Baltimore for Romantics

In Baltimore, devotion to sports teams and just-plucked-from-the-bay seafood runs deep. But, couples out there, take heart. There's also plenty of inspiration for passion of a more personal nature.

Charm City, after all, is where literary mastermind Edgar Allan Poe fell in love with his future wife (nevermind that she was also his cousin). Now diners duck into a candle-lit tavern that pays homage to him and his last poem, the hauntingly romantic “Annabel Lee.” And native son Barry Levinson made Baltimore the setting for his classic movie “Diner,” about childhood friends reuniting for the nuptials of one of their own.

Set your own romantic scene with an evening stroll, hand-in-hand, along the Inner Harbor waterfront, all aglitter with city lights and their reflections. Then check out some of these other ideas for great Baltimore dates and more romantic things to do, from cozy restaurants and a luxe spa to racy burlesque shows.

Magdalena

Inside luxe The Ivy Hotel, haute cuisine with a casual approach in five dining areas: garden (with terrace views), treasury (with vault), wine cellar, tasting room and bar. Chef Mark Levy (The Point, Adirondacks) turning out photogenic plates of stone bass with smoked butter, roasted duck breast, seared War Shore scallops.

Patterson Park

One of the city’s oldest parks began as a six-acre donation in 1827 and now spans 137 acres with a lake, an ice rink in winter, ball fields, a pool and tennis courts. Victorian Pagoda opens mid-April (noon-6 pm).

Spirit Cruises

Sixty-minute sightseeing cruises, plus longer outings for lunch, brunch, dinner, themed and holiday cruises. Two enclosed, climate-controlled decks, an open-air top deck, DJs and dancing. See schedule online. $18.95-$84.90 (base for standard cruises).

Mount Vernon

Cultural enclave with The Walters Art Museum, Enoch Pratt Free Library, Peabody Institute, Baltimore Basilica, Center Stage and the nation's first Washington Monument. Five blocks north of Inner Harbor.

Sotto Sopra

High ceilings, murals and mosaic floors set the scene for Riccardo Bosio’s housemade pasta, speck tirolesse, bresaola, seafood cioppino. Opera dinners one Sunday a month (call ahead), wine tastings, too. L (M-Sa), D (Daily).

Baltimore Museum of Art

Housing 95,000 objects, from ancient mosaics to contemporary art, including the world's largest holding of works by Henri Matisse.

Creative Alliance

Contemporary art and performance space inside the historic Patterson Theater (circa 1910) hosting comedy, film screenings, experimental music and burlesque shows. Tu-Sa 11 am-7 pm. Free entry, ticket prices vary. Marquee Lounge for dinner and drinks.

Charm City Cakes

Outrageous edible art (helicopters, the Taj Mahal) by Duff Goldman, star of Food Network’s “Ace of Cakes,” and his team. Custom designs (by appt.), plus cupcakes and souvenirs. Hours vary by location.

13th Floor

Atop the 1903 Belvedere (a former hotel that hosted presidents and celebs), an elegant lounge with panoramic views of the cityscape, perfect for private or semi-private soirees.