WELCOME TO BALTIMORE
To welcome Summit attendees to Baltimore, the team at the Network for Public Health Law’s Eastern Region Office based at the University of Maryland Carey School of Law has put together the following list of museums, attractions, and great places to eat. If you have questions about any of these recommendations, find an Eastern Region member of the Network at the Summit or email Kathi Hoke at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Visit the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture, with educational and interactive displays across 82,000 square feet. The permanent collection explores more than 400 years of Maryland African American History in the areas of industry, politics, sports, media, the arts, education, the military, and more. The currently featured special collection Men of Change: Power. Triumph. Truth. profiles revolutionary men—including Muhammad Ali, James Baldwin, Ta-Nehisi Coates, W.E.B Du Bois, and Kendrick Lamar—whose journeys altered the history and culture of the country. Note the museum is closed Tuesday and Wednesday.
Even if you are from Kentucky, you will enjoy a taste of Baltimore’s own Sagamore Spirits rye whiskey. You can tour the distillery or take a class to make your own rocks glass or craft your own cocktail. Take home some fine grain-to-glass whiskey. The distillery is closed Mondays and Tuesdays. If you’re more of a beer person, visit the Guinness Brewery in Baltimore for a tour—and learn how to provide the perfect pour. This can close out your trip on Thursday as the brewery is closed Monday through Wednesday.
Baltimore has its own version of the World Trade Center with the Top of the World Observation Level with incredible, panoramic views of the City, particularly of the harbor area. The Top of the World is closed Monday through Wednesday so get your views in early if you’re arriving Sunday or at the close of the Summit on Thursday!
Enjoy the whacky and amazing American Visionary Arts Museum with its permanent collection of self-taught, intuitive artistry and the special collections, including Healing and the Art of Compassion (or Lack Thereof!); The Science and Mystery of Sleep; Esther and the Dream of One Loving Human Family; and A Visionary Spirit for Invention. The AVAM is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. If you’re looking for a unique gift for yourself or someone special, check out the AVAM gift shop Sideshow, which the Washington Post describes as a jam-packed, kaleidoscopic closet of curiosities divided into novelties, books, and original art.
Another can’t miss art museum is the Baltimore Museum of Art near the Johns Hopkins University campus. Inside, the museum’s permanent African Art collection boasts works from more than 200 African cultures, from ancient Egypt to contemporary Ethiopia. The temporary exhibit, Guarding the Art, consists of works across various media forms that were selected by the security staff that protects the BMA. The colorful Joan Mitchell exhibit contains some rarely seen early paintings and drawings and some well-known masterpieces from this female painter who broke through the 1950s male-dominated art scene with dynamic abstract works. Outside, you can explore the sculpture gardens. The best part is this is all FREE! To make sure visitors can keep a safe distance from others, you must reserve your free timed pass. The museum is closed Mondays and Tuesdays and is open late on Thursdays. If all the art leaves you hungry, have an amazing meal at Gertrude’s inside the BMA.
Are you a John Waters fan? If so, you must head up to the Avenue in Hampden for a little of John Waters’ Baltimore. A lot of quirky shopping and fun restaurants. John Waters is known to pop into Rocket to Venus. And Hampden has hands down the best funky vegetarian and vegan food at Golden West Café.
If you want to see an Australian River Gorge but do not have the time to fly to Australia, we have you covered at the National Aquarium. You can experience Maryland’s shore habitats, the Amazon River Forest, jellyfish galore, and sharks!
A hidden gem can be found in Patterson Park, a beautiful 133-acre park located in southeast Baltimore. It is the oldest park in Baltimore City, hosting the iconic Pagoda – a three story observatory that sits atop historic Hampstead Hill. Your ulterior motive in going there is to stop by B’More Licks for ice cream, a unanimous favorite for the creamiest of creamy ice cream.
Are you into the history of the American Revolution? Do you love birds? If either or both, visit Fort McHenry where Francis Scott Key wrote the Star Spangled Banner and where more than 250 species of birds, including the glorious Oriole, can be spotted.
While we were unable to get a tour scheduled due to the pandemic, read here about the unmatched Civil Rights Tour of Baltimore curated by Professor Larry Gibson of the University of Maryland Carey School of Law and visit those sites on your own as time allows.
For the runners and walkers, you cannot beat traversing the Waterfront Promenade! There are many course options so pick the views and length that work for you. At this time of year, you will never be alone on the course as Baltimore is a hotbed of early morning and evening runners.
Feeling crabby? While there are MANY good choices around, our favorite is Nick’s Fish House because all the food is excellent and the location—right on the water but hidden away—is unbeatable.
For the lawyers . . . swing by the late Justice Thurgood Marshall’s boyhood home!
A few favorite eateries: Abby Burger Bistro; Sweet Peaz Southern Kitchen; HomeSlyce; SoBo Café ; Miss Shirley’s Café (breakfast/lunch/brunch); Shoyu Sushi; Ramen Utsuke; Isabella’s (lunch); Vaccaro’s (Italian desserts).