Travel to Baltimore, Maryland – Episode 438

categories: USA Travel

Hear about travel to Baltimore, Maryland as the Amateur Traveler talks to Nancy Parode from Nancy has lived in the Baltimore area for a total of about 12 years and tells us about her adopted hometown.

“My feeling about Baltimore is that it’s a really fun city. It’s got a unique vibe to it. It’s family friendly. It’s got plenty of things to do if you want to experience nightlife. It’s such a diverse city. There are so many interesting places to eat. You’ll never run out of good food in Baltimore. And it often gets overlooked because Baltimore is so close to Washington D.C. A lot of people will come there they’ll go ‘Baltimore is close but we want to do all the museums and such in D.C.’ and they skip it and I think they are really missing out.”

“Fort McHenry is a must see spot. The Star Spangled Banner just celebrated its 200th anniversary in Baltimore. Fort McHenry has a beautiful new visitor center. They have great park service rangers who can give you a sense of what it was really like to be there during the Battle of Baltimore when Francis Scott Key wrote the Star Spangled Banner and can give you an appreciation for how important the American flag is to our country. I always tell people to go just when the fort is opening or closing because then you can help put up or lower the replica Star Spangle Banner flag that flies over the fort. If you are a history buff I would also suggest going to the Star Spangled Banner Flag House which belonged to Mary Pickersgill who was the seamstress who actually created the Star Spangled Banner. ”

“The number one tourist attraction in Maryland is the National Aquarium in Baltimore. It is at the far end of the inner harbor, the eastern end. It is an excellent aquarium. I have been to many around the U.S. and this is certainly one of the top 2 or 3 I have ever been to. It’s fun for kids. It’s fun for adults. It can get a little busy on the weekends. I always suggest that if you are going on a Saturday or a Sunday you try and get there when it opens. They have reduced rates on Friday nights during the Summer if you just want a quick visit. The Maryland Science Museum is a fun science museum.”

“Fell’s Point is a neighborhood that was originally part of the port of Baltimore. There are lots and lots of restaurants and pubs and eclectic little shops. If you want a place to spend an afternoon shopping and dining, hanging out with friends, enjoying the beautiful weather, Fell’s point is a really neat place to go. It’s also one of the main nightlife areas in Baltimore.

Nancy also tells us of unusual and interesting art museums, Little Italy, great restaurants, crab cakes and baseball at Camden Yards. Hear why your next trip to Maryland needs to include Baltimore.

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Show Notes

Nancy Parode –
Visit Baltimore
Fort McHenry
The Star Spangled Banner Flag House
USS Constellation
National Aquarium
St. Patrick Parade
Maryland Science Center
Harbor Place
Fell’s Point
Baltimore Museum of Industry
American Visionary Art Museum
B&O Railroad Museum
Phillips Seafood
Di Pasquales
Little Italy
The Helmand
Pratt Street Ale House
Pickles Pub
Camden Yards
M & T Bank Stadium
Baltimore Inner Harbor
Baltimore Paddle Boats
Poe’s Grave
Edgar Allan Poe House
Baltimore Basilica
BWI Airport
Eastern Shore of Maryland
Rock Hall, Maryland
Baltimore Kinetic Sculpture Race
Nancy Parode – Sixty and Me
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by Chris Christensen

Chris Christensen is the creator of the Amateur Traveler blog and podcast, and a co-host for This Week in Travel podcast.

3 Responses to “Travel to Baltimore, Maryland – Episode 438”



This is not a good repersentaton of Baltimore’s local character. This actually might be the most generic rehashing of a travel brochure possible. This woman was totally unable to escape the tourist trap of the inner harbor. Please make a new episode that highlights local businesses, local restaurants, the arts, neighborhoods people actually live in and traditions people actually care about

First of all the water taxi is not a good way to get a round the city, in fact it’s quite expensive, has limited hours and stops. The best way is by car as the city is pretty spread out but you can navigate the city using the free bus system called the circulator, the light rail (a super basic above ground metro system), and über or lyft.

