5 unexpected things you have to do in and around Baltimore

BALTIMORE, MD - DECEMBER 01: An aerial view of Baltimore City skyline on December 1, 2016 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - DECEMBER 01: An aerial view of Baltimore City skyline on December 1, 2016 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /

Baltimore is the biggest city in the state of Maryland, and is an interesting metropolis to say the least. Almost immediately after setting foot in town, visitors are inundated with the history of the region and the United States itself.

Taking step back from the palpable history of the city, Baltimore is also an incredibly enjoyable place to go to on vacation. It has more than a few good surprises hidden throughout the city and beyond. They don’t call Baltimore “Charm City” for nothing.

Hit up the Papermoon Diner

BALTIMORE, MD – SEPTEMBER 06: A general view of the Baltimore skyline during the game between the Baltimore Orioles and the Texas Rangers at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on September 6, 2019 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images) /

Baltimore has an excellent food scene with a lot of great restaurants to choose from. Ida B’s Table, The Charles Baltimore, and The Bluebird Cocktail Room and Pub are all must stop venues. But the Papermoon Diner absolutely has to be on your list.

First and foremost, Papermoon Diner has one of the most unique and eclectic vibes of any restaurant anywhere. Just check out their Instagram to get an idea of what you’re in for. The food is amazing, too. It’s reputed to have one of the best burgers in the city.

See where Edgar Allan Poe died

Edgar Allan Poe is one of America’s most famous authors. Born in Boston in 1809, he would go on to write numerous classic works, including his most infamous poem, “The Raven.” He would die at the age of 40 in Baltimore.

A plaque at the former hospital where he passed marks the spot for visitors. If you want to keep this somewhat morbid yet historical literary tour going, Poe was also buried in Baltimore. The odyssey surrounding his burial and memorialization is worthy of one of his mysteries.

The National Aquarium

While it might not seem like an insider tip to tell people to go to the aquarium, but this one is an absolute must. The National Aquarium in Baltimore is immersive and filled with fantastic exhibits featuring an incredible array of animals.

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The Upland Tropical Rainforest, Amazon River Forest and Australia: Wild Extremes are all marvelous areas. In addition to a wide array of fish, there are also a variety of birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians.

Go to Baltimore’s Graffiti Alley

BALTIMORE – SEPTEMBER 01: A skateboarder carves a graffiti covered bank during a session at the abandoned Lansdowne Skateboard Park in September 1996 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images) /

If Papermoon Diner wasn’t enough of a trip for you, then it’s time to head down to Graffiti Alley. Like the name says, it’s a space that’s been set aside for free expression of anyone’s artistic vision. And it shows.

There are a stunning array of designs and styles on every wall, post and even the ground itself. The space is also constantly evolving, meaning that each visit has the chance to show visitors something new. It’s places like this that put the charm in Charm City.

The American Visionary Art Museum

Baltimore has no shortage of art galleries to choose from. The Baltimore Museum of Art, the Walters Art Museum and the C. Grimaldis Gallery are all stellar spaces, but they are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to art in the city.

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The American Visionary Art Museum provides a place to celebrate the diverse genre of outsider art. Calling it unique would be a huge understatement. Both the permanent exhibits and the rotating shows should not be missed by anyone.