Bring on the Charm!

September 1, 2019, Feature, by Paula Jacoby-Garrett

2019 September Conference Bring on the Charm 410

“Baltimore has more history and unspoiled charm tucked away in quiet corners than most American cities,” says William G. “Bill” Evans, the advertising exec who coined Baltimore’s “Charm City” nickname.

This year, the NRPA Annual Conference will take place September 24–26, 2019, in “Charm City” — Baltimore, Maryland. This waterfront community is known for its walkable, vibrant downtown community with unique attractions, vast history and a wide variety of delectable choices.

Baltimore’s rich history began in the early 17th century. The harbor was a trade route with England for tobacco and later for sugar from the Caribbean. At one point, Baltimore was one of the nation’s leading ports of entry for European immigrants. It played a crucial role in the American Revolution and was attacked by the British in 1814. Francis Scott Key was present during this conflict and, later wrote “The Star-Spangled Banner” about watching our nation’s flag flying through the heat of the battle.

After the revolution, Baltimore continued to be an active trading port and became a vibrant manufacturing center. It wasn’t until after the Civil War that its economy diminished, and a widespread fire in 1904 further decimated the city. Baltimore served as an essential supply and shipbuilding center during WWI and WWII, but later, in the 1960s and 1970s, the city declined until urban renewal efforts, beginning in the 1980s, helped spur its growth. Today, Baltimore is a vibrant community with a population of more than 600,000. It is divided into distinct and unique neighborhoods, each with their own personality and character. Famous residents of Baltimore include author Edgar Allan Poe, musician James Hubert “Eubie” Blake, singer Billie Holiday and, this year’s keynote speaker, Cal Ripken Jr.

So, join us in the “Charm City” for our annual conference, a taste of our nation’s history and all that this delightful city has to offer.

Fun Things to Do

Baltimore Ghost Tours
Looking for something a bit out of the ordinary? The Baltimore Ghost Tours have been sharing Maryland’s haunted history since 2001. Check online for a list of specific tours offered.
Address: 731 South Broadway (on the sidewalk outside Max’s Sidebar), Baltimore, MD 21231
Hours: Tours begin at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday; on Friday, tours run at 7 p.m., 7:30 p.m. and 8 p.m.; on Saturday, tours run at 3 p.m., 7 p.m., 7:30 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Website: baltimoreghosttours.com
Admission: Tickets range from $16 and up. Pub walks are for those over 21 only.

Baltimore Water Taxi
What a fantastic way to see Baltimore — from the water! The Baltimore taxi has a variety of routes along the harbor to take you to a specific destination or for a tour of the harbor.
Address: Docks from several locations.
Hours: Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Website: https://baltimorewatertaxi.com
Admission: Vary by length and trip type; see website for more information.

Historic Ships in Baltimore
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, these four ships offer a unique snapshot of our nation’s history. They include the USS Constellation (the Navy’s last all-sail warship), the USS Torsk (WWII submarine), Taney (USGC Cutter and last vessel to witness the attack on Pearl Harbor) and the Lightship 116 Chesapeake.
Address: 301 East Pratt St.,
Baltimore, MD 21202
Hours: See website for current hours.
Website: https://baltimore.org/listings/historic-sites/historic-ships-baltimore
Admission: Adults $15, children $7, seniors $13

Maryland Zoo
This zoo was created in 1876 and is the third oldest zoo in the United States. While the zoo offers a wide variety of animals to see, it is best known for its award-winning penguin exhibit and has the largest African penguin-breeding colony in North America.
Address: 1 Safari Pl., Baltimore, MD 21217
Hours: Daily, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Website: www.marylandzoo.org
Admission: Adults $21.99, children $17.99, seniors $18.99

Maryland Science Center
From the tiniest of cells to the vast realm of outer space — the Maryland Science Center has interactive exhibits that engage visitors of every age.
Address: 601 Light St.,
Baltimore, MD 21230
Hours: Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Website: www.mdsci.org
Admission: Adults $25.95, children $19.95, seniors $24.95

National Aquarium
For those interested in life beneath our ocean’s surface, the National Aquarium has exhibits, ranging from the interactive living seashore and dolphin discovery to shark alley and Australia’s Wild Extremes.
Address: 501 East Pratt St.,
Baltimore, MD 21202
Hours: Saturday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Friday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Website: www.aqua.org
Admission: Adults $39.95, children $29.95, seniors $34.95

Ripley’s Believe It or Not!
From the unusual to the odd, to the downright weird — Ripley’s Believe It or Not! never ceases to amaze visitors.
Address: 301 Light St.,
Baltimore, MD 21202
Hours: Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Website: www.ripleys.com/baltimore
Admission: Main attraction: adults $17.99, children $11.99

Top of the World Observation Level
For an amazing view overlooking the city, check out the Top of the World Observation Level located on the world’s tallest pentagonal building.
Address: World Trade Center, 401 East Pratt St., 27th floor, Baltimore, MD 21202
Hours: Wednesday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Friday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Website: viewbaltimore.org
Admission: Adults $6, children $4, seniors or military $5

Urban Pirates
Looking for an adventure that you can’t get in most cities? How about a ride on a pirate ship? You will not only get to set sail out on an ocean adventure, but you will learn how to talk and dance like a pirate.
Address: 911 South Ann St.,
Baltimore, MD 21231
Hours: See website for cruise options and schedules.
Website: www.urbanpirates.com
Admission: For the Family Adventure: adults and children $22, under 2 years old $12. Other cruises are available, see website for more information.