Second, she totally missed pretty much everywhere with local character. An example of one awesome neighborhood she only skimmed over; and each neighborhood (federal hill, fells point, locust point, Remington, station north, canton, pigtown, mt vernon etc) can easily be unpacked the same way

Hamden- setting of john waters classic hair spray, shopping in boutiques (antiques- avenue antiques and paradiso, kitch- Hamden junque, dress shop- double Dutch and hunting ground ), eating in great restaurants; Woodberry kitchen- award winning farm to table restaurant by spike gerde, blue pit BBQ-awesome whiskey bar with outdoor patio and amazing food, klein du veil- Belgian beer bar with 150 offerings, corner byob & other corner bar- in house charcuterie and weeping bits cooking, the wine source- amazing wine, beer, cheese selection with knowledgeable staff, union craft brewery- local brewery with out door events like live music and outdoors movies

Also she Easily gave the worst suggestions on food possible— ex Phillips is a chain that sources crab meat from south east Asia:

Here are some true suggestions;

Best crab cakes; faidely’s in lexington market

Best place for tourists to pick crabs; nick’s crab house, captain James, rip tide by the bay

Best fine dining seafood; Thames st oyster house

Best ethnic food; Ethiopian just like dc but lower price tag, fine dining Indian food the ambassador in Charles village and indigma in mt Vernon for buffets are very affordable

Best beer bars; brewers art in mt Vernon, max’s in fells point, Stillwater’s of love and regret

Best dive bars; mt royal tavern and 1919

Best causal dining; iggie’s pizza, hamilton tavern- locally sourced bar food, Touloulou- new Orleans inspired food

Fine dining- The fork and wrench, parts and labor, pazo, the other corner, salt

Also st Patrick’s day is fun but there other great things to do in Baltimore:
– artscape- the largest free outdoor arts festival on the east coast with large scale installations and live music

– pirate festival- fells point has a silly day of both family fun and drinking on the water

– any raven’s and steeler’s game football tailgate

– out door movies all summer long- the visionary art museum projects them on the side of their building you sit on the natural amphitheater of the hill past showings

– first Thursday’s concerts – local radio station puts on a free concert by the water in canton

I usually enjoy these podcasts and have been listening to them for over two years. I was excited to hear about your representation of my hometown but was very disappointed. Baltimore is a wonderful, quirky town with something for everyone. Hopefully my comments will help a visitor actually enjoy Baltimore’s visit here.

Chris Christensen (@chris2x)



Been listening to the podcast for almost 2 years and I really enjoy it. You do a great job and thanks for opening up so many places to me and so many people.
I’ve just listened to the episode on Baltimore and as I am a born and bred Baltimorian, I had some input. The episode is very thorough but I just wanted to add some places and some corrections. First, (this drives me crazy) Thames St in Fells Point is actually pronounced with the TH, not like Tames. And Broadway and Aliceanna Sts (pronounced Alizann) have, arguably better nightlife and less crowded bars on a Friday or Saturday night.
Another neighborhood around the inner harbor is Federal Hill so named after the steep hill that borders the harbor with a cannon situated on top to shoot into downtown should there be an uprising (as there was during the civil war). Federal Hill is another great spot for nightlife and the Cross St Market is a great place for lunch or just food shopping during the day. Also, there is a free bus service called the Charm City Connector that links Locust point, Federal Hill, Inner Harbor, Downtown, Fells Point, and Canton. Lastly there are a few places where you can rent sailboats or be taken out on one by a qualified skipper. The first is Downtown Sailing Center in Locust Point which offers private lessons, and the second is Getaway Sailing in Canton which offers harbor cruises. I would absolutely stress the importance of getting out on the water while in a harbor city, and if someone were to come to Baltimore for just an afternoon, they should go sailing or take a tour boat.

Sorry that’s so long, Baltimore is just such a great place to live!




Having lived in Germantown MD in 1987-88, Baltimore had the reputation as a “only if you have to” location. Things looked to be on their way up when I visited the Convention Center shortly after the Camden Yards were finished, and am now looking forward to seeing the changes in the intervening years.

Anyway, I must take exception to one of the “Only in Baltimore” ideas. The Kinetic Sculpture Race has been going on in Arcata, CA for 30 years prior to it appearing in Baltimore. I’m sure the East Coast Championships are a lot of fun, but a one day race seems kind of limited. Much of the fun of the race is hanging out in the evenings and recapping the events of the day, and watching the sculptures degrade after multiple days of racing/sand/mud/ocean/etc.

I also understand there are now several other races around the country. While this is a pretty unique and fun thing to see/do, I would certainly not classify it as “Only in Baltimore!”

And thanks for mentioning Old Bay at the end. I was almost shouting at the iPod: “What about OLD BAY” when it was finally noted. I really enjoyed the Crab Feeds during my couple years there.

Best to you, thanks for another fun episode.

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