltimore, we hope they take the time to explore our unique neighborhoods, local businesses, learn more about our history, experience our creative community, and take something meaningful home with them.”
Nothing helps the culture more than small businesses that plant their seeds in the neighborhood. Having breakfast at Cuples Tea House reminded me of how important it is to visit those who choose to grow in the neighborhood.
Since Baltimore’s growth is making the city pop again, they were able to wrestle away the CIAA (Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association, which is the nation’s first African American athletic conference) basketball tournament which has been planted in North Carolina for many years. Realizing that Baltimore is about to take over, the conference will hold its playoffs in Charm City for the next several years.
There needs to be an arena to hold the playoffs, so the reconstruction of what is now known as the CFB Bank Arena is making the venue one of the most sought-after places for sports, concerts, and family functions.
I definitely enjoyed my stay and suggest that you make your way there. I wish I could have given the owners of the places we went to more props, but, you can definitely check out the links provided with each to check the