Revisit History

Bromo Seltzer Arts Tower
Constructed in 1911, the Bromo Seltzer Tower is a 15-story landmark, complete with a functional clock tower. Today, the building serves as a piece of history and houses resident artists.
Address: 21 Eutaw St.,
Baltimore, MD 21201
Hours: Tours of the tower on Saturdays only at 11:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 1:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.
Website: www.bromoseltzertower.com
Admission: $8

Civil War Museum at President Street Station
The President Street Station has a rich history and has the distinction of being the oldest-surviving railroad station in an urban setting. This museum tells the tale of early railroad travel, including the Underground Railroad.
Address: 601 South President St.,
Baltimore, MD 21202
Hours: Friday through Monday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Website: http://baltimorecivilwarmuseum.com
Admission: Adults $3, students $2, children free

Frederick Douglass-Isaac Myers Maritime Park
This living classroom looks not only at the lives of Frederick Douglass and Isaac Myers, but also at the overall contribution of African Americans in the maritime industry of Baltimore.
Address: 1417 Thames St.,
Baltimore, MD 21231
Hours: Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Saturday through Sunday, 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Website: https://livingclassrooms.org/programs/frederick-douglass-isaac-myers-maritime-park
Admission: Adults $5, children $2, seniors $4

Fort McHenry National Monument
Fort McHenry was the site of the British attack on Baltimore Harbor during the War of 1812. This site is where Francis Scott Key became inspired during the battle to write the Star-Spangled Banner. The fort was built in 1798 and designated a national park in 1925. Later, in 1939, it was redesignated as a national monument.
Address: 2400 East Fort Ave.,
Baltimore, MD 21230
Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Website: www.nps.gov/fomc/index.htm
Admission: Adults $15, children 15 and under are free; NPS passes are accepted.

Maryland Historical Society
Home to the most significant collection of Maryland artifacts, this museum houses Native American artifacts, items from the Revolutionary War, paintings, furniture and other historical items.
Address: 201 West Monument St., Baltimore, MD 21201
Hours: Wednesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Website: https://mdhs.org
Admission: Adults $9, children $6, seniors $7

Star-Spangled Banner Flag House
Once Mary Pickersgill’s home and flag-making business, this building was where the flag that inspired Francis Scott Key to write the national anthem was created.
Address: 844 East Pratt St.,
Baltimore, MD 21202
Hours: Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Website: www.flaghouse.org
Admission: Adults $9, students $7, children (6 and under) free, seniors/military $8

Washington Monument
The first monument to George Washington, this historic structure was refurbished in 2010 and, in 2015, reopened after an extensive renovation.
Address: 699 Washington Pl.,
Baltimore, MD 21201
Hours: Wednesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Website: http://mvpconservancy.org/the-monument
Admission: Adults $6, children $4

Westminster Hall and Burying Ground
This historic church, complete with an 1882 pipe organ, is the final resting place of Edgar Allan Poe. The site was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974.
Address: 519 West Fayette St.,
Baltimore, MD 21201
Hours: During daylight hours.
Website: www.law.umaryland.edu/westminster
Admission: Outside grounds are free of charge; public guided tours are offered for a fee: adults $5, children and seniors $3

Visit a Museum

Babe Ruth Birthplace Museum
If you are a baseball fan, this museum is for you. It highlights the life and achievements of sports legend Babe Ruth.
Address: 216 Emory St.,
Baltimore, MD 21230
Hours: Monday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Website: https://baberuthmuseum.org
Admission: Adults $10, children $5, seniors/military $8

Baltimore Museum of Industry
The Baltimore Museum of Industry focuses on Maryland’s contribution and legacy in the industrial revolution.
Address: 1415 Key Hwy.,
Baltimore, MD 21230
Hours: Tuesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Website: www.thebmi.org
Admission: Adults $12, children $7 (6 and under free), seniors $9

B & O Railroad Museum
The museum opened in 1953 and has the most significant railroad collection in the United States.
Address: 901 West Pratt St.,
Baltimore, MD 21223
Hours: Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Website: www.borail.org
Admission: Adults $20, children $12, seniors $17

Port Discovery Children’s Museum
This museum is a family favorite, with hands-on, interactive and exploratory activities for children of all ages. Visitors can climb high in the sky climber, visit a port, create art and music and, best of all — play.
Address: 35 Market Pl.,
Baltimore, MD 21202
Hours: Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.
Website: https://tinyurl.com/yyghby65
Admission: Ages 1 and up $17.95

View Art or Make Art

American Visionary Art Museum
This museum highlights works from self-taught artists in both permanent and temporary collections.
Address: 800 Key Hwy.,
Baltimore, MD 21230
Hours: Tuesday through Sunday,
10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Website: http://avam.org
Admission: Adults $15.95, students $9.95, seniors $13.95

Walters Art Museum
Opened in 1934, the Walters Art Museum started as a gift from Henry Walters. Today, the museum houses more than 36,000 objects from across the globe.
Address: 600 North Charles St.,
Baltimore, MD 21201
Hours: Wednesday and Friday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Thursday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Website: https://thewalters.org
Admission: Free

Everyman Theatre
This local performing arts theater provides plays, classes and workshops for the community.
Address: 315 West Fayette St.,
Baltimore, MD 21201
Hours: See website for current season schedule and pricing.
Website: https://everymantheatre.org

Hippodrome Theatre at France-Merrick Performing Arts Center
Opened in 1914, this historic theater continues to provide entertainment for the Baltimore community, including Broadway shows, dance performances, comedies and musicals.
Address: 12 North Eutaw St.,
Baltimore, MD 21201
Hours: See website for current season schedule and pricing.
Website: www.france-merrickpac.com/index.php

Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
Established in 1916, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra has an annual attendance of more than 350,000 concert attendees and has had 89 world premiere performances. It was the first orchestra in the United States to have a female musical director.
Address: 1212 Cathedral St.,
Baltimore, MD 21201
Hours: See website for current season schedule and pricing.
Website: www.bsomusic.org

Baltimore Museum of Art
Collections from the art masters, stunning sculpture gardens and vast open spaces make this art museum a must-see.
Address: 10 Art Museum Dr.,
Baltimore, MD 21218
Hours: Wednesday through Sunday,
10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Website: https://artbma.org
Admission: Free

Corradetti Glassblowing Studio
Whether you enjoy the art of glass blowing or want to try it yourself, the Corradetti Glassblowing Studio is a one-of-a-kind workshop and gallery.
Address: 2010 Clipper Park Rd., #119, Baltimore, MD 21211
Gallery Hours: Wednesday through Friday, 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. See the website for workshop schedules.
Website: www.corradetti.com
Admission: No charge for the gallery, workshop cost varies.

Where to Eat

Baltimore consists of a host of neighborhoods, each distinctive and one of a kind. Each neighborhood offers a unique dining experience with plenty of restaurant options.

Bromo Tower Arts & Entertainment District
A thriving downtown arts district.

Canton
Known for its traditional Baltimore row houses and churches, this neighborhood centers around O’Donnell Square.

Federal Hill
Within walking distance to the harbor, this neighborhood is popular with young professionals. Federal Hill Park has some of the best views in the area.

Fell’s Point
Picturesque views of the waterfront coupled with cobblestone streets make this neighborhood a popular tourist choice. A wide variety of stores and boutiques make this a popular shopping area as well.

Hampden
A modest neighborhood community with a small-town feel, Hampden’s restaurants and stores are centered around the Avenue (36th St.).

Harbor East
This is a newly renovated area that has upscale charm and is popular with both locals and visitors.

Inner Harbor
The Inner Harbor is located along the waterfront and is a bustling, vibrant tourist area with a wide variety of hotels and the convention center.

Little Italy
A neighborhood with old-world charm, Little Italy is the place to experience a taste of the homeland.

Mount Vernon
Considered the cultural district of Baltimore, this neighborhood is full of the arts and notable architecture.

Station North
This area was the first area in Baltimore to be designated as an arts and entertainment district.

 

Bookmark these maps to help guide you during your visit to Baltimore

General city map  
Convention center map, including floor plans 
Baltimore park locations 

Baltimore Parks

The city of Baltimore is a leader in parks and recreation, with 262 parks and almost 6,000 acres set aside for parks and urban wilderness. More than a third of the city is covered by green space, and 85 percent of the population is within walkable park access. Beyond its extensive green space, Baltimore has painstakingly inventoried and assessed its tree population. There are more than 120,000 trees within the city limits, with 28,000 of them located in parks. Baltimore’s tree inventory is available online and includes location and tree identification. So, if a tour of trees is up your alley — check out the Baltimore Tree Inventory map for the complete inventory of trees or Baltimore’s Notable and Favorite Trees for a list of favorite trees, state champions, city champions, exemplary specimens, unusual species, notable, historic and memorable trees.

Anne Arundel County Recreation and Parks Welcomes NRPA’s 2019 Conference Attendees

Enjoy your visit, explore our county and restore yourself at our signature festival following the conference.
Twist & Stout, a fine wine and craft beer festival, will feature live music from some of the region’s best bands, gourmet food trucks from around the state and juried artisan vendors creating on-site. Set at the picturesque Quiet Waters Park in Annapolis, Maryland, the activities provide the perfect ambiance for a fun-filled fall day in the park. The 2019 festival, to be held on Saturday, September 28, is expected to draw close to 3,000 attendees. This year, proceeds will go to the Friends of Quiet Waters Park Nature Center Campaign, which promotes environmental education, advocacy and stewardship. In addition, a portion of the proceeds will be allocated to our project partnership with the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation for new athletic fields in Brooklyn Park. For more information, visit the Twist & Stout website. 

Paula Jacoby-Garrett is a Freelance Writer located in Las Vegas, Nevada.