Noah and I have been married for 11 years… That’s a difficult number to understand, since we haven’t aged a day! 😂🤷🏼♀️
When we told people we were going to Baltimore for our anniversary, they looked at us like we were crazy. “Baltimore isn’t romantic!” they said…Honestly, we thought they might be right. But, something was pulling us to explore and prove everyone (including our beloved Anthony Bourdain) wrong.
Noah and I aren’t the typical married couple, I guess… Real life is romantic to us. Learning and discussing our world and our role in it binds us closer.
Baltimore can be romantic in every sense of the word. The inner-harbour is beautiful, the cobblestone streets of Fells Point are gorgeous, the food and music scene is to die for. And, it’s growing every day!
But, Baltimore also paints a picture of American history, pain, sadness, victory, and triumph. It was the most northern “southern” city and the most southern “northern” city at the same time. There were and always have been southern sympathizers. Yet, it is also where many slaves left the south to find freedom in the north starting…. in Baltimore.
And, it’s the only US fort that has never flown an enemy flag.
From meeting and spending time with musicians from Harlem, to talking to a father from Negril, Jamaica, to taking natural curly hair advice from a lifetime Baltimorean – the people are incredibly friendly, welcoming, and proud of their city on the bay.
I would welcome anyone:
- to listen to the stories of Edgar Allen Poe while sipping a drink at America’s oldest pub (The Horse You Came In On),
- to listen to jazz and enjoy local oysters at Keystone Korner,
- to sail around the Harbour with America’s Sailing Tours,
- to have a crab feast at L.P. Steamers,
- to see Fort McHenry where Francis Scott Key penned The Star Spangled Banner,
- to walk around Fells Point and get lost in the row houses and architecture,
- to watch a sunset at Canton Park
Then, tell me again how Baltimore isn’t romantic and isn’t a city to love.
Baltimore is “Charm City” — They certainly live up to their name!
Take the “A” Train – In this case…The Acela
We bought business class tickets on the Amtrak from the new Moynihan (Penn) Station in New York City and we arrived at the Baltimore Penn Station in about 2.5 hours. Going through New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Maryland was beautiful and educational.
The Acela is one of the most beloved lines in the Amtrak system. It runs from Washington D.C. to Boston, stopping in Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York City. It is supposedly one of the smoothest and most scenic routes.
I haven’t been on any other Amtrak routes, but if Germany is a 10/10 for their ICE trains, this would be about a 6/10. I’d compare it more to the trains in Italy… It’s okay… America has a long way to go on train travel and transportation, and it’s an infrastructure venture that I support whole-heartedly. The railways are so much more beautiful, relaxing, and peaceful than our interstates or plane travel. (But, I digress…)
It is a beautiful part of the country….
Wine, Oysters, and Jazz
After we checked-in to the beautiful Marriott Waterfront Baltimore hotel, we made our way to Keystone Korner to see Ravi Coltrane perform for the first time since COVID. The show started about an hour late, and you could tell the staff was new. However, everyone was trying their best, and everyone was in happy and eager spirits. We’re all excited to be back to enjoying life after quarantine! The venue is absolutely stunning, the food was superb, and the experience was an absolute joy. We highly recommend a date night at this cozy venue.
American Sailing Tours
On Saturday morning, we walked along the inner-harbor to catch a history sail with American Sailing Tours. The captain and crew were informative and welcoming. The stories of Baltimore’s history flowed perfectly with our smooth and peaceful sail. Learning about the history of piracy, traitors, Shanghaied sailors, voyagers, explorers, traders, and politicians in Baltimore was fascinating! You also get a firm understanding as to why Baltimoreans are so proud! They truly helped America win the Revolutionary War!
Locust Point Steamers
L.P. Steamers is a hole-in-the-wall that most tourists wouldn’t find on their own. However, I urge you to seek it out! We’ve never had better seafood! And, when in Maryland, you really have to try the Maryland Blue Crab! Don’t let the humble decor deter you, this meal would cost over $150 anywhere else, but at L.P. Steamers – the “Boat Load of Food” comes with a pitcher of beer, all for $65!
Looking out at the Bay from Fort McHenry, you see the Francis Scott Key Bridge. It’s from that location that he penned the infamous Star Spangled Banner poem. Imagining the entire Bay filled with British ships, it’s difficult to understand how the fort withstood the battle. Yet, the American flag at Fort McHenry withstood all of the fire and battles. It is the ONLY fort in the USA that has never flown an enemy flag… That’s impressive!
Fort McHenry is a living museum and park. Many families were picnicking, flying kites, walking the perimeter, and simply watching the harbor. It’s peaceful, it’s beautiful, it’s haunting. It’s certainly worth a visit.
Nightlife, culture, views, cobblestone, row houses, romantic and historic streets – all of this is found in the Fells Point neighborhood. A trip to Baltimore wouldn’t be complete without a meal (or four) in Fells Point. Just walking around the small streets and alleyways take you back in time to the colonies, the Revolutionary War, imagining the Underground Railroad, and thinking of the sordid history of this neighborhood during the time when it was a shipyard and dock for pirates, sailors, and all sorts of political and military mishaps.
Serendipitous for us, Baltimore even has a Nepenthe! Those of you who know us well, know that we were married in Big Sur, and while we lived in California, we returned to Big Sur and ate at Nepenthe every year on our anniversary. This was the first year that we’ve lived on the other side of the country. We were missing our little coastal restaurant…
However, Baltimore has Nepenthe Brewery in Hampden! So, of course we had to check that out! The brewery was great, and Hampden was really fun! Lots of bookstores, vintage record shops, breweries, coffee shops, etc. It’s where “real” Baltimore begins, no tourists… Just families, young people, and community.
Innovation and Education
Noah and I love systems – you can check out this post for more on that… We really loved two innovative Baltimorean concepts.
- Living Classrooms
- A non-profit organization that has locations all around the inner-harbor to teach children about urban gardening and food sourcing, meteorology, sailing, clean energy, infrastructure, manufacturing, and more! The Living Classrooms motto is to learn by doing, and they teach school-aged-children real-life skills that can be applied to their future careers! We loved seeing their sailboats, weather station, and energy experiments!
- Mr. and Professor Trash Wheel
- Two college students decided to take it upon themselves to clean up the Baltimore Harbor. They created Mr. Trash Wheel – a solar-powered water wheel that powers a conveyor belt that drags trash out of the harbor and deposits it in a dumpster. An easy solution to a complex problem that has damaged the landscape, wildlife, and water supply for a century. Mr. Trash Wheel holds the record between the two, picking up 19 TONS of garbage in a single day!!! Both Mr. Trash Wheel and Professor Trash Wheel have fun features, googly-eyes and their own Twitter Handles.
Other Posts About our East Coast Adventures
- What to Pack for Your First Trip to NYC
- Toasting Beacon and the Hudson River Valley
- Toasting the Moon in North Fork, Long Island
- Top of the Rock, The Edge, One World and the Empire State Building
As always, don’t forget to Toast The Moon to all of your international travels by visiting our store, and make sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and the ‘gram to catch all of our latest posts and adventures!
Noah and Majhon