When I talked with the Gjerdes about “their Baltimore," chef Spike reminded me, “This is a place where you’re rewarded if you dig a little deeper, go a bit farther afield.” And I couldn’t agree more. The Inner Harbor anchors our adventures in Baltimore’s ever-evolving food and cultural scenes, retail zones and historic areas. Although I would willingly adopt the Gjerdes’ city tour as my own, there’s no shortage of must-sees to share—many familiar, others found with a little digging. After all, a traveler often finds the off-beat most rewarding.
If you’re like me, the type who goes to bed thinking about what’s for breakfast, then find the almond croissant of your dreams at Bonaparte Breads in Fells Point. Indulge with a view from the waterfront cafe’s windows, and take your crumbs to-go for a walk on the harbor docks and paths.
Take the 11 bus north to the Baltimore Museum of Art (free!). An exhibit about the German expressionist movement features works by artists like Ernst Ludwig Kirchner (above). Explore the Cone Collection and the renovated contemporary wing before grabbing a late lunch at Gertrude’s in the museum.
Because espresso is my kind of “aperitif,” go to Tribeca Coffee Roasters in Mount Vernon where baristas make artful drinks using house roasts. Nearby dine and imbibe at The Brewer’s Art, a microbrewery in a historic townhome, and head down to the pedestaled Washington for a monumental finish